TORONTO -- The 2016 NHL trade deadline has come and gone, and if ever there was a deadline that screamed out "lunch bag letdown," this would be it.
Here are the most compelling points from the day:
Teams that were quiet and whose fans are enraged
The New York Islanders, who hit the trade deadline with a loss to lowly Edmonton, did little to assuage fears of Isles fans by adding only young winger Shane Prince from the Ottawa Senators. Prince has three goals in 44 total NHL games. Throw in the fact that power forward Kyle Okposo is expected to walk as a free agent in the summer and this trade deadline ranks as a major disappointment for a team that could face the archrival New York Rangers in the first round and frankly looks like it will be overmatched no matter who it faces -- assuming it hangs onto a postseason berth. Minnesota Wild fans will likewise be unhappy as the Wild continue to try to scratch and claw their way back into the playoff picture. They still need help down the middle and had assets that could have been moved from the blue line, but it didn’t happen -- with the exception of a late-hour deal that brought in David Jones, who is set to be an unrestricted free agent. Is this a team that kept its powder dry to take a run at Jonathan Drouin at the draft?
Teams that made you go 'hmmm'
Don Sweeney began his tenure as general manager of the Boston Bruins by being pilloried by fans for trading young defenseman Dougie Hamilton, and fans had him on the roasting spit again as he navigated his first trade deadline as GM. Sweeney ended up adding veteran defenseman John-Michael Liles from Carolina and veteran forward Lee Stempniak from New Jersey but gave up a boatload of futures. Stempniak has had a renaissance season in New Jersey, and it won’t be a huge surprise if he re-signs with the Devils in the summer. The Bruins sent a second- and a fourth-round pick to the Devils, which is a lot. Even more curious was the payment of prospect Anthony Camara and two picks (a third and fifth) for Liles, who is 35 and does not appreciably upgrade the Bruins blue-line corps. Ergo, Sweeney sent four picks and a prospect for two pending unrestricted free agents. Add in Sweeney’s inability to come to terms with Loui Eriksson and/or trade the two-way forward who now may walk away on July 1 as a UFA and it was a less than stellar trade period for the Bruins.
Teams that didn’t do anything but whose fans should chill
The St. Louis Blues were quiet and that wasn’t entirely unexpected given the team’s salary cap and injury issues. In spite of missing key personnel -- including Alexander Steen, Brian Elliott, Jaden Schwartz, Kevin Shattenkirk and Jake Allen -- the Blues are a lock to make the playoffs and have a shot at first place in the Central. GM Doug Armstrong needed to move dollars out to bring assets in and it didn’t happen -- but it might not matter. The Nashville Predators were also quiet, although since acquiring Ryan Johansen in early January, the team is playing its best hockey of the season and looks to have locked itself into the top wild-card spot in the West. The Washington Capitals added around the edge with Mike Weber and Daniel Winnik, sending longtime Capitals forward Brooks Laich to Toronto in the Winnik deal, but when you’re the best team in the NHL, maybe there’s no need to shake things up needlessly.
Jonathan Drouin trade imminent
Ha. Ha. Just kidding. How many times since Drouin pulled the chute on the Tampa Bay Lightning were we told a deal was imminent? It didn’t happen in spite of multiple teams expressing interest in the No. 3 pick in 2013. In the end, Tampa GM Steve Yzerman could not find a deal that worked for him and would not force the issue, despite Drouin’s refusal to play for the team’s American Hockey League affiliate. The Drouin situation was complicated by the fact the Lightning were looking to add a right-handed shot along the blue line and could not make that happen without moving out salary. Still, the Lightning were in the enviable position of not having to make a move, because they remain a deep, talented team with the potential to once again go deep in the playoffs. Although Yzerman did open the door to Drouin rejoining the Lightning, it’s hard not to look at this as Drouin and his people having wildly misjudged the situation.
Little deal that we really like
Everyone will focus on the Colorado Avalanche's acquisition of Mikkel Boedker to their already big and fast forward corps, and with good reason -- provided he can find a little more finish with the Avs. But the Avs need to be better along the blue line, and we think Eric Gelinas, who was acquired from New Jersey for a third-round pick in 2017, will be a nice fit; he might even make them just enough better to throw a scare into one of the big boys in the Western Conference playoffs.
Medium deal that could turn out to be more
The Anaheim Ducks -- the NHL’s hottest team, having won eight in a row -- added Jamie McGinn from the Buffalo Sabres for a conditional third-round draft pick. The Ducks already boast a formidable defensive corps -- in fact, there was much speculation they might package some of that depth up at the deadline in order to make a bigger splash up front -- but it turns out they didn’t need to as McGinn will provide nice depth up front, where he can play anywhere among the top nine. The Ducks also added Brandon Pirri from the Florida Panthers for a sixth-round pick, while moving big Patrick Maroon to the Edmonton Oilers. Let’s see: deep in goal, deep on the blue line and now appreciably deeper up front. Not a bad trade period for GM Bob Murray.
Teams that maybe didn’t get it all done
The Los Angeles Kings added Kris Versteeg to bolster the offense, but having repatriated aging Rob Scuderi for under-performing Christian Ehrhoff, the blue line is still an area of concern for the Kings, who can no longer be considered a lock to win the Pacific Division. The Pittsburgh Penguins added Justin Schultz, who is at best a gamble given his disastrous finish in Edmonton. Was that enough for a Penguins’ team that should be playoff bound but still has questions about its ability to move the puck from the back end? As for the Vancouver Canucks, it's a cautionary tale about the power of the no-trade/no-move clause, as Dan Hamhuis was willing to go to just a handful of teams, and Vancouver could not get a deal to fit; so Hamhuis remains a Canuck at least until this summer, when he can become an unrestricted free agent. Radim Vrbata, another player who should have brought home some assets, can also leave the Canucks as an UFA this summer.