Two sentences on every deal made during the NHL’s wild trade deadline week

The Hockey Central panel discusses which teams added the most in the weeks leading to the trade deadline and how that affects their playoff aspirations.

That’s right, I’m officially re-branding it as “deadline week” this season. Here’s some context on how wild the days before the deadline were compared to other seasons:

Let’s talk about what’s happened in the very simplest way, with two sentences on every NHL-level trade.

March 3, 2023 – 3 PM ET
Minnesota Wild receive
: John Klingberg (ANA retains 50 per cent of salary)
Anaheim Ducks receive: Andrej Sustr, Nikita Nesterenko, 2025 fourth-round pick

Thoughts: The Wild need offensive help, and it’s possible a motivated Klingberg can help them there. I can’t think of a “bet on yourself” deal going much worse than Klingberg’s one-year deal in Anaheim, so I’m sure he’ll be eager to prove he’s still got it.

March 3, 2023 – 2:59 PM ET
Ottawa Senators receive
: Patrick Brown
Philadelphia Flyers receive
: 2023 sixth-round pick

Thoughts: I appreciate that the Sens want to give themselves every chance to make the playoffs, and haven’t loved their depth forwards. I’m not sure this moves the needle very far in a positive direction, exactly, but at least they’re actively trying to improve.

March 3, 2023 – 2:55 PM ET
Calgary Flames receive
: Troy Stecher, Nick Ritchie
Arizona Coyotes receive
: Brett Ritchie, Connor Mackey

Thoughts: Stetcher has had runs of useful play as an NHL D-man, and Nick Ritchie is the same (though he’s usually judged unfavourably against his potential, which seems high given his size and hands). I’ll devote the second sentence to, “It’s a brother swap, OMG” because that’s the only real interesting thing here.

March 3, 2023 – 2:26 PM ET
Calgary Flames receive
: Dryden Hunt
Toronto Maple Leafs receive
: Radim Zohorna

Thoughts: There’s a veteran limit in the AHL, and this lets the Marlies dress more good players without having to scratch a veteran guy. Hunt was too far down the Leafs depth chart to think he might get in the playoff lineup.

March 3, 2023 – 2:18 PM ET
Minnesota Wild receive
: Oskar Sundqvist
Detroit Red Wings receive: 2023 fourth-round pick

Thoughts: The Wild made a real effort to improve their team without going crazy at the deadline. Sundqvist is a big depth guy with post-season experience, which they’ll need.

March 3, 2023 – 2:14 PM ET
Buffalo Sabres receive
: Jordan Greenway
Minnesota Wild receive
: 2023 second-round pick, 2024 fifth-round pick

Thoughts: I love this for the Sabres, who are building an absolutely gigantic team, and were looking for just a little boost of confidence that they are, in fact, “going for it” (with “it” being a playoff berth) this season. Meaningful games are the goal this season, and added depth should help them stay in that pursuit longer.

March 3, 2023 – 1:09 PM ET
Pittsburgh Penguins receive
: Dmitry Kulikov
Anaheim Ducks receive
: Brock McGinn, third-round pick

Thoughts: The Pens’ older superstars have actually been good this season, and so improving around them is a worthwhile quest given their precarious playoff position. Kulikov can defend, and with a couple depth forwards added, they’re hoping it’s enough to at least keep them in the post-season fight.

March 3, 2023 – 12:23 PM ET 
Winnipeg Jets receive
: Vladislav Namestnikov
San Jose Sharks
: 2025 fourth-round pick

Thoughts: When you’re adding at the bottom of your lineup, you have to consider not just the player you’re adding, but what they’re replacing. Namestnikov is a proven NHL forward who can chip in the odd goal here and there, and filling out the forward depth chart makes the Jets that tiny bit better.

March 3, 2023 – 11:58 AM ET 
Los Angeles Kings receive
: Zack MacEwan
Philadelphia Flyers receive
: Brendan Lemieux, 2024 fifth-round pick

Thoughts: The Kings get a slightly more useful depth piece at the cost of a fifth-rounder in 2024. When you’re in a tight division, you never know where getting one per cent better will make the difference.

March 3, 2023 – 11:47 AM ET
New Jersey Devils receive
: Curtis Lazar
Vancouver Canucks receive
: 2024 fourth-round pick

Thoughts: The hardest thing to do in a rebuild is add real, elite talent. But once you get there, it’s still a process to fill in with quality depth, and with the first box checked, good to see the Devils work on addressing that next step.

March 3, 2023 – 9:10 AM ET
St. Louis Blues receive
: Jakub Vrana (DET retains 50 per cent of salary)
Detroit Red Wings receive
: Dylan McLaughlin, 2025 seventh-round pick

Thoughts: In the interest of turning the Blues around without a massive tank job, GM Doug Armstrong has placed a couple low-risk, high-reward bets on both Vrana and Kasperi Kapanen. Both are talented, prime-aged players who are also nearing last-chance status with NHL teams, so if either one turns it around, they’ll be found money.

March 3, 2023 – 7 AM ET
Pittsburgh Penguins receive: Nick Bonino
San Jose Sharks receive: Fifth-round pick, seventh-round pick

Thoughts: This is a fundamental deadline deal. Two teams with a clear purpose (make playoffs for one, stack assets for the other) get what they want, even if it seems unlikely either addition ends up being overly impactful.

March 2, 2023 – 11:47 PM ET
Dallas Stars receive: Max Domi, Dylan Wells
Chicago Blackhawks receive: Anton Khudobin, 2025 second-round pick

Thoughts: Max Domi has looked excellent lately, and the Blackhawks get another decent pick. But for Dallas, in a division that looks 100 per cent gettable, it still feels like a deal they made in lieu of the type of more impactful trade I would’ve liked to have seen them make.

March 2, 2023 – 3:31 PM ET
Edmonton Oilers receive
: Nick Bjugstad (ARI retains 50 per cent of salary), Cam Dineen
Arizona Coyotes receive: Michael Kesselring, 2023 third-round pick

Thoughts: Love this for the Oilers (although I know many had high hopes for Kesselring), who I think have a legit chance to win the West. For years we’ve been questioning who’s behind the big guns in Edmonton, and Bjugstad is a meaningful NHL talent who makes that bottom six feel more full.

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March 2, 2023 – 2 PM ET
Vegas Golden Knights receive
: Jonathan Quick (CBJ retains 50 per cent of salary)
Columbus Blue Jackets receive: Michael Hutchinson, 2025 seventh-round draft pick

Thoughts: I know Quick is having, quite frankly, a terrible season by most every metric. But you never want to bet against elite players being able to put it together for one last late push (like Tiger Woods’ 2019 Masters), and with Quick’s talent and competitiveness, a 2025 seventh is a worthwhile gamble.

March 2, 2023 – 1:01 PM ET
Arizona Coyotes
 receive: Jakub Voracek, 2023 sixth-round pick
Columbus Blue Jackets receive
: Jon Gillies

Thoughts: Not much to say here. I lived in Arizona for a few years and wish Coyotes fans the best, but these are shameful years for the organization.

March 2, 2023 – 8:22 AM ET
Boston Bruins receive
: Tyler Bertuzzi (DET retains 50 per cent of salary)
Detroit Red Wings receive: Protected 2024 first-round pick, 2025 fifth-round pick

Thoughts: It’s just not that much to pay for a play-driving shift-disturber like Bertuzzi. His finishing has dried up this season, but at the rate he continues to create, he’s still super-effective, and a perfect add for a crazy-stacked Bruins team.

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March 1, 2023 – 8:12 PM ET
Pittsburgh Penguins receive: 
Mikael Granlund
Nashville Predators receive: 2023 second-round pick

Thoughts: I don’t love what this does for the Penguins’ salary cap picture in the years ahead, but make no bones about it: they’re very much in the thick of a playoff race, and are on the old side. This gives their excellent “old” core more help.

March 1, 2023 – 7:55 PM ET
San Jose Sharks receive
: Vladislav Namestnikov (TBL retains 50 per cent of salary)
Tampa Bay Lightning receive: Mikey Eyssimont

Thoughts: Tampa has reached that status where you just trust that they know what they’re doing (San Jose, not so much). Eyssimont has positive fancy stats on a team that’s been flat-out bad, so I’m not shocked to see the Lightning add him for depth.

March 1, 2023 – 7:23 PM ET
Vegas Golden Knights receive: 
Teddy Blueger
Pittsburgh Penguins receive: Peter DiLiberatore, 2024 third-round pick

Thoughts: The Penguins had to make room to add Granlund somehow, and well, here ya go. They get a pick back, and Vegas gets a little more depth in the process to help with a tight Pacific Division.

March 1, 2023 – 6:09 PM ET
Ottawa Senators receive: 
Jakob Chychrun
Arizona Coyotes receive: Conditional 2023 first-round pick, conditional 2024 second-round pick (via Washington Capitals), 2026 second-round pick

Thoughts: If you’re going to do what the Arizona Coyotes are doing, you have to at least spend a little money to maximize what you get in return. But they haven’t, and they won’t eat money or take deals back, so they get less than the return for Tanner Jeannot here, while the Sens basically committed outright robbery in getting a very good, cheap, controlled asset in Chychrun for their first playoff push in years.

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March 1, 2023 – 5:01 PM ET
Vancouver Canucks receive: 
Filip Hronek, 2023 fourth-round pick
Detroit Red Wings receive: 
Conditional 2023 first-round pick (via New York Islanders), 2023 second-round pick

Thoughts: The Canucks clearly don’t want a long rebuild, and so they targeted young guys who can help them now. Contrary to what others are saying, I still like this deal for them, as Hronek is good and just 25-years-old, so there’s no reason he couldn’t be part of a better Canucks team in three, five, even seven years from now.

March 1, 2023 – 4:45 PM ET
Carolina Hurricanes receive: Shayne Gostisbehere
Arizona Coyotes receive: 2026 third-round pick

Thoughts: Have you ever needed something, let’s say a vacuum, and you’ve really coveted the top-end one (maybe the Dyson?), but you talk yourself into the cheap one being just as good (or close enough), so you buy that one only to realize it just doesn’t get the job done quite like you’d hoped? ‘Kay, maybe that was hyper-specific, but the Canes having this awesome roster with a shot at the Cup and adding fringe pieces rather than meaningful ones feels like a missed opportunity.

March 1, 2023 – 1:24 PM ET
Colorado Avalanche receive: Lars Eller (WSH retains 31 per cent of salary)
Washington Capitals receive: 2025 second-round pick

Thoughts: Nice depth add for Colorado, as Eller is a Cup champ who plays hard and instantly fills out their bottom six. And given what their top six looks like when healthy, Avs fans have to like that for a draft pick that’ll become an NHL player in 2027 if the Caps are lucky.

March 1, 2023 – 8:27 AM ET
Columbus Blue Jackets receive
: Jonathan Quick, conditional 2023 first-round pick, 2024 third-round pick
Los Angeles Kings receive: Vladislav Gavrikov, Joonas Korpisalo

Thoughts: Korpisalo has been a positive “goals saved above expected” tender this year, whereas Quick was almost 20 goals in the hole, so this should definitely help. Also helpful is adding a legitimately good defender who’s been playing against top competition and 22 minutes a night.

Feb. 28, 2023 – 8:03 PM ET
New York Rangers receive: 
Patrick Kane (CHI retains 50 per cent of salary; ARI retains 25 per cent), Cooper Zech
Chicago Blackhawks receive: Vili Saarijarvi, Andy Welenski, conditional second-round pick, 2023 fourth-round pick
Arizona Coyotes receive: 2025 third-round pick

Thoughts: It’s tough to know how to gauge the weird return for guys such as Kane and Claude Giroux last year who basically hand-select their new team. But I do know Kane can still do some incredible stuff, and he makes the Rangers even deeper, so you can’t blame them for bending over backward to make his salary fit under their cap.

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Feb. 28, 2023 – 6:50 PM ET
Minnesota Wild receive
: Gustav Nyquist
Columbus Blue Jackets receive
: 2023 fifth-round pick

Thoughts: Columbus gets a pick for a player they weren’t using, and the Wild get to add a player (who, when healthy, can make some plays) who will never matter against their salary cap. Everybody wins.

Feb. 28, 2023 – 5:31 PM ET
Edmonton Oilers receive:
 Mattias Ekholm, 2024 sixth-round pick
Nashville Predators receive: Tyson Barrie, Reid Schaefer, 2023 first-round pick, 2024 fourth-round pick

Thoughts: Perhaps the most “Yeah that makes sense” trade of the deadline. Ekholm is precisely what the Oilers needed, and while it wasn’t cheap to bring him in, he’s got term and arrives at a time when the Oilers have a legitimate path through the West.

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Feb. 28, 2023 – 4:51 PM ET
Toronto Maple Leafs receive: Luke Schenn
Vancouver Canucks receive: 2023 third-round pick

Thoughts: The cost doesn’t bother me (depth D aren’t free and this is the Leafs’ window), but the concern is with what Schenn brings at this stage of his career. Can he be the guy who helped Quinn Hughes, who won a Cup going in and out of the Bolts lineup, or has he aged past those most useful days?

Feb. 28, 2023 – 4:49 PM ET
New York Islanders receive: Pierre Engvall
Toronto Maple Leafs receive: 2024 third-round pick

Thoughts: One of the more underrated deadline deals is pulled off by the Islanders, who get a big, fast 26-year-old with a hard shot who kills penalties and drives play for just a third in 2024. But the Leafs had to move salary and there wasn’t much market for Engvall, whose reputation for not always being hyper-engaged eroded the confidence that he can be impactful on a team trying to win a Cup.

Feb. 28, 2023 – 3:58 PM ET
Toronto Maple Leafs receive
: Erik Gustafsson, 2023 first-round pick (via Boston Bruins)
Washington Capitals receive: Rasmus Sandin

Thoughts: Sandin and the Leafs were always headed to a breakup, and so being able to fetch a late first for the young Swede made sense. It’ll be another chip the Leafs can use to push all-in, and the Caps get a guy who drives possession well, and who could be very effective with a fresh start and renewed confidence.

Feb. 28, 2023 – 3:53 PM ET
Minnesota Wild receive
: Marcus Johansson
Washington Capitals receive: 2024 third-round pick

Thoughts: The Wild can’t produce offence and Johnasson is a depth piece on pace for nearly 20 goals this season. Doesn’t excite me too much but at least it shows a push to win with this group in a year the West is gettable.

Feb. 28, 2023 – 12:28 PM ET
Carolina Hurricanes receive: Jesse Puljujarvi
Edmonton Oilers receive: Patrik Puistola 

Thoughts: I don’t know if Puljujarvi will ever be the player people want him to be, but few players on earth have needed a fresh start more than him. The deeper numbers like the big Finn more than his raw totals, so maybe they’ll fall in line better with Carolina.

Feb. 27, 2023 – 1:31 PM ET
Toronto Maple Leafs receive
: Jake McCabe (CHI retains 50 per cent of salary), Sam Lafferty, conditional 2024 fifth-round pick, conditional 2025 fifth-round pick
Chicago Blackhawks receive: Joey Anderson, Pavel Gogolev, conditional 2025 first-round pick, 2026 second-round pick

Thoughts: The Leafs gave up far-off picks for a top-four D and a forward who will play in their bottom six, both of whom add what the team has lacked in grit and competitiveness (and both have term). For a team with talent to burn, this checks some boxes in the “intangibles” category where some have believed they’ve lacked in the past.

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Feb. 26, 2023 – 10:25 PM ET
Tampa Bay Lightning receive
: Tanner Jeannot
Nashville Predators receive
: Cal Foote, 2025 top-10 protected first-round pick, 2024 second-round pick, 2023 third-round pick, 2023 fourth-round pick, 2023 fifth-round pick

Thoughts: Everyone in the league likes Jeannot as a player, who is young and fights a ton and has a 24-goal season to his name. But this was an insane haul of picks when you zoom out to the other deadline deals.

Feb. 26, 2023 – 7:06 PM ET
Colorado Avalanche receive
: Jack Johnson
Chicago Blackhawks receive: Andreas Englund

Thoughts: Physical D depth is always wildly valued at the deadline. And here we are again, with a team that has a past with a player, adding insurance in case of future injury.

Feb. 26, 2023 – 4:53 PM ET
New Jersey Devils receive
: Timo Meier (SJ retains 50 per cent of salary), Scott Harrington, Timur Ibragimov, Santeri Hatakka, Zachary Emond, 2024 fifth-round pick
San Jose Sharks receive: Andreas Johnsson, Fabian Zetterlund, Shakir Mukhamadullin, Nikita Okhotiuk, conditional 2023 first-round pick, conditional 2024 second-round pick, 2024 seventh-round pick

Thoughts: What will come back to haunt the Sharks is the idea of getting a “big” return in terms of volume. They didn’t want to put all their eggs in one basket with a prospect from New Jersey, so it’s possible they end up with a bunch of just OK players from a deal where they moved something meaningful.

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Feb. 26, 2023 – 11:14 AM ET
Vegas Golden Knights receive
: Ivan Barbashev
St. Louis Blues receive: Zach Dean

Thoughts: Barbashev is a sneaky-good pick up for the Golden Knights. He brings both edge and the ability to help offensively, and they’re gonna need every bit of help they can get.

Feb. 26, 2023 – 11:05 AM ET
Montreal Canadiens receive
: Denis Gurianov
Dallas Stars receive: Evgenii Dadonov

Thoughts: I love this for the Canadiens, actually. I know Gurianov has fallen off, but he’s a great buy-low candidate, and I have never been much of a Dadonov fan from strictly a playing-style angle.

Feb. 25, 2023 – 4:55 PM ET
Winnipeg Jets receive
: Nino Niederreiter
Nashville Predators receive: 2024 second-round pick

Thoughts: There’s no reason to think the Jets don’t have a chance to get through the Central, and so a transaction like this is 100 per cent justifiable. A good depth add, can contribute and play a playoff style game at times.

Feb. 25, 2023 – 3:13 PM ET
Vancouver Canucks receive
: Vitali Kravtsov
New York Rangers receive: William Lockwood, 2026 seventh-round pick

Thoughts: Low risk for the Canucks, and hey, you never know. Kravtsov has some upside.

Feb. 23, 2023 – 6:05 PM ET
Boston Bruins receive
: Dmitry Orlov (WSH retains 50 per cent of salary; MIN retains 25 per cent), Garnet Hathaway
Washington Capitals receive: Craig Smith, Andrei Svetlakov, 2023 first-round pick, 2025 second-round pick, 2024 third-round pick
Minnesota Wild receive: 2023 fifth-round pick

Thoughts: Since the trade, I have heard him called “Orr-lov” and “Scorr-lov,” as he’s setting records for points with a new team (up to eight through four games). With Hathaway, the Bruins are even meaner and more talented, and that’s awful news for just about everyone in their division.

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