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Five teams that dealt with deadline the best

Monday, 03.02.2015 / 8:14 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

The 2015 NHL Trade Deadline has passed and the dust is starting to settle around the League, which means it's time to analyze who got what, for what, and what it all means.

Some teams were trading to bolster what could be a legitimate Stanley Cup contending roster. Some were trying to acquire players who can help them get into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Others were in full sell mode because of massive rebuilding projects.

Here are the five teams who did the best for the situation they're in:

Wild, Sabres finally agree on Stewart trade

Monday, 03.02.2015 / 8:03 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

Dan Myers - Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Before speaking to media members Monday evening, Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher needed to charge his phone. The battery was nearly dead after another busy NHL Trade Deadline, something that has become a staple during the Fletcher regime.

After acquiring defenseman Jordan Leopold from the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier in the day, little else was expected from the Wild as 2 p.m. local time approached.

But shortly before the deadline (three minutes to be exact), Fletcher and Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray were able to agree to a trade that sent forward Chris Stewart to Minnesota for a second-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Fletcher and Murray, who are close friends, made their third straight deadline-day deal, following trades that sent Jason Pominville (2013) and Matt Moulson (2014) to the Wild from the rebuilding Sabres.

And for the third straight year, the Wild traded a future second-round pick to the Sabres, who received two second-round picks from Minnesota in 2014 and have another in 2016.

Fletcher said he and Murray had several conversations over the past year about Stewart and the Wild's potential interest in the power forward. Each time, the price Murray wanted wasn't one the Wild were willing to pay.

"I'd let him know that he was a player we would potentially have interest in," Fletcher said. "The price never seemed to fit in terms of what we spoke about."

Prices too high for Bruins GM Chiarelli at deadline

Monday, 03.02.2015 / 7:51 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli made the calculation that prices were so high on rental players leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline on Monday that it would be better to spend on a player the Bruins could control beyond this season.

That player turned out to be 22-year-old forward Brett Connolly, who the Bruins acquired early Monday morning from the Tampa Bay Lightning in a trade for second-round picks in the 2015 and 2016 NHL Drafts. Connolly has 12 goals and 15 points in 50 games this season.

The Bruins didn’t have a lot of maneuverability below the NHL salary cap to make a bigger trade without also trading a player with a large salary. Connolly carries a salary-cap charge of $851,000 this season, according to

"For us, we’re obviously under a cap crunch. But it’s just hard to get a deal done," Chiarelli said at TD Garden on Monday. "And you see that the prices are so high that it makes it prohibitive. And that’s really why we ended up going towards Connolly rather a rental. We looked really across throughout the forward rental market. He’s a young guy. He’s going to be with our group for a while. We will control his rights and he’s going to grow into a good player and he can help us now. So looking to the future but also to the present. And that’s necessitated by the prices. And what we looked at was, if we’re going to spend the picks that we’re going to spend, let’s look at all options, not just rental options."

Small deadline moves reveal confidence of Islanders

Monday, 03.02.2015 / 7:25 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

SYOSSET, N.Y. -- Judging by the smiles and the lack of nerves at Islanders Iceworks on Monday, one never would have known it was a few hours away from the NHL Trade Deadline.

It felt like a routine practice for the New York Islanders, who skated for about an hour before heading to the airport to board a flight to Dallas, where they will begin a four-game road trip Tuesday.

One could understand why the Islanders seemed so relaxed. They entered Monday with 41 wins and were atop the Metropolitan Division, two points ahead of the New York Rangers.

"We're really excited about the group we have in here," defenseman Travis Hamonic said. "... If (general manager) Garth [Snow] decides to do something, it's not up to us.

"We're certainly a very tight-knit group. A big group of us have been together for a long time now. We've been through some of the down years and it's certainly been a lot of fun winning together and it's been a good atmosphere around this room (this season).

"I understand there's decisions to be made, [but] it doesn't necessarily come into our minds. Obviously it's done for us, but we hope we can do something really special with this group."

Blue Jackets sign Atkinson to three-year contract

Monday, 03.02.2015 / 6:59 PM / News

The Columbus Blue Jackets signed forward Cam Atkinson to a three-year contract Monday.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the Columbus Dispatch reported it's worth $10.5 million.

Atkinson, 25, has 13 goals and 25 points in 58 games this season. He would have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

"It’s the same process with everybody who is coming close to unrestricted free agency," Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. "It’s about protecting the franchise and its future and we can’t just let players walk into the unrestricted free agency without getting anything for them at the stage were in with our club."

Analysis: Trading frenzy creates little clarity in East

Monday, 03.02.2015 / 6:54 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

It is fair to suggest that every team in the top nine of the Eastern Conference standings is better than it was a week ago.

If that's true, it is also fair to suggest all of the activity in the past few days was more about keeping pace with the competition than providing any clarity on what should be a fascinating fight to reach the Stanley Cup Final.

Everyone got a little better, so the Stanley Cup Playoff picture remains murky.

The top seven teams in the East entered the day of the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline within nine points of each other. Prices were high in a seller's market, and teams were willing to pay. Given how close the teams are, there was an opportunity for one or two to pull out in front of the rest, but at this point it doesn't feel like anyone did.

"Predicting is a tough thing to get into; if we stay healthy and have enough depth and everyone performs and we get the good goaltending we think we will have, then we can go all the way," New York Rangers general manager Glen Sather said. "But there are a lot of teams thinking the same thing that I am thinking, everybody made deals, and we are all optimistic about where we will end up."

Yandle has Rangers focused on Stanley Cup run

Monday, 03.02.2015 / 6:51 PM / NHL Trade Tracker

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- There's no doubt the New York Rangers and their fans are hoping for a long and successful run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

After making three trades in a span of a few hours Sunday, general manager Glen Sather would expect nothing less.

The biggest was the acquisition of defensemen Keith Yandle and Chris Summers, and a fourth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, from the Arizona Coyotes for defenseman John Moore, forward prospect Anthony Duclair, a second-round pick in 2015 and a conditional first-round pick in 2016.

Five underrated trades made prior to 2015 deadline

Monday, 03.02.2015 / 6:28 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

The blockbuster trades, and even the ones that never get made, are the attention grabbers on Trade Deadline day in the NHL, but they are far from the only ones that can make a big impact.

Sometimes it's the lesser-known trades that enhance a team's chances of either securing a Stanley Cup Playoff berth or going deep in the postseason.

Take, for example, the impact forward Michal Handzus made with the Chicago Blackhawks after they acquired him at the 2013 NHL Trade Deadline for a fourth-round draft pick. Handzus was a cheap addition, filled a hole at center, and helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup.

Similarly, in 2012 the Blackhawks got defenseman Johnny Oduya for two draft picks. He has played a significant role in Chicago ever since, making the price of a second- and third-round pick seem well worth it.

Forward Chris Higgins has been a worthwhile contributor for the Vancouver Canucks since they acquired him prior to the deadline in 2011 for a defense prospect and a third-round pick. Higgins helped the Canucks reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2011.

Here are five examples of underrated trades made prior to the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline (note they weren't all made Monday) that could be talked about as having a significant impact at some point this spring:

Islanders acquire goalie Neuvirth, forward Kennedy

Monday, 03.02.2015 / 6:18 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

The New York Islanders made two trades leading into the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline on Monday, acquiring goalie Michal Neuvirth from the Buffalo Sabres and forward Tyler Kennedy from the San Jose Sharks.

The Islanders traded goaltender Chad Johnson and a third-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft for Neuvirth.

"It was shocking. I was enjoying my sushi and one of my teammates told me to look on the TV and I saw it," Neuvirth said. "It was a little bit of a shock but it's a great opportunity to be in the [Stanley Cup Playoffs]."

Rangers, Zuccarello agree on new contract

Monday, 03.02.2015 / 6:15 PM / News

Forward Mats Zuccarello has agreed to terms on a contract to stay with the New York Rangers.

It is for four years, $18 million, according to Zuccarello would have been an unrestricted free agent July 1.

The contract reportedly includes partial trade protection.

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