NHL Seattle fans, welcome to Trade Deadline Day 2020. Check back when you can to get the latest updates. Consider it a preview of nail-biting Trade Deadlines in our hockey future.
For now, we can sit back, relax and enjoy the debates of which team came out on top in this Monday of Moves:
7:45 a.m. PT
The Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers play in different divisions but down the stretch run of March and early April, they will be among the contenders for wild-card spots in the Eastern Conference. That didn't stop them from making a trade that could impact one team more than other. Or vice versa. Carolina gets coveted forward Vincent Trocheck (10 G, 26A) while Florida is thinking they can give up Trocheck's playmaking touch to bring in glue-guy Eric Houla (12G, 10 A) and young center Lucas Wallmark (11 G, 12 A) for the important along with two prospects to strengthen depth in the Panthers organization. Carolina has 74 standings points in 61 games and Florida is sitting at 70 points in 62 games. It will be fascinating to see how the teams fare and compare in the final quarter of the season.
No one expected New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello to be quiet the entire Trade Deadline period. And he didn't disappoint, loading up draft choices to snag the highly-sought forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau (24G, 16A) from Ottawa. The Senators get first- and second-round picks in June's NHL Draft plus a conditional 2022 third-round selection if NYI wins the Stanley Cup. It's a high price, but the Islanders are the type of team that might one player away from a deep Cup run. Ottawa, in contrast, is futuristic, proven in another deal Monday, sending forward Vladislav Namestnikov to Colorado for third-round 2022 draft choice.
The Trade Deadline officially stops now. But league officials need time to approve all of the last-minute trade information that comes across from teams pushing until the final hour/30 minutes/five minutes/nail-biting seconds.
Here's what we know:
+ Forward Chris Kreider will not be traded by the New York Rangers. Instead, he signed a seven-year deal to keep Madison Square Garden as his home rink. NYR can resume hoping the Blueshirts find a way to make the postseason.
+ It appears 2019 Vezina finalist Robin Lehner is packing his bags from Chicago after just one half-season, heading to Vegas and the middle of a major pursuit of the Stanley Cup. Lehner was brilliant for the Blackhawks through mid-January with a 15-7-4 record with a top-five save percentage of .924. Since then, Lehner's save percentage dropped to .888 in his final five games for Chicago (1-3-1 record). Blackhawks GM accepted a second-round draft choice in return.
+ Edmonton beefed up it frontline by acquiring forwards Andreas Athanasiou and Ryan Kuffer from Detroit, giving up once-touted forward Sam Gagner plus second-round picks in 2021 and 2022. It was second deal in two days between Oilers GM Ken Holland (formerly the Detroit GM) and Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman, who played for Holland teams and learned front office maneuvers working for Holland. The other deal netted veteran defenseman Mike Green for Edmonton.
+ As expected, New Jersey forward Wayne Simmonds was traded-but not to Vancouver, as widely speculated. Buffalo moved for Simmonds instead, despite what appears to be a steep uphill slope to the playoffs, giving up a conditional 2021 fifth-round draft pick. Another veteran forward, San Jose's Patrick Marleau, was traded to Pittsburgh (and a legitimate shot at the Cup) for a conditional 2021 third-round draft choice.
+ A couple of former Western Hockey League Seattle Thunderbirds players were moved during the Deadline run-up. San Jose defenseman Brenden Dillion was traded to Washington Feb. 18 (winning over fans in D.C. already, especially Sunday in an encounter with Pittsburgh star Evgeny Malkin) while Nate Thompson, a local star in the early 2000s, went from Montreal to Philadelphia on Monday. Thompson, a 13-season veteran, has played for eight NHL teams.