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NHL Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

On Friday March 8th, the NHL Trade Deadline was upon us. On this day, teams could make final trades for the season before the push for the playoffs begin. Each year, the league sees teams attempting to go all in, teams selling their best assets in an attempt to rebuild, and teams looking to just improve their rosters. This year, the deadline saw a lot of activity, and unexpected trades coming out of nowhere, making this fun to follow from the sidelines. It is quite clear that there were strong winners who came out of the day with an improved team, and losers who didn’t quite have it, or did not make any trades at all.

Vegas Golden Knights

Arguably the most entertaining team of the day, the Knights were all-in this deadline, proving once again they are not afraid to be the big fish, and are looking to defend their cup title. They got started pre deadline, trading for forward Anthony Mantha from the Washington Capitals. On the day of the actual deadline, Vegas traded for the best defenseman on the market, Noah Hanifin, while only giving up little value to acquire him. Vegas wouldn't stop there. Just as the deadline was approaching the final minutes, the Knights traded for forward Tomas Hertl from the San Jose Sharks, bolstering their already talented forward lineup. Vegas came out of the deadline the clear winners of the day, and look to hold their cup title as the push for the playoffs continue.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Carolina Hurricanes

The Canes are always one of the more intriguing teams this time of year. They have the starpower to contend, but usually fall short of expectations in the playoffs. This year, the Canes went out and got arguably the best overall player at the deadline, Jake Guentzel from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Ideally, the team will slot Guentzel next to Sebastian Aho, for a boost in offense going forward. In addition to adding Guentzel, the team also went out and acquired Evgeny Kuznetsov from the Washington Capitals. Kuznetsov has just returned from the NHL’s Player Assistance Program, with an opportunity to reset his career, and be a sneaky good addition for the Canes as they push towards the playoffs and solidify their place in the Metropolitan Division.

New Jersey Devils

The Devils were primed to compete for a playoff spot this season, but things quickly took a turn for the worse as the second half of the season began. At the deadline, they traded leading goal scorer Tyler Toffoli to the Winnipeg Jets for draft picks, along with steady defenseman Colin Miller to the Jets for draft picks as well. The team also changed their goaltending duo, by making trades for veteran goaltenders Jake Allen and Kaapo Kähkönen. This clearly is not what the Devils were hoping for, and any trade ideally would help the team going forward. This was a subpar deadline from the team, making this one of least entertaining teams of the deadline.

Courtesy of Jaylynn Nash/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Penguins

With Kyle Dubas looking to impress in his first year as General Manager, the Penguins were a team that was hoping to make some interesting moves to help out veterans Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang. With the team slipping out of a wild card position, Dubas made some perplexing moves, with little return to them. He traded pending UFA Jake Guentzel to Carolina, but the return was a roster player, that being Michael Bunting, and prospects that will hopefully help the team in the future. These prospects did not rank among the top ones in the Canes’ organization, so it's safe to say fans were hoping Dubas would get more back for the forward. With the age of the veterans getting up there, Dubas says the team needs to get younger, but this road seems to be a bit painful to start. Ultimately, the Penguins had a lackluster deadline, and not one that gave fans confidence they will find their way back to a wild card spot in the East.

The Trade Deadline this year was entertaining, like it is in most years. We had teams making surprise moves, which is always fun to follow as a fan. As always, we hope to see what the players can do on their new teams, and look forward to following the fresh story as the season goes on, and into the quest for the Stanley Cup come April.

Courtesy of Clutch Points

Edited by: Jessi Dworkin

Social Media Content Created by: Audrey Pearsall

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