To determine the 2012 NHL Trade Deadline winners, not only was the actual deadline day taken into consideration. Moves in the previous few weeks were included as well. Here are this year’s winners:
1. Nashville Predators
The Nashville Predators made three main deals in the last few weeks. Last week, they acquired defenseman Hal Gill from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Blake Geoffrion, Robert Slaney, and a 2012 2nd round pick. They continued talks with Montreal and was able to acquire Andrei Kostitsyn for two more draft picks. They finished their day by acquiring Paul Gaustad from the Buffalo Sabres for their 2012 1st round draft pick. In Gill, the Predators added depth to an already strong defense. Gill, a large body, is very strong in the defensive end. Kostitsyn and Gaustad are very talented forwards and will even out the Predators who are led by the defense and goaltending. The trade reunites the Kostitsyn (Andrei and Sergei) in Nashville as Sergei was traded to the Predators last season. The trades send a message to the rest of the Western Conference saying they are going all in to win the Stanley Cup and aren’t messing around.
2. Tampa Bay Lightning
Over the past two weeks, Steve Yzerman has made seven trades. He has shipped out roster players Pavel Kubina, Dominic Moore, Steve Downie, for two 2nd round picks and a 1st round pick. Today he traded Matt Gilroy to Ottawa for Brian Lee, prospect Ashton Carter to Toronto for prospect Keith Aulie, and a conditional 5th round pick to Detroit for Mike Commodore. All of these deals were aimed to better the team for the future. Of the four roster players Yzerman dealt, only Downie wasn’t an UFA at the end of the season. Downie is a RFA this year and will be getting a major pay increase. Yzerman has stuck to his plan of building for the future and build organizational depth. The moves today prove this perfectly.
3. Vancouver Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks didn’t need anymore firepower so they added depth players that can play special roles within their system. They added Samuel Pahlsson from Anaheim and swapped top prospects with Buffalo to acquire Zack Kassian. Pahlsson won the Stanley Cup in Anaheim in 2007 and will bring another leadership voice to the locker room. These moves make Vancouver, one of the league’s top teams, even more dangerous.
More to Come..
Follow me on Twitter for exclusive news & content!