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The NHL Trade Deadline is in the book as of Friday 3 p.m. ET, so unless any general managers have found some bizarre loophole, players will be on these teams for the rest of the season.
Some of them will be very happy about their new homes. Others will be annoyed that they have to move their families and buy a new house to play in the basement of the conference.
But hey, that’s how it goes sometimes. Hockey is a cold business (in every sense).
So, let’s take some time to dissect which players are probably happy to be part of deadline deals, and players who are going to wish they never got that call from their GM.
Winner: Max Domi
Tie Domi played for three teams during his 16-year NHL career: the Rangers, the Jets, and the Maple Leafs. His son, Max, is on team No. 6 in 8 years after news that he had been dealt to the Dallas Stars.
Domi is used to being dealt, but this has to be one of the better-feeling moves. The Blackhawks are having a yard sale which even included franchise centerpiece Patrick Kane getting shipped out of town.
If you have to get traded, hearing you’ve been traded from the last-place team in the Central Division to the first place isn’t the worst thing in the world. Domi has moved from a team that is blowing things to one that is prepared to make another strong run through the postseason.
Trades are never easy, but this one should be a bit easier.
Loser: Brendan Lemieux
The Los Angeles Kings are in better shape this late in the season than I think most people would’ve expected. That said, they still had some fixes to make particularly in net and on the backend. They more or less got all of that done ahead of the deadline.
However, on deadline day, Brendan Lemieux — son of NHL great Claude Lemieux (apparently, if your dad was an NHL tough guy, you were getting traded this year. Uncle too. Looking at you Tyler Bertuzzi) — packed his bag for the east coast and the Philadelphia Flyers. Going back the other way was pending RFA Zack MacEwen.
The Kings got a player who does a lot of the same things Lemieux does, but with some extra size and offensive upside.
LA is in a battle for first place in the Pacific Division and has practically punched a ticket to the Playoffs. As for the Flyers… they’re not going to be playing playoff hockey.
Winner: Curtis Lazar
Curtis Lazar is one of my big winners. He’s leaving a Vancouver Canucks team in absolute disarray and heading to the ultra-competitive New Jersey Devils.
Even cooler for Lazar and his new teammates, there are rumblings that absolute stud Luke Hughes — the younger brother of Devils star Jack Hughes — will join the Devils when he wraps up his season with the Michigan Wolverines.
Yeah, that’s a cool upgrade over the Canucks.
The playoff-bound teams in the Eastern Conference are all loaded, but at least having a shot at a playoff run is better than snagging some late April tee times.
Loser: Vladimir Tarasenko
Yeah, I said it.
When Vladimir Tarsenko was traded from the St. Louis Blues to the New York Rangers, he was the big fish. He was going to make an absolutely sick Russian connection with Artemi Panarin and the Rangers were shaping into a real team to be reckoned with.
However, I feel like most of us forgot that trade even happened. Why? Because all the focus was on Chris Drury trying to nickel and dime his way to Patrick Kane, that’s why.
If Tarasenko was the big fish, Kane was the bigger fish that came along and swallowed him. I’m sure he doesn’t care, but if I was in his skates, my ego would be a bit bruised. You want to be the big catch. Now you’re not even the guy most people are excited to see play with Panarin. Everyone wants to see the Kane-Breadman Blackhawks reunion tour!
Poor Vladimir. Even after escaping the St, Louis-Chicago rivalry he has Blackhawks tormenting him.
Winner: The Ritchie Family
For the first time in NHL history, two brothers have been traded for one another.
The Arizona Coyotes traded Nick Ritchie to Calgary. Part of that package — which also sent defenseman Troy Stecher to the desert — was his brother, Brett Ritchie.
As I said, that’s an NHL first, but it works out great. If you need someone to call and talk about what you’re going through, you call your bro. If Brett needs some Arizona real-estate info or vice-versa, there you go.
They could even meet and tip back a few beers when they both inevitably have layovers in Denver.
Hey, maybe they could save their folks and the fans a bit of money and where each other’s numbers on their new teams.
I don’t see any downside to this. It’s perfect.
Loser: Jonathan Quick
This one came two days before the deadline, and it was a bit of a shock: Jonathan Quick was traded by the Los Angeles Kings.
The trade itself made a lot of sense for the Kings, but it was an unceremonious end in La La Land for the guy who helped win the franchise’s only two Cups.
His destination? The Columbus Blue Jackets sit at the very bottom of the National Hockey League standings.
Quick was reportedly not happy with this deal, and neither were his teammates, but that’s okay because he wasn’t in Columbus long enough for a cup of coffee, and that’s if he ever went there at all…
Winner: Jonathan Quick
The very next day, the Blue Jackets flipped Quick to the Vegas Golden Knights. Yeah, that’s a double-whammy for Kings fans, but it puts Quick on a very good team, in a situation where the pressure isn’t on him.
Quick has had a rough season in Los Angeles and effectively lost the starting spot to Phoenix Copley. Now, he’s on a team with new expectations. The Golden Knights don’t need him to be their No. 1 starter. That’s Logan Thompson’s job.
However, if Quick can come in, back him up, and maybe steal a game or two down the stretch, it could help him find his game again come playoffs.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle
One CommentLeave a Reply
Only because you’re a Flyers fan , Matt…
How can Fletcher have a job for even another minute?
Just looking at the Ghost trade, he gave Arizona a 2nd and 7th just to take him, and then Arizona gets a 3rd for Ghost. Plus he gave up a 2, 3 and 4 for Tony DeAngelo who is no better?!
He couldn’t have screwed the Flyers more if he tried.