The NHL trade deadline is officially here. The Tampa Bay Lightning have almost certainly completed all of their business for this season. They made their big acquisition last weekend when they added forward Blake Coleman in exchange for Nolan Foote and a first round pick. Yesterday, they made a smaller move signing defender Zach Bogosian who had his contract terminated with the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday.
Bogosian is likely in Tampa to provide some defensive depth while Ryan McDonagh and Jan Rutta are still hurt. Erik Cernak is also dinged up but the team announced yesterday he’s only day to day. Even so, with a chance the team could be without three of their top six defenders for Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Lightning needed some additional depth and there aren’t any more options in Syracuse where the Crunch have also been hit hard by injuries.
The move could mean that Cameron Gaunce is able to return to the Crunch sooner rather than later. It could also mean that Luke Schenn could head to Syracuse once the rest of the blue line is healthy. If that’s the case, that would be a huge boost for the Crunch as they push for the playoffs.
But even though the Lightning are likely done making moves, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the deadline. In fact, being able to watch other teams moves without the stress of having to worry about your own team might be even more fun.
As a big picture view of the players available, here’s a couple of charts with key metrics for every player on the TSN trade bait top 50 who meets the time on ice requirements to be included. All the data is via Evolving Hockey. On the heatmap, blue means performing above average in a measure and orange means performing below average. The players are ordered as they appear on the list meaning they go from most likely to be traded to least likely.
First, the forwards.
And now, the defenders.
Yesterday’s Moves and Rumors:
Aside from the Lightning signing Bogosian, the Washington Capitals also made a move to acquire Ilya Kovalchuk from the Montreal Canadiens. The Habs signed Kovalchuk during the season after he and the Los Angeles Kings agreed to part ways. Now, they’ve flipped him to a contender for a third round pick. The move unites Kovalchuk with Alex Ovechkin meaning two of the best shooters of this era will be on the same team. Kovalchuk isn’t the player he once was but he should still be good for some goals and seeing him with Ovechkin will be fun.
Then, late last night. the Edmonton Oilers traded for defender Mike Green from the Detroit Red Wings. Headed back to Detroit are forward Kyle Brodziak and a 4th round pick in 2020 that becomes a 3rd in 2021 if the Oilers advance to the Conference Final and Green plays in half the team’s games. The trade represents new Oilers General Manager Ken Holland going to a familiar place in acquiring a player he’s familiar with from all his years in Detroit. While this move might help a little, it still doesn’t address their glaring need at forward where Connor McDavid’s linemates recently have been Alex Chiasson and Sam Gagner.
No other deals were consummated but we did get lots of smoke in Vancouver around a Tyson Barrie trade. Multiple media members reported that the Leafs and Canucks have been working a deal to send the offense only defender to the west coast. The Canucks continue to go all in on this season despite being a borderline playoff team and being with one of their best players in Brock Boeser for the rest of the season.