Doug Armstrong of the St. Louis Blues got a jump on his fellow general managers with a big-name trade acquisition in the form of goalie Ryan Miller on Feb. 28.
Florida’s Dale Tallon, Philadelphia’s Paul Holmgren and Anaheim’s Bob Murray followed on the eve of this week's NHL trade deadline, while Glen Sather of the New York Rangers, Tampa Bay’s Steve Yzerman, Montreal’s Marc Bergevin and Minnesota’s Chuck Fletcher later contributing to an exciting deadline day in which 20 deals were consummated.
Here's a rundown of the most notable deadline moves, the motivation behind them, and the price teams had to pay.
The trade: Tampa Bay acquires the right-winger from the New York Rangers for right-winger Martin St. Louis, a first-round draft pick in 2015 and a conditional second-round in 2014.
2013-14 statistics: 11 goals, 14 assists, 25 points in 45 games, two game-winning goals.
Why did the Lightning acquire him? Callahan immediately fills the leadership and goal-scoring void left by St. Louis’s departure. At 28, Callahan is in the prime years of his career and 10 years St. Louis’s junior. He should help the Lightning improve a penalty-killing unit that ranks 25th in the 30-team NHL.
What did Tampa Bay give up? The league’s reigning top scorer and a player still producing at near a point-a-game pace (61 points in 63 games) at age 38. St. Louis's presence might also be good for former Lightning centre Brad Richards, who tops New York with 44 points.
The trade: Columbus trades the right-winger to Los Angeles for forward Matt Frattin, a second-round draft pick in 2014 or 2015 and a conditional third-rounder.
2013-14 statistics: Six goals, eight assists, 14 points in 22 games
Why did the Kings acquire him? Put simply, they needed some scoring punch, and Gaborik, a three-time 40-goal scorer, could help immensely should he play alongside elite centre Anze Kopitar over the Kings’ final 19 games. But will he play responsible defence for demanding coach Darryl Sutter? And can the oft-injured forward stay healthy?
What did the Kings give up? A 26-year-old bottom-six forward in Frattin, who didn’t pan out after being acquired from Toronto in the Jonathan Bernier trade, providing just two goals and six points in 40 games. The lost picks could hurt L.A. if Columbus drafts wisely.
The trade: Washington picks up the goaltender and a 2015 third-round draft pick from Buffalo for goalie Michal Neuvirth and defenceman Rostislav Klesla.
2013-14 statistics: 24-9-4 record in 40 games, 2.23 GAA, .917 save percentage, four shutouts
Why did the Capitals acquire him? Because they require more consistency in goal than Braden Holtby has provided this season (3.03, .909). Washington is in the mix for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, so that should be a motivator, and Halak has a good post-season resume (2.42, .923).
What did Washington give up? A 25-year-old goalie in Neuvirth who may have some untapped potential but doesn’t possess the experience Halak brings for a playoff push. The Caps flip Klesla, whom they acquired on Tuesday from Phoenix in the Martin Erat trade, a defenceman that hasn’t lived up to his high draft position (fourth overall in 2000).
The trade: Edmonton ships the right-winger to Ottawa for a 2014 fifth-round draft pick and a 2015 third-rounder.
2013-14 statistics: Nine goals, 17 assists, 26 points in 56 games.
Why did the Senators acquire him? To add a top-six forward and potential linemate for top centre Jason Spezza as the team looks to make a playoff push. Few have questioned Hemsky’s skilled hands and overall talent and maybe he just needs a change of scenery. He’s never played a full 82-game season, so durability is a question.
What did Ottawa give up? Nothing off its roster or anyone in the minor league system, so that’s a win on its own.
The trade: Detroit acquires the centre from Nashville for forwards Patrick Eaves and Calle Jarnkrok and a 2014 third-round draft pick.
2013-14 statistics: 10 goals, 30 assists, 40 points in 62 games.
Why did the Red Wings acquire him? To offset long-term injuries to centres Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Darren Helm. Legwand brings size (six-foot-two, 205 pounds) and a good offensive mind to the Red Wings, who know the 13-year NHL veteran well from their days as Central Division opponents.
What did Detroit give up? An injury prone Eaves, whom the Wings waived earlier this season, but one of their better prospects in Jarnkrok, who had 13 goals and 36 points in 53 games this season with Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League. But there’s talk he might return to Sweden to play professionally.
The trade: Vancouver trades the goaltender and forward Steven Anthony to Florida for netminder Jacob Markstrom and forward Shawn Matthias.
2013-14 statistics: 19-16-6 record, 2.38 GAA, .917 save percentage.
Why did the Panthers acquire him? To have a proven No. 1 NHL goalie around past this season as Tim Thomas, traded to Dallas for backup stopper Dan Ellis on Wednesday, is an impending unrestricted free agent. Luongo’s salary-cap hit of $4.5 million US next season will also help Florida reach the cap floor.
What did Florida give up? The six-foot-six Markstrom, who some would say has a ton of potential but has yet to establish himself as a No. 1 goalie in the NHL in his fourth season in North America (3.52 GAA, .874 save % in 12 games with Panthers this season). Matthias, 26, is a solid bottom-six forward.
The trade: The New York Islanders send the defenceman to Philadelphia for a 2014 third-round pick, a 2015 second-rounder and defenceman Matt Mangene.
2013-14 statistics: Four goals, 21 assists, 25 points in 64 games.
Why did the Flyers acquire him? MacDonald, a soon-to-be unrestricted free agent, leads the NHL in blocked shots (198), plays nearly 26 minutes a game and likely will be part of the Flyers’ second power-play unit. A veteran of 295 NHL games, he’s likely to be paired with Luke Schenn.
What did Philadelphia give up? A couple of picks and AHL blue-liner Mangene, 24, an undrafted defenceman who had six points in 51 games this season with the Adirondack Phantoms. He has never played an NHL game.
The trade: St. Louis picks up the goaltender and forward Steve Ott from Buffalo for goalie Jaroslav Halak, forward Chris Stewart, forward William Carrier and a 2015 conditional first-round draft pick.
2013-14 statistics: 17-22-3 record, 2.68 GAA, .923 save percentage.
Why did the Blues acquire him? To make a push for a Stanley Cup championship and hopefully keep the impending unrestricted free agent on board for the foreseeable future. The contract of Blues backup goalie Brian Elliott expires after this season. Miller’s career 2.59 GAA and .916 save % should work well with St. Louis’ stellar defence.
What did St. Louis give up? Halak, whose contract is set to expire after the season, has since been moved to Washington. Gritty forward Stewart will be missed. The 19-year-old Carrier is a six-foot-two, 200-pound left-winger with 59 points in 62 Quebec league games with Cape Breton and Drummondville this season.
The trade: Buffalo deals the left-winger and centre Cody McCormick to Minnesota for a 2014 second-round draft pick, a 2016 second-rounder and centre Torrey Mitchell.
2013-14 statistics: 17 goals, 21 assists, 38 points in 55 games.
Why did the Wild acquire him? To add some scoring punch to an offensively challenged lineup (Minnesota is 25th in the NHL with 2.36 goals per game). Moulson is known as a player who thrives in road games, and the Wild, who are in playoff position in the Western Conference, play eight of 10 games on the road from March 17 to April 3.
What did Minnesota give up? The 29-year-old Mitchell, with 383 regular-season games under his belt, is a depth forward. Sabres general manager Tim Murray has a good eye for talent, so the bet here is he makes good on the second-round picks.
The trade: The New York Rangers acquire the right-winger from Tampa Bay for right-winger Ryan Callahan, a first-round draft pick in 2015 and a conditional second-rounder in 2014.
2013-14 statistics: 29 goals, 32 assists, 61 points in 63 games.
Why did the Rangers acquire him? Because general manager Glen Sather couldn’t come to an agreement with Callahan on a contract extension. Plus, he probably felt he couldn’t pass up on a Stanley Cup champion and the NHL’s reigning top point-getter in St. Louis.
What did New York give up? A potential first-round pick this summer should the Rangers reach the Eastern Conference final. And a 28-year-old leader in Callahan, who is a big reason the Rangers’ penalty kill entered play Thursday ranked 11th in the 30-team NHL.
The trade: Montreal acquires the left-winger and a conditional 2014 fifth-round draft pick from the New York Islanders for a 2014 conditional second-round pick and Swedish forward prospect Sebastien Collberg.
2013-14 statistics: 21 goals, 32 assists, 53 points in 60 games for Buffalo and the Islanders.
Why did the Canadiens acquire him? Because Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin was able to pick up perhaps the best available rental player and didn’t have to surrender a first-round pick or prized prospect. Vanek immediately becomes the team’s top scorer and will form a strong 1-2 punch on the left side with Max Pacioretty.
What did Montreal give up? The 20-year-old Collberg has nine points in 40 games this season for Frolunda in the Swedish Hockey League and raised some eyebrows at the world junior hockey championship earlier this year with the gold medal-winning Sweden team. He might develop into an effective NHL scorer.