NHL Trade Deadline Does Not Disappoint


Spring is a time for change. The weather gets warmer, Colgate’s resident swans Adam and Steve return to Taylor Lake, and, most importantly, many NHL players are traded. In a shortened NHL season that has been far from ordinary, the trade deadline last week introduced even more oddities to the year. Jaromir Jagr is now a Bruin, Jarome Iginla is now a Penguin and Marian Gaborik has left the Big Apple. Those three high-profile moves were entertaining enough for hockey fans after sitting through a 2012 season that saw just one true superstar, Jeff Carter, switch clubs. However, that’s not all that happened these past few weeks.

There were 17 deals made last Tuesday before the clock struck midnight, and none was bigger than the Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen snagging perennial all-star Marian Gaborik from the New York Rangers. On the eve of the deadline, Columbus was just one point out of a playoff spot, and Kekalainen jumped on the opportunity to get an offensive boost from Gaborik, a three-time 40-goal scorer. New York did well for themselves, however, receiving Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, John Moore, and a sixth round draft pick for Gaborik, who has disappointed many in New York with sub-par play this season. Both teams benefited immediately from the move, as Brassard, Moore and Gaborik all netted goals in their first games with their new teams. Moving forward, both fan bases have to be happy. Columbus fans can watch one of the league’s most explosive players push their team to the playoffs, while New York will surely benefit from the added depth they picked up in the deal. Rangers General Manager Glen Sather wasn’t content with just the Columbus deal, however, and added Ryan Clowe, a 230 pound 20-goal-scoring winger, for good measure. The Rangers will now be a physical force to be reckoned with come playoff time.

Ray Shero was another General Manager who boosted his club’s talent even more. Adding to his already star-studded Penguins squad, Shero managed to lure former Dallas Stars captain Brendan Morrow, former Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla, San Jose Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray and one-time 30-goal scorer Jussi Jokinen to Pittsburgh. Though they had to give up more than a few draft picks and prospects to receive these four players, the Penguins have further solidified themselves as the team to beat in the East, and will shock many fans if they fail to reach the Stanley Cup finals later this spring.

Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins made two solid additions to their lineup, picking up Jagr from Dallas and Wade Redden from St. Louis. While Redden will likely play few minutes in Boston, he does give them another veteran face in the locker room, and his 101 career playoff games provide good experience to say the least. Jagr, on the other hand, should offer much more than a locker room presence. The 41-year-old has been a positive offensive force this season, scoring 15 goals in 37 games, six of which were on the power play. The Bruins have the sixth worst power play in the league, and Jagr’s presence on the man-advantage will be very welcome come playoff time.

The final key transaction of this trade deadline season was the Minnesota Wild’s move to get Jason Pominville from Buffalo. Though they had to give up two prospects, a first-round pick this year and a second-round pick in 2014, the Wild received a reliable, heart-and-soul, 20-30 goal-scorer in Pominville. The former Sabres captain can quarterback a power play, grind out shifts on the forecheck and score in bunches. Pominville is exactly what a playoff inexperienced Minnesota team needs heading into the postseason, and anyone who thinks they paid too steep a price for him is sorely mistaken. Look for the Wild and their new top-six forward to make some real moves come May.