Sunday, August 4, 2019

2018-19 NHL Trade Deadline revisited



      It has been five months since the NHL trade deadline, where many players, mostly rentals, were sent to new teams. We now have some hindsight to those trades, and we'll be taking advantage of that. Here are some of the trades that happened in the final two weeks in February, with a grade of who won the trade. Also, I didn't include the Mikael Granlund for Kevin Fiala trade, along with the Brandon Montour deal due to the fact that all players involved are still with their new team with at least one more year under contract.

       Flyers send Wayne Simmonds to Nashville for Ryan Hartman and a conditional 2020 4th round pick. The pick would become a 3rd rounder if the Predators made it to the second round, which they did not do.

       Simmonds was in the middle of a down year for Philly, and was a pending free agent. He had 16 goals with 11 assists in 62 games with an abysmal -20 rating. The rating wasn't a point of concern. Simmonds was a career -66, with 242 goals. He hasn't had a plus season since he was 21 in 2009-10. He was 30 years old and showing signs of regression, and never succeeded in Nashville, with just one goal in 17 games. He won his first award at the end of the season, but that was the Mark Messier award for leadership. He signed a one year deal in New Jersey on July 1st.

       Hartman was acquired at the previous trade deadline from Chicago for a first round pick, then scored just 13 goals in 85 games in parts of two seasons for Nashville. He was an RFA at the end of the season, and he also struggled with his new team, but still had double of Simmonds' goal total (2) and point total (6). He was traded to Dallas at the end of the season, but non-tendered and signed a two year deal with the Wild. The pick could become an NHL talent, and Hartman gave the Flyers more value, and they currently have Tyler Pitlick, who they received for Hartman.

        Winner: Flyers

        Rangers trade Kevin Hayes to the Jets for a first round pick, Brendan Lemieux and a 2022 4th rounder.

         Hayes was also a free agent at the end of the year, a trend you will see a lot. He had 42 points in 51 games, so it made sense why he was an attractive target. He was okay in Winnipeg, with five goals and eight assists in 20 games, and scored two goals in the first round, but the return was too high. His rights were traded to the Flyers, who signed him to a seven year, $50 million deal that already looks terrible.

         Lemieux scored three goals in 19 games, and is currently an RFA, but the first round pick was traded back to Winnipeg with Neal Pionk for Jacob Trouba, another player that was then grossly overpaid. But the return for Trouba was light for Winnipeg, especially since it was originally theirs. So there is no argument for saying the Winnipeg wins this trade.

         Winner: Rangers

          Senators trade Ryan Dzingel to the Blue Jackets for Anthony Duclair and two second round picks (2020 and 2021).

          Dzingel was another attractive option on the trade market. A pending UFA that was just 26. He has great speed, and popped 22 goals in 57 games. He was perceived as a cheap option, and the return was fair. But he scored just four goals in 21 games for the Jackets, not playing with Matt Duchene and Mark Stone anymore. Those other two were also traded.

          Duclair on the other hand, was a success in Ottawa. He scored eight goals with six assists in 21 games. He re-signed to a one year deal, as he was an RFA. He will be 24 when 2019-20 starts, and could get a nice role with the lowly Senators. They also haven't used their picks yet.

          Winner: Senators

          Blue Jackets acquire Matt Duchene and Julius Bergman from the Senators for a first round pick, Vitali Abramov and Jonathan Davidsson. There was also a conditional first rounder, but the conditions were not met.

           Duchene was the premiere player on the trade market, and he commanded a good price. He had 27 goals and 58 points in 50 games with Ottawa, though that didn't transfer. He had just four goals with 12 assists in 23 games, but he scored 10 points in 10 playoff games, helping Columbus win their first playoff series in franchise history, then signed a seven year deal in Nashville. Bergman was flipped for Adam McQuaid.

           Both Abramov and Davidsson are prospects, so it is tough to judge them, but the 20 year old Abramov made his NHL debut with Ottawa, and it was a rough one, as he was a -3 in one game. The pick was used on Lassi Thomson, which was perceived as underwhelming. For the first time on this list, the buyer will win a trade.

           Winner: Blue Jackets

           Bruins acquire Charlie Coyle to Minnesota for Ryan Donato and a 2019 5th round pick.

           This was the first big trade of the trade deadline season. Coyle scored just six goals in 21 regular season games, and the trade looked like a big loss. But he was one of their best players in their Stanley Cup run, with nine goals and seven assists for 24 games. He still has one more year until he is a UFA.

           Donato was an instant success in Minnesota, with 16 points in 22 games. He is 23, and has been a big prospect. The Wild used the pick to move up into the second round, drafting goalie Hunter Jones. Despite Coyle's playoff surge and the fact that he is still under contract, I like Minnesota's haul better.

           Winner: Wild

           Rangers trade Mats Zuccarello to the Stars for a 2019 2nd rounder and a 2020 2nd rounder.

           Zuccarello was an instant hit in Dallas, scoring in his first game, but he then got hurt, and would play in just one more regular season game. He had three points in two games. He had 11 points in 13 playoff games, and ended up being a good pickup. But he eventually signed with Minnesota in the offseason.

            Zuccarello was a fan favorite, and while it was hard for fans and teammates to see him go, the trade was a no-brainer for GM Jeff Gorton. The Rangers drafted Matthew Robertson with the 2nd rounder.

            Winner: Rangers

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