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Sport Analysis | The biggest moves and takeaways from the 2017 NHL trade deadline

08:50  02 march  2017
08:50  02 march  2017 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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The NHL trade deadline has come and gone again. Wednesday was fairly uneventful, one of the slower deadline days in recent memory. But nevertheless there were some highlights worth noting.

Here are the key takeaways:

No arms race in the East

In the competitive Eastern Conference, the Capitals made the biggest move with the acquisition of defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, but it did not ignite a frenzy of big-splash moves as teams tried to keep up with the NHL points leaders.

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Pittsburgh and New York were also looking for blue-line depth, but those teams didn’t make the same kind of big-name acquisitions as Washington. The Rangers got Brendan Smith from Detroit and the Penguins added Mark Streit late in the day via a weird multi-team route that enabled Pittsburgh to shave off about half his salary (with the Flyers and Lighting paying the balance).

Florida made the biggest move of the day by adding veteran winger Thomas Vanek with a Panthers just a point out of the second wild-card spot.

Conditional picks are so hot right now

With a weak upcoming draft class, teams seemed especially willing to deal picks before the deadline. That was expected. Something new was the popularity of conditional draft picks dependent on a team’s postseason success.

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When the Capitals traded for defenseman Tom Gilbert, the return was a fifth-round pick Los Angeles would receive only if Washington advanced to the third round of the playoffs and Gilbert played in at least half of the games. Similar conditions were placed on a pick Chicago gave to Dallas in the trade for defenseman Johnny Oduya.

In San Jose’s trade with Vancouver for forward Jannik Hansen, the fourth-round draft pick the Sharks sent to the Canucks becomes a first-rounder if San Jose wins the Stanley Cup. In the deal for Shattenkirk, the conditions on one of the picks involved in that trade were so complicated Washington General Manager Brian MacLellan said it took more than an hour to iron out the intricate details.

“This was a new level,” MacLellan said. “I think they were very detailed on what they were looking for.”

Vegas is open for business

The Golden Knights may not have been one of the teams trading for players on March 1, but it was still a big day for the organization. And they’ll also be the busiest organization in the trading game going forward. Wednesday marked the first day Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee can make moves, with owner Bill Foley’s last expansion fee payment apparently cashed by the NHL.

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McPhee can’t trade for active roster players yet, but he can begin the process of stocking up on picks and prospects to agree to select (or not select) a certain player in the expansion draft this summer. The rules:

The Kings’ moves were … interesting

Los Angeles is one point out of the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference, and with the Kings deciding to make a push for the postseason, they’ve been buyers ahead of the trade deadline. But what they’ve been in the market for has been odd.

Despite an injury to starting netminder Jonathan Quick, the Kings got good goaltending from Peter Budaj and have been a top-five defensive team this season. Quick’s recent return seemed to indicate that would only improve. But the day after Quick started in his first game since October, Los Angeles traded Budaj for Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Ben Bishop, giving them two No. 1s. Good goaltending is important, but the Kings had more pressing needs to address, like their 25th-ranked offense.

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Needing a scoring winger to play beside center Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles traded with the Avalanche for Jarome Iginla on Wednesday, and the 39-year-old is an odd addition for an already aging roster. The Kings could have used some speed, and winger Jannik Hansen, who was dealt to San Jose, might have been a better fit for them.

Avs don’t sell

While Colorado parted ways with Iginla two of the bigger names rumored to be available, forwards Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog, remained with the last-place Avalanche. That figures to make them two of the bigger trade targets in what could be a wild summer, beginning with the expansion draft.

PHOTOS: TRADE DEADLINE WINNERS AND LOSERS

The NHL's trade deadline has come and gone and there was a flurry of action (most of it coming before the actual deadline on Wednesday) to set up teams for the stretch run of the season. Here's who came out on top, and who should have done better. NHL trade deadline winners and losers

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