Sport Analysis | The biggest moves and takeaways from the 2017 NHL trade deadline
Capitals coach Barry Trotz: Mini-slump made us more playoff-ready
Washington's recent lull will toughen them up, the coach says.Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz believes a recent mini-slump will help his team prepare for the playoffs the way hills, heat and mental and physical pain help runners train for a marathon.
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.
Forsberg's hat trick helps Predators beat Avalanche 4-2
Filip Forsberg scored his second straight hat trick, and the Nashville Predators beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 Thursday night to sweep the season series between the Central Division teams. Forsberg, who now has a team-high 22 goals, has five goals combined in his last two second periods. Forsberg, who scored three times in the second period of Tuesday night's overtime loss to Calgary, got the hat trick with an empty-net goal with 36.5 seconds left.Viktor Arvidsson also scored a goal, and Roman Josi and Ryan Johansen each added two assists as Nashville won its fifth and final game against Colorado this season.
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.
Trending ▲, Trending ▼: Shattenkirk cements value, Landeskog stumbles
Each week, theScore looks at the teams, players, and other hockey figures trending upward and taking a step back. This week, we're taking stock of four of the biggest names reportedly on the block ahead of the trade deadline.▲ Matt Duchene © Isaiah J. Downing/Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports/USA Today Sports Feb 9, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9) controls the puck in the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J.
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.
Bergeron scores 2, Bruins beat Stars 6-3 to end winning trip
Patrice Bergeron had two goals and an assist as the Boston Bruins beat the Dallas Stars 6-3 Sunday, improving to 6-1 under interim coach Bruce Cassidy. The Bruins completed a 3-1 road trip.BOX SCORE: BRUINS 6, STARS 3Stars captain Jamie Benn and Boston forward David Backes began fighting just 2 seconds into the game and drew major penalties. They have a history between -- this was the first time they've faced each other this season, and it was the third straight year they've fought.The Stars had tied the game in the second period after trailing 2-0.
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:
From the NHL, several conditions of pre-expansion draft moves that Vegas can make:
— Alex Prewitt (@alex_prewitt)
What today's Vegas news means, McPhee can start signing College Free Agents, Non NHLers…European Players, when their seasons end.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet)
McPhee can also talk to the other 30 GMs and make handshake agreements about the Expansion Draft protection lists…for Draft Picks.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet)
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.
NHL trade deadline: Guide and tracker for March 1
The trade deadline is March 1 at 3 p.m. ET.Important definitions
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
Why fighting is allowed, and why NHL has no plans to ban it .
Fighting has been an officially accepted part of the hockey at the professional level for almost a century. In 1922, the National Hockey League incorporated Rule 56 into its official rule book, which governed what it then called "Fisticuffs" as an official part of the game.Today, the section of the NHL rule book dedicated to fighting is Rule 46. It says that referees are given “very wide latitude in the penalties with which they may impose under this rule.” According to former NHL official Kerry Fraser, fighting is technically a rule violation.
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