Post-Trade Day Outlooks
In approximately one hour, the NHL Trade Day will officially be over. While some teams traded key players away for future draft picks in hopes to rebuild their teams in the coming years, other teams acquired these valuable assets in hopes to make it to the playoffs. Here are the revamped teams to watch out for:
New York Rangers
After losing to the Kings in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Rangers really solidified their chance making their way into this year’s playoffs. They acquired offensive-minded defenseman Keith Yandle from the Arizona Coyotes in return for two players (Anthony Duclair and John Moore) as well as a first-round draft pick in 2016 and a second-round pick in 2015. The Rangers also acquired defenseman Chris Summers and a fourth-round pick in 2016. The Rangers also traded forward Lee Stempniak for forward Carl Klingberg of the Winnipeg Jets, and they also received James Sheppard from the San Jose Sharks for a fourth round draft pick in 2016. Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello also extended his contract for another four years.
Currently the top contender in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference, the Haps have a pretty good shot at the Stanley Cup this season. The team acquired Edmonton Oilers’ defenseman Jeff Petry in return for a 2015 second-round pick and a conditional fifth-round pick in this year’s draft. Petry’s talent will complement the current defensive situation, which due to injuries had made their star defenseman P.K. Subban overworked. The Canadiens also locked in forward Brian Flynn of the Buffalo Sabres for a fifth round pick in 2016. With an already successful and consistent offense, Flynn will most likely not see a lot of playing time, but will nevertheless be a strong addition to the team. The Haps also gave up left-wing Jiri Sekac for Anaheim Ducks’ right-wing Devante Smith-Pelly. Considering that both of these teams hold the tops place for their divisions, it will be interesting to see how these players contribute.
In need of another offensive player following Patrick Kane’s twelve-week injury hiatus, the Blackhawks acquired Coyotes’ forward Antoine Vermette in return for defenseman Klas Dahlbeck. Although Vermette can’t fill Kane’s shoes completely, the Hawks struck a deal with purchasing one of the top forwards on the market. In addition, they received Philadelphia Flyers’ defensive man Kimmo Timonen for a second round draft pick in 2015 and a conditional fourth round pick in 2016. The four-time NHL All-Star will provide the much-needed boost in Chicago’s defensive lineup.