March 3, 2010 :: 6:17pm ET
Winners and Losers of the trade deadline
By David Pagnotta, TheFourthPeriod.com

[TORONTO, ON] -- We may not have seen the mega superstars swap teams this trade deadline day, but there was plenty of activity and excitement leading into March 3.

Granted, the Winter Olympics stole some of trade deadline's thunder, a record 30 deals were made that included a record 52 players.

This year's trade deadline was focused on depth, for some teams significantly bolstered their lineups for a run at Lord Stanley's Cup.

THE WINNERS

WASHINGTON - I really like what the Washington Capitals did. Capitals GM George McPhee brought in two quality forwards in Eric Belanger and Scott Walker, and strengthened the team's defense by adding Joe Corvo and Milan Jurcina (though, Jurcina will be out until the playoffs with an injury).

Belanger has had a very good season with Minnesota and can provide Washington with solid depth up the middle at both ends of the ice, and Walker's a winner; he knows what it takes and he'll be able to assist the Capitals' younger players.

Corvo solidifies the team's defensive corps and brings much needed physicalility to a blueline lacking it. Another quality pick up by McPhee.

PHOENIX - The Coyotes completed seven trades today, and they all made sense. The biggest one obviously brings the most attention and the addition of Wojtek Wolski is a significant move for the Coyotes.

Wolski will add solid offense to a team in desperate need of a boost. He may be a restricted free agent at season's end and will command a raise, but the Coyotes apparently have the ability to get a deal done.

The additions of Lee Stempniak, Petteri Nokelainen, Derek Morris and Mathieu Schneider gives Phoenix solid depth heading into the playoffs.

BUFFALO - Bringing in Raffi Torres and keeping him away from the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals, among others, is a win for Buffalo. The Sabres added some extra flare and depth up front and Torres provides them with a solid boost.

EDMONTON & CAROLINA - Yeah, that's right, I said it. The Oilers and Hurricanes come out on top for what they accomplished today. Both teams are out of it and are focused on next season and beyond.

In Edmonton, the Oilers feel they can get more out of Ryan Whitney for a longer period of time than with Lubomir Visnovsky. Whitney didn't mesh well in Randy Carlyle's system and could do much better under Pat Quinn and Tom Renney.

The Oilers also freed up significant salary for the off-season, as they're expected to continue their retooling this June and July.

For Carolina, the Hurricanes dealt away half their team six players to kick start their major overhaul. General manager Jim Rutherford maximized the value, but most importantly saved the team some money, which they can use this summer as they look to retool their roster.

Ray Whitney didn't really want to leave Raleigh without an extension, and I certainly can't blame him for that. The Hurricanes have expressed an interest in signing him to a new deal.

THE LOSERS

Frankly, there weren't any. Seriously. Nobody got hosed on any deal. Each trade makes sense for the team's involved. The only potential losers out there are the clubs that didn't pull the trigger on a trade. And yes, I know that the best move is the one not made, but with teams around them making moves, here are the quasi-losers of deadline day:

BOSTON - This team's objective heading into the deadline was to upgrade its scoring punch. They did not do that. It can be argued that Dennis Seidenberg's an upgrade over Derek Morris, but the priority was getting another offensive-minded forward and the B's failed to address that need.

Granted, I wasn't involved in those talks and I don't know what the asking price was for certain players... but with a bunch of available draft picks in your pocket and based on what certain players were moved for, the Bruins could have ponied up to help solidify a playoff spot this spring.

VANCOUVER - I'm on the fence with this team. They are getting Pavol Demitra back, and that by itself is a huge boost. But, the Canucks wanted to acquire a top-four defenseman and failed to do so. The price tag on certain players was very high, and I understand Vancouver's position. Bringing in Andrew Alberts adds depth to the backend, but failing to replace Willie Mitchell or Kevin Bieksa could hurt this team.

PHILADELPHIA - For one reason, and one reason only... not addressing their goaltending situation. I know Michael Leighton's been stellar for them, but is he really the guy to push them into the Stanley Cup finals?

UNDECIDED

Dallas, Montreal, Tampa Bay, St. Louis and the NY Rangers are all fighting for their playoff lives and, for the most part, did do anything of significance today.

Maybe these teams don't need to make a move; I'm torn, either way.

Another team I'm down the middle with is the Chicago Blackhawks. They say they're confident in Cristobal Huet and Antti Niemi. We shall see.


David Pagnotta is the Editor-in-Chief of The Fourth Period Magazine and covers the NHL for TheFourthPeriod.com. He is also a contributing writer for NBCSports.com and MSNBC.

  Archives:
  Mar. 1, 2010 Senators gearing up for deadline day
  Feb. 26, 2010 Horton, Vokoun among tradable assets
  Feb. 24, 2010 In Pekka (Rinne) We Trust
  Feb. 23, 2010 Canadiens subject of many trade rumors
  Feb. 05, 2010 Devilishly good trade for New Jersey
  Feb. 04, 2010 Kovalchuk and the KHL
  Jan. 11, 2010 Kovalchuk: Worth every penny
  Dec. 30, 2009 Tampa's success rides on Lecavalier's shoulders
  Dec. 23, 2009 It's not only about the money for Kovalchuk
  Dec. 17, 2009 Kovalchuk dominates, contract talks continue
  Nov. 24, 2009 Pouliot finally arrives in Montreal
  Oct. 16, 2009 For Bozak and Leafs, the future should be now
  Oct. 01, 2009 Kovalchuk remains in wait-and-see mode


 

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