by PuckStopsHere on 02/27/12 at 10:16 PM ET
The trade deadline this year was interesting largely because of what didn’t happen. About a month ago, I would have told you the three biggest name players who were likely to be moved were Rick Nash, Zach Parise and Ales Hemsky. None of them wound up being traded at all. As I have done in years past, I like to list the biggest short term and long term winners and losers. I will take all roster moves made in the month of February as being trade deadline moves and not just the moves of today.
Biggest Short Term Gain - Los Angeles Kings Adding a player the calibre of Jeff Carter who has been one of the best goal scorers in the last few years while giving up Jack Johnson is a huge gain, Carter could be the top scorer on the Kings for the remainder of the season. Johnson is a defensively suspect puck moving defenceman who is replaceable on the Kings. He has potential but it hasn’t led to success so far. Jeff Carter is the best player traded this season and he is a King so the Kings have a big short term gain.
Biggest Short Term Drop - Columbus Blue Jackets Not only did the Blue Jackets give up Jeff Carter. They also gave up Sami Pahlsson and Antoine Vermette. Jack Johnson us the best player who comes back to the BJs who is not in the form of a draft pick. To make matters worse, Rick Nash requested a trade and Columbus didn’t manage to trade him. The last place team in the league got worse. It could be ugly from here until season’s end in Columbus. Scott Howson built this and he must go.
Biggest Long Term Gain - Los Angeles Kings Given that most of the players traded were spare parts and draft picks that come in the late part of the first round and beyond (and are thus clearly not sure things), a 27 year old player who is a top goal scorer and signed until 2022 is the best chance to make a significant longterm impact. I think he is significantly better than Jack Johnson and any longterm impact he might make. The conditional first round pick might also be of value, but that is far from a guarantee. It is highly unlikely that a pick that comes later than the mid-first round will net anything valuable enough to make up for the loss of Carter.
Biggest Long Term Drop - Columbus Blue Jackets The Blue Jackets gave up Jeff Carter, who is signed up until 2022. They brought in Jack Johnson and a first round pick from LA. They also added Curtis McElhinney and some other draft picks outside the first round. I have little faith that any of that haul will turn into anything similar to Jeff Carter. The Blue Jackets are a mess and that trade made them worse.
In some ways it feels like a cop out to say the defining moment of the trade deadline was a single deal made four days before the deadline, but that is what happened. Nothing that happened today looks as significant as the Jeff Carter deal.
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