by PuckStopsHere on 03/08/14 at 10:52 PM ET
This post comes a few days after the trade deadline because I got busy in real life.
When the trade deadline comes along, I like to try to evaluate things to pick the biggest winners and losers in the short term and in the long term. Since there were no significant trades until after the Olympics ended, I will call all trade deals made after the Olympics deadline deals.
Biggest Short Term Winner: New York Rangers. Martin St Louis is the best player moved at the deadline and he goes to the Rangers. He will be their top offensive player from here to the end of the season. It costs Ryan Callahan, who is a legitimate top forward, but he cannot match St Louis's ability. There also are draft picks that were given up in the deal. These make no short term impact.
Biggest Short Term Loser: Vancouver Canucks. Roberto Luongo is gone. He was a proven goalie. In are Shawn Matthais and Jacob Markstrom. Matthais is a solid depth player and Markstrom has potential but has yet to prove he belongs in the NHL. The Canucks are a demoralized team with unproven goaltending in Eddie Lack and Markstrom. They were AHLers last year and will likely be a weakness if the Canucks can make playoffs. How can a team go from two top level proven goalies to none this quickly?
Biggest Long Term Winner: Florida Panthers. There are no really good prospects moved on this year's deadline. Most of the players moved are on short term deals. Roberto Luongo is signed until 2022. Even if he doesn't last that long, the Canucks are at risk for any punishments because of the front-loading on his contract. Luongo solves the Panthers goaltending issues for the next several years. They had Tim Thomas on a one year deal and he was not part of their longer term plans. He is gone now and replaced by Dan Ellis, who should be a solid backup. He is under contract next season.
Biggest Long Term Loser: New York Rangers. They added Martin St Louis and he is 38 years old. He may be playing very well right now, but he cannot last forever. Who knows what will happen to him in 2015 when his current contract ends. Ryan Callahan heads to Tampa and is a UFA. The Rangers were not going to re-sign him, so he isn't a long term loss. The Rangers gave up a first rounder and another conditional pick which could turn into a second first rounder if the Rangers make the conference finals. That could be a large part of their future that makes an NHL impact well after St Louis is retired and possibly in the Hall of Fame.
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