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Quick Trade Deadline Summary

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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Da lil Guy's avatar

Carter’s been injury prone, and if he and Richards find the LA scene instead of on-ice chemistry, they’ll be saddled with him for a decade. Johnson and the first might just look like a steal in the long term.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 02/27/12 at 10:15 PM ET


Yeah, I hope that Carter and Richards don’t suck like they did in Philly.  It sure would suck to end up with an excellent two-way player capable of 20-30 goals scorer a year and a versatile 30-40 goal scorer who can kill penalties!  Boy howdy would I hate to have that noose around my neck!

Posted by Garth on 02/28/12 at 12:43 AM ET


“Johnson is a defensively suspect puck moving defenseman ...”

You’re too kind. Johnson is brutal. Brutal in his own zone, and not even much help on offense. Even though his 24 points were second among Kings blueliners, the Kings as a team score more goals per sixty even strength minutes with Voynov (2.14), Greene (1.83), Scuderi (1.79) or Doughty (1.74) than with Johnson (1.72).

You look at his Corsi, his GAON/60, his plus-minus (all three dead last among Kings defenders for FOUR STRAIGHT YEARS), and you look at the plus-minus splits of his fellow defenders when playing with him versus playing without him, and it’s hard not to conclude that Jack Johnson was the worst defenseman on the Kings, or at the very least the one who was most poorly suited to the role he was asked to play. He makes his teammates worse in almost every situation.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 02/28/12 at 03:36 AM ET


Jack Johnson will be just fine. yes he’s making some mistakes, ok alot of them right now but with the jackets he’s going to get about 25 mins of icw time a game and is still under 25. most defensemen in the NHL don’t really blossom until about 30. How many Norrris trophies did Lidstrom have at 25? 0, that’s right 0. Johnson is a very good skater and also handles the puck well. His problems begin with no solid partners and continue with forwards that don’t get deep enough into the defensive zone to be of any help. Give Johnson a few more years before passing critical judgement on him and just see how many teams line up for his services once he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Remember that Sid the kid loves this guy.

Posted by tc from Michigan on 02/28/12 at 11:48 AM ET


Carter ruined himself with his behavior in Columbus this year.  He didn’t want to be there and made sure his body language showed it.  Had his best game the day before he was traded, probably because he knew the end was nigh.  He’s a typical “me first” kind of athlete.  Good riddance to him.  I hope he never wins a Cup.

Posted by Mike B on 02/28/12 at 12:46 PM ET


Posted by tc from Michigan on 02/28/12 at 09:48 AM ET

By 25, Nicklas Lidstrom had finished runner-up for the Calder, played in an all-star game, twice finished third among all players in plus-minus, twice finished in the top-ten in defense scoring and twice more in the top twenty. He just about to go on a run where he finished first or second in Norris voting in nine of the next ten seasons.

He hadn’t reached his peak yet, no, but he was already a legit No. 1 defenseman.

Compare to Jack Johnson, who has been given every opportunity to succeed in Los Angeles but has not done so. He has not been good. He has not been mediocre. He has been bad. Take away his reputation and he’s somewhere between Dick Tarnstrom and Andy Delmore.

Johnson certainly still is young, and certainly still can get better. His physical skills (skating, shooting, passing) are tremendous, and if he can ever get his head on straight he could be really good.

But it hasn’t happened, and unless it happens RIGHT NOW he’s going to get eaten alive in Columbus, where he’ll be thrown to the wolves night in and night out.

His problems begin with no solid partners and continue with forwards that don’t get deep enough into the defensive zone to be of any help.

You really should click the link I posted in my previous comment. Jack Johnson’s problem is not his partners. He makes every one of his regular partners worse when he plays with them.

Plus, at some point, when you’re last on your team’s blueline in plus-minus and Corsi AND goals against per sixty for FOUR STRAIGHT YEARS, blaming the partner stretches credibility just a tad.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 02/28/12 at 02:19 PM ET


Let’s just forget about Corsi for a moment.

Jack Johnson bleeds goals against worse than any defenseman in the NHL, pretty much. Is that because the Kings have bad goaltending? Nope. Because Johnson plays top lines? Nope, Doughty has done that since 2008. Because he starts in his own zone? Nope, Scuderi, Mitchell, Greene, and Doughty all do that more than Johnson.

All he does is put up points on the power play. And pretty much only on the power play (5th among NHL D in power play points last season, but 113th in even strength points with 13, the same amount as Theo Peckham in Edmonton or Mike Green barely playing half the season).

You can bring up anomalies like Lidstrom, but would you say all D follow Lidstrom’s development curve? It’s a young man’s game, and if you look around the league, you have really only Lidstrom and Chara at their best (arguably) in their 30s, whereas the younger guys like Shea Weber, Duncan Keith, etc, were/are all at their best in the mid-to-late 20s.

At some point you need to put your tools all together. JJ has had enough experience that he should be showing us some of that, but really, he hasn’t. Most of the 2008 first round already looks smarter at 5v5 than he does.

Posted by Ralph on 02/28/12 at 03:44 PM ET

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

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