The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson believes that those who waited for trade deadline deals got the best deals--if they moved at all:
But maybe the NHL's GMs are finally wising up to long-time league executive Brian Burke’s long-standing stance: 'Why do so many of us blow our brains out when there’s only one Stanley Cup parade?' Or perhaps the salary cap gives teams little to no wiggle room. Probably more of the latter. The trade deadline is run by bean counters now, with every deal sporting a 'retaining salary' component.
Also, teams that waited until Wednesday got stocking stuffers — mostly late-round draft picks — for many of the players.
Only two teams, the Minnesota Wild (Martin Hanzal from the Arizona Coyotes) and the Washington Capitals (Kevin Shattenkirk from the St. Louis Blues) traded a first-round draft pick for a rental player. They spent relatively high, and why not? They're the best teams in their conferences.
But first-round picks, while always currency, didn’t move. This June's draft is billed as a lukewarm crop of prospects from the 15th to the 31st selection, according to many amateur scouts.
The truth is the big winner at the trade deadline was Tampa Bay Lighting GM Steve Yzerman, who subtracted, not added. He somehow found a team, the Philadelphia Flyers, to take Valterri Filppula’s $5-million contract for next year when he would have had to protect him in the June expansion draft because he has a no-trade clause.