Grading The 2021 NHL Trade Deadline Moves

Grading The 2021 NHL Trade Deadline Moves
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL trade deadline is a time where players on expiring contracts get dealt. Playoff teams look to bolster their roster. For teams not in playoff contention, they usually give up their players if they can’t resign them for draft picks. Some teams go for the win now mentality while others go for the future rebuild. This year, the price is somewhat higher for rentals. Here are some of the trades from the NHL trade deadline 2021.

Kyle Palmieri & Travis Zajac to New York Islanders

New York Islanders: Kyle Palmieri, Travis Zajac. Since losing Anders Lee for the season, the Islanders were rotating lines and looking for a better solution. GM Lou Lamoriello was the Devils’ former GM, so he is familiar with Palmieri and Zajac. Former Devils Andy Greene and Cory Schneider have made the transition easier. Palmieri is a big player who can play on the power play and sub into Lee’s role. Zajac adds veteran center depth to New York while also helping out on the penalty kill. The Islanders are in a good place in the Massmutual East Division, so adding these players to win now is a good move.

Grade: A

New Jersey Devils: 2021 first-round pick, 2022 fourth-rounder, A.J. Greer, and Mason Jobst. The Devils are in a rebuild, with most of their roster being younger players. Zajac and Palmieri are both older and had expiring contracts. Although the first-round pick may be in the latter half, the Devils still pulled the trigger. The players they received are both AHL players, so the main part of this deal was the pick. Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald said about the trade, “I hope the pick we get is the 32nd pick. I hope both of these gentlemen win the Cup”. Very classy act by Fitzgerald. Instead of possibly losing both players in free agency, the Devils added a first-rounder.

Grade: B+

David Savard to Tampa Bay Lightning

Columbus Blue Jackets: Tampa’s 2021 first-round pick, Tampa’s 2022 third-round pick. Columbus was unlikely to re-sign Savard after this season, so they got a fair share of picks for him. It will most likely be a late first-round pick, but still worth it for a Blue Jackets team, with nothing to play for this season. 

Grade: B+

Detroit Red Wings: Tampa’s 2021 fourth-round pick. Detroit had the cap room, so they stepped in and received a fourth-round selection in return.

Grade: B

Tampa Bay Lightning: David Savard, Brian Lashoff. Tampa adds one of the top defensemen available at the trade deadline. This is the second consecutive year that the Lightning made a big trade deadline move. Savard will sub into a top-four defensive role for the Lightning, a position they needed to fill. Tampa looks to win back-to-back Stanley Cups, and this move helps their defensive core.

Grade: A

Nick Foligno to Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs: Nick Foligno, Stefan Noesen. Toronto paid a very high price for a third-line player. However, the Maple Leafs have had recent playoff struggles, so they are hopeful that the addition of Foligno boosts their team. 

Grade: B+

Columbus Blue Jackets: 2021 first-round pick, 2022 fourth-round pick. Foligno was big for Columbus throughout his career. But for the Blue Jackets, a first-round pick for a third liner is something you don’t pass on. It’s rough to let your captain go, but it’s how the business works.

Grade: A

San Jose Sharks: 2021 fourth-round pick. Like Detroit’s move with the Savard trade, the Sharks add a fourth-rounder for eating up some cap. 

Grade: B

David Rittich to Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs: David Rittich. Toronto adding Rittich means Frederik Andersen’s injury is severe, and they wanted to add goalie depth. This move gives them more depth as they finish off the regular season and go into the playoffs.

Grade: B

Calgary Flames: 2022 third-round pick. Calgary brought in Jacob Markstrom, and he has become the number one goalie. As a result, many viewed a Rittich trade or losing him to free agency as inevitable. The Flames add a third-rounder to help them in the long run.

Grade: A-

Jeff Carter to Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins: Jeff Carter. The Penguins are in the tight Massmutual East division, so they went out to add firepower. They have been wrestling with some injuries, so adding depth is always a good move. However, they traded for someone way past their prime. The past few years have been a regression for Carter. Yet, Pittsburgh pulled the trigger on this move as they see it as a cheap veteran rental option.

Grade: C+

Los Angeles Kings: 2022 conditional third-round pick, 2023 conditional fourth-round pick. Jeff Carter was big for the Kings’ Stanley Cup team, but now his time has come to move on to a new squad. The Kings are in the bottom half of the Honda West division, so they get a good value on a player that wasn’t making a significant impact for them. Additionally, they traded an old player with a large expiring contract for some picks. 

Grade: B-

Taylor Hall to Boston Bruins

Buffalo Sabres: Anders Bjork, 2022 second-round pick. The Sabres brought Hall in this past offseason to get him on a line with Jack Eichel. That didn’t work out. Hall, a shooter, only had two goals in thirty-seven games for Buffalo. Many thought that the Sabres would at least get a first-rounder for Hall. Instead, they went for a young player and a second-rounder. Many people on Twitter are saying that Buffalo got fleeced. That aside, Hall wasn’t doing anything for the team, so they decided to move on.

Grade: B-

Boston Bruins: Taylor Hall, Curtis Lazar. Boston’s problem this year has been to find secondary scoring. They even went as far as splitting up their top line to bring one of them to the second line. Now, they got Hall to play on the second line. The Bruins are hopeful that Hall plays more like his early career self and helps them get far in the playoffs. The change of scenery will benefit Hall. Maybe Hall will be in Boston long-term.

Grade: A-

Mattias Janmark to Vegas Golden Knights

Chicago Blackhawks: 2021 second-round pick, 2022 third-round pick. Janmark came over this past offseason and signed a one-year deal with the Blackhawks. He was playing his best earlier this year, but the last ten games have been rough. Chicago decided to move on from him and got excellent compensation in return from a one-year guy.

Grade: B+

Vegas Golden Knights: Mattias Janmark, 2022 fifth-round pick, Nick DeSimone. Vegas is right behind Colorado in the Honda West division. Similar to other playoff teams, Vegas went out to add some firepower to bolster their roster. Different than some of the other trades, the Golden Knights didn’t give up a first-rounder. This move will help them win now.

Grade: A

Anthony Mantha to Washington Capitals

Detroit Red Wings: Richard Panik, Jakub Vrana, 2021 first-round pick, 2022 second-round pick. Detroit got a whole lot out of Mantha. The Red Wings are in yet another horrible season, so many saw a Mantha trade coming. The value they received from him is pretty high. Also, they got two solid players. But, Mantha was one of their only good players this season, so it’s a massive loss for the team’s scoring.

Grade: A-

Washington Capitals: Anthony Mantha. Washington wants to win now. They gave up decent players and picks for Mantha. A player that was a bright spot for a horrific NHL team will likely benefit from playing on a playoff team. He is an upgrade from what they had before. Similar to other teams in their division, the Capitals went for an upgrade to help them now.

Grade: A-

 

About Sammy Berger 15 Articles
Sammy Berger is a huge Islanders, Giants and Nets fan. He also covers Hockey and College Basketball for Uncut Sports News.
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