The Good and Bad of Trade Deadline Week: Atlantic Division


This is a four-part division by division look at what each team did at Wednesday’s trade deadline. Who did good and who did bad?  

The Red Wings sold for the first time in 25 years, the Leafs, Panthers, Bruins, and Canadiens are all trying to capitalize on a weak division but didn’t go all in like the Senators did, and the Lightning did what they could to try to manage a cap situation that’s going to make this offseason stressful. 

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Boston Bruins

  • A conditional sixth round pick to the Winnipeg Jets for Drew Stafford. 
  • IN: Drew Stafford. 
  • OUT: A conditional sixth. 
The Bruins payed a pretty high price at last year’s deadline to acquired John-Michael Liles and Lee Stempniak (who wasn’t dealt at the deadline this year for the first time since 2013!), so this year, they decided to keep it cool. They’re a playoff bubble team, and upgraded their fairly top-heavy, lacking-in-depth forward group with a slightly used Drew Stafford, who came at the minuscule cost of a conditional sixth round pick. Stafford hasn’t been very good since arriving in Winnipeg a few years ago, but he’s an upgrade on most of Boston’s wingers. 

Buffalo Sabres

  • Daniel Catenacci to the New York Rangers for Mat Bodie. 
  • IN: Daniel Catenacci. 
  • OUT: Mat Bodie. 
Despite being out of playoff contention and boasting a couple of interesting pending free agents who may or may not have a future with the club, the Sabres stood completely pat at the trade deadline (save for a minor league deal not worth talking about.) Both Dmitry Kulikov and Cody Franson, a couple of blue liners who had their names come up in rental discussion throughout February, will finish out the season in Buffalo before likely hitting the open market this summer. Judging by what similar players were going for, the Sabres didn’t miss out on much, but it’s a little surprising that neither player was moved. It could potentially hint that Tim Murray is hoping to sign both of them to an extension, but that doesn’t make much sense with the expansion draft looming. All in all, it’s a puzzling situation in Buffalo. 

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Detroit Red Wings

  • Tomas Jurco to the Chicago Blackhawks for a 2017 third round pick.
  • Brendan Smith to the New York Rangers for a 2017 second round pick and 2018 third round pick. 
  • Steve Ott to the Montreal Canadiens for a 2018 sixth round pick. 
  • Thomas Vanek to the Florida Panthers for Dylan McIlrath and a 2017 third round pick. 
  • IN:  Dylan McIlrath, a 2017 second and two thirds, a 2018 third and sixth. 
  • OUT: Tomas Jurco, Brendan Smith, Steve ott, Thomas Vanek. 
The Red Wings are deadline sellers. It’s the goddamn apocalypse. The Wings’ 25-season playoff streak is going to come to an end this spring, marking the official death of one of the greatest dynasties seen in American professional sports. That said, it’s been unofficially dead for a few years now, but Ken Holland doesn’t want to believe it. The organization has avoided rebuilding like it’s the plague, and they’ve finally been forced into it. It’s going to take quite some time to rebuild this once dominant team, as the Wings are loaded with bad players who paid like good ones, but this deadline sell was a decent start. They got a few early-to-mid-round picks for Tomas Jurco and impending free agents Thomas Vanek and Brendan Smith, now the next step will be unloading some dead weight. 

Florida Panthers

  • Dylan McIlrath to the Florida Panthers and a 2017 third round pick for Thomas Vanek. 
  • Mike McKenna to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Adam Wilcox. 
  • IN: Thomas Vanek and Adam Wilcox. 
  • OUT: Dylan McIlrath, Mike McKenna, a 2017 third. 
Since Jonathan Huberdeau returned from injury, the Panthers season has completely turned around. Well, he wasn’t the only one who came off the shelf, but the’s made the biggest impact. The Panthers struggled to score goals with Huberdeau out, which raised questions about their offensive depth. Their way of dealing with it was acquiring the impending free agent Thomas Vanek from the Red Wings in exchange for a third round pick. Vanek isn’t the same elite scorer as he was in the past, but he’ll give the Panthers some more depth on the wing. Besides, Florida is a place where players have discovered the fountain of youth before, right? 

Montreal Canadiens 

  • Greg Pateryn and a 2017 fourth round pick to the Dallas Stars for Jordie Benn. 
  • David Desharnais to the Edmonton Oilers for Brandon Davidson. 
  • A 2018 sixth round pick to the Detroit Red Wings for Steve Ott. 
  • A conditional 2018 fourth round pick to the Los Angeles Kings for Dwight King. 
  • Sven Andrighetto to the Colorado Avalanche for Andreas Martinsen. 
  • IN: Jordie Benn, Brandon Davidson, Steve Ott, Dwight King, and Andreas Martinsen. 
  • OUT: Greg Pateryn, David Desharnais, Sven Andrighetto, a 2018 sixth. 
Montreal seems to be the cite of the anti-analytics stronghold. The Habs carried on with what their SUbban-for-Weber swap over the summer suggested, acquiring a handful of players who can provide size, toughness, and leadership at the bottom of their roster. Unfortunately, none of them are very good. Steve Ott is barely an NHL calibre player at this point, and Dwight King has consistently been caved in on a systematically strong Kings team. They also made a couple of long-term moves for their blue line, sending David Desharnais to Edmonton for Brandon Davidson and Greg Pateryn for Jordie Benn. It’s hard to imagine that a couple of bottom-line grinder-types will save what’s ailing Montreal, but maybe that rough-and-tumble grit can boost their PDO up through the roof again. 

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Ottawa Senators

  • Jonathan Dahlen to the Vancouver Canucks for Alex Burrows. 
  • A 2017 third round pick to the Carolina Hurricanes for Viktor Stalberg. 
  • Curtis Lazar and Michael Kostka to the Calgary Flames for Jyrki Jokipakka and a 2017 second round pick. 
  • IN: Alex Burrows, Viktor Stalberg, Jyrki Jokipakka, a 2017 second. 
  • OUT: Jonathan Dahlen, Curtis Lazar, Michael Kostka, a 2017 third. 
Seeing a window of opportunity in front of them, the Ottawa Senators have loaded up on slightly-above-average veteran wingers to make a push through the Atlantic Division. They traded top prospect Jonathan Dahlen to Vancouver for the 35-year-old (!) Alex Burrows, and promptly signed him to a two-year extension. They also sent a third round pick to Carolina for Viktor Stalberg, and immediately re-loaded that draft pick capital by acquiring a second rounder from Calgary in exchange for Curtis Lazar, who hasn’t scored a goal in 33 games this season. The moves are underwhelming, sure, but Ottawa badly needs scoring depth with Bobby Ryan and Clarke MacArthur on the injured reserve. The division is very, very weak right now, and while they’re sure as hell not going to get through Pittsburgh or Washington in the Conference Final, if they get that far, a couple of playoff rounds would be huge for the struggling franchise. 

Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Ben Bishop and a 2017 fifth round pick to the Los Angeles Kings for Peter Budaj, Eric Cernak, a 2017 conditional pick, and a 2017 seventh round pick. 
  • Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Byron Froese and a 2017 second round pick. 
  • Valtteri Filppula and a 2017 fourth and conditional seventh round pick to the Philadelphia Flyers for Mark Streit. 
  • Mark Streit to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 2018 fourth round pick. 
  • Adam Wilcox to the Florida Panthers for Mike McKenna. 
  • Jeremy Morin to the Arizona Coyotes for Stefan Fournier. 
  • IN: Peter Budaj, Eric Cernak, Byron Froese, Mark Streit, Mike McKenna, Stefan Fournier, a 2017 second, seventh, and conditional pick, a 2018 fourth. 
  • OUT: Ben Bishop, Brian Boyle, Valtteri Filppula, Mark Streit, Adam Wilcox, Jeremy Morin, and a 2017 fourth. 

Steve Yzerman had himself a hell of a deadline. Facing the reality of not being able to afford one of his three key restricted free agents, Jonathan Drouin, Ondrej Palat, and Tyler Johnson, this summer due to a tight cap crunch, Yzerman unloaded the entirety of Valtteri Filppula’s $5 million cap hit next season on the Flyers. All they had to do was take on Mark Streit and sweeten the pot with a fourth and seventh round pick, and that fourth was immediately replaced when Streit was flipped to Pittsburgh. Yzerman also got what he could from soon-to-be free agents Brian Boyle and Ben Bishop, though neither returned what you would have expected a few weeks ago. Overall, it was a good deadline for the selling Lightning, who made strides in mitigating their cap difficulties and gained assets for players who weren’t part of the long-term plan. 

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Toronto Maple Leafs

  • Byron Froese and a 2017 second round pick to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Brian Boyle. 
  • Frank Corrado to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Eric Fehr, Steve Olesky, and a 2017 fourth round pick. 
  • IN: Brian Boyle, Eric Fehr, Steve Olesky, and a 2017 fourth. 
  • OUT: Byron Froese, Frank Corrado, and a 2017 second. 

The Leafs are in a position they probably didn’t expect to be at the deadline: Pushing for a playoff spot. The rebuild has accelerated quicker than most imagined in Toronto, so Lou Lamoriello made an upgrade to the team without deviating far from the build for the future model. They sent one of their three second round picks to Tampa Bay for Brian Boyle, who will be a welcomed upgrade over Ben Smith in the fourth line centre role. They also re-gained some draft pick capital by taking on Eric Fehr’s contract from the Penguins, though a fourth rounder isn’t much of a prize for doing the handling.