All posts by Joe Russo

Hockey fanatic currently writing for FanInterference and Payingforice. Feel free to follow both!

Trust or Bust? Who Won Deadline Day?

Eric Staal #12 of the New York Rangers skates against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden on February 29, 2016 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Blue Jackets 2-1.

In the shadow of the NBA trade deadline, the NHL left a lot of teams in need of improvements for the late season push for the playoffs. While there was a multitude of teams who made deals, there were clear cut winners and losers. Which side of the fence is your team standing on?

Unsurprisingly Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman was working the phones hard, and it all worked out. Chicago landed Andrew Ladd, Dale Weise, Tomas Fleischmann, and Christian Ehrhoff. Now, if you can look past the fact that both Marko Dano and Phillip Danault who are talented prospects were dealt to make it all work, than this was just another spot of brilliance from one of the best hockey minds of our time. After all, Christian Ehroff for Rob Scuderi is an obvious win in my book.

I understand you may be tired of seeing Chicago enjoy this much success. Similarly to how everyone under the sun hates the Patriots. But.. too bad, besides the fact remains, once its over, you wont see anything like it for a long time.

Back in the summer of 2012 it must have been pretty special for Jordan Staal. He was traded from Pittsburg to Carolina to play alongside his Brother Eric. Aside from the whole playing in Carolina thing, it’s a unique experience to be playing professional sports with your brother.

Almost four years later it was older brother Eric’s turn for a change of scenery.

Destination? Big apple. Teammate, Rangers defensemen Marc Staal. Yes, they are all related. Carolina has been toying with the idea of trading their long term captain, and apparently now was the time. In return, Carolina received Aleksi Saarela and two future draft picks.

Which is understandable. Carolina isn’t going anywhere worthwhile anytime soon. So, the two future picks and talented prospect is exactly what the doctor ordered.

As for the Rangers they get a Stanley Cup champion caliber center. To me, the Rangers are incredibly deep down the middle of the ice, which in the playoffs is absolutely a difference maker. In the case of the Rangers, who just a couple weeks ago were sputtering, just put themselves back in the conversation.

Everyone and their grandma knew the Florida Panthers were desperately seeking a goal scoring winger. Well, they got more than that. Jiri Hudler and Teddy Purcell are more than capable veteran players for the playoffs. Hudler amassed 76 points last season. Purcell, is on pace for another 20 goal season. Together they should mesh nicely with a battle tested group of veterans and the up and coming nucleolus of youth.

Dallas… tisk tisk. You fell for the Kris Russell trap. Look, Dallas needs depth at the defensive position desperately which is by far their Achilles heel. It goes without saying, or at least it should that Kris Russell is a gimmick at best. He currently leads the league in the biggest pseudo stat, blocked shots. I haven’t even mentioned what they gave up. Prospect Jyrki Jokipakka, Brett Pollock, and a 2016 2nd round pick.


Kris Russell is bad but not nearly as bad as what the Boston Bruins decided was their saving grace.

John-Michael Liles, who I guess still plays in the NHL.. was sent to Boston in exchange for a 3rd and 5th round pick and AHL’er Anthony Camara. Which, again makes sense for Carolina. Nowadays draft picks are like gold, especially for a team drenched in mediocracy.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom in Boston. Veteran depth goal scorer Lee Stempniak who’s projected to put 21 in the net this year is a fine addition. However, I must add that it comes with minor disappointment only because he was offered a PTO by Boston during camp but was let go.

So Boston could have signed him as a free agent but missed out on the opportunity.

I digress.

His leadership should prove to be more valuable than his goal scoring ability as Boston pursues a playoff spot.

With the multitude of deals that were made at the deadline, there were clear cut winners and losers. The winners were the Blackhawks, Rangers, Panthers and Kings. The latter includes Dallas and Boston.

Time is the only indicator to measure success or failure. In the NHL the idealism is just to make the playoffs and you’ll never know what will happen. The 2010 Flyers and the 2012 Kings made the Cup finals as the 8th seed.

Need more convincing? Well in 2014 the Kings acquired Marian Gaborik to add a much needed scoring kick and it ended with their second Stanley Cup championship. Who knows, one of the names listed above could just be the next Marian Gaborik.