NHL Trade Deadline Winners and Losers

2019 is flying by and that means the 101st year of NHL hockey has already reached the important trade deadline. As teams seek to solidify their rosters heading into the last part of the regular season, this year's trade countdown was best defined by a few big moves in the last remaining days.

Las Vegas, Winnipeg, and Columbus all made positive trades at face value, but the Blue Jackets' decision to wager future draft picks could land them in a difficult situation come draft time. Pittsburgh and Boston couldn't make the dynamic moves that would have helped them square up for playoff time and could live to regret it come April.

A Gamble For Columbus

Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel both join the Jacket's squat from Ottawa for the remainder of the 2019 season. The new additions will join existing talents Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky, who are liable to hit the free agent market next year. It's an all-in move from the Ohio team, but the price is high. Should the Blue Jackets choose to re-sign Duchene, they forfeit two first-round draft picks. Dzingle costs two second-round picks, so should Columbus' efforts fail come playoff time, they could be looking at a talent pool drought in 2020.

Stagnation in Pittsburgh

The Penguins rode the wave of hesitation that defined much of 2019's trade interactions all the way to the end of the deadline. They made only two deals, one for Vancouver's Erik Gudbranson and one for Chris Wideman of the Carolina Panthers. Both players are likely to see action in the Penguins third rotation, leaving their primary offense without much help going into a late-season where division rivals have done more to beef up their depth charts. Don't count Pittsburgh out, they have a strong set of existing players, however, failure to perform by their franchise picks or injury trouble could severely weaken their odds and put them at risk of wild card elimination against teams like Columbus and Carolina.

Vegas Wins Big With Mark Stone

New-to-the-league Las Vegas made a power move to add some much-needed firepower to their offense by acquiring Ottowa Senators right winger Mark Stone. The Sin City team that made a big splash in their first season by driving all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals, only to be defeated by the Washington Capitals. This year's effort is not looking Stanley Cup-worthy at the moment, however in true Vegas fashion, the Knights bet the farm by swapping Erik Brannstrom, one of the team's most promising players, for the new top-six addition in Stone. Say what you will, but the Knights are certainly living up to their hometown's reputation for excitement and we count this as a win.

Bruins Miss the Boat on Big Names

The perennially strong Bruins were rumored to be in discussions for a number of attractive additions to their lineup, but failed to convert. While they did add Minnesota's Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson of the New Jersey Devils, the Bruins had their sights set on the likes of Mark Stone, Tyler Toffoli and Minnesota's Eric Staal. It's not a nail-in-the-coffin type of loss, but for a team that we're used to seeing be dynamic, Boston appears to have settled for some additional depth.

San Jose Signs Gustav Nyquist

This is a win for the playoff-dogged Sharks, who add another weapon to what is already a robust offensive top-six. Nyquist can celebrate the move from one of the leagues worst records in Detroit to the third-ranked San Jose Sharks. Will it be enough to carry the Sharks to a Finals appearance after so many years of tripping over themselves at the last minute? Time will tell, but this is a clear win for both Nyquist and the Sharks.

The Stage is Set

With an 82-game season, NHL hockey is one of the most difficult-to-predict of the major professional sports. Nashville traded well to add Wayne Simmonds at power forward, a move that should help their weak power play. Teams like Boston and Tampa Bay remain strong, and the deadline shuffle has Vegas poised to make another historic run as the league's up-and-comer. It's going to be an exciting spring.

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