As part two of our look back at the winners and losers of the NHL trade deadline, we look at those clubs that didn’t fair so well with their deadline moves or lack there of.
Up first is the Minnesota Wild who traded for Jason Pominville from the Buffalo Sabres. A big hearty congratulations goes out to Sabres’ GM Darcy Regeir for pulling off what could be one of the most lopsided trade in recent memory. Regeir was able to part ways with Pominville and in return received goaltender Matt Hackett, prospect Johan Larsson along with a first round pick in 2013 and a second round pick in 2014. Are you kidding me? The Wild actually agreed to send all that to Buffalo for Pominville and a fourth rounder in 2014? Yes, it actually happened.
Pominville, 30 comes with a cap hit of $5.3 million this season and next. Reasonable money for a player that has 10 goals and 15 assists in 37 games for the Sabres this year. His career year came in 2007-08 when he registered 80 points in 82 games, 27 of which were goals. Last year with Buffalo he broke the 30-goal plateau for the first time in his career and finished with the second highest point total of his career with 73.
So the Wild are getting a goal scorer and a valuable right winger to play on the second line. But why did Chuck Fletcher mortgage the future for it? The biggest head scratcher I have with the deal is not Larsson but the first round pick and Hackett.
The Wild are full of up and coming prospects so to part ways with Larsson is not a big loss. But netminder Niklas Backstrom is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and will surely seek a healthy raise. With the health of Josh Harding questionable long term and Backstrom already 35, Hackett was pegged as the goalie of the future. Not anymore and as a result I put the Wild in the loser category. You have to wonder if Fletcher felt the pressure from Vancouver making a trade to get Derek Roy from the Stars and after losing out on Ryane Clowe, he panicked to trade for Pominville. That and it sounds like there was a pile of interest in the Sabres forward so it may have become a bidding war. Whatever the case, he overpaid in my opinion.
Speaking of the Vancouver Canucks, I have them in the loser category for the sheer fact that they failed to get a deal done that involved sending Roberto Luongo out of town. Earlier today we looked at the reasons why Luongo wasn’t moved and when it came down to Mike Gillis refusing to eat some of his ridiculous salary, the deal fell apart. For that reason alone the Canucks are losers at the deadline. Gillis had the opportunity to make his club instantly better by acquiring some assets in the deal but also ridding his players of the hassle that will be the circus around Luongo and Corey Schneider.
It’s not often you could classify the Detroit Red Wings as losers, but in my mind they fall into this category at the trade deadline. Ever since the start of the season when the Wings blue line was decimated with injuries we heard that GM Ken Holland would like to add a top-four, puck moving defenseman. The opportunities were there to trade for Jay Bouwmeester and to a lesser extent Jordan Leopold or Robyn Regehr. Holland decided the price was too high and balked at making a deal. Some might argue and say this was wise for the Wings to sit tight and not deal assets for any of those players, but with the playoff race tightening in the west, the Wings did nothing to make their club better. Is this the year that all that experience fails to come through in the clutch?
Finally, we have the Nashville Predators who, despite being in the playoff mix shipped out more talent then they received at the deadline. Perhaps none bigger than sniper Martin Erat who apparently requested a trade and David Poile obliged. As Jason Kirk, our editor at Predlines pointed out on Facebook, Erat is the leader in almost every offensive category in Predators history and will no doubt leave a huge hole in their lineup.
Along with trading away Erat the Preds dealt veteran defenseman Scott Hannan to the San Jose Sharks for a conditional seventh round pick in this year’s draft. There is some hype around Filip Forsberg who the Predators received for Erat, but whether or not he’ll leave Sweden to play in the NHL is a question mark.
Agree or disagree with these? Leave your comments below.
Topics: Buffalo Sabres, Corey Schneider, Detroit Red Wings, Jason Pominville, Jay Bouwmeester, Josh Harding, Martin Erat, Matt Hackett, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, Niklas Backstrom, Roberto Luongo, Scott Hannan, Vancouver Canucks