We’ll know when and how much teams won about June 15, and again a few days later on draft day. The biggest impacts from here on should be apparent almost from the word go.
The Nashville Predators have to be considered the biggest winners of the trading season. They added Hal Gill for leadership, defense first mentality, and Cup winning experience. They added Paul Gaustad who at 6 foot 5 and 212lbs becomes the largest forward in their top nine. Better still, they kept the BlackHawks (among others) from adding Gill’s experience or Gaustad’s size, the only real wild card is the addition of Andrei Kostitsyn. I have to give that at least a neutral for the rest of the season because he will get to play with Gill and his brother again, both of whom can help with the adjustment and give him someone he’s got some comfort with.
The Colorado Avalanche made a quiet move. It might get overlooked, and it won’t help them a great deal this year, but picking up Jamie McGinn is a good move because he’s a gamer. He doesn’t just lace up the skates and get on the ice, he goes out there and takes the ice. A lot of hits, a player who ends most years with more takeaways than giveaways. This doesn’t remake the whole character of team that needs serious reshaping but it is a start.
The Buffalo Sabres got the first round pick they wanted for Gaustad, and picked up some young skill in Cody Hodgson. Best of all in picking up a former Canuck they get someone who will put no stock in what Brad Marchand said about Buffalo being the worst place in the NHL.
The Washington Capitals lose. While the team isn’t going anywhere this season, the chance to jettison pieces that won’t be retained for assets either picks, prospects or players that may help in the future.
The St Louis Blues are also losers from inertia. Outside of their goaltending this team is aggressively average. They are 23rd in goals for, 27th on the powerplay, and 14th on the penalty kill. There is a lot of validity to the argument that having Andy McDonald back in the lineup is the best trade they could make, but other teams like Nashville and Detroit got deeper and Vancouver got got tougher.