NHL Trade Deadline Recap: Moves by Predators and Canucks, Rick Nash Stays
NHL Trade Deadline Recap: Nashville Predators Land Andrei Kostitsyn and Paul Guastad, Canucks Deal Cody Hodgson, Rick Nash Stays in Columbus – For now.
Rick Nash was clearly the big name at the NHL trade deadline, but 3 pm rolled along and Nash stayed put. Despite GM Scott Howson reportedly speaking to every team in the NHL, no deal could be worked out. Howson believes that the market for Rick Nash could meet his high price in the summer when salary cap restrictions are not so confining. However, Rick Nash was the only blue-chip forward on the market and the same won’t necessarily be true this offseason. Given the high level of interest and speculation, not getting anything for Rick Nash until the offseason could be a disaster. It begs the question – is Scott Howson the worst GM in hockey? The Columbus Blue Jackets’ 43 points through 62 games screams “YES!”.
The Vancouver Canucks made a few interesting moves at the deadline, shuffling their team to attain better depth and acquiring players that played a much needed role on defense in the bottom lines. Samuel Pahlsson is the third line center that the Canucks need, adding grit and experience to one of the weaker checking lines in the league. The acquisition of Pahlsson made current third line center Cody Hodgson expendable. While Hodgson is a true scorer, he was behind Ryan Kesler and Henrik Sedin as a top-line center. Hodgson doesn’t play defense, and thus doesn’t have a role with the Canucks anymore. Pahlsson will win face offs and grind. That’s what the Canucks needed at the deadline. As such, they swapped Hodgson for another top prospect, Zack Kassian, a tough winger that may have a role with the Canucks in the future. They gave up very little, they got a different skill set in return. The Canucks lead the NHL in scoring and did not need a third line scorer attempting to play defense. In return, it seems like the Canucks won by getting less skilled up front – but tougher.
The Predators are the big winners at the deadline, bolstering their offense and defense. They acquired Hal Gill and Paul Gaustad for a first, second, and conditional fifth round pick in two separate deals. They also reunited the Kostitsyn brothers after a successful redemption project with younger brother Sergei last season. With Sergei succeeding on the top line, brother Andrei joins the team hoping to give them the offense that they desperately need. The Predators have one of the best goaltenders and defensive lines in the league, and adding offense at the deadline makes the Predators a legitimate contender amidst talk of the departure of their cornerstone blueliners.
The Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres were the big sellers at the deadline, while a plethora of mild maneuvers ruled the day. The Lightning tried to undo the fire sale they anticipated before a winning streak put them back in contention, and the Phoenix Coyotes added Antoine Vermette for picks and a potential backup goalie. The New Jersey Devils gave up a prospect, picks, and two NHL role players for Marek Zidlicky in a relatively bold move at the deadline before going quiet in the final hours of the deadline. The LA Kings added Jeff Carter as perhaps the biggest name of the deadline, reuniting the former Flyer with Mike Richards.
All in all, the Canucks made a bold move, the Predators made the big moves, and the rest of the deadline was pretty boring, especially for Columbus Blue Jackets fans hoping to see a rebuilding effort and the departure of Rick Nash.
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