NHL Trade Deadline: Teams Push Through Deals Under the Gun


As is usually the case with the NHL trade deadline, there was a flurry of trades that occurred at, or past, the trade deadline (trade calls can take time to go through). All deals taken from the TSN Trade Tracker.

Minnesota Wild acquire defenceman Jordan Leopold from Columbus for Justin Falk and a 2015 5th round pick.

This is probably the best story of the day. There was a letter written from Leopold’s daughter Jordyn to the Wild front office staff. It’s fairly heart-warming.

Leopold is just a depth move, and shouldn’t be expected to have a big role on the Wild blue line.

St. Louis Blues acquire center Olli Jokinen from the Toronto Maple Leafs for a conditional 6th round pick.

Jokinen hasn’t been anything on any team he’s played on of late, which makes this a puzzling move for the Blues. They added Robert Bortuzzo and Olli Jokinen, which are obviously moves for depth, but they shouldn’t be looked at to contribute much.

Montreal Canadiens acquire Torrey Mitchell from the Buffalo Sabres for a prospect and a draft pick.

In another shrewd, yet likely effective, move by Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin, depth forward Torrey Mitchell was acquired. This is a guy on an awful Buffalo Sabres team and excelled possession-wise (relatively speaking). That’s exactly what Montreal needs in their bottom-six forward mix. UPDATE: The prospect given up for Mitchell is forward Jack Nevins. Nevins has one point in 35 career AHL games.

Pittsburgh Penguins acquire defenceman Ben Lovejoy from the Anaheim Ducks for defenceman Simon Despres

In a puzzling move by the Penguins, they traded a young defenceman in Despres who has shown promise for Ben Lovejoy, an experienced player. Lovejoy has basically been a break-even possession player for the Ducks playing in third pairing minutes. He won’t hurt the Penguins this year, but it’s certainly a steep price to pay in Despres. Despres had 17 points in 59 games for Pittsburgh this year.

Minnesota Wild acquire forward Chris Stewart from the Buffalo Sabres for a 2017 second round pick

Stewart was among the most likely players to be traded today, and it finally came in under the wire.

It was just three or four years ago that Stewart appeared to an emerging power forward. Since then, though, he’s been awful possession-wise, and almost all of his other numbers have been in decline. The Wild are hoping Stewart can find his game playing a bottom-six role for them, and didn’t pay too steep of a price (considering what Buffalo had been asking for him). Whether Stewart turns his career around or not is completely up in the air, but he is a player who has shown the ability to be a physical scoring force in the past.

Calgary Flames trade forward Sven Baertschi to the Vancouver Canucks for a second round pick

The Flames have officially given up on Sven Baertschi. The once-highly coveted forward has been shipped out for a draft pick.

It’s a curious move by the Flames, who are a team looking to rebuild with younger players. Since Baertschi broke into the league in 2011, he’s third among Flames forwards in points per 60 minutes at five-on-five. He put up a better mark than Curtis Glencross, and it’s better than Ottawa Senators forward Kyle Turris.

Maybe Baertschi flames out (get it?!?!), but moving on from a 22-year-old forward who has been fairly productive in his minutes is a curious move for a team that is rebuilding.

**UPDATE: There were other minor trades to come in, but the Anaheim Ducks did add Columbus defenceman James Wisniewski to the fold. Wisniewski and a third round pick were acquired in exchange for young forward William Karlsson, forward Rene Bourque, and a second round pick. Wisniewski has long been a very solid point-producing, puck-moving defenceman. His only problem has been staying healthy – since 2008, Wisniewski has missed more than 1 of every 5 games, coming in at 22.8-percent of games missed .

*Some stats courtesy of Hockey Analysis, Hockey Reference, and Behind The Net

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Michael Clifford
Michael Clifford was born and raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada and is a graduate of the Unviersity of New Brunswick. He writes about fantasy hockey and baseball for XNSports and FantasyTrade411.com. He can be reached on Twitter @SlimCliffy for any fantasy hockey questions. !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs');