It got silly, indeed.
Though none included the biggest fish, Erik Karlsson, the trades did rush in at a feverish pace late on deadline day.
Here’s a breakdown of all the trades completed before Monday’s 3 p.m. deadline:
Ryan McDonagh, J.T. Miller traded to Lightning for Vladislav Namestnikov, 1st-round pick, conditional 2nd-round pick
Did you really think Steve Yzerman was going to stand pat?
At the bell, the Lightning completed the most complex and likely most impactful trade on deadline day. They significantly upgraded their top four with the acquisition of the now-former Rangers captain (this is the second time the Rangers have traded their captain to the Bolts), and added another dimension to arguably the most potent attack in the NHL.
An important piece does come out of the Lightning lineup in Namestnikov, and one that has built up some chemistry with Steven Stamkos. They do, however, rather importantly hold on to Brayden Point and Mikhail Sergachev as part of a still-bountiful talent base.
Brett Howden and Libor Hajek are the prospects headed back to New York. They were Tampa’s first two selections in the 2016 draft.
Patrick Maroon traded to Devils
Maroon was inconsistent with the Oilers, but was more help to Connor McDavid than other plodders. He’ll need to be able to keep up if he’s going to help a Devils team that can obviously burn.
As for the Oilers, a third-round pick and a prospect is obviously better than nothing.
Tomas Tatar traded to Golden Knights
Uh, wow? Did they just transfer the proposed Erik Karlsson package to the Red Wings?
This is an astounding trade, and for reasons beyond the fact that the Golden Knights are an expansion club. Tatar is in the midst of his worst season from a productive standpoint with 16 goals and 28 points in 62 games.
The package of picks en route to Detroits is spread out over multiple summers, and therefore won’t disrupt incoming talent stream too much. But why not invest those draft picks into a package that could help fetch a super-talent like Karlsson when he returns to the market this summer?
Thomas Vanek traded to Blue Jackets for Tyler Motte
Motte is just two years removed from college, but has indicated in 64 games at the NHL level with the Blackhawks and Blue Jackets that he’s more likely not an impact player at the highest level.
In other words, this is a tremendously disappointing return for Vanek, who may have fetched a lesser asset than Vancouver received for Philip Holm. Yikes.
Evander Kane traded to Sharks for conditional 1st-round pick
An underwhelming return for the Sabres, for sure, who might have to settle for second- and fourth-round picks in a package for Evander Kane. The condition on the conditional pick in 2019 is that Kane must re-sign with the Sharks, which is more unlikely than not when the entire league has a line to the power forward this summer.
And in San Jose, Kane has the chance to be a major difference maker (and become much harder to re-sign), as four points separate four teams battling for two postseason spots in the Pacific Division.
This could wind up being a much bigger deal for Kane than it is for the Sharks.
Jason Chimera traded to Ducks for Chris Wagner
Hope Bob Murray didn’t spend all morning on this.
Brendan Leipsic traded to Canucks for Philip Holm
Leipsic had fallen out of the rotation a little bit in Vegas, so he should see a little more playing time for a Canucks team still expected to part with some assets before the deadline hits. Perhaps it’s his best chance to prove that he can fulfill the expectations many placed on him when he was scoring at a high rate in the American Hockey League.
Holm’s NHL future seems uncertain, and there’s no easy route to the top six on a deep Golden Knights defensive corps.
Paul Stastny traded to the Jets for 1st-round pick
Wow. Ponying up to slot Paul Stastny behind Mark Scheifele and Bryan Little indicates one thing for the Jets: they mean business.
A pure rental, Stastny can do a lot for the Jets, but hasn’t scored at a level that matches his price tag in a long time. Still, with all that talent up front, it’s not like he’ll be a hindrance in an attacking sense down the middle of the ice.
Good on the Blues for again having the foresight to secure assets in return for a pending unrestricted free agent despite being in striking distance of the postseason. Kevin Shattenkirk, as you will remember, brought back a first-round pick last season as well.
Still, hard to imagine this deal happening when it looked for so long that these teams would match up in the first round. St. Louis has certainly fallen in that competitive Central Division.
Ryan Hartman traded to Predators for 1st-round pick
Handing over a cheap, controllable and reasonably productive 23-year-old middle-six forward to a division rival is somewhat of a curious move for a cap-strapped team like the Blackhawks to execute.
Curious, that is, until you find out a first-round pick, plus, is coming back in return.
Could they have spent that first-round pick on a more impactful player? Perhaps. But Hartman fits the Predator scheme, and will do so for potentially many postseason runs.
Ian Cole to Blue Jackets for 3rd-round pick
Cole’s move to the Blue Jackets tidies up the return for the Senators in the Derick Brassard deal. All told, a first-round pick, two thirds and a quality goaltending prospect in Filip Gustavsson is a solid return for the talented centre, and a reminder of how ridiculous the bounty will be (or better be) if Karlsson is indeed dealt.
Blue Jackets ought to be pleased, too. A capable low-pair defender, and a former Penguin at that.
Tomas Plekanec to Toronto for Kerby Rychel, Rinat Valiev and 2nd-round pick
Given Mike Babcock’s ostensible discomfort with Dominic Moore and at times Tyler Bozak, the Maple Leafs prioritizing a defensive centre over an upgrade on the back end (at least so far) shouldn’t really surprise. Plekanec is a player that can do all that Babcock routinely harps on.
Plekanec’s own-zone prowess and versatility gives the Maple Leafs coach boundless options with his lineup, and his presence will certainly help in the short-term with Auston Matthews out.
Decent return for the Canadiens, too.
Oilers trade Mark Letestu to Predators for Pontus Aberg; Letestu flipped to Blue Jackets
Not *another* smart move from Peter Chiarelli, but a good gamble nonetheless. They need speed, and Aberg’s got it.
Rick Nash to the Bruins for Matt Beleskey, Ryan Spooner, Ryan Lindgren and a 1st-round pick
It’s hard to fault a legitimate Stanley Cup contender when it addressed the only real hole on the roster. Nash is no longer a dominant player, but has many more dimensions to his game than he’s given credit for and still possesses game-breaking ability. He should raise the level of David Krejci on the Bruins’ second line.
The cost was pretty significant, and the retainment on Beleskey isn’t ideal, but it’s a move they had to make, given their position in the overall landscape.
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