Ryan Dadoun

In The Crease

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Western Conference Report Card

Thursday, April 04, 2013


 

After all the trade activity on Tuesday, it was reasonable to assume deadline day would be quiet. That’s obviously not how it played out.

 

The deals involving Marian Gaborik, Jaromir Jagr, and Jarome Iginla over the last 7-10 days just scratches the surface of what transpired during the 2013 trade deadline period. Below is a look at how each Western Conference team did in the trades that took place over the last two weeks.

 

Click here for Corey Abbott's grades on the Eastern Conference.

 

Anaheim Ducks

Added: Matthew Lombardi, Harry Zolnierczyk

Lost: Brandon McMillan, Jay Rosehill, Jeff Deslauriers

 

When you’re a clear Stanley Cup contender, do you make a big splash and risk disrupting the chemistry that’s got your team this far or do you add a complimentary player who will provide you with some depth for the playoff grind?

 

The Ducks chose to do the latter and it’s hard to fault them for it. Lombardi isn’t a game changer, but he’s a decent bottom-six forward who’s not too far removed from his glory days. Given the cost was McMillan, who has struggled to earn a permanent spot with the Ducks over the last three years, it wasn’t a bad pickup.

 

Grade: B

 

Calgary Flames

Added: Two first-round picks (one conditional), a fifth-round pick, Mark Cundari, Kenneth Agostino, Ben Hanowski and Reto Berra

Lost: Jay Bouwmeester, Jarome Iginla, Blake Comeau

 

The Calgary Flames are the toughest team to evaluate. After last year’s deadline I criticized them for staying stagnant and simply allowing their tradable assets – like Iginla to age and thus deteriorate in value – despite the fact that their franchise had been stuck in the mud for years.

 

Flames GM Jay Feaster has since validated those types of criticisms by admitting that he "should have had the intellectual honesty even earlier and said this isn't working."

 

So did he end up costing his team by not acting sooner and maybe getting a higher price for Iginla last year? Perhaps, but at the same time, we have the benefit of hindsight and while Feaster will ultimately be judged on everything that’s happened, for the purposes of this article we’re narrowing our scope to what he did over the last few weeks.

 

In that regard, he has to be given credit. While he might be hesitant to call what he’s doing rebuilding, the Calgary Flames have made some tough choices that should ultimately benefit them in the years to come?

 

Grade: B+

 

Chicago Blackhawks

Added: Michal Handzus, Kirill Gotovets, Maxime Sauve

Lost: A fourth-round pick, Philippe Paradis, Rob Flick

 

Like the Anaheim Ducks, the Blackhawks have been great all season and they similarly decided not to mess with that. Their only noteworthy addition was Handzus, who should help them in an area of significant need--the faceoff circle.

 

Grade: B

 

Colorado Avalanche

Added: A fourth-round pick in 2014, Tomas Vincour

Lost: Ryan O'Byrne, Cameron Gaunce

 

The Colorado Avalanche are well on their way to missing the playoffs for the third straight season and fourth time in five years. So just based on that alone, you would think they would have made some significant trades. But really, what could they do?

 

Their core players are still young and signed through at least 2013-14. One of the few exceptions, Milan Hejduk, is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury. They could have still made a trade for the sake of

shaking things up, but there’s something to be said for keeping a young core intact and letting them grow and learn together.

 

Ultimately if they’re going to make a major move, it will probably involve firing Joe Sacco, but that’s not what the trade deadline was about.

 

Grade: B-

 

Columbus Blue Jackets

Added: A third-round pick, Marian Gaborik, Blake Comeau, Michael Leighton, Patrick Killeen

Lost: A fifth-round pick, a sixth-round pick, Steve Mason, Derek Dorsett, John Moore, Derick Brassard

 

The Blue Jackets finished last in the NHL last season, traded Rick Nash…and now they might make the playoffs. Much of that is thanks to Sergei Bobrovsky, but it still comes as a surprise.

 

Columbus’ acquisition of Gaborik is one they probably wouldn’t have made if they were out of the playoff hunt, but at the same time it’s not specifically for this season. Gaborik gives them what they lost with Nash--a man who can be face of the franchise and an offensive leader.

 

He’s struggled this season with the Rangers, but the change of scenery should help. Ultimately, Gaborik might even be considered the winner of the trade frenzy from a fantasy perspective.

 

They also managed to get Leighton and a third rounder for Mason. It’s like the Flyers felt so bad about how the Jeff Carter trade worked out that they’ve been letting the Blue Jackets win trades ever since.

 

Grade: A

 

Dallas Stars

Added: Two second-round pick (one conditional), fifth-round pick, Kevin Connauton, Joe Morrow, Lane MacDermid, Cody Payne, Cameron Gaunce

Lost: Third-round pick, Jaromir Jagr, Brenden Morrow, Derek Roy, Tomas Vincour

 

The Dallas Stars refused to trade Brad Richards in 2010-11. The result was that they missed the playoffs anyways and he signed with the New York Rangers. With that in mind, this time around the Stars dealt Jaromir Jagr, Brenden Morrow, and Derek Roy before they had a chance to leave as unrestricted free agents this summer.

 

The return wasn’t breathtaking for the most part, but they got some decent prospects and a couple high picks for their troubles. For a handful of players that were in danger of walking soon, it’s hard to fault them.

 

Grade: A

 

Detroit Red Wings

 

Added: A conditional seventh-round pick

Lost: Kent Huskins

 

The Detroit Red Wings typically takes a cautious approach to everything they do. In a way you can look at them as the ying to the Philadelphia Flyers yang.

 

In a league with a salary cap and where prospects are hard to replace, it’s easy to see the logic in the Red Wings’ strategy. However, from a short-term perspective, some of their major competitors in the race for a playoff spot – the St. Louis Blues and Columbus Blue Jackets in particular – got better while they remained stagnant.

 

Grade: C+


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Ryan Dadoun is an Associate Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or check out his blog.
Email :Ryan Dadoun



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