NHL general managers were busy in the days leading up to the 2013 NHL trade deadline, set for yesterday at 3 p.m.
Many teams such as the Pittsburgh Penguins have fortified their roster with new talent to prepare for a deep playoff run. Others like the Calgary Flames, with little hope of making the playoffs, traded away top talent in order to rebuild for the future.
Perhaps the most notable trade was made between the Penguins and Flames on March 28, when the Flames sent their captain of nine seasons, Jarome Iginla to Pittsburgh in exchange for two high-profile prospects, Kenneth Agostino and Ben Hanowski and a first-round pick in the 2013 draft.
“It almost seems unfair,” said Jeremy Higginson, assistant captain of the Ramapo College roller hockey team. “The players the Penguins picked up have made them a very serious cup contender.”
Prior to acquiring Iginla, Pittsburgh made trades for San Jose Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray on March 25 and Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow on March 24. Also, just hours before the trade deadline, Pittsburgh added forward Jussi Jokinen from the Carolina Hurricanes. All of these players were acquired by trading prospects and draft picks, not roster players.
Several other teams attempted to boost their lineups before the regular season’s final stretch. After failing to complete a trade for Iginla, the Boston Bruins, currently fourth in the East, acquired veteran forward Jaromir Jagr from the Stars on Tuesday in exchange for two prospects and a second-round draft pick.
The same day, the ninth-place New York Rangers sent a second- and third-round pick in 2013 as well as a 2014 second-round pick to San Jose in exchange for forward Ryan Clowe. In the final hour prior to the deadline, the Rangers dealt high-scoring forward Marian Gaborik to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for forwards Derick Brassard and Derek Dorsett and defenseman John Moore to make a late push for the playoffs.
Also on Tuesday, the Vancouver Canucks traded prospect Kevin Connauton and a second-round pick in 2013 for Dallas forward Derek Roy.
On Monday, the St. Louis Blues acquired defenseman Jay Bouwmeester from the Calgary Flames in exchange for prospects, defenseman Mark Cundari and goalie Retro Berra, and two conditional draft picks.
“There were definitely some clear buyers and sellers at the trade deadline,” Higginson said.
Calgary, who sits at 14th place in the West, traded away its top talent for high draft picks and prospects, but despite many rumors, did not trade veteran goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.
Dallas, who is five points ahead in 13th, also established themselves as sellers by moving future Hall of Famer Jagr and top center Roy.
The Buffalo Sabres, 12th in the East, also hinted at a rebuilding process by moving defenseman T.J. Brennan, Jordan Leopold and Robyn Regehr to the Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings, respectively, all for draft picks.
San Jose, currently sixth in the West with 42 points, moved some pieces of their team, but acquired others, such as defenseman Scott Hannan from the Nashville Predators on deadline day.
A complete list of trades made in the days and hours prior to the NHL deadline is available at NHL.com.