Wednesday's National Hockey League trade deadline saw many of the NHL's prominent players find new homes, for at least the remainder of the season. Several NHL general managers made moves to bolster their team for the playoffs, while others moved top players for future considerations.
The biggest move locally was a trade between the New York Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lightning that saw the teams' captains swap teams. The Rangers shipped Ryan Callahan and two draft picks for Martin St. Louis.
Ramapo junior and avid Rangers fan, John Sorrentino, said the trade is bittersweet.
"It's tough to trade the captain, but I do think the trade is going to help [the Rangers] a lot offensively. I think we'll see a lot more goals," he said.
Both players spent their entire careers with the same team until this point. This season, St. Louis has posted 29 goals and 32 assists for 61 points in 62 games, making him the Rangers' new top scorer this year. The gritty Callahan has 11 goals and 14 assists for 25 points in 45 games.
The Columbus Blue Jackets sent Marian Gaborik, who they acquired at the 2013 deadline, to the Los Angeles Kings for Matt Frattin, who has 34 points in 122 NHL games, and a pair of draft picks. Injuries limited Gaborik to just 34 games with Columbus over parts of two seasons.
However, Gaborik has 342 goals and 346 assists for 688 points in 791 career games. The speedy forward can provide an offensive boost to a Kings team that ranks 24 in goals scored this season.
"I liked Gaborik when he was on the Rangers for a while," Sorrentino said. "I think that it's going to help the Kings out and he's going to definitely add some power to their offense."
There were also several elite goaltenders on the move in the days leading to the deadline. On Tuesday, Roberto Luongo was moved to the Florida Panthers for the second time in his career, while top goaltending prospect Jacob Markstrom is headed to the Vancouver Canucks.
The Buffalo Sabers, the NHL's worst team with a 18-35-8 record, continued to rebuild and sent franchise goaltender Ryan Miller to the St. Louis Blues along with their former captain, Steve Ott, for a package including goaltender Jaroslav Halak, forward Chirs Stewart, and high draft picks.
Meanwhile, the Blues become an instant threat to win the Western Conference with a new top-tier goaltender. They already lead the Central Division with a 41-14-6 record and 88 points, good for second in the Western Conference.
The New York Islanders were another team that became sellers nearing the trade deadline with a playoff spot far out of reach. They shipped top defenseman Andrew MacDonald to divisional rival Philadelphia Flyers for prospect Matt Mangene and two draft picks.
They also traded Thomas Vanek, who has 44 points in 47 career games with the Islanders, to the Montreal Canadians, just before the 3 p.m. deadline. The return was not as big as Islanders general manager, Garth Snow, was expecting for the talented forward.
Snow chose to make the trade rather than let Vanek leave the team as an unrestricted free agent this summer, but only got prospect Sebastian Collberg and a second round draft pick in return.
"I don't know Vanek very well, but I know he's a really good offensive player," Sorrentino said. "You would think [the Islanders] would have been able to get an NHL ready pro and not just a prospect and a pick."