NHL Trade Deadline Recap


Carter Leyva '24

The NHL trade deadline was full of big moves this year. And while the Western Conference rosters may look more or less the same after the deadline (because they are), the Eastern Conference brought turmoil and chaos to the trade deadline party. Basically, the Western Conference stacked up on draft picks while the Eastern Conference picked up some major names. This makes sense, as it is no secret that the East has more teams competing to win the Stanley Cup. With that being said, let’s jump right in!

The biggest move of the trade deadline was the New York Rangers’ acquisition of Patrick Kane from Chicago. This ended up being no surprise, as Kane specifically stated that he only wanted to go to New York. Thus, the Rangers basically got him for free, and now longtime friends Kane and superstar Artemi Panarin are finally back together, exactly how it was when Panarin started his career in Chicago. The New York Islanders, close neighbors and rivals with the Rangers, secured Bo Horvat and then inked him to an eight-year deal. No doubt his goal-scoring will decrease, as the Islanders play a much more defensive game than his former team, the Vancouver Canucks, but he will provide a necessary offensive boost to a team desperate for goals. Furthermore, the New Jersey Devils boosted their offense by receiving Timo Meier of the San Jose Sharks. While this move was nice and beneficial, New Jersey is overachieving this season, and it would have been better to see them acquire another defensemen or goalie, as their offense hasn’t been the problem this season. Finally, in the East, the Ottawa Senators appear to be making a run for the playoffs. A recent winning streak which has put them in contention for the playoffs prompted them to acquire Jakob Chychrun from the Arizona Coyotes. He provides quality defense (which is what Ottawa needs most), while also providing offense from the blue line.

Finally, since I know all of you have been waiting for this section, let’s talk about the Blues. Before diving in, let’s clear something up: the Blues were never going to win the Cup this year. No one from the Western Conference is going to beat the Colorado Avalanche. So don’t be one of those guys saying how we should’ve kept everyone to make the playoffs. Trust Doug Armstrong – he’s a smart GM. As he put it after trading Ryan O’Reilly, “Today is the first day of the next decade.” Selling guys for future picks, and entering the heated race for Connor Bedard, was the perfect solution. Will we get him? Probably not, but this year’s draft is loaded, so a top pick will serve us well anyways. As a result of Armstrong’s strategy, we lost some major talent and a big part of the core of the Cup-winning team. Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari were both traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for two prospects and three future draft picks. Vladimir Tarasenko and Niko Mikkola were traded to the Rangers in exchange for Sammy Blais (welcome back, Sammy) and a draft pick. Finally, Ivan Barbashev was dealt to the Vegas Golden Knights. But the Blues added to the team as well, claiming forward Kasperi Kapanen off of waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins and trading for Jakub Vrana from the Detroit Red Wings.

Overall, the NHL Trade Deadline was full of excitement, per usual. It will be an interesting few weeks to come, as the race for the playoffs heats up. And just because the Blues aren’t in the race for the Cup, we are in a race… for Connor Bedard. And while the Blues may be bad for the next few years, it happens to every team. Part of being a fan is experiencing the highs and the lows, so enjoy the race to the bottom, and maybe we will be so lucky as to get Bedard. That would be really cool.