Another NHL trade deadline is in the books, and while a flurry of deals occurred in the week leading up to March 3rd, deadline day itself was pretty quiet.
It consisted of mostly minor moves across non-contending teams. But, a few of the deals were notable and affected by trades made earlier in the week. While the day itself didn’t really have true winners and losers there were certainly clubs that fared better than others.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest winners and losers from the 2023 NHL trade deadline.
Winners: Ottawa Senators
The Sens landed the biggest trade bait of the last two years in the buzziest blue liner in the league. In acquiring Jakob Chychrun, the club did not have to give up young talent in the likes of Shane Pinto, and company. Lost no veterans or key roster pieces, and gave up a relatively light selection of picks.
The 24-year old Chychrun still has time left on his contract and is a player who can make an impact immediately. Surrounded by a better lineup, the defenseman can certainly be a piece that accelerates a rebound and a cornerstone player to build a team around, making them winners of this year’s NHL trade deadline.
Losers: Los Angeles Kings
Clearly losing the Chychrun sweepstakes, the Kings opted for another defenseman in Vladislav Gavrikov, giving up a selection of picks and Jonathan Quick in exchange for the defenseman as well as goaltender Joonas Korpisalo.
While it happened just a day before the official NHL trade deadline (and before Chychrun moved), jaws dropped almost immediately across the league, as the conditional first-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft and a third-round selection in the 2024 NHL Draft seems oddly greater than what the Senators gave up to acquire Chychrun, who is more of an impact player.
The Kings also sent Brendan Lemieux to Philadelphia in exchange for Zack MacEwen, which is essentially a fourth-liner swap and a kind of small, trivial deal. It doesn’t do much except offer them an extra $425,000 in cap space, which isn’t really enough to make a significant impact. As a result, the Kings are losers of the 2023 NHL trade deadlines.
Winners: Boston Bruins
The Bruins are, by far and away, the best team in the league this year and only made themselves stronger at the NHL trade deadline. The additions of Tyler Bertuzzi, Dmitry Orlov, and Garnet Hathaway provide depth and grit to an already scary team.
Every single deal was made thanks to cap space made as a result of injuries to Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno, who could very well return to be difference-makers in the playoffs. All they did is pad their roster with people who can provide sandpaper in the playoffs and make them even more threatening, making them clear winners of the NHL trade deadline.
Losers: Seattle Kraken
Embroiled in a playoff battle in the Pacific Division, the Kraken–who have slumped lately and do not have a single point-per-game player on their roster, were oddly quiet at the NHL trade deadline.
Sure, they only have just under $900,000 in cap space available, but they also have two UFAs in Ryan Donato and Carson Soucy who could have been moved for picks to clear up cap space, and then signed an offensive UFA that would pad their goal-scoring capabilities.
While the Pacific Division is weak, their opposition (the Edmonton Oilers, the Los Angeles Kings, and the Vegas Golden Knights) all made moves to put themselves all-in on a playoff run but, for some reason, the Kraken stayed quiet. The fact that they stayed quiet and could miss the playoffs makes them NHL trade deadline losers.