The NHL Trade Deadline’s Winners And Losers: Who Got Screwed In 2014?
And more importantly, who did the screwing.
With the trade deadline looming over the heads of NHL GMs, yesterday got pretty hectic. Some teams made out like bandits while others seemed to be making trades from the hip, with results varying from shitty to very shitty. We’ve crunched the numbers (so you don’t have to) and hereby present our completely scientific and totally unobjective judgment of the NHL’s trade action.
Winner: Marian Gaborik
Gaborik is probably walking around sunny downtown LA today, high-fiving everyone he sees. Not only is he finally playing for a serious Stanley Cup contender, the LA Kings, but he actually gets to move to a non-oppressively freezing climate for the first time in his life. Think about it: he was born in Slovakia, and played hockey in Sweden, then in the NHL for the Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, and Columbus Blue Jackets. Now he gets to hang out with supermodels, learn to surf, and become best friends with Ryan Seacrest. Well played, sir.
Loser: Garth Snow
Was Islanders’ GM Garth Snow under some sort of voodoo spell where you have to say yes to everything for a day? If not, we can’t understand why on earth he traded Thomas Vanek – one of the best forwards in the league – for Montreal’s Steven Colburg and a draft pick switcheroo. It doesn’t make any sense, especially considering what he gave up to acquire Vanek earlier this year (absolute stud Matt Moulson and two draft picks). If you see Garth Snow on Long Island, you should ask him for $6 million and see what happens.
Winner: Thomas Vanek
Vanek is an elite forward whose career has consisted of stumbling along with two of the NHL’s worst teams. He finally got to leave Buffalo at the start of this season, but got sent to the Islanders, a team whose record is almost as bad as their GM’s decision-making (see “Garth Snow,” above). But things are starting to turn around for Tommy – he landed on the Montreal Canadiens, currently holding down second place in the Eastern Conference. Vanek went from busting the golf clubs out early to getting a real shot at the Cup.
Losers: JaroslavHalak and Chris Stewart
Imagine helping your team become arguably the best in the NHL two years in a row, only to be traded mere weeks before the playoffs begin. Last week these guys were gearing up to propel the St. Louis Blues into the top spot in the Western Conference, and now Halak has to fight for a starting spot in sub-par Washington, while Stewart is banished to the worst team in the NHL, the Buffalo Sabres. They were so close to the Stanley Cup they could almost taste it. Now they’re both staring into the smiling face of mediocrity (and it kind of looks like Alex Ovechkin).
Winner: Tim Thomas
The Florida Panthers traded Tim Thomas to the Dallas Stars, which, being in Texas, could be a perfect home for the goaltender. After winning the Stanley Cup in 2011, Thomas refused to go with his team to visit the White House, stating, “I believe the federal government has grown out of control, threatening the rights, liberties, and property of the people.” We’re not sure where he stands on gun shootin’ and cattle wrasslin’, but judging by this mustache we think he’ll fit in fine in Dallas.
Losers: The New York Rangers
In typical New York Rangers fashion, the team has forgone cultivating young talent to acquire an aging superstar. Trading the heart and soul of the locker room, Ryan Callahan, for Tampa Bay’s captain Martin St. Louis looks good on paper, assuming you forgot to look at the part of the paper where it says St. Louis is 38-years-old. So, instead of holding on to the most beloved player and team leader, they’ve decided to exchange him for a guy who will probably retire in two years. There’s no doubt that St.Louis is a great player. He has more points over the last five seasons than anyone, and maybe he can help New York with a playoff push in the upcoming weeks, but it’s only a matter of time until he retires. And for the thousandth time, yes, Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis did win the cup together once – but that was in 2004, when they were 23 and 28. We did lots of things when we were in our twenties. We just can’t really remember them so well.