Deadline Preview: What do Winners Do?

Marian Hossa qualifies an okay deadline pick up, I guess.
(Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

If you haven’t read the posts yet, my colleagues have done some fine work prepping us for the deadline. We’ve gone through a full inventory of Canucks needs, cap-space and tradable assets, looked at the recent history of the franchise at the trade-deadline and targeted five available forwards and five available defenseman

In continuing on with Canucks Army’s exhaustive deadline preview series, I thought I’d take a look at "what the teams that make it to the Cup Finals" did to improve their rosters at the deadline. Are there any lessons that we can draw from the behavior of previous top contenders? Click past the jump to find out!



Picked up Chris Higgins for Evan Oberg and a 2013 3rd round pick; flipped Joel Perrault and a 2012 3rd rounder for Max Lapierre and MacGregor Sharp.


Picked up Tomas Kaberle for Joe Colbourne, 2011 1st round pick and a 2012 conditional pick; acquired Rich Peverely and Boris Valabik for Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart; traded a 2nd round pick for Chris Kelly.

Both 2011 teams picked up key mid-order components for their playoff pushes. Peverley and Kelly were especially impressive players for Boston during their run to the cup, playing heavy minutes against opposing teams’ top line.

Chris Higgins found a home in Vancouver, moving between the 2nd and 3rd lines. Max Lapierre has been exactly what the Canucks hoped for as well, a 3rd/4th line pest who can keep his antics under control and the other team off their game.



Grabbed Nick Boynton for future considerations; Hannu Toinvonen and Danny Richmond for Joe Fallon; Kim Johnsson and Nick Leddy for Cam Barker.


Ville Leino for Ole-Kristian Tolllefson and a 2011 5th round pick.

Neither team made a move on deadline day itself (Boynton moved the day before) and Philly’s trade for Leino happened nearly a month before the deadline. Neither Boynton nor Johnsson had much impact for the Hawks. Johnsson sustained a concussion before the playoffs and never played hockey again, while Boynton got into just 3 playoff games. Of course, the Hawks were historically deep – and these moves were more about future cap-space than loading up for a Cup run…

Leino was quality: he was added to be a depth player but bagged 21 points in 19 games. He’s over-paid now.



Traded a 3rd round pick for Bill Guerin; added Chris Kunitz and Eric Tangradi for Ryan Whitney.


Detroit, the defending champions, stood pat.

Guerin and Kunitz were outstanding support players for the Penguins, combining for 29 points. Detroit had 17 players play at least 60 games. They didn’t make a trade all season, although they did add (somewhat famously) Marian Hossa in the summer. Pittsburgh was also dealing from strength in picking up Kunitz, as the return of Sergei Gonchar from injury made Ryan Whitney expendable.



Added Brad Stuart for a 2008 2nd rounder and a 2009 4th rounder.


Traded for Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis, sending Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Angelo Esposito and a 2008 first rounder.

Without a doubt the biggest acquisition by any team at the deadline, Hossa was a stud for the Pens scoring 12 goals and 26 points in 20 playoff games.

Stuart played solid 2nd pairing minutes for the Wings on the way to the championship. They got him for a 2nd and a 4th and he’s been solid for four seasons – just ridiculous.



Added Brad May for Mike Wall


Brought in Oleg Saprykin and a 2007 7th rounder for a 2nd rounder in 2008

Brian Burke has traded THREE times for May, it’s clear he values the pugilist (as did Randy Carlyle). Saprykin was supposed to add scoring support but he only scored two goals in his short stint in the capital. He’s in the KHL now



Picked up Dr. Mark Recchi for Niklas Nordgren, Krys Kolanos and a 2nd round pick; grabbed Doug Weight and Erkki Rajamaki for Jesse Boulerice, Mike Zigomanis, Magnus Kahnberg, a 2006 1st rounder, a 4th rounder in 2007.


Picked up Sergei Samsonov for Marty Reasoner, Yan Stastny and a 2nd rounder; acquired Dwayne Roloson for a 2006 1st rounder and a conditional 3rd; got Dick Tarnstrom for Jani Rita and Cory Cross; also Jaro Spacek for Tony Salmelainen.

The first post-lockout deadline was also the wackiest. The Hurricanes added two veterans to shore up their secondary scoring. Both Recchi and Weight scored 16 points in Carolina’s championship run.

Samsonov was also a solid 2nd line contributor – 15 points in 24 games. Spacek added 14 points from the blueline and Roloson supplanted Jussi Markkanen and Ty Conklin as Edmonton’s number one netminder. Tarnstrom played in half of the Oilers’ playoff games.


As a general rule, championship teams add defensive depth. They have already established their scoring set up. Pittsburgh’s additions of Kunitz and Guerin were exceptions to this rule, both players saw lots of 2nd line minutes and produced as hoped for (Kunitz 13 assists, Guerin 7 goals).

2006 should be considered an outlier. It was the first season after the lockout and both teams sacrificed a fair deal of their futures for instant success. That most of the talent traded away proved to be junk should be a lesson as well – both teams lack of success since then are attributable to bad scouting, bad player development, or both. Every other team since then has built their top-end in-house.