The Good and Bad of Trade Deadline Week: Pacific Division

Jim-Benning-e1418852294358

This is a four-part division by division look at what each team did at Wednesday’s trade deadline. Who did good and who did bad? 

The Canucks finally bit the bullet and began to sell off their aging assets, the Sharks and Ducks both made slight upgrades to their forward depth, the Flames took a gamble on a player who could help them long-term, the Coyotes went half-in on their fire sale, and the Oilers curiously stood still with their first playoff berth in a decade potentially on the horizon. At the end of it? Things probably aren’t much different than they were before. 

Anaheim Ducks

  • A 2017 conditional second round pick to the Dallas Stars for Patrick Eaves. 
  • Kenton Helgesen and a 2019 seventh round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks for Sam Carrick and Spencer Abbott. 
  • IN: Patrick Eaves, Sam Carrick, and Spencer Abbott. 
  • OUT: A 2017 second, a 2019 seventh, and Kenton Helgesen. 
The Ducks did their business well before the deadline, and then made a minor-league deal the day of to cap it off. The pick they sent to Dallas is a second rounder but can become a first if they reach the Western Conference Final and Eaves plays at least half the games. That isn’t a very high price to pay for a winger who’s gritty, skilled enough to be effective, and can play up and down the lineup. I’m guessing his already-career-high of 21 goals this season is largely due to playing with Jamie Benn, but even before his inexplicable breakout, he was a solid depth player. The Ducks didn’t deal any of their expansion-eligible defencemen, though, meaning they’re going to have to make something happen in the window before the expansion draft or risk losing somebody for nothing. 

Arizona Coyotes 

  • Michael Stone to the Calgary Flames for a 2017 third round pick and a 2018 conditional fifth round pick.
  • Martin Hanzal, Ryan White, and 2017 fourth round pick  to the Minnesota Wild for Grayson Downing, a 2017 first round pick, a 2018 second round pick, and a 2019 conditional fourth round pick.
  • Future Considerations to the Minnesota Wild for Teemu Pulkkinen.
  • Brendan Ranford to the Colorado Avalanche for Joe Whitney. 
  • Stefan Fournier to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Jeremy Morin. 
  • IN: Jeremy Morin, Joe Whitney, Teemu Pulkkinen, Grayson Downing, a 2017 first, second, and third, a 2018 conditional fifth, and a 2019 conditional fourth. 
  • OUT: Michael Stone, Martin Hanzal, Ryan White, Brendan Ranford, Stefan Fournier, a 2017 fourth, and future considerations. 
Being one of two teams completely out of playoff contention made the Coyotes an obvious deadline seller. And while they did manage to get a massive package in return for Martin Hanzal and a solid return for Michael Stone, the Coyotes allowed Radim Vrbata, perhaps their best rental asset, to slide through the deadline without getting anything of value for him. It’s not the end of the world, or anything, but a good deadline could have been a great one had John Chayka pulled in a second or first round pick for the skilled winger. It also would have gone a long way in the tanking effort, but at this point, it might be impossible to catch the Avalanche. 

Calgary Flames

  • A 2017 third round pick and a 2018 conditional fifth round pick for Michael Stone.
  • Jyrki Jokipakka and a 2017 second round pick to the Ottawa Senators for Curtis Lazar and Michael Kostka. 
  • IN: Michael Stone, Curtis Lazar, Michael Kostka. 
  • OUT: Jyrki Jokipakka, 2017 second and third, and a 2018 conditional fourth. 

A week before the deadline, the Flames shored up their blue line by acquiring Michael Stone from the Coyotes for a pair of mid-round picks. Stone isn’t a world-beater by any stretch of the imagination, but he’s certainly an upgrade on Dennis Wideman on the team’s second pair. Then, on deadline day, the Flames acquired former top prospect Curtis Lazar from the Ottawa Senators. It’s easy to dislike the trade because Lazar has become the pit of everybody’s joke this year due to his lack of production (zero goals in 33 games, yikes!), but still, Lazar probably has more of a likelihood of being an actual NHL player than the guy they would have chosen with the second rounder. He’s only 22 years old, so it’s effectively speeding up that draft pick to a prospect that’s closer to contributing, even if it’s only ever in a bottom-six role. 

Edmonton Oilers 

  • Brandon Davidson to the Montreal Canadiens for David Desharnais. 
  • Taylor Back to the New York Rangers for Justin Fontaine. 
  • IN: David Desharnais and Justin Fontaine. 
  • OUT: Brandon Davidson and Taylor Beck. 

Even though they were expected to be buyers for the first time in a decade, Peter Chiarelli remained quiet at the deadline. He made a minor-league swap of a dominant AHL scorer for somebody with actual NHL experience, and sent the likely-to-be-chosen-in-the-expansion-draft Brandon Davidson to Montreal for David Desharnais who, uh, doesn’t really fit what the team was looking for. He’s obviously an upgrade over Drake Caggiula or Anton Lander in that role, but a 5″7′ centre who doesn’t kill penalties or win face-offs isn’t exactly an ideal pickup for the club. Chiarelli suggested after the deadline that he wanted to give the group a chance to go for it and didn’t want to disrupt the chemistry, but with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl both soon to cost much more than they currently do, you have to wonder if Edmonton is letting an opportunity slide by here. 

Los Angeles Kings

  • Peter Budaj, Erik Cernak, a 2017 seventh round pick, and a 2017 conditional pick to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Ben Bishop and a 2017 fifth round pick. 
  • Dwight King to the Montreal Canadiens for a 2018 conditional fourth round pick. 
  • A 2018 conditional fourth round pick to the Colorado Avalanche for Jarome Iginla. 
  • IN: Ben Bishop, Jarome Iginla, a 2017 conditional pick, and a 2018 conditional fourth. 
  • OUT: Peter Budaj, Erik Cernak, Dwight King, and a 2018 conditional fourth. 

Currently sitting in ninth place, the Kings added Jarome Iginla and Ben Bishop in the pursuit of spring hockey. The Iginla trade essentially cost them nothing, as they don’t have to give Colorado a pick if they don’t make the playoffs or sign Iginla, and while the Bishop trade was very random, it didn’t come at a very high price. They basically spent a mid-round pick to upgrade on Peter Budaj, which is probably a good idea considering Jonathan Quick’s health. Still, though, goaltending isn’t this team’s issue. Scoring is, and it’s hard to say if Iginla can be the answer. 

San Jose Sharks

  • Nikolay Goldobin and a 2017 conditional fourth round pick to the Vancouver Canucks for Jannik Hansen. 
  • IN: Jannik Hansen. 
  • OUT: Nikolay Goldobin, and a 2017 conditional fourth. 

With another trip to the Stanley Cup Final in sight, the San Jose Sharks loaded up at the trade deadline much like they did last season. Except, this year, they grabbed a player who can, uh, actually help them in their pursuit of their first championship in franchise history. Nick Spaling and Roman Polak came at a high price last February, and neither made much of an impact during the playoffs. This time around, they added the speedy, gritty Jannik Hansen, who can fill just about any role you put him in. He’s played alongside the Sedins before, so meshing with the likes of Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski shouldn’t be an issue. It wasn’t a cheap acquisition, though, as the Sharks gave up top prospect Nikolay Goldobin, who we’ll talk about in a moment. 

Vancouver Canucks 

  • Alexandre Burrows to the Ottawa Senators for Jonathan Dahlen. 
  • Jannik Hansen to the San Jose Sharks for Nikolay Goldobin and a 2017 conditional fourth round pick. 
  • IN: Jonathan Dahlen, Nikolay Goldobin, and a 2017 conditional fourth. 
  • OUT: Jannik Hansen, and Alex Burrows. 

After a disastrous deadline last year in which they allowed two coveted rental assets, Dan Hamhuis and Radim Vrbata, to clear through the deadline without getting anything of value for them — effectively stunting an inevitable rebuild — Jim Benning finally caved. Benning moved veteran wingers Jannik Hansen and Alex Burrows in a pair of deals that netted them two very solid prospects that suddenly have Canucks fans excited about the future. It’s amazing what you can do when you pick a direction and roll with it. Now imagine how nice this prospect core would look had they started selling a year or two earlier.

  • RedMan

    i wouldn’t be surprised if Jarome and the Kings push the Blues out of their playoff pot. Jarome is a great depth addition for a team like the kings and he can definitely play their rugged playoff style

    • Pouzar99

      Guys. The Blues have a terrible road record and 8 of their next 10 are on the road. They gave up Shattenkirk for next to nothing and they have lost 4 in a row. The Kings play their next 7 in a row at home. They have a MUCH easier schedule than the Blues. Make that the next six in a row at home as they beat the Leafs and moved past the Blues into the final wild card spot tonight. Sure the Blues still have a shot, but the odds are strongly against them now. That’s just common sense.

  • TurkeyLips

    The comment on Lazar rings true:

    “He’s only 22 years old, so it’s effectively speeding up that draft pick to a prospect that’s closer to contributing, even if it’s only ever in a bottom-six role.”

    Exactly. I don’t want futures that’ll take half a decade to gauge their true value ala Jankowski. Flames are starting to present a window, and it starts next year. Lazar fits the timeline perfectly, and is likely to make a greater immediate impact and be a better positional fit than any second round magic bean ever could.

  • lucky

    Not a Flames fan (now there’s an understatement LOL) but huge Lazar fan, hated what he was going through in Ottawa. Happy for Curtis to see him go to work for a well managed club. Find your game Curtis, I’ll be cheering.

  • country mac

    Expansion draft, Vegas getting 3rd best odds in the entry draft, flat cap,and a weak draft class add up to extra caution.

    This was boring on TSN, couldnt imagine how bad it would be on sportsnet. We will probably never know because no one actually watches sportsnets coverage.

    • cberg

      Actually the opposite. Watched the whole thing on Sportsnet and although slow due to the lack of trades it was a tight and entertaining production with lots of useful content and interviews. TSN wrap-up on the other hand was a farce of goo guns and a bunch of guys who realized they are now irrelevant in the hockey market and just putting in the time because they had to….

  • MessyEH!

    Chai Pete made the Oilers better. But if Talbot goes down they’re out in the 1st round. Still he aquired more depth at center.

    Didn’t cost a whole lot. Hopefully he trades picks for players at the draft.

  • Killer Marmot

    After a disastrous deadline last year in which they allowed two coveted rental assets, Dan Hamhuis and Radim Vrbata, to clear through the deadline without getting anything of value for them — effectively stunting an inevitable rebuild — Jim Benning finally caved.

    Without knowing what was offered for Hamhuis and Vrbata, it’s impossible to criticize Benning for not trading them.

    If clubs thought that Benning was a soft touch and offered only mediocre prospects or late draft picks, then Benning was right to turn them down as a way of signalling that he entertains only serious offers. In other words, he may have set the table for better offers this year. In negotiating, you must always be prepared to say “No”.

    I don’t know that this is what happened, but then the writers for CA don’t know either.

    • Dirty30

      When Hamius stood in front of news cameras saying that he didn’t want to go, and hoped to resign with the Canucks in the summer, pretty much any deal Benning might have hoped to make likely died right there.

      A reluctant rental — yeah, any GM would be all over that … not.

      Vrbata, at that time, was making Chris Higgins look like Pavel Bure. If Vrbata had been skating any slower he would have been going back in time. His trade list was likely “where you can shove your trade” and “where the sun don’t shine”.

      Maybe Jim could have gotten scraps for those two — but equally, why should he do them any favours either.

      This time around — two reluctant to move TEAM players who helped GMJB make it happen. Both sides got what they wanted under the circumstances– win-win!

      Makes you wonder if Vrbata and Hamius had been team player types what Benning might have got done. We will never know, but it demonstrates that all the parties have to be looking at the benefits for everyone to make a good trade when there are NTC’s etc.

    • Chris the Curmudgeon

      I think if he’d sold a little harder, he could have gotten the Hamhuis deal done with Dallas that they eventually did for Russell. All the talk about “they preferred Russell” was just spin, I think, because any moron can see that Hamhuis was a far better player than Russell and would have helped them a lot more. Hammer signed there after the season, so it’s not a stretch to think he would have been willing to be traded there. Allegedly, Nill called Benning after the trade and said he would still take Hammer, but for like a 5th rounder or something, and at that point, Benning rightfully told him where he could stick his low draft pick. So, in that sense, I think JB screwed that part of it up, but partially redeemed himself in my eyes if he did indeed tell Nill to cram it on his low ball offer after the fact.

      If you believe the rumors, Vrbata submitted a list of non-playoff teams as the only places he’d accept a trade, meaning that he basically nixed it. Not sure why anyone would do that (if I were a pro hockey player, I’d be chomping at the bit to be a rental if my contract was expiring), but if you’re going to give out NTCs, that’s the player’s prerogative.

      • Killer Marmot

        Your and Dirty30’s post demonstrate an important point: The fans rarely have the full story and often have to rely on hunches and rumours. We should recognize that when criticizing management over particular deals (or non-deals).

        The best evaluation of competence is in the long-term results. So far Benning’s results are a mixed bag, but then he was dealt a tough hand when he came on board.

  • JuiceBox

    “Radim Vrbata, perhaps their best rental asset, to slide through the deadline without getting anything of value for him. It’s not the end of the world, or anything, but a good deadline could have been a great one had John Chayka pulled in a second or first round pick for the skilled winger”

    So was John Chyka just supposed to sprinkle his magic fairy dust and create a buyer for Vrbata out of thin air? You can’t sell what no one wants to buy.

  • TD

    Arizona couldn’t trade Vrbata this year when he had a great season, why does that make you think Benning could have traded Vrbata last year after a horrible season. Plus from what has been said, Vrbata gave only non-playoff teams on his list. Hamhuis gave two teams, Chicago did’t add to the defence last year. Dallas was a possibility, but apparently Hamhuis took 2 days to talk to his wife once the trade was framed up. Dallas became understandably impatient and went with Russell. I wanted JB to make the trades last year, but if the rumours were true it was not within his control.

  • Kurri_Flavor

    Biggest winners of trade deadline day are the people (like myself) who loved watching Jay and Dan on TSN. Welcome back to Canada, where your shenanigans are much more appreciated!

  • Still an Oiler Fan

    I get the impression Benning has/had a lot of no trade/move (limited move) contracts that the previous regime had signed.

    I could care less if Vancouver ever makes the playoffs again, but lets be clear here, his hands were tied on a lot of these contracts other teams knew this.

    Thank-you Mike Gillis

    • DJ_44

      in the interest of accuracy. …Hamhuis had a full NTC from Gillis and he exercised it which was his right. Vrbata had an 8 team approved list modified NTC coutesy of Benning

      This year, Burrows and Hansen’s NTC/modified NTC were from Gillis; Miller’s modified (five team list) NTC came from Benning.

  • I agree that Chiarelli missed an opportunity to rent big while McD and Drai are still on ELC.

    But maybe Chiarelli wants to see how this group can progress without that big rental to maintain the chemistry going into the run next year. McD, Drai, and Talbs will only improve.

    • freelancer

      With the exception of Shattenkirk, no deadline players were going to be the big sexy push to make the Oilers cup contenders. The issue with this team right now is how many key players have little to no playoff experience. If McDavid, Nuge, Drai, and Eberle struggle in their first post season; no amount of Parentaus, Staffords, or Vaneks was going to make them a contender.

      • Natejax97

        Big sexy Boyle or Big Sexy Hanzal would have been a good addition to the run and definitely made a difference. A healthy Sharp, that would have made a difference.

        Makes me angry that we had no second rounder this year. I think Chia would have used it…

        I don’t have an opinion on David D. Haven’t watched him play enough. All that I know is that Chia makes a lot of moves that revolve around balance and chemistry, so if Chia, who believes in big players, trades a great prosect like Davidson, for a 5′ 7″ 177 pound center, I have to believe that he knows it will have a positive effect on this hockey team.

        Welcome to Edmonton David!! Hope it goes very well and you can help out our young core!

  • Jason78

    Honestly, benning won’t win GM of the year, or any time soon… Vancouver is in such disrepair, no vrbarta/hamhuis trade would’ve mattered. The scouting department has been terrible. And historically terrible. Patrick white, Cody hodgson, jordon Schroeder, Patrick McNally, Nicklaus Jensen, Brendan Gaunce, Bo Horvat, Jake virtanen, Brock boesser, and Olli Juolevi and vancouvers top picks each year from 2007 up… basically the last ten entry drafts. This is a GM that has traded ,or let go, the likes of Kessler, garrison, kassian, bieksa, edler, hamhuis, Hansen, Dale Weise, yanik weber, Shawn Matthias, and eddy lack!
    Sorry for all these player names, but for those who think that Vancouvers rebuild is going to be fast and efficient, it won’t be…. as long as Benning ( and I hate to say Linden ) are running the show…