This was one of the more fascinating trade deadline days in recent memory. Many big names were moved which has impacted the fantasy hockey landscape immensely. Some players were even traded to their third team this season. Let’s take a look at some of the major deals and how your fantasy team may have been affected.
– Thomas Vanek: traded from Buffalo to NY Islanders to Montreal. Vanek was an excellent addition to the Canadiens, as they need another goal scorer on their roster after Daniel Briere was a bust this season. He will help out the younger stars such as Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher, as Vanek makes the players around him better. He is great on the power-play as he has 16 PPP, and is a consistent point scorer with 21G-33A-54P.
– Marian Gaborik: traded from Columbus to Los Angeles. Gaborik has been sidelined most of the season with a knee injury and a broken collarbone. If he can stay healthy, the Kings have just added a scoring machine on an already loaded roster. The Kings put Gaborik on the first line with Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams. Gaborik has 14P in 25 games this season and with the talent that the Kings have, the last stretch of the season we could see him get his groove back just in time for the fantasy playoffs.
– Martin St. Louis: traded from Tampa Bay to NY Rangers. The Rangers gave up a boatload for St. Louis, who is 38 years old but has put up excellent stats this season (29G-33A-62P) and 19 PPP. In Tampa Bay he got to play with Steven Stamkos. In New York, he will have Rick Nash to play alongside and they have stellar goaltending with Henrik Lundqvist. He may not put up the fantasy numbers as he did in Tampa, but he may be just what the Rangers need to put them over the top and win the Cup.
– Ryan Callahan: traded from NY Rangers to Tampa Bay. The Rangers traded their captain to increase their scoring for the playoffs and hope to make a run within the next year or two as the Rangers have some key aging players. Callahan is a huge physical force with 145 hits and 50 blocked shots while also putting up a solid 11G-16A-27P, 7 PPP. He is a perfect fit on this Tampa squad that is very young. They have several prospects playing up now and who better to learn the game from Stamkos and Callahan. I can see Callahans’ assist totals boosted in the final stretch of the season here as he creates space for the young group of snipers taking over for the departed veterans within the last year.
– Matt Moulson: traded from NY Islanders to Buffalo to Minnesota. Moulson is a talented goal scorer and will fit right in on this Wild team. He adds veteran scoring depth, and if he was effective with the last place Buffalo Sabres, you can just imagine what he could do with talent all around him in Minnesota. The addition of Cody McCormick will also create space for the winger to do his thing. Once some chemistry is established, Minnesota can make a deep playoff run. Moulson has put up a solid 18G-22A-40P this season while playing on three different teams. Moulsons’ biggest impact for the Wild will be his special teams play as he has 17 PPP. He will put up bigger numbers now on a more balanced and deep Wild team.
– Steve Ott: traded from Buffalo to St. Louis. The Blues traded for Steve Ott, the former Sabres captain. They are getting a player that every team covets, especially just before the playoffs. He will protect his teammates and set the tone each game. He won’t score much in the offensive categories for you but will still continue to rack up Hits and Blocked Shots as he did in Buffalo for Ryan Miller, who also joined the Blues in the same trade. Ott has put up 9G-12A-21P, 8 PPP, a whopping 206 hits and 30 blocked shots
– Raphael Diaz: traded from Montreal to Vancouver to NY Rangers. Diaz is a solid defenseman (28 years old but only 2 NHL seasons) that does very well on the defensive side of things, but is not afraid to jump in on the play. He has 1G-12A-13P, 50 SOG, 3 PPP, 30 hits and 107 blocked shots. He won’t put up much offense the rest of the season but his defensive stats should stay the same just playing a simple game until he finds chemistry with a defensive partner, which may not happen until next season. He is a serviceable top-4 defenseman that may see more ice-time as the Rangers dealt away Michael Del Zotto to Nashville in January. With the addition of Martin St. Louis, Diaz may see an increase in power-play time as the Rangers look to become more offensive-minded.
– Michael Del Zotto: traded from NY Rangers to Nashville. A solid, young (23 years old), all-round defenseman that Nashville was smart to acquire. He plays a well-balanced game, contributing to all fantasy categories across the board. His stats this year are 2G-12A-14P, 78 SOG, 5 PPP, 65 hits and 68 blocked shots. He will learn a lot from defenseman Shea Weber and also help bring along rookie d-man Seth Jones. Look for continued consistency in Nashville as this trade should only help Del Zottos’ career.
– Andrew MacDonald: traded from NY Islanders to Philadelphia. MacDonald joins his former Islander teammate Mark Streit in Philadelphia. This may be the only thing that saves his career with this trade. Philadelphia is a mediocre team that has plenty of holes up and down it’s roster. They seem to be trying to fix some of the holes on defense by bringing in Streit in the offseason and now trading for MacDonald. MacDonald has 4G-21A-25P, 11 PPP, 58 hits and 205 blocked shots. Streit has 8G-22A-30P, 12 PPP, 34 hits and 83 blocked shots. Both are offensively gifted defensemen and the Flyers need all the help they can get from their blue-line. Statistically this looks like a great pick up for Philadelphia, but when all is said and done MacDonald won’t be able to sustain his scoring touch as the Flyers are a couple stars away from becoming a very dangerous team. For the rest of this season at least, look for MacDonalds’ stats to decline slightly.
– Ryan Miller: traded from Buffalo to St. Louis. This was thee blockbuster move of 2014’s trade deadline. The Blues needed to shore up their goaltending in order to make a serious run deep into the playoffs and possibly contend for the Cup. Ryan Miller is that missing piece. With an extremely better team in front of him, Miller will seem unstoppable and will revert back to his Vezina Trophy winning form. Start Miller every chance you get as his stats are going to skyrocket. Miller has a better defense, guys that can actually score goals on a consistent basis and a very deep team with the right mixture of young talent and veteran presence, especially since the Blues also got former Sabres captain Steve Ott in the same deal. This is going to be one scary team come playoff time and Millers’ stats have already shown improvement since leaving Buffalo as he has a 5-0-1-0 record since becoming the Blues starter and has a 1.82 GAA, .924 SV%, has allowed 11 goals in 6 games but still has yet to record a shutout this season. This year in Buffalo, in 40 games played, Miller went a dismal 15-22-3-3 with a 2.72 GAA, a .923 SV% and allowed 108 goals in 40 games. He kept the Sabres in every game he played this year for them but the team in front of him could not do anything with it. The Blues have a 2-3 year window that they will be good enough to contend for the Cup. Acquiring Miller may have just pushed them over the edge and into Stanley Cup discussions.
– Viktor Fasth: traded from Anaheim to Edmonton. Edmonton needed help in goal very badly as they traded away Devan Dubnyk to Nashville. Fasth was wasting away on the Anaheim bench after the emergence of Frederik Andersen and entrenched starter Jonas Hiller. Andersen made Fasth expendable and will get the chance to earn the starting job in Edmonton, as the Oilers also traded for Ben Scrivens from the Kings. Scrivens is going to be a solid backup in Edmonton and eventually Fasth will win the starting job as he has more potential upside than Scrivens, despite being four years older. Goalies are different than skaters, as goalies tend to get better with age as they have more experience and their bodies don’t take nearly as much a beating as a skaters’ body does. Edmonton had acquired Scrivens back in January and have seen more of him to date, but his stats are pedestrian to this point. Fasth has played one game for the Oilers, a shootout win over Minnesota. Fasth has played in 31 career NHL games thus far compared to Scrivens 62, but Fasth will win the job in the long run.
– Ilya Bryzgalov: traded from Edmonton to Minnesota. This was a necessary move by the Wild as Backstrom has had injury problems this season and Josh Harding is having complications due to his multiple sclerosis. If Minnesota had any ideas of making a post-season run, they needed to get a goaltender who was healthy and has experience, especially in the playoffs. With a solid team in front of him, Bryzgalov will look like his old self again. He has only played in one game, a shootout loss to the Blues, but has a 1.88 GAA and a .909 SV% compared to 20 games played for Edmonton where he went 5-8-5-1, a 3.01 GAA and a .908 SV% with 1 shutout. Minnesota is a much better team than Edmonton at this point so we should see Bryzgalov thrive in Minnesota for the rest of the season.
– Tim Thomas: traded from Florida to Dallas. This is an excellent move by the Stars as they pick up a Stanley Cup and Vezina Trophy winning goaltender in Thomas who has played well this season after taking last season off. The Stars goaltending needed some help after starter Kari Lehtonen went down with a concussion. The Stars rolled with Dan Ellis and Christopher Nilstorp but that just was not cutting it. Dallas sent Ellis to Florida for Thomas who has gone 2-0-0-0 with a 1.56 GAA and a .944 SV% since becoming the starter in Dallas. Start him with confidence as Thomas makes the Stars better just with his presence alone.
– Roberto Luongo: traded from Vancover to Florida. Florida traded for their former star goaltender, making Tim Thomas expendable as they sent him to Dallas for backup goalie Dan Ellis. In order for Florida to acquire Luongo, they needed to give up prized prospect Jacob Markstrom to Vancouver. Markstrom was wasting away on the Florida bench behind Tim Thomas and he now has a chance to start for Vancouver. Since coming back to Florida, Luongo has gone 1-2-0-0 in 3 games, 1 shutout, a 2.37 GAA and a .924 SV%. Not bad stats but not good either. It is Roberto Luongo and you still must start him the rest of the season. He will find his groove in the last part of the season and Florida has a young, up and coming team in front of him that can score so look for Luongo to add to that win column and take full advantage of it and anymore shutouts he may throw in along the way. Since coming to Vancouver, Markstrom has not started a game, but has come in to play the third period of a game where Vancouver starter Eddie Lack was pulled. Markstrom is only 1-6-3-2 in 13 games this season in the NHL with a 3.51 GAA and a .872 SV% with no shutouts. So unless Eddie Lack really falters in this last part of the season, Markstrom looks to be the backup and may not get his shot until next season. But anything can happen so keep a close eye on this situation. Markstrom has great potential, maybe all he needs is a better team in front of him as he will certainly have in Vancouver as opposed to the younger roster skating for Florida.
As trade deadline day 2013-2014 concluded some very big names were on the move. More so than ever, the big trades made seem to have helped most of the players involved and given them potential to flourish for their new teams fighting for playoff spots and making your fantasy teams better than they were before the trade deadline. It is almost like trading for players on your team, only their real life team has done it for you, shaken the lineup up a bit and all you need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the rest of the season because your fantasy teams just got better and you didn’t even have to do anything to your roster.