NHL trade deadline for Stanley Cup

Rhys Patterson, Sports Editor

The big names are coming off the board one by one in this year’s NHL trade deadline as contenders for the Cup are looking to improve.

The fun started early when former Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat was traded to the New York Islanders in exchange for Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Raty, and a conditional first-round pick. The move has already paid dividends for the Islanders as their goal-scoring has picked up, and they have vaulted into the first wild card spot in the East.

The Horvat move set the tone for what has been one of the craziest trade deadlines in recent memory. Other deals that could be considered ¨blockbusters¨ thus far have also included teams from the Metro. Firstly the New York Rangers acquired forward Vladimir Tarasenko and defenseman Niko Mikkola from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Sammy Blais and future assets. In response to the move, the New Jersey Devils were able to form a deal with the San Jose Sharks in which the main piece for the Devils was star forward Timo Meier in exchange for a mix of high-level prospects and draft picks. The Blues officially showed that they were in full selling mode this deadline when former Cup winner Ryan O´Reilly and center Noel Acciari were sent up north to Toronto in exchange for a plethora of draft picks.

This Tuesday saw the craziest day of the deadline by far. It started out with a simple depth move for the Carolina Hurricanes when they traded for Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi. Progressing later into the day, we saw Patrick Kane, an NHL/Blackhawks legend and three-time Stanley Cup Winner get traded to the Rangers. This move will put an already lethal Rangers offense over the top as they push for the Cup. Edmonton also made their second move of the day as they traded for Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm in exchange for Tyson Barrie and a first-round draft pick. 

On Wednesday, the Arizona Coyotes dealt a pair of defensemen Shayne Gostisbehere and Jakob Chychrun to a couple of Eastern Conference teams the Ottawa Senators and Hurricanes. A goalie swap also took place when two-time Stanley Cup winner Jonathan Quick was sent to the Columbus Blue in exchange for Joonas Korpisalo and defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov. 

The biggest winners of the deadline thus far have most definitely been the Rangers, Maple Leafs, and Islanders. Adding star players mid-season gives teams an extra boost on competition, and each of these clubs has made at least one notable addition. 

The deadline officially ends at 3 p.m. this Friday, March 3.