At any trade deadline, there are teams who, either through inactivity or inability, fail to get the job done. Here are three teams who missed the boat this season, either in the weeks leading up to the deadline or on deadline day itself.
1. Colorado Avalanche – From an Ottawa persepctive, allowing Craig Anderson to leave and getting Brian Elliott in return was bad enough for the Avs. Allowing budding power forward Chris Stewart AND budding star defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to go to St. Louis was a major mistake. Yes, they got former 1st overall pick Erik Johnson in return, but he has not impressed me very much at all, and might never develop into the dominant defesneman he was expected to be.
2. New York Rangers – They failed in their public attempts to make the biggest splash by nabbing Brad Richards from Dallas, and Bryan McCabe is a mediocre consolation prize. If Marion Gaborik cannot return to form before the post-season, the Rangers expectations will fall short this postseason due to a lack of offensive depth, which wasn’t addressed past Richards.
3. Montreal Canadiens – The Habs really failed to add size to the forward ranks, and also have gaping holes on the blue line. They did add Brett Sopel and Paul Mara, but the holes left by Spacek, Markov and Georges will not be filled by those additions.
Honourable Mentions: The TV networks, who devoted hours of live air time and many anchors, insiders, experts and guest contributors for the drivel of trades that actually occurred on deadline day, were perhaps the biggest losers. The big deals were all completed during the weeks leading up to the deadline, and the actual day was very anti-climatic.
As for teams, Los Angeles, Calgary, Detroit, Tampa all have to be considered losers on the day, if only for the fact that they didn’t fill some percieved holes, or (in Detroit’s case) stayed put while those around them took steps to improve.
For those teams perceived as losers, they will have something to prove going into the playoffs to justify their actions, or there wil be much second-guessing going on in those cities.