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Central Division Trade Deadline Report - The Final Weekend

"The saddest words of tongue or pen: what might have been." -Some NHL GM

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

As the weekend begins, the NHL finds itself in the thralls of Trade Deadline hysteria. With only a few nights left to sleep on their decisions, general managers have to quickly make up their minds on how to handle their teams. Some have already gotten a head start.

The Central division is rife with potential Stanley Cup winners and dark horses, so now that we're in the final weekend before the deadline, let's nitpick what they've done and what they haven't.

Chicago Blackhawks


Nothing of note.

**UPDATE**: Noted reader of this site Stan Bowman has traded a second round pick and a conditional pick in 2016 for Kimmo Timonen. This is an interesting piece. He doesn't cost much, and will likely play on the third pairing. Chicago's biggest issue is the second pairing and finding someone better than Johnny Oduya to play with Niklas Hjalmarsson. Chances are that Chicago might've gotten the memo.


Chicago needs help on defense, and they'll be without Patrick Kane until the third round if they're lucky. While Chicago doesn't need too much more on offense (remember, Patrick Sharp was playing third and fourth line minutes), their defense corps could use a real shot in the arm. It hasn't happened. Franson and Sekera went to other teams in the west. So unless they make some silly move for someone like Dion Phaneuf, I SEE YOU LAUGHING, the Hawks will be going into the playoffs with a flawed team that will need to outscore the Blues.

Good luck.

Colorado Avalanche


Well, they still have Ryan O'Reilly for the stretch run you guys!


Trade Ryan O'Reilly for assets to fix this team. Or Jarome Iginla. Or even Danny Briere. Nope. The Avs are holding on for that playoff run, you guys.

Dallas Stars


Got hurt  and real depressed. Oh, and they exiled traded Anders Lindback to Buffalo for Jhonas Enroth to add some depth to their goalie situation.


Panicked. The Stars have their best days ahead of them, and there's no need for them to blow their prospect pool on this team. They can unload some veterans at the deadline if they feel inclined, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them stand pat.

Minnesota Wild


The Wild made a very smart addition of Sean Bergenheim. In addition to him being a good playoff performer, he fits what the Wild does. He's a solid possession player that for some reason wasn't getting minutes for Florida. The price the Wild paid for Bergenheim wasn't much, considering that he's a smart rental player that many teams could've used.

Meanwhile, Florida is like "DOESN'T MATTER, HAS JAGR."


Chuck Fletcher has enough on his hands trying to re-sign their RFA's, so I'm a bit surprised that he didn't try to add some more size on the blue line or those other things that typical playoff run teams do. But he also didn't move off important prospects that this team is counting on. In order for the Wild to remain in the hunt after this year, guys like Erik Haula and Mikael Granlund will need to be retained in order for their depth to be effective and cost-efficient. And Minnesota is on track to grab one of the Wild Card spots if they can keep this up. However, their playoff hopes are riding on a resurgent Devan Dubnyk playing at his career best. There is no insurance policy.

Nashville Predators


David Poile can be a wizard on some days. While Brendan Leipsic is a talented yet undersized prospect, he'll be missed in Milwaukee. But keep this in mind - many would argue that Viktor Arvidsson had surpassed him in the depth chart, and then there's Kevin Fiala. There are only so many spots on Nashville's roster open for NHL players. Just ask Austin Watson.

Leipsic was paired with a first round pick and traded to Toronto for Cody Franson, Mike Santorelli, and the luxury of no longer paying Olli Jokinen to not score goals anymore.

Santorelli adds depth and speed to Nashville's third line, and Franson gives Nashville another puck-moving defenseman who can shoot. And he's big. More importantly (possibly), Franson is playing for Nashville and not Chicago, who desperately needed someone like him.


Nashville's top line center is their worst in the faceoff circle. They can get away with this most nights thanks to having Paul Gaustad and Mike Fisher, but most all of the Western Conference contenders have a true top center who is competent on faceoffs, and has above average size. Nashville does not. This will likely be addressed this summer when the draft order is settled, as acquiring this type of player from another team would cost more assets that Nashville is depending on both currently and in the future. With a team that's poised to win the division, David Poile knows better than to mess with the build of this team during the season. But last summer proved he's not afraid to swap pieces to fix this issue.

St. Louis Blues


They swapped Maxim LaPierre for Marcel Goc. That's it. It's February 27th.


Address Paul Stastny's line. The Blues aren't happy with Patrik Berglund up to this point, and already have good options at center. Given the premium on centers this year, Berglund can fetch a decent return by himself. The Blues have been quite while other options at wing (see above and below) went to other Western teams. Unless Curtis Glencross is going to save the day, the Blues might want to aim high with this deadline. Oh BTW, Vladimir Tarasenko is in a contract year. This might be a good year for Doug Armstrong to do something (and upgrade the roster instead of making a lateral move).

Winnipeg Jets


Right or wrong, the Jets made the biggest move. Swapping Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian for Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford is a lateral move as a whole, but the Jets also snared a first round pick out of this deal. I've owned cars smaller than Tyler Myers. So now the Jets defense features guys like Dustin Byfuglien, Toby Enstrom, Mark Stuart, Jacob Trouba, and now Tyler Myers. That's good now, and going to get a little better next year. Then they added Jiri Tlusty for spare change, and he can play in several roles on the ice. Well done.


Frankly, not much. They upgraded their defense and offence, and didn't sacrifice their prospect pool. Is Kane going to be missed on the score sheet? Yes. But Stafford isn't a massive downgrade, and Myers is playing like an upgrade from Bogosian. The Jets addressed multiple needs, and gained a first round pick while improving this year's team.