For once, the NHL trade deadline produced a flurry of exciting and head scratching moves. Two of the best goalies in the world got traded, two team captains were swapped for each other and a handful of big name journeymen found new homes. How does this effect my Stanley Cup picks? Read on to find out.
NHL Post Trade Deadline Stanley Cup Picks
Roberto Luongo To The Sunshine State
It’s perhaps the strangest move I’ve ever seen at the deadline. Luongo is one of the best goalies in the league bar none. He’s been unfairly blamed for the Canucks’ post season problems when the actual issue was the Sedin twins and a lack of physical forechecking, which is absolutely necessary in the playoffs. Luongo now returns to the team that traded him to Vancouver initially, bringing his career full circle and allowing him to escape the wrath of Canucks fans who are suddenly stuck with Eddie Lack as their only goal tender.
In a reactionary move, Florida has also dealt goalie Tim Thomas to Dallas.
To review, the Canucks have now traded Corey Schneider and Roberto Luongo for three role players. Considering how vital a solid netminder is to the health and welfare of a franchise, I’m not sure you can consider Vancouver as a long term Stanley Cup pick in the wake of the NHL trade deadline. The fans are inches away from turning on the front office. And this is a fan base that burned its city to the ground after losing the Stanley Cup a few years ago…there’s no telling how ugly this is going to get down the stretch.
Luongo won’t have to worry about the playoffs this year (the Panthers are well out of contention) but at least he won’t have to be in Vancouver for the upcoming disaster.
Ryan Miller To St. Louis
As for the best NHL trade deadline move? You’re looking at it right here. Ryan Miller has long been one of the best goalies in the world, he’s just been stuck on the pathetic Buffalo Sabres. Miller now gets to play on one of the best teams in the league, and one of the best defensive teams out there. The Blues rank second in goals for and third in goals against. Miller is going to have the time of his life finally playing for a contender, and if any team’s value has sky rocketed as a Stanley Cup pick it’s the St. Louis Blues. They were already hovering in that 5-to-1 range but the oddsmakers wont’ drop them much lower than that. Buy buy buy!
Marion Gaborik To Hollywood
There was a time in NHL history when Gaborik was one of the most electric players alive, but the very element that made him unstoppable eventually took him down. Gaborik was always known for having incredible skating technique, squatting impossibly low to the ground and busting through defensive lines with impressive pace. Lower body injuries eventually subdued the speedster in Minnesota and other injuries have piled up as well.
A part of me still loves the idea of Marion Gaborik, but he’s also excessively injury prone. This is the second consecutive year Gaborik has been dealt at the NHL trade deadline, and the Kings were already amongst the best teams to bank on in Stanley Cup picks. This trade doesn’t necessarily move the needle either way.
Martin St. Louis for Ryan Callahan
How important is your team captain? Well the Rangers and Lighting just swapped theirs, except New York sent Tampa Bay a first and second rounder as well. This is an intriguing move for a few reasons, but the biggest is that these two teams could meet in the first round of the playoffs. Callahan and St. Louis are both great players in their own respects, and this has more to do with St. Louis’s relationship with Lighting general manager Steve Yzerman than anything else.
Dustin Penner To D.C.
Penner, who has always been a steady soldier in the NHL ranks, is an almost ideal fit on the wing for the top line that’s anchored by Alexander Ovechkin. The Capitals gave up a fourth rounder for the rental of Penner, a 6-foot-4 and 245-pound beast of a lefty. Perhaps the most important part that Penner brings to Washington is his championship experience. Penner has won a Stanley Cup with the Ducks and Kings, and could bring some of that all-important swagger to a team that is a perennial disaster in the post season. It is enough to make Washington one of your Stanley Cup picks when you spread your spare change around in the futures market?