Deals earn pluses, mi­nuses

The 2017 NHL trade dead­line might have been a rel­a­tively quiet one, but there were a few no­table cases in which teams or play­ers emerged as clear win­ners and losers. As a former mem­ber of sev­eral NHL front of­fices, here’s my run­down of those who clearly m

The Washington Post Sunday - - HOCKEY - BY FRANK PROVENZANO sports@wash­ Frank Provenzano is a former as­sis­tant gen­eral man­ager with the Dal­las Stars and Wash­ing­ton Cap­i­tals. He is a former con­trib­u­tor at ESPN.


Wash­ing­ton Cap­i­tals

The trade dead­line can be a dan­ger­ous time of year, and I be­lieve teams make the best trades when they don’t feel they have to make them. The Caps are cur­rently the best team in the NHL and were prob­a­bly con­tent to go into the play­offs with their ros­ter as is. In­stead, they went out and spent a low first-round pick in a draft year widely re­garded as sub­par, plus a de­cent (but not top) prospect and a lit­tle ex­tra to get the best rental player at the po­si­tion of great­est scarcity in de­fense­man Kevin Shat­tenkirk. Well played. Jim Ben­ning

The Van­cou­ver Canucks’ gen­eral man­ager clearly learned some lessons from last year’s botched fi­asco with Dan Hamhuis (when he asked for the player to waive his no-trade clause, failed to trade him and then lost him in free agency) and turned two bot­tom-six for­wards in their 30s (Alex Bur­rows and Jan­nik Hansen) into two solid prospects dur­ing a dead­line in which most teams were only will­ing to part with draft picks. There was a sense that this was do-or-die time for the Van­cou­ver man­age­ment team, and Ben­ning reached into his scout­ing back­ground and de­liv­ered.

Detroit Red Wings

I have the Wings listed as win­ners not so much for their fairly sub­stan­tial seller’s haul (one sec­ond, three thirds, one sixth-round pick and a pro­ject in Dy­lan McIl­rath) but for the fact that this proud fran­chise has fi­nally come to terms with the task of re­build­ing that has re­al­is­ti­cally been due for a cou­ple of sea­sons. It has been a tough year in Mo­town both on and off the ice, but if there is an or­ga­ni­za­tion that can re­bound rel­a­tively quickly, it’s the Red Wings.

Kevin Shat­tenkirk

When it comes to free agency, play­off suc­cess gets a player paid. Shat­tenkirk was al­ready likely go­ing to be the most sought-af­ter de­fense­man on the un­re­stricted free agent lists of a num­ber of teams in July. If he adds a deep play­off run to his ré­sumé this spring, it will only serve to bol­ster his al­ready strong ne­go­ti­at­ing lever­age in the sum­mer.

Alexan­dre Bur­rows

The 35-year-old, fourth-line winger got to dic­tate where he landed through his no-trade clause and was also able to par­lay that lever­age into a two-year deal at $2,500,000 per sea­son with the Ot­tawa Sen­a­tors, which is sig­nif­i­cantly more than I be­lieve he would have been able to com­mand on the open mar­ket this sum­mer.

Losers New York Is­lan­ders

New York stood pat at the trade dead­line while ev­ery­one around it in the race for the fi­nal East­ern Con­fer­ence play­off spot added at least a piece or two to their NHL ros­ters. While I don’t know what, if any, con­ver­sa­tions the Is­lan­ders have had with cen­ter John Tavares re­gard­ing the di­rec­tion of the or­ga­ni­za­tion and its com­mit­ment to win­ning, their si­lence dur­ing the 48 hours be­fore the dead­line might speak vol­umes to their fran­chise player who is el­i­gi­ble for free agency in 2018 and whose con­tract ex­ten­sion talks are just four months away.

St. Louis Blues

The Blues have to be dis­ap­pointed that their sea­son-long Shat­tenkirk sweep­stakes net­ted them ba­si­cally the same return that the Coy­otes re­ceived for Martin Han­zal (a late first-round pick and a B-level prospect). What stings even more is that they didn’t bring any­thing back to help them hold on to the eighth play­off spot in the West. The trickle of tal­ent out of St. Louis that started af­ter last spring’s loss in the con­fer­ence fi­nals has turned into a tor­rent.

Marc-An­dre Fleury

Poor Fleury. The salary cap, ex­pan­sion and fate have all con­spired to keep the classy vet­eran in ros­ter pur­ga­tory. The Pen­guins net­min­der has had the Pittsburgh net only six times in 2017 and has pre­dictably strug­gled to find con­sis­tency, which doesn’t do much to im­prove his trade value as he searches for a new home. Hav­ing said that, op­por­tu­ni­ties in an NHL crease can change in an in­stant dur­ing the play­offs, and be­ing the backup on a de­fend­ing Stan­ley Cup cham­pion is not the worst place to be in the hockey world.

Dal­las Stars

It’s hard to be­lieve, but Dal­las fin­ished sec­ond over­all in the NHL last sea­son and was a Game 7 win away from a berth in the Western Con­fer­ence fi­nals. Had the Stars lost to the Pen­guins on the night be­fore this year’s dead­line, they would have been in po­si­tion to draft third over­all. The good news: Dal­las Gen­eral Man­ager Jim Nill is one of the best in the busi­ness. The bad news: The Stars have a core group that is on the older side by mod­ern NHL stan­dards, and with a mega­con­tract set to kick in for star for­ward Jamie Benn next year, Dal­las needs to win now and there is a lot of work to be done.


John Tavares didn’t get any new help with the New York Is­lan­ders.


Kevin Shat­tenkirk gives the Cap­i­tals an­other proven de­fense­man.

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