So the 2017 NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone. This one was a yawner. Not as many deals as usual and those that were made lacked significance for the most part. The big winner this year is the Washington Capitals.
FEBRUARY 27: St. Louis Blues trade D Kevin Shattenkirk and G Pheonix Copley to Washington Capitals for 2017 first-round pick, conditional draft picks and forwards Zach Sanford and Brad Malone
That was the deal, that was all it took to get Shattenkirk after more than a year on the block and mounds of speculation. The Caps will not miss the forwards dealt away and the 1st rounder is in a thin draft and will end up 25-31 most likely. I guess you could say at least St. Loius got something, but this is an epic fail for Doug Armstrong. The Blues hold onto the player all this time and then get a very limited return. Plus, they are still in the playoff picture and got no immediate help. I never understood the decision to hire Armstrong as GM and it only gets worse.
Washington adds to an already strong squad that led the league last year and continues to do so. I have long wondered if Shattenkirk was worth it for a team like the Buffalo Sabres for example, who do not have a strong supporting cast for him to rely on. However, playing for a team like the Caps that are so solid all around is ideal to allow Shattenkirk to just freewheel and skate, push that puck up, and create offense. This very well could be the deal that puts the Caps over the top and snares the Stanley Cup.
Elsewhere, the Wild improved themselves with Hanzal and White, while Pittsburgh beefed up the blueline to go with the mostly returning lineup from the Cup winners of 2016.
Finally, what this lukewarm day points to is a crazy June/July as the Entry Draft, Expanion Draft, and Free Agency all converge. It should be a hot summer of moves for the NHL after the Cup champion is crowned.