By: Eric Cohen

Monday, February 26, 2018

Ok, the deadline has come and past. Over the final few days before the 3pm deadline quite a few blockbuster deals have been completed. Here is my analysis. 
Losers: Boston Bruins. I don't get what they were thinking trading Ryan Spooner, Ryan Lindgren and Matt Beleskey along with a 1st and 7th round pick for Rick Nash. The Rangers got a kings ransom for an older player who has not been a good playoff performer the last few years on broadway. The Bruins have over achieved this year and while they have been dominant for the last few years they appear to have peaked too soon. The Bruins have now lost 2 in a row and have lost twice to Buffalo in 3 weeks. They will finish 2nd or 3rd in the Atlantic and in my opinion will lose to the Maple Leafs in the first round. Boston over reacted to their surprising success and will live to regret this Nash trade. 

I like Winnipeg getting Paul Stastny. They didn't give up a ton and Stastny brings depth to a very solid line up. Next to Nashville, Winnipeg might be the 2nd best team in the West. I am not sure what St.Louis was thinking? Other than knowing Stastny was a FA and not wanting to pay him, they are on the outside looking in when it comes to playoffs and will finish the season with a weaker line up. While Winnipeg is destined for a playoff run, the Blues will now more than likely miss out on the playoffs. 
The Lightning are the most dangerous team in the East and got better acquiring Ryan McDonagh from New York. They also picked up a good forward in JT Miller and solidified themselves as the team to beat in the East. 

Not far behind Tampa Bay is the 2-time defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins. It took a while but they got their man in Derrick Brassard. The Pens have incredible depth up the middle in Malkin, Crosby and Brassard. Brassard has a lot of experience playing against Pittsburgh in the playoffs as a member of the Jackets, Rangers and Senators. Last year when Ottawa went to game 7 of the East Final he was a huge contributor and will fit in very well in the Penguins line up. 
The Rangers and Red Wings both did very well getting solid packages for their assets. Both teams will miss the playoffs but are set up well for the future. Ottawa did not trade Erik Karlsson, and Montreal did not move Max Pacioretty, look for both guys to possibly be moved in the off-season. 
Enjoy the rest of the year and I will be back for my NHL playoff preview and picks in April.