The NHL trade deadline was just a few weeks ago, but the fervor and fury have long subsided. Teams are settling in for one of the most competitive Stanley Cup playoffs in recent memory. No less than eight teams could drink from the silver chalice.
The trade deadline featured big teams acquiring big names. Here is how they have fared in their new digs.
#5 Evander Kane
Kane was easily the most controversial player moved at the deadline. Teams questioned his attitude and production but also vied for his services.
Friday night, Kane potted a four-goal outburst for the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks surrendered a conditional first-round choice, a conditional fourth-round pick, and older prospect Daniel O’Ragan for Kane.
In eight games played with the San Jose Sharks, Kane has five goals and five assists. The Sharks have won six of the eight games and are in second place in Pacific Division.
#4 Ian Cole
Ian Cole was not one of the top five players acquired at the trade deadline but his Penguins roots and drama merit inclusion in the recap.
Since being acquired by the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cole has two goals, two assists and 14 blocks in nine games. Cole’s ice time has continually escalated to nearly 21 minutes per game over the past two games. More importantly, the Blue Jackets have won six in a row and again hold an Eastern Conference wild-card position.
Cole has created a solid third pairing with David Savard and turned a Blue Jackets weakness into a strength.
#3 Ryan McDonagh
McDonagh finally made it into the lineup on March 10 after missing nearly one month due to a hand injury. McDonagh has played only two games with the Lightning and scored one goal.
McDonagh played on the second pairing with Dan Girardi and played over 21 minutes in a 7-4 loss to the Ottawa Senators. McDonagh somehow managed a +1 rating in the loss.
#2 Rick Nash
The Bruins went strong to the net when they acquired Nash. The Bruins gave up young forward Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey, prospect defenseman Ryan Lindgren, a first-round choice and a seventh-round pick.
In 10 games, Nash has five points (3g, 2a) and the Bruins have won seven of 10. Nash is rolling on the second line with David Krejci.
Side notes: Ryan Spooner has 13 points (2g, 11a) in nine games with the Blue Shirts. The Rangers are 5-2-2 since the trade.
#1 Derick Brassard
Brassard’s transition from the oppressive Ottawa Senators to the aggressive Pittsburgh Penguins has been uneven for both the team and player, though Bryan Rust‘s return to the Penguins lineup has provided a spark.
Brassard has one goal and three assists in nine games. The Penguins have maintained their position in the top three of the Metropolitan Division and Brassard’s improving play bodes well for the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions.