Every year on the day of the NHL trade deadline, we all gather around and watch TSN twiddle their thumbs until about 2PM when everything begins to happen.
But the best part of deadline day is figuring out who won, and who lost. Let's name the top 5 winners and losers of the last little while leading up to today, and including today.
San Jose Sharks - The Sharks brought in two 2nd round picks, two conditional 2nd round picks, a 3rd round pick from Florida that's essentially a late second round pick, Scott Hannan, and Raffi Torres, while trading away Ryane Clowe, Douglas Murray, Michael Handzus, a 3rd round pick, and a 7th round pick. The Sharks shed salary, shed 3 players who weren't helping them win, added a slight upgrade on defense and a gritty forward. The package of picks they acquired could allow an aggressive general manager like Doug Wilson to trade up to grab a top 5 pick in the draft, instantly bringing San Jose back among the elite teams while Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau begin to age.
Boston Bruins - The Bruins added Jaromir Jagr and Wade Redden to bolster both their forwards and their blueline for an upcoming playoff run, giving up two prospects of minimal value in Lane MacDermid and Cody Payne, a conditional 2nd round pick, and a conditional 7th round pick. The Bruins adding scoring for their struggling powerplay, and some playoff experience for relatively minimal cost. Undeniably good moves by Peter Chiarelli after losing out on Jarome Iginla.
Columbus Blue Jackets - The Blue Jackets acquired star goal scorer Marian Gaborik, depth forward Blake Comeau, backup Michael Leighton, and a 3rd round pick. They gave up John Moore, Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, Steve Mason, and a 5th round pick. The loss of John Moore may come back to bite Columbus, but getting anything at all for Steve Mason is hilarious and makes them a winner.
Pittsburgh Penguins - The Penguins added Jarome Iginla, Jussi Jokinen, Brendan Morrow, Douglas Murray and a 3rd round pick. They lost top defense prospect Joe Morrow, a 5th round pick, a 2nd round pick, a conditional 2nd round pick, a 1st round pick, Kenneth Agostino, Ben Hanowski, and a conditional 7th round pick. They gave up a ton of assets, and most of the players they acquired are no longer as good as their names look on paper, but the instantaneous depth they've added without losing any roster players will make them a load for anyone to handle in the postseason.
Toronto Maple Leafs - I know, it sounds ridiculous, but the Leafs are winners because of the trades they didn't make. Remember how yesterday it was an absolute certainty that they were going to give up assets for Miikka Kiprusoff? Not doing that makes them a winner. Ryan O'Byrne isn't bad enough to mitigate this.
Philadelphia Flyers - The Flyers brought in Steve Mason, Jay Rosehill, and Kent Huskins, while losing Michael Leighton, a 3rd round pick, a conditional pick, and Harry Zolnierczyk. None of these moves are disastrous for Philadelphia's future, but giving up picks in a year where you're nearly in lottery position doesn't make any sense, and doing it for Steve Mason is downright hilarious. Philly and goaltending, man.
New York Rangers - The Rangers brought in Ryane Clowe, Derick Brassard, John Moore, Derek Dorsett, and a 6th round pick. The lost Marian Gaborik, a second round pick, a conditional 2nd round pick, and a 3rd round pick that's essentially a low second round pick. The Rangers are trying to make the playoffs right now, and they made themselves worse with these moves. The only piece that they brought in that has real value is John Moore, and the price in comparison to that asset is pretty disastrous when you consider how deep the 2013 draft is.
Calgary Flames - Calgary brought Mark Cundari, Reto Berra, a first round pick (if St. Louis makes the playoffs), another first round pick, Kenneth Agostino, Ben Hanowski, and a 5th round pick, but they lost two star players in Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester, along with Blake Comeau. When you trade star players and go into rebuild mode, you absolutely have to maximize the return on your assets, and the Flames failed to do so. Jay Feaster isn't the biggest loser at the deadline simply because he trolled Boston, which is awesome.
Who are your winners and losers?