Well that certainly was an exciting finish on Monday afternoon! Most of the big names moved, a few players signed extensions, and we saw a bit of a power shift towards the West. The Tampa Bay Lightning still have to be the Stanley Cup favourites, but Nashville and Vegas certainly upped their chances with some bold moves.
There have been plenty of articles thus far covering the winners, losers, and fantasy impacts of deadline day. Here I want to review a few of the moves made by Columbus and Minnesota and discuss salary cap flexibility.
Minnesota may be going about things the wrong way, but at least you can see what direction they are trying to follow. Swapping out Nino Niederreiter (I am never not going to have to look up how to spell his name), Charlie Coyle, and Markus Granlund, for three players with lower cap hits and more years of control, gives the team more flexibility with a retooling effort, and allows the younger forwards some room to grow. However, being a team that was in a playoff position, with a 32-year old goalie, in addition to Ryan Suter and Zach Parise signed for over $7 million each until the end of time, this wasn’t the right time to try and turn over a new leaf.
Trading for young players like Ryan Donato and Kevin Fiala is a good start, but acquiring Victor Rask looks like a step backwards. That being said, this looks like a team that will have the reigns handed to the young skaters next season, where there will be space for them to thrive. Acquiring one or two of these youngsters could pay dividends for your fantasy squad, but like Minnesota, you will have to surround them with some support veterans, and they aren’t going to be cheap for long.
Pontus Aberg, Kevin Fiala, Ryan Donato, and Joel Eriksson Ek all need new contracts for next season. The flexibility that initially appears to give the Wild the options to bring in more players is going to be disappearing fast, while the team shipped out more talent than they got in return. It’s unlikely I’m going to own many, if any, Wild players to start next season, and I would recommend you proceed with caution here as well.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets have gone all-in for this season, leaving themselves with over $24 million in cap hits coming off of the books next season, and only two draft picks this coming June. They have done all this while they sit just a point ahead of the current