– – – Trade Tracker Here – – –

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UPDATE: Ottawa has traded prospect Aaron Luchuk and a 2020 seventh rounder to Montreal for Matthew Peca

The Rangers have re-signed Chris Kreider. They have also announced that Pavel Buchnevich and Igor Shesterkin were in a car accident Sunday night. Shesterkin has cracked ribs and will miss two to four weeks (likely four). This is a devastating blow to the Rangers’ playoff hopes as Shesterkin was their one hope to get there.

The Leafs traded Michael Hutchinson to Colorado for Calle Rosen.

Anaheim trades Derek Grant to Philadelphia for Kyle Criscuolo and a fourth-round pick.

Montreal trades Nate Thompson to Philadelphia for a fifth-round pick.

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As it was with every Deadline Day dating back to 2006, I will be breaking down every trade from a fantasy standpoint. This usually means overkill analysis on bit players traded in the morning…followed by churning out article after article of awesomeness that will take me until five o'clock (i.e. two hours after the deadline) to finally get caught up. Be sure to check in throughout the day and we have a Trade Deadline Tracker for your convenience and all the links you need – right here.

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After catching the Penguins – Capitals game my first idea was to spend some time discussing how I felt that the Capitals could come out of the East. I really love their fortitude. Their ability to prevail. This thought had been in my head for a couple of weeks now, and adding a defenseman like Brendan Dillon made it even better. But then Sunday night the team added Ilya Kovalchuk.

There are two ways that this could go. The one I hope that Todd Reirden employs – fit Kovalchuk around their current talent. Or the other option where they force Kovy onto a top line and top PP unit and create chaos in the lineup as good players get displaced. I think they will do the former, but…the fact that Reirden played with Kovalchuk troubles me. That's the only reason that I have a small fear that he does the latter. The worst thing that could be done here is put him on the top line with Ovechkin and Kuznetsov, bumping Tom Wilson down, which bumps TJ Oshie down. Or put him on the second line and bump Jakub Vrana down. I don't believe either of those things will happen, but because of Kovalchuk's history with the coach I have a nagging voice at the back of my mind telling me there is a respect there that could interfere with current chemistry. I think that would be disastrous. Even if an all-Russian line would be cool. To me, the best thing is to slot him in on the third line and knock Carl Hagelin (who scored twice Sunday and has 12 points in his last 15 games so…likely not him) or Richard Panik to the fourth line (or Panik to the press box). And use Kovalchuk on the second PP unit, knocking Lars Eller off it. This would give the Caps three lines that are scoring threats, and their second PP unit becomes doubly good.

But I digress. You can get Ian's full trade breakdown here.

Nicklas Backstrom, with two points Sunday, has 32 points in his last 31 games.

Tom Wilson has 58 Hits in his last 10 games – nearly six per game! Eight of those were on Sunday. His PP time has been up a full minute in this the third quarter (versus the first and/or second quarters). It's possible Kovalchuk will impact that number, but I still believe that Kovy is here to boost the second unit and make it nearly as potent as the first.

Brenden Dillon was paired up with John Carlson and although he's still looking for his first point in three games with the Caps, he did shell out nine Hits on Sunday not to mention four PIM thanks to this fight with Evgeni Malkin:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DG3PfxjN2DQ

How this wasn't called a "fight" and only double minors given out, is beyond me…

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Erik Gustafsson was held out of the Chicago game on Sunday as a "precaution". So you pretty much know that he's going somewhere today. And although Corey Crawford getting the start was unsurprising as he's been hot as of late, it works nicely with Chicago's entertaining of trade offers for Robin Lehner. I hear Carolina is desperate?

Honestly, the Hurricanes should just pay the asking price. Lehner is a top goalie in the league and has the talent to push them into the playoffs and then deep beyond that.

Dominik Kubalik was second among Chicago's forwards with 23:21 of ice time, and third in PP time with 6:33. Both numbers are season (and career) highs. He has 26 points in his last 27 games.

Jamie Benn has seen more than 15:30 of ice time just once in his last nine games. Before that, he saw less than 15:30 just nine times out of 53 games. He has seven points in his last eight games but this is still a disturbing trend.

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Prospect goaltender Jonas Johansson picked up his first NHL win Saturday, stopping 25 of 26 shots. As I've said before, to me he is Buffalo's best bet to become their future starter. Based on what is currently in the system. The timing in terms of NHL readiness is perfect, and while I wouldn't rule out Linus Ullmark I just feel that he is more of a backup-type. For now, and it's still very early and goaltending is such a game of darts, I'm hitching my wagon to Johansson. For now. I don't expect immediate results, but by the middle of next season I think we start seeing it.

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Line combinations for Winnipeg with Cody Eakin in the lineup:

EV – FORWARDS CF CA CF%
CONNOR,KYLE – COPP,ANDREW – LAINE,PATRIK 11 8 57.9
HARKINS,JANSEN – SCHEIFELE,MARK – WHEELER,BLAKE 15 5 75.0
EAKIN,CODY – EHLERS,NIKOLAJ – ROSLOVIC,JACK 4 4 50.0
APPLETON,MASON – BOURQUE,GABRIEL – SHORE,NICHOLAS 5 2 71.4
EHLERS,NIKOLAJ – SCHEIFELE,MARK – WHEELER,BLAKE 1 5 16.7

It's a strategy of spreading the offense among three lines, with Copp, Harkins and Eakin getting the bump in talented linemates. It didn't work. The Jets lost to a bad Buffalo team. And when Coach Paul Maurice loaded up his line with the top guys – they gave up possession.

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Anders Lee may be having a terrible season, but things are certainly turning around. He had three points Sunday and five points in two games. He has 32 SOG in his last six games. His TOI and PP TOI are up over the last quarter.

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Andrew Mangiapane posted his third multi-point effort in his last six games. He has eight points in that span with a noticeable bump in ice time to boot.

Both Mike Green and Andreas Athanasiou sat out of Sunday's game. Another trade imminent? UPDATE: Yes, Mike Green was traded to Edmonton for Kyle Brodziak and a draft pick. By the time you read this, I will probably have the trade breakdown up.

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Nick Ritchie had himself a career game on Sunday, posting two goals and two assists. That's certainly an attention-grabber in terms of convincing the coach to give him some more opportunities. As a power forward, his production climb has been slow. Now 24 and with 286 games under his belt, he just showed us that we shouldn't give up on him just yet. Even as far back as his draft year I had eyeballed him as a guy I would want to own when he was 25 – and likely not before then. Our "Breakout Threshold" for him is 400 games, which would actually push his timeline to when he is 26.

The last time William Karlsson scored was way back on December 13. On Sunday he tallied three times.

Vegas used Alec Martinez on their power play, with Shea Theodore getting secondary time. Martinez has four points in three games with his new team. Theodore scored the OT winner on Sunday.

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I think…Connor McDavid is back…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4rOtLAzI1Q

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Tampa Bay signed Zach Bogosian to a contract. One year, $1.3 million. That's a pretty good guy to have on the bottom pairing. Certainly upgrades Luke Schenn, even if Bogosian is only a shadow of what he once was or could have been.

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An interesting development to watch. Joonas Korpisalo had a strong game in his AHL conditioning stint and he's been called back up. Now he and Elvis Merzlikins will jockey for the starting role. My money is still on Elvis. But now we will see…

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See you throughout the day, as I update these Ramblings with minor stuff.