The NHL Trade Deadline is the busiest day of the season, and while the San Jose Sharks were active throughout, there is a whole league full of the whacky, wild and downright surprising trades that you may have missed.
(* indicates a conditional pick)
To Anaheim Ducks: RW Evgenii Dadonov, 2023 second-round pick
To Vegas Golden Knights: D John Moore, C Ryan Kesler
We’ll start with the whackiest of them all — the Ducks and Golden Knights trade that (spoiler alert) never happened, involving Evgenii Dadonov and Ryan Kesler. If you’re thinking, wait a minute, you’re right, it wasn’t actually for Ryan Kesler, but rather the rest of this season’s $6.875 million of the 37-year-old’s contract that the Ducks are still paying off while he remains on long-term injured reserve.
The entire trade was supposed to go like this: the Ducks would send John Moore and Ryan Kesler’s contract to Vegas, in exchange for Evgenii Dadonov and a 2023 second-round pick. Dadonov is the biggest (active) player involved, and at 33 years old, the forward offers Anaheim a sweet scoring touch; in his last five games, he’s scored four goals.
There was a tiny hiccup, however, since Dadonov’s camp insists that his no-movement clause listed the Ducks among the 10 teams he would accept a trade to and was submitted prior to the deal. The league determined today that the trade would be voided due to the no-trade clause having “not been complied with,” as the list was not included with the initial trade.
Yeah, that’s going to be awkward.
To Winnipeg Jets: C Morgan Barron, 2022 second-round pick (NYR)*, 2023 second-round pick (STL)*, 2023 fifth-round pick (NYR)
To New York Rangers: F Andrew Copp, 2023 sixth-round pick (WPG)
Some teams like to get creative at the trade deadline and work magic with conditional draft picks that are more a riddle than anything else. The Jets sent forward Andrew Copp and a sixth-round pick in 2023 to the Rangers in exchange for center Morgan Barron, a 2022 second round pick, a 2023 second, and a 2023 fifth — except: the Rangers’ second-round pick can turn into a first-round pick if New York wins two rounds in the playoffs (how likely is that?) and if Copp plays 50 percent of those playoff games. The other second-round pick can either be 2022 (STL) or 2023 (NYR), depending on when the Jets would like to use it.
Copp has been excellent this season and in the last five games, he’s notched three assists. Morgan Barron has yet to really test his NHL potential — he’s only played 13 NHL games this season, but at just 23 years old, he still has some growing to do. In his last five games, he’s totaled one assist.
To Philadelphia Flyers: 2023 fourth-round pick (EDM)
To Edmonton Oilers: F Derick Brassard (50 percent retained)
Now, I’m not in the business of kicking a team while they’re down … and trading your captain just a few days after celebrating his 1000th game to a much better team is basically the definition of being ‘down.’ But the Flyers’ exchange of a 2023 fourth-round pick to the Oilers for Derick Brassard, with the Flyers retaining half of Brassard’s salary seems a little bit like they got fleeced. Brassard might be on the older side at 34 years old, but he’s reliable when it comes to offensive production. In his last five games, he’s tallied one goal and two assists.
To Pittsburgh Penguins: F Rickard Rakell (35 percent retained)
To Anaheim Ducks: 2022 second-round pick (PIT), F Zach Aston-Reese, F Dominik Simon, G Calle Clang
Speaking of fleecing, we need to talk about the Penguins and Ducks. The Penguins received winger Rickard Rakell, and in exchange, the Ducks received a second-round pick in the upcoming draft, wingers Zach Aston-Reese and Dominik Simon, as well as goaltending prospect Calle Clang. Rakell has been a big part of the Ducks’ turnaround this season, and with 2 points (1 goal, 1 assist) in his last five games, and 6 points (5 goals, 1 assist) in his last 10, its obvious as to why.
Aston-Reese has been a fundamental part of the Penguins’ core at times and has one goal in his last five games. Simon has been a little quieter, with only nine points in 55 games, but will provide depth. Clang is a 19-year-old Swedish goaltender who is currently playing in the Swedish Hockey League and has yet to make his NHL (or North American) debut.
To Chicago Blackhawks: 2022 second-round pick (MIN)*
To Minnesota Wild: G Marc-Andre Fleury
Quite possibly the biggest trade (to actually happen, that is) on the block was Marc-Andre Fleury getting sent to the Wild in exchange for a second-round pick in the upcoming draft. The pick will upgrade to a first-rounder if Minnesota makes the Western Conference Final and Fleury posts at least four wins in first two rounds of playoffs. In his last five starts with the Blackhawks, Fleury made 147 saves, allowed 19 goals and posted a .886 save percentage.
To St. Louis Blues: D Nick Leddy (50 percent retained), F/D Luke Witkowski
To Detroit Red Wings: D Jake Walman, F Oskar Sundqvist, 2023 second-round pick (STL)
The Blues and Red Wings both flew under the radar when it came to the deadline, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t have a little fun. St. Louis received Nick Leddy and Luke Witkowski, and in exchange, Detroit secured Jake Walman, Oskar Sundqvist and a second-round pick.
Leddy is a storied NHL defender, who carries a veteran presence and a clean forecheck and backcheck. Witkowski, a 31-year-old who can play wing or defense, has played only one NHL game this season, instead playing 44 AHL games with the Grand Rapids Griffins, totaling 7 points. Walman is an Average Joe defender, posting 6 points over the course of 32 games, while Sundqvist, a center, has netted 15 points in 41 games.
To Seattle Kraken: C Victor Rask (50 percent retained)
To Minnesota Wild: Future considerations
The Kraken could have an entire section to themselves after turning the Trade Deadline into an Expansion Draft, part two. At this point, they’re hardly icing a full roster, with a number of moves, including trading their captain Mark Giordano to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Among those moves was this exchange with the Wild.
Victor Rask hasn’t had an easy time of it since he left the Carolina Hurricanes (and I’ll confess, I really liked him on the ‘Canes), and while his tenure with Kirill Kaprizov boosted his game, his acquisition by Paul Fenton was always controversial and he hasn’t been giving the Wild what they need. The Kraken received Rask in exchange for future considerations. Either the Kraken just had to have him, or the Wild wanted to get rid of him, but whatever the reason, it’s a chance at a fresh start with Seattle.
Rask spent 29 games with the Wild this season, totaling 13 points (5 goals, 8 assists), and 10 with the Iowa Wild, netting 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists). He’ll be assigned to the Charlotte Checkers, the Kraken’s AHL affiliate.
To Winnipeg Jets: 2022 fourth-round pick (ARI)
To Arizona Coyotes: F Bryan Little, C Nathan Smith
To Washington Capitals: F Marcus Johansson (50 percent retained)
To Seattle Kraken: F Daniel Sprong, 2022 fourth-round pick (WSH), 2023 sixth-round pick (WSH)
To New York Rangers: D Justin Braun
To Philadelphia Flyers: 2023 third-round pick (NYR)
To Edmonton Oilers: D Brett Kulak (50 percent retained)
To Montreal Canadiens: D William Lagesson, 2022 second-round pick (EDM)*, 2024 seventh-round pick (EDM)
To Montreal Canadiens: D Justin Barron, 2024 second-round pick (COL)
To Colorado Avalanche: F Artturi Lehkonen (50 percent retained)
To Vancouver Canucks: 2023 fourth-round pick (NYR)
To New York Rangers: F Tyler Motte
To Dallas Stars: F Vladislav Namestnikov (50 percent retained)
To Detroit Red Wings: 2024 fourth-round pick (DAL)
To Tampa Bay Lightning: F Riley Nash
To Arizona Coyotes: Future considerations