Not every team hits a home run on NHL trade deadline day. In fact, some franchises suffer setbacks when they mortgage the future for now. But every so often, clubs find the missing link or a piece of the puzzle that helps put them over the top and into the winner’s circle. Here are five examples from the past 10 years.
What are the chances your team will land a player on trade deadline day to help it win the Stanley Cup this year? It’s a long shot, but perhaps not as remote as you think.
Over the past 10 years, five teams have made swaps on D-day for a piece of the puzzle, guys who’ve helped, on various levels, to capture glory. Here they are, in order of significance:
2014 – Marian Gaborik, Los Angeles. Acquired from Columbus for Matt Frattin, a second round pick in 2015 and a third round pick in 2014. The oft-injured Gaborik put it all together on the Kings’ run, exploding for a post-season best 14 goals in 26 games. It’s too soon to assess how Columbus made out, but to this point none of the assets acquired – Frattin was dealt away, the third round pick was spent on Latvian goalie Elvis Merzļikins – has made an impact.
2009 – Bill Guerin, Pittsburgh. Acquired from the Islanders for a third round draft pick (which was subsequently traded to Phoenix). Guerin finished third on the Pens behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in playoffs points (15), a tally which included two game-winners. Equally as important, he was an inspirational leader for a club in need of veteran poise.
2006 – Mark Recchi, Carolina. Acquired from Pittsburgh for Niklas Nordgren, Krys Kolanos and a second round pick (subsequently traded to San Jose). An enormous contributor to Carolina’s surprise triumph, Recchi had six points in the final against Edmonton to win the second Cup of his career. Like Guerin, his experience and leadership by example were critical. Kolanos never played a game in Pittsburgh, while Nordgren suited up for 15 before heading back to Europe.
2008 – Brad Stuart, Detroit. Acquired from Los Angeles for a second round pick in 2008 and a fourth round pick in 2009 (both picks were subsequently traded). Stuart gave the Red Wings the type of hard-rock, minute munching defenseman they needed to solidify their top four. While he only scored once in the post season, he was a physical presence who logged more than 20:00 per game.
2007 – Brad May, Anaheim. Acquired from Colorado for Michael Wall. The Ducks added some guts, grit and a dressing room glue guy with the acquisition of May, who may be best remembered during the 2007 post-season for sucker-punching Minnesota’s Kim Johnsson in Round 1. The transgression earned May a three-game suspension. Wall did not appear in any games for the Avs.