Well, I guess it’s time to pick up the pieces from my annual trade deadline predictions.
As predicted — by online psychics and/or haters — I went 0-for-26 in the big picture. Not a single one of my proposals came to fruition. For the second year in a row, after going 0-for-28 at the 2014 deadline.
So, it may come as some surprise that I consider this year’s deadline a success and a marked improvement over last year’s predictions.
Hold your laughter and hear me out.
I predicted there would be 26 trades. There were 24 on deadline day, and 40 from the time I posted my predictions on Feb. 24.
My deadline preview listed 52 players that could potentially move. Turns out, 18 of them ended up on new teams.
In reality, 43 players and 20 picks changed hands on deadline day. If you go all the way back to the Tyler Myers-for-Evander Kane blockbuster on Feb. 11, there were 44 trades involving 88 players and 47 draft picks over three weeks leading up to the deadline.
It is all about the small victories when it comes to playing armchair GM. As you’ll see — or as I’ll make it out to be — my efforts weren’t as bad as that big ol’ goose-egg would suggest.
To Tampa Bay: Keith Yandle
To Arizona: Radko Gudas, Brett Connolly, Adam Erne and a conditional 2015 first-round pick (higher selection of Lightning/Rangers)
UPDATE: My spidey senses weren’t far off here. Yandle, who was iffy to move, went to the Rangers for a pretty comparable package. Gudas and that pick went to Philadelphia — I even nailed the conditional part — and Connolly went to Boston. So although I didn’t get this trade right, I correctly called 4 of the 5 moving parts. I’ll go ahead and give myself a pat on the back. I think I deserve one.
To Anaheim: Curtis Glencross
To Calgary: Emerson Etem and a 2015 second-round pick
UPDATE: Glencross went to Washington for two picks, a 2015 second and 2015 third. My offer would have been better for Calgary, but I was close on Glencross’s value — definitely in the ballpark.
To Boston: Chris Stewart and a 2015 fourth-round pick
To Buffalo: Alex Khokhlachev and Joe Morrow
UPDATE: Stewart went to Minnesota at the last minute for a 2017 second-rounder, so I was obviously asking too much for him. Chances are Tim Murray was too.
To Washington: Antoine Vermette
To Arizona: Philipp Grubauer and a 2015 first-round pick
UPDATE: Vermette went to Chicago for a 2015 first and defence prospect Klas Dahlbeck. I nailed his value, but didn’t get the team right. For those keeping score, I’m 4-for-4 so far on the main guys moving.
To Detroit: Jaromir Jagr and Marek Zidlicky
To New Jersey: Teemu Pulkkinen, Tyler Bertuzzi, rights to Adam Almqvist and a 2015 fifth-round pick
UPDATE: Make it 6-for-6, thanks to my only correct player to team prediction with Zidlicky actually going to Detroit for a 2016 third-rounder. That deal made too much sense, while Jagr surprisingly went to Florida. Detroit might have been in on Jagr too, because the Red Wings did add a veteran winger in Erik Cole for a couple of prospects and a pick. I didn’t get those prospects right, but all in all, my finger wasn’t far off the pulse for Detroit’s deadline plans.
To Los Angeles: Jeff Petry and a 2015 fourth-round pick
To Edmonton: Brayden McNabb and Kyle Clifford
UPDATE: Petry went to Montreal for a 2015 second-rounder and a conditional 2015 fifth-rounder that becomes a fourth if the Canadiens make it out of the first round of playoffs and a third if they reach the Eastern Conference final again. I thought Edmonton could have got more for him, and I stand by that thinking.
To N.Y. Rangers: Andrej Sekera
To Carolina: J.T. Miller and a conditional 2015 second-round pick (higher selection of Rangers/Lightning)
UPDATE: Sekera went to the Kings before Yandle went to the Rangers. So I was right about which teams were in the market for defencemen. Sekera returned a first-round pick and a prospect in Roland McKeown, so I was fairly close on his value here too.
To San Jose: Daniel Winnik
To Toronto: Freddie Hamilton and Konrad Abeltshauser
UPDATE: Winnik went to Pittsburgh for draft picks, but ironically Hamilton was still on the move to Colorado. Call it a gut feeling on Hamilton, but a good one. For what it’s worth, I’d still take this deal over the one Toronto took.
To Chicago: Jiri Tlusty and Ron Hainsey
To Carolina: David Rundblad, Tim Erixon and a 2015 third-round pick
UPDATE: Tlusty went to Winnipeg for a 2016 third-rounder, while Erixon was waived and claimed by Toronto. Again, a weird hunch that Erixon would end up elsewhere, and the Blackhawks did upgrade their defence by acquiring a veteran in Kimmo Timonen. That’s 10-for-10, with all my main guys getting dealt.
To Minnesota: Tim Gleason and Jay McClement
To Carolina: Jonathon Blum and Cody Almond
UPDATE: Gleason went to Washington, so the streak continues at 11-for-11. McClement probably would have moved if he hadn’t signed a contract extension with Carolina instead.
To Detroit: Zbynek Michalek
To Arizona: Ryan Sproul
UPDATE: Michalek went to St. Louis, but the Coyotes did what I thought they might do by targeting a prospect (Maxim Letunov) instead of a draft pick. You have to admit, 12-for-12 is pretty incredible.
To Detroit: Mark Letestu
To Columbus: Jakub Kindl
UPDATE: All good things must come to an end . . . nothing doing here, as both these guys surprisingly stayed put. Letestu was especially shocking, considering he’s a pending unrestricted free agent and teams were rumoured to be interested in his services.
To Detroit: John Mitchell
To Colorado: Landon Ferraro and Marc McNulty
UPDATE: No dice, as the Avs opted to keep Mitchell. He probably wasn’t going to Detroit under any circumstances given the bad blood between these rival franchises.
To Nashville: Chris Neil
To Ottawa: Austin Watson
UPDATE: Neil stayed with the Senators, which was surprising. Maybe he isn’t recovering as quickly as expected from a broken thumb and that scared off the buyers, or maybe Ottawa decided against selling after winning a few in a row lately.
To Vancouver: Patrick Wiercioch
To Ottawa: Brendan Gaunce
UPDATE: The Canucks made a couple minor moves, but they went for depth forwards rather than defencemen by acquiring Sven Baertschi and Cory Conacher. I didn’t see that coming.
To Vancouver: Andrej Meszaros
To Buffalo: Fifth-round pick in 2015 (lower selection of Canucks/Rangers)
UPDATE: Ditto here, but it was shocking to see Meszaros stay with the Sabres as a pending UFA.
To Boston: Scott Gomez and Michael Ryder
To New Jersey: 2015 second-round pick and conditional 2016 fourth-round pick
UPDATE: Neither of these guys moved, which makes me think Lou Lamoriello must have been asking too much. Based on the rental prices for mediocre depth forwards, neither would have been worth more than a fourth-rounder.
To San Jose: Max Talbot and Jan Hejda
To Colorado: Matt Tennyson and Colorado’s 2016 second-round pick
UPDATE: Talbot went to Boston for Jordan Caron, so I was right about Talbot moving and Boston wanting to add a veteran centre (I predicted Gomez). That might be grasping for straws, but hey, I wasn’t totally out to lunch. Not sure why Hejda wasn’t traded, I thought he’d garner interest as the type of hard-nosed defender that teams need in the playoffs.
To Nashville: Danny Briere and a conditional 2016 fourth- or 2015 sixth-round pick
To Colorado: Colton Sissons
UPDATE: There were no takers for Briere, who might have to consider retirement at the end of this season.
To Anaheim: Martin Havlat
To New Jersey: 2015 sixth-round pick
UPDATE: No takers for Havlat either, although that might have more to do with Lamoriello’s asking price again. You’d think somebody would have rolled the dice on him for a sixth. Same with Gomez and Ryder. I think Lou was playing hard to get.
To Washington: Torrey Mitchell
To Buffalo: 2015 seventh-round pick
UPDATE: Mitchell went to Montreal for a 2016 seventh-rounder and a token prospect (Jack Nevins). I was pretty much bang on there, just had the wrong team.
To Washington: Olli Jokinen
To Toronto: 2015 sixth-round pick
UPDATE: The Leafs did manage to flip Jokinen to St. Louis for a conditional 2016 sixth-rounder, plus Joakim Lindstrom, so I had the value right again.
To Chicago: Jordan Leopold
To Columbus: 2015 sixth-round pick
UPDATE: Leopold went to Minnesota for a 2015 fifth-rounder and Justin Falk, which is seemingly more than the Wild needed to pay. Falk might have been a contract dump, but he did make his Columbus debut on Tuesday.
To Dallas: Andrew Ference (1/3 salary retained), Curtis Hamilton and a 2016 fourth-round pick
To Edmonton: Brett Ritchie
UPDATE: These last three were, admittedly, long-shots and this one, in particular, was my biggest miss. Shake my head . . . at myself.
To Carolina: James Wisniewski and Jack Skille
To Columbus: Alexander Semin and Ryan Murphy
UPDATE: Wisniewski went to Anaheim for cheap, only returning William Karlsson and a second-rounder, plus negative-value Rene Bourque. Columbus even threw in a third-rounder for some inexplicable reason. I really don’t understand that deal, or how it was the best the Blue Jackets could do for Wisniewski.
To Toronto: Mike Richards (1/3 salary retained)
To Los Angeles: David Booth, Stephane Robidas and Tyler Biggs
UPDATE: The Leafs did pull off a stunner, but it was them shedding a bad contract rather than taking on another one. Toronto sent David Clarkson to Columbus for Nathan Horton in a swap of big-contract flops, but at least Horton’s disappointment has been injury related and he won’t likely cost Toronto. If Horton ends up retiring, the Leafs just might revisit the Richards idea.
So dare I ask, am I still the laughing stock of the Internet for these proposals? Or, in hindsight, did I do a commendable — if not respectable — job of “dreaming up” deals? I’m fairly impressed by my performance all things considered, and would grade it a C-plus!
Larry Fisher is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Follow him on Twitter: @LarryFisher_KDC.
Larry Fisher is a senior writer and head scout for The Hockey Writers, having been an at-large contributor for THW since August 2014. Fisher covers both the NHL and the WHL, specializing in prospects and NHL draft content, including his annual mock drafts that date back to 2012. Fisher has also been a beat writer for the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets since 2008, formerly working as a sports reporter/editor for The Daily Courier in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada from 2008-2019. Follow him on Twitter: @LarryFisher_KDC.