Grading NHL Trade Deadline Performances: Atlantic Division

Florida Panthers (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Florida Panthers (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /
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The NHL Trade Deadline is officially behind us, and rosters are set as teams jockey for position in the race for the postseason.

In the Atlantic Division, there seemed to be a clear divide in terms of playoff teams and non-playoff teams ahead of the deadline, and that divide has grown since Monday’s flurry of activity.

Teams like the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning have asserted their dominance in the division this season, while the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins have established themselves as contenders once again.

Those four clubs drew a lot of attention both before and after the deadline. No one doubts their positions as playoff teams, but could they add players to put them over the top as Stanley Cup contenders?

How did each Atlantic Division team do at the deadline?

The Panthers clearly positioned themselves as buyers in the week leading up to deadline day, as most expected they would as a club that has been eyeing the Cup all season. Similarly, the Bolts, Leafs, and B’s made it a point to add players that could be useful during a championship run, though they were not as aggressive as the Cats.

In the bottom half of the division, the Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, and Detroit Red Wings looked to the future by trading away players that had value and acquiring younger players and draft capital.

The Buffalo Sabres took a very hands-off approach this year, leaving their roster largely untouched, a strategy that was unique in the Atlantic.

Though these teams approached the trade deadline with different mindsets and goals, any team can emerge as a winner at the end of the NHL’s most hectic handful of hours. So, with that said, how did each Atlantic Division squad fare this March?

Here are trade deadline grades for each team in the Atlantic.