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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Boston Bruins: C+

The Bruins’ deadline is a mixed bag for me.

On one hand, the team acquired defenseman Hampus Lindholm from the Anaheim Ducks, then signed him to an eight-year contract extension. With this move, the B’s add a useful player on the back end and will be better for it.

On the other hand, the team needed to address the forward position, specifically in the bottom-six, and it failed to do so. The only change at forward is the two-year extension that Jake DeBrusk was given. That figured to be the first portion of a sign and trade, but that did not materialize.

While Boston was able to acquire a couple of solid players, I’m not convinced that the moves in Beantown addressed the team’s biggest needs. It was not a bad deadline for the Bruins, but I don’t believe that it was enough for them to contend in the Eastern Conference.

Buffalo Sabres: C

It’s tough to grade a team that did so little at the trade deadline.

When I look at what the Seattle Kraken did, trading roster players for an unbelievable haul of draft picks, my initial reaction is that I wish the Sabres had done something similar.

However, Buffalo is not nearly as bad as Seattle this year, and the idea of not selling players could demonstrate confidence in western New York that the team is emerging from its rebuild.

The Sabres do still hold the 26th position in the NHL, but with a 7-3 record in March, and solid outputs from recently acquired players like Alex Tuch, perhaps the Sabres do indeed have pieces that they can now build around instead of trade away.

Buffalo gets a C, because if this is the beginning of the end for the rebuild, then not selling will prove to be a smart choice. If next year is more of the same, however, we may question the team’s lack of activity.

Detroit Red Wings: B

The Red Wings, who enjoyed some success early in the year, ended up being sellers at the trade deadline.

In a season where the Eastern Conference playoff field is so far out of reach for the non-playoff teams, the Red Wings really did not have a chance to get in. Realizing that, Detroit traded three players that have short-term value for contenders.

All three players that the Wings moved are slated to hit the open market this summer, making them easily expendable in Detroit. Now, the Red Wings have ten picks in the upcoming 2022 NHL Draft, positioning the team well to contend for a playoff spot next season.