Tampa Bay Lightning: A
The Lightning have done what championship contenders must do: add depth to the roster.
In a move similar to ones we’ve seen the Bolts make recently, the club acquired Brandon Hagel from the Chicago Blackhawks. I’m sure some fans will view the trade as an overpay by Tampa, but having seen something like this work for the Lightning before, I’ll trust the move.
The Bolts also added forwards Nick Paul and Riley Nash to be players that can fill bottom-six roles for this team. You can never have too much depth when competing for a title, Tampa Bay knows that, and they successfully added depth to the roster at the trade deadline.
Toronto Maple Leafs: C+
The trade deadline for the Maple Leafs was good but insufficient.
Toronto acquired defenseman and former Norris Trophy winner Mark Giordano from the Seattle Kraken in the team’s biggest move at the deadline. Forward Colin Blackwell will also come over in the deal, while defenseman Travis Dermott will leave town for the Vancouver Canucks.
Bringing in Giordano is a solid move, and his NHL experience will be a great asset to the Leafs. My only concern is that he is similar to players Toronto has added in the past: veterans that haven’t won the Cup.
It’s great to have veteran leadership to help guide a young team, but when that young team has championship aspirations, adding a champion would be more beneficial. It’s a fine trade, but similar to the Bruins, I don’t believe this gives the Maple Leafs what they need to win a title.
The Leafs also failed to add anyone to the goaltending room, which has recently become more unstable than it was early in the season. I like most of Toronto’s roster, but I just don’t feel like I can trust this club, especially when the East is as competitive as it is.
With the trade deadline in the books, the race for the postseason is on. Did your team do enough to contend for Lord Stanley’s Cup?