New York Islanders: C+
The New York Islanders made zero trades at the deadline, which is both good and bad.
It has not been an easy year for the Isles, but they did not panic by selling valuable players. I think that’s an incredibly smart decision, as this team is capable of coming back strong next season and reclaiming the postseason position that it has owned in the last few seasons.
On the other hand, this team has struggled for years to score, and that has continued this year as New York is 24th in the NHL in goals per game (2.7). If the focus was staying strong for next season, then I would’ve liked to have seen a forward that can score be brought into the mix.
There were also some veteran players that the Islanders could have moved, some of which they extended instead, but the most important thing here is that New York recognized its ability to be back in the playoff hunt next season and didn’t adopt a seller’s mentality.
New York Rangers: A
The Rangers were by far the busiest team in the Metro in the last week.
After acquiring Frank Vatrano from the Panthers in the week leading up to the trade deadline, New York pulled the trigger on deals that brought defenseman Justin Braun and forwards Andrew Copp and Tyler Motte to the Big Apple.
The Rangers have been a team all year that has been reliant upon a handful of players, but these trades help the team fill out other portions of the roster, which is critically important come playoff time.
Each move made by New York was hit, and perhaps no team in the Metro elevated its position more this March than the Rangers.
Philadelphia Flyers: D
The Flyers parted ways with long-time captain Claude Giroux at the deadline, shipping him to the Florida Panthers for what feels like very little in return.
Philly had its hands tied by Giroux’s ability to hand-pick his destination, but the Flyers gave up more assets than they got back, and if forward Owen Tippett doesn’t work out in Philadelphia, this trade will feel like a bust.
The Flyers find themselves in a tricky spot now, as this trade deadline marks the beginning of a rebuild, yet the roadmap to success seems like it could be long in Philly. The team has only six picks in this year’s draft, and the top nine players on the roster in terms of salary will be around for at least one more season.
Between getting next to nothing back for Giroux and having an incredibly bleak short-term future, I don’t like the way this deadline went for the Flyers. They get a D instead of an F simply because they at least acknowledged the fact that it’s time to start tearing things down.