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Grading the Columbus Blue Jackets deadline deals and other moves around the league

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How did the Blue Jackets do selling off some of their parts?

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Dallas Stars

With the trade deadline now behind us, we have some clarity on what the rest of the season will look like across the league. Some teams have loaded up for a run at the Cup, and some have decided to wave the white flag on the season and trade off valuable players for assets to help reload for the future.

Let’s take a look at how the Columbus Blue Jackets did as sellers, as well as grade some of the biggest moves around the league.


Blue Jackets trade Riley Nash to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a conditional 2022 7th round pick

Columbus grade: B
Toronto grade: C

The Blue Jackets got value out of an injured player who was not expected to recover in time to play again this season. The 7th round pick becomes a 6th if he plays 25% of Toronto’s playoff games. It’s not the most exciting trade, but with a bare prospect pipeline, any more opportunities to restock must be looked at as a positive.

Toronto got a guy who might play fourth line minutes in a shutdown role, if he’s healthy and/or in the lineup. Yay?

Columbus Blue Jackets trade David Savard to Tampa Bay Lightning, retain 25% of Savard’s salary, acquire a 2021 first round pick and 2022 third round pick
Detroit retains 25% of Savard’s salary, acquires a 2022 fourth round pick
Tampa Bay acquires Savard and Brian Lashoff

Columbus grade: A
Tampa Bay grade: A-
Detroit grade: B

Whew. That’s a lot.

Columbus extracted maximum value from a shutdown top four defenseman who does not factor into the future plans of the franchise. A likely casualty at the end of the season, Columbus was able to ship him out for two picks that will help rebuild the pipeline of the franchise. It is hard to see Savard leave, but he is able to go to a contender.

Tampa Bay acquired a right shot defenseman who can bolster their bid for a second consecutive Stanley Cup. He is expected to make his debut tonight alongside Victor Hedman.

Detroit got a fourth round pick for paying 25% of David Savard’s salary, basically buying a pick. Nice moves all around.

Blue Jackets trade Nick Foligno
Maple Leafs acquire Nick Foligno and Stefan Noesen
Blue Jackets acquire Toronto’s first round pick in 2021, fourth round pick in 2022
Sharks receive Toronto’s 2021 fourth round pick

Columbus grade: A
Toronto grade: C-
San Jose grade: B

Columbus earned their third first round pick by trading their captain. An unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, Foligno was one of the most sought-after players at the deadline. The Leafs paid a premium for a middle six player who does the dirty work and can benefit from his style.

Toronto overpaid. Two picks, including a first rounder, for a player who hasn’t been a top six forward in three+ seasons? When Taylor Hall (a former MVP) didn’t fetch a first? NHL GMs remain nuts.

San Jose bought a draft pick, yay for them.


New Jersey Devils trade Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac to the New York Islanders for A.J. Greer, Mason Jobst, NYI’s 2021 1st round pick and NYI’s 2022 4th round pick (conditional) - Devils retain 50% of the salary for Palmieri and Zajac

Islanders grade: A
Devils grade: B

The Islanders made the first splash of the deadline, acquiring a player who they expect to step in and replace the production of injured captain Anders Lee. Palmieri is having a down season, but has scored 132 goals since 2015. Zajac will be seen as a defensive center depth option - with 1000+ games played in his career, he has extensive special teams experience.

The Devils now boast nine picks in this year’s draft and are seeking to rebuild around Jack Hughes and Nico Hischer. The two forwards the Devils acquired are depth forwards.

Buffalo Sabres trade Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar to Boston Bruins for Anders Bjork and a 2022 second round pick, Buffalo retains 50% of Hall’s salary

Sabres grade: D
Boston grade: B+

Boston needed a second line left wing, and even though Hall has struggled to put the puck in the net, his underlying metrics have been outstanding. He’s had a chance to put the puck in but has been absolutely snakebit finishing. Unfortunately, Buffalo needed his finishing. On David Krejci’s line in Boston, Hall will have ample opportunities to regain confidence and shooting acumen. Excellent move late in their window.

Meanwhile, Buffalo got less for a former MVP than Columbus got for Nick Foligno. Absolutely shameful management.

Los Angeles Kings trade Jeff Carter to Pittsburgh Penguins for a 2022 third round pick and a 2023 fourth round pick

Penguins grade: F
Kings grade: F

Jeff Carter sucks, and so do the Penguins. Maybe they can lose infinity games together forever.

Detroit Red Wings trade Anthony Mantha to Washington Capitals for Richard Panik, Jakub Vrana, 2021 first round pick, 2022 second round pick

Detroit grade: A
Washington grade: D

I have no idea what Washington is doing here. They traded away basically Anthony Mantha for... Anthony Mantha. In addition to losing arguably the best player in the trade, they also paid two picks and another player. It’s absolutely incredible that Washington made this trade.

If I could give Detroit a grade over an A, like a super highway robbery A, I would. This is incredible asset management from Detroit. Well done, Yzerman.


Thoughts or comments on the trade deadline? Leave them here!