By my count, there have been 65 trades in the NHL since the Bo Horvat deal on January 30 acted as the starting gun in the annual arms race that is the deadline. While a few of those amount to filler that juices the overall number (at least for our purposes here, with all due respect to the minor leaguers in question), the vast majority of them involve at least one meaningful player switching teams.
There were 13 first-round picks that changed hands, with another couple of conditional ones that could potentially upgrade if things break a certain way. Four of them required third-party brokers to help make the money work, and 15 others saw money being retained in the process.
By any measure, it was one heck of a trade deadline. The combination of quantity and quality of moves we saw jammed into the past couple of weeks is as good as I can remember in the years I’ve been doing this job. I know that the actual day of was mostly quiet, but that’ll happen when everyone gets their business done early as opposed to waiting to submit their assignment until the last possible moment.
If you feel like your head is spinning trying to absorb all of it and gather your bearings, you’re not alone – I’m right there with you. So let’s try to work our way through some of the actionable items that help capture the most important stuff that happened. We’ve already graded every individual trade, and done a team-by-team rundown of everyone’s work. This will serve as more of a big-picture view of the takeaways and themes that helped guide most of those transactions.