Best and worst deadline day trades in Canadian ice hockey

With just over a week of the NHL 2014 regular season remaining, the race to make the play-offs is set to go down to the wire in the Eastern and Western Conferences. Although ten teams have already clinched their place in the Play-Offs, several others stand a realistic chance of joining them to retain the dream of lifting the infamous Stanley Cup trophy. Many may look back to the business conducted before the trade deadline of March 5th and reflect on whether their acquisitions have provided the required impact, or had a detrimental effect on their chances of making the Play-Offs or winning their respective division. The latter may be felt by the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers, with both teams eliminated from Play-Off contention in what can only be considered as hugely disappointing seasons for both teams. Trading can make all the difference between success and failure, with allowing NHL fans to predict who will make a name for themselves with their new team and fire them into the Play-Offs.

 Best trades

 There can be no doubt that the stand-out trade across the Canadians teams who feature in the NHL was Thomas Vanek moving to the Montreal Canadiens. The trade not only signalled a major coup for Montreal who well and truly signalled their intentions to be competitive in the Play-Offs, but also saw a dynamic and proven winger in the NHL make an immediate impact. The Austrian illustrated his undoubted class with a hat-trick against Colorado in a 6-3 victory that saw Montreal move a step closer to securing a Play-Off berth. Although the trade of Martin St. Louis grabbed all the headlines in the NHL, receiving Vanek and a conditional 5th round pick in 2015 from the New York Islanders in exchange for the talented Sebastian Collberg and a conditional 2nd round pick in 2014 signalled a superb piece of business by the Canadiens.

 Although they may fall short of reaching the 2014 NHL Play-Offs, the Ottowa Senators can take comfort from adding Ales Hemsky to their roster. The Czech winger instantly fitted into his new surroundings alongside Jason Spezza, with six points from his first three games showing the Edmonton Oilers what they are missing. The Oilers received a 5th round pick in 2014 and a 3rd round pick in the 2015 draft, but many believe Ottowa came off much better from the trade.

 Worst trades

 The Winnipeg Jets and Toronto Maple Leafs remained quiet throughout the NHL trade deadline day and chose to conduct no business. While it may be considered harsh to place both teams in the ‘worst trades’ section, Winnipeg and Toronto may be left regretting their decisions to keep status quo and not make changes to their rosters that could have made the difference. No trades may be considered the worst business if they miss out on a Play-Off spot, with both teams still in contention in their respective Conferences.

 While the Vancouver Canucks are right in the mix for a wild card entry into the Play-Offs from the Western Conference, their decision to trade goaltender Roberto Luongo to the Florida Panthers has raised many eyebrows across NHL fans and pundits. The Canucks may have received two good prospects in the shape of Shawn Matthias and Jakob Markstrom, they are nowhere near the quality of a goalie that every team would die to have on their roster. Luongo and Steven Anthony moved to Florida as part of the deal that may come back to haunt Vancouver if they fail to qualify for the Play-Offs.