Was last year's deadline really that bad?

Everyone talked about how boring last years NHL trade deadline was. But was it really all that bad considering what happened in years previous?
There were two major deals on deadline day in 2006. Sergei Samsonov to Edmonton and Mark Recchi to Carolina. The rest of the years trades included Joe Thornton to the San Jose Sharks, Doug Weight to the Carolina Hurricanes, and Dwayne Roloson to Edmonton.

Now lets look at the 2004 trade deadline.

The biggest deals of that day were the Canucks adding Rucisnky and Sanderson, who didn’t quite work out. Then the Maple Leafs added Ron Francis, who played very well for them for two weeks, but was an end of his career rental player. Tommy Salo then went to back up David Aebischer in Colorado.

Not exactly block busters, and even in the weeks leading up to the deadline, the biggest deals were Brian Leetch and Sergei Gonchar going to Toronto and Boston respectively. Gonchar did nothing for the Bruins, and Leetch ended up heading to the Bruins after his brief stint with the Maple Leafs.

Of course there’s the Jaromir Jagr deal, but that didn’t even really affect anything until last season.

Then there were deals involving Robert Lang and Alex Kovalev, fairly big deals at the time, but didn’t greatly affect their teams until the lockout ended, and in Kovalev’s case, his re-signing was more of a difference maker. Peter Bondra was acquired by the Sens, but didn’t change anything about the team.

Now look at the 2003 trade deadline. The biggest deal of the day was Mathieu Schneider going to the Red Wings, who eventually collapsed against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Though Schneider was still a huge acquisition, it hasn’t made the impact of some other deadline deals. The most talked about deal was Doug Gilmour heading to the Toronto Maple Leafs, an experiment that lasted about five minutes.

The lead up included Tony Amonte and Owen Nolan, two teams with early playoff exits.

The deal that ended up being most affective was the Chicago Blackhawks dealing Steve Thomas to the Mighty Ducks. Thomas helped lead the Ducks to a Stanley Cup finals birth.

Not exactly a block buster even still.

In 2002, the biggest deal was really the Glen Murray deal from Los Angeles to Boston, which happened at the start of the season.

2002 was a big deadline though. Adam Oates was dealt from Washington to Philadelphia, Pavel Bure went from Florida to New York, and Joe Nieuwendyk went from Dallas to New Jersey. None of those teams passed the first round of the playoffs though. Jason Arnott, who went to Dallas for Joe Nieuwendyk, didn’t make the playoffs either.

Yes, a few deals in each deadline, Justin Williams to Carolina turned out big, Daniel Briere to Buffalo turned out huge, and Dan Boyle in Tampa is looking very good now.

But the deals in 2006 made an immediate impact. Recchi and Weight won the Stanley Cup for Carolina against two more players dealt, Sergei Samsonov and Dwayne Roloson of the Edmonton Oilers. Each one made an immediate impact. The other big deal of the year?

Well that as I said about, was Joe Thornton, who won the NHL MVP.

You really can’t tell how big a deadline is going to be until you see how the players do in the playoffs.

-L


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