Now that the dust has settled, fans want to know who came out ahead, and who may have set back their cause. Since most of the deals involved assets like draft picks or prospects, knowledgeable observers know that they can't possibly be accurately evaluated for years to come. But that won't stop the rest of use from passing judgement immediately.
So let's take a look back at the moves made on deadline day and in the weeks leading up to it, and start slapping arbitrary "winner" and "loser" labels on everyone involved.
Winner: Pittsburgh Penguins - In James Neal, managed to acquire an elite winger to play with Sidney Crosby who's young enough to still be halfway decent when Crosby returns from his concussion in 2016.
Loser: Vancouver Canucks - Despite a handful of minor moves, still completely failed to address the team's most obvious flaw, a distinct lack of depth on the sixth line.
Winner: St. Louis Blues - Acquired a player named Brock Beukeboom, which will come in handy if the NHL ever decides to becomes a 1980s arcade game or high school football movie.
Loser: Wade Redden - The bad news: The Rangers filled a need for a veteran defenceman by trading assets for Bryan McCabe rather than bring up Redden from the minors for nothing. The worse news: Their second choice was a bag of wet leaves with a plastic hockey stick nailed to it.
Winner: Anton Khudobin - Exists, apparently.
Winner: Nashville Predators - Acquired Mike Fisher, helping a young roster lacking in playoff experience by bringing in a long-time Ottawa Senator who can describe in detail what not to do.
Loser: Calgary Flames - Foolishly failed to trade any veterans for prospects or draft picks, even though everyone has been saying all season long that as a last place team they need to rebuild by … wait, they're in what place now? Let me see those standings. Wow, has Darryl Sutter been told about this?
Winner: Pierre Gauthier - Made several aggressive moves to bolster his fantasy team, presumably, since he must have been doing something all day.
Winner: Craig Anderson - The latest Ottawa goalie has so far resisted attempts by coaches to teach him the Senators' traditional "Hey, get out of the way of that puck, that would totally hurt if it hit you!" technique.
Loser: Colorado Avalanche - Have you ever made an impulse decision to adopt a stray dog that's been raised in an abusive environment because you hope things will be different if it's given a loving home, but then when you get it back to your place it just poops all the over your floor and rolls around in it? Trading for an Ottawa goaltender is pretty much the same thing.
Winner: Jason Arnott - By escaping the 27th place Devils to join the Washington Capitals, the veteran center will get a chance to return to the postseason for up to six or seven games.
Loser: Tomas Kaberle - Has struggled to adjust to the concept of clearing a rebound after allowing a shot on goal with the Bruins, instead of just automatically skating to center ice for the faceoff like he always did in Toronto.
Winner: That guy at work who made fun of you for using a vacation day to stay home and watch the deadline coverage - Yeah, he was right.
Loser: Dustin Penner - Will have to spend time booking movers and making travel arrangements from Edmonton to Los Angeles, instead of just picking up all his stuff and sprinting there like he probably wants to.