Monday, March 6, 2023

Weekend rankings: Most interesting deadlines, Sens surge, Canuck questions

Well, that was a week.

Deadline day ended up being a bit of a bust, but only because all the big names had already moved. You can get caught up on all the important stuff here, plus grades for all the deals and all the teams. (That last one is fun. Four teams got a 3/10 or worse. Hint: Two of them are in the same state. That state is hopelessness.)

For our purposes, when we last did these rankings we’d just seen Timo Meier head to New Jersey in a 13-piece deal, and Tanner Jeannot got to Tampa in exchange for all the picks. We also knew Patrick Kane was going to be a Ranger, even though it wasn’t official. But we hadn’t yet seen the deals for Mattias Ekholm or Jakob Chychrun, the Jonathan Quick drama, trades for Tyler Bertuzzi or Max Domi, whatever the Leafs were doing with their blueline, or roughly two dozen other moves.

So things have changed. But ultimately, how much? After all those moves, do the rankings really look all that different?

We’ll get to that in a minute. But first, let’s use our bonus ranking to cover off a few teams that kept things interesting over the last week or two. These aren’t necessarily the teams that made the biggest or most important moves, but rather the ones that left us wondering how things will turn out. The Devils getting Meier was a monster move, but it was straightforward – good team gets great player and improves Cup odds. These five teams are a little more uncertain, and that will make them especially interesting down the stretch.

Top five teams that had the most interesting deadline

5. Calgary Flames/Florida Panthers – I’m cheating to cram an extra team in, but these two both make it for the same reason. It’s not often you see a team in the thick of a playoff chase basically sit out the deadline, but the Panthers didn’t do anything and the Flames didn’t do much (although the brother trade was cool). It’s a little ironic that the two teams that hooked up on the biggest offseason trade in years decided to stay the course with their playoff lives on the line. In Calgary’s case at least, maybe it doesn’t even matter.

4. Seattle Kraken – They didn’t do anything at all, unless you want to count Jaycob Megna, and that’s certainly a choice. I get the argument that Ron Francis is already playing with house money, as a team that few of us expected to make the playoffs is holding down a spot that only the Flames are anywhere within range of. Still, this was shaping up to be a magical year in a new market that’s still finding its feet. Staying the course might make sense in the long run, but sometimes it’s OK to go off script.

>> Read the full post at The Athletic

(Want to read this post on The Athletic for free? Sign up for a free trial.)

No comments:

Post a Comment