Which NHL teams had the best and worst trade deadlines? Scores for all 32


The NHL’s 2024 trade deadline has come and gone, bringing disappointment to some fan bases, excitement to others, and sheer shock to the whole hockey world as the Vegas Golden Knights pulled off their latest bombshell move at the buzzer.

How did your team do?

The Athletic checked in with its NHL staff Friday night, asking our writers to rate every team’s performance ahead of the deadline. We had to define “ahead of” somehow, so we decided on the two weeks leading up to March 8 — or, functionally, everything since the Calgary Flames sent Chris Tanev to the Dallas Stars on Feb. 28. So moves made about a month earlier than that, like the Sean Monahan (Feb. 2) and Elias Lindholm (Jan. 31) deals, are excluded.

Here’s what our writers said, with every team scored on a 1 (terrible) to 10 (best deadline in the league) scale.


Rating: 8 out of 10

Analysis: General manager Pat Verbeek had a pretty clear plan in dealing players on expiring contracts who had value. Getting a third-round pick in the 2025 draft for Ilya Lyubushkin instead of this year might have felt a little on the light side, but Verbeek was fine with that as he already has three third-round picks. Hanging on to Adam Henrique until he got a first-round pick proved to be a victory. It gives Henrique and gritty forward Sam Carrick a strong chance to win it all with Edmonton and the Ducks now have seven selections in the first three rounds. Maybe Verbeek could have dealt Frank Vatrano, too, but he didn’t have to and wasn’t blown away with an offer. Add in the January stunner of acquiring NCAA goal-scoring leader Cutter Gauthier as a potential core forward and Verbeek has done some solid asset management. — Eric Stephens

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Ducks agree to trade Henrique, Carrick to Oilers for first-round pick

Rating: 2 out of 10

Analysis: The Coyotes went into sell mode late in the game, which probably contributed to the fact that they didn’t get anything of consequence for their two primary rentals, Jason Zucker and Matt Dumba. The only thing they did accomplish was to keep their salary-retention slots open in case they need to utilize them at a later date. Nashville, which picked up Zucker, and Tampa Bay, which added Dumba, took on the full contract commitments for both players, which is why the Predators and Lightning got them so cheap. But the expectation, when both were signed last summer was that if they did become rentals at the deadline, they’d command far higher prices. — Eric Duhatschek

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NHL trade grades: Predators land Jason Zucker from Coyotes at a bargain price

Rating: 3 out of 10

Analysis: The Bruins had their hands tied by their lack of cap space and futures (no picks in Round 1 through 3 in 2024). They could have improved both those areas by trading Linus Ullmark and improving more significantly at defense or forward. But they kept Ullmark and acquired depth players in Pat Maroon and Andrew Peeke. That said, they still have their No. 1 position of strength in Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman. — Fluto Shinzawa

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Why did Bruins only add depth players at the trade deadline? A Linus Ullmark hangup may explain

Rating: 7 out of 10

Analysis: Kevyn Adams managed to trade Casey Mittelstadt for a young stud defenseman in Bowen Byram. I think that move will age well if Byram can stay healthy, and it gives the Sabres flexibility to change the look of their forward group this summer. Adams also got a fourth-round pick for Erik Johnson, who has had an underwhelming season, and let Kyle Okposo land with a playoff contender. This wasn’t a slam dunk deadline, but Adams did as much as could be expected. The real test for him comes in the summer. — Matthew Fairburn

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Why Sabres’ Casey Mittelstadt-Bowen Byram trade is a risk worth taking for Kevyn Adams

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Bowen Byram had a goal and an assist in his first game with the Sabres. (Nick Wosika / USA Today)

Calgary Flames

Rating: 5 out of 10

Analysis: The Flames got modest-but-not-awful returns for Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev. It’s unclear how close they actually got to moving Jacob Markstrom, but he now becomes a summer storyline. General manager Craig Conroy probably deserved a better score for his summer than for the deadline. He still needs a high-end player or prospect to help his retool. — Julian McKenzie

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Is Craig Conroy garnering enough quality assets for the Flames’ retool?

Rating: 8 out of 10

Analysis: The Hurricanes finally pushed their chips into the middle of the table, nabbing the biggest rental on the market in Jake Guentzel. Guentzel gives Carolina a two-time 40-goal scorer who can hopefully give the team the kind of instant offense it has, at times, lacked — and the Hurricanes did it without giving up any of their “A” prospects. General manager Don Waddell then went bargain hunting and traded for Evgeny Kuznetsov, a low-risk, high-reward move that will either pay dividends or only cost them a third-round pick and some cap space. If Guentzel can prove he’s the same player without riding alongside Sidney Crosby and Kuznetsov is able to revive his career — two ifs, for certain — then Carolina could be lifting a Stanley Cup in a few months. — Cory Lavalette

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NHL trade deadline winners and losers: Golden Knights, Avalanche, Hurricanes load up for playoff run

Rating: 5 out of 10

Analysis: The Blackhawks weren’t expected to do much at the trade deadline, and they didn’t. Their only move was getting a fifth-round pick for Anthony Beauvillier. It sounds like they could have retained money as a third party on deals, but the reward wasn’t great enough. By re-signing Jason Dickinson, Nick Foligno and Petr Mrázek in the months leading up to the deadline, they diminished their chances of being an active seller in recent weeks. — Scott Powers

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What I’m hearing about the Blackhawks as the trade deadline approaches

Rating: 8 out of 10

Analysis: The Avalanche added two good players in Sean Walker and Casey Mittelstadt. Even more important, they both fit Colorado’s style of play perfectly, and in the case of Mittelstadt, fill a massive need. He hasn’t had his true breakout yet but led the Sabres with 47 points this season. The offensive skill is there, so playing with a high-octane Avs team may bring out the best in Mittelstadt. It feels like everyone at the top of the West got better this week. Colorado certainly did. — Jesse Granger

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Baugh: Avalanche’s day of trades could define GM Chris MacFarland’s tenure

Rating: 7 out of 10

Analysis: The Blue Jackets’ trade deadline was exactly as expected: Jack Roslovic and Andrew Peeke were unloaded for draft picks, but any larger moves — yes, they were discussed, interim general manager John Davidson said — were put on hold for the GM who will be hired likely after the season. The most impressive deal was Peeke, who has two more years on his contract at $2.75 million and no spot in the lineup. It’s only going to get tougher next year when prospects David Jiricek and Denton Mateychuk arrive. Roslovic got squeezed by young talent, too, and, as an unrestricted free agent, was not likely to return. — Aaron Portzline

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Are the Blue Jackets, ‘on a mission,’ finally getting it together? There are positive signs

Dallas Stars

Rating: 9 out of 10

Analysis: The Stars had one glaring need, for a right-handed defenseman, and they addressed it by acquiring the top player available at that position and didn’t give up a whole lot to get the deal done, either. It’s hard to ask much more from a front office than that. The flurry of moves from their competition in the conference took a little shine off the Chris Tanev trade, but internal upgrades — Tyler Seguin getting healthy, calling up Mavrik Bourque — remain on the table. — Saad Yousuf

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Yousuf: Chris Tanev trade puts the Stars in prime position to chase the Stanley Cup

Rating: 5 out of 10

Analysis: The Red Wings deadline was defined by inaction. They cleared some needed future cap space by unloading the contract of Klim Kostin, who was on the books for $2 million next season despite playing a limited role (often as a scratch), but otherwise, Steve Yzerman stood pat. Detroit explored replacing Kostin with another forward but instead opted to trust its organizational depth in filling that hole. And for a team looking to snap a seven-year playoff drought, that made for an anticlimactic day. The middling grade here is because the Red Wings didn’t gain anything (besides a few cap dollars) but didn’t lose anything either, trusting in the group that got them to this point to finish the job. — Max Bultman

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Red Wings quiet at deadline: What it means for playoff race

Edmonton Oilers

Rating: 8 out of 10

Analysis: It would have been wonderful if the Oilers made a bigger splash by acquiring someone like Jake Guentzel, Pavel Buchnevich or Chris Tanev. However, general manager Ken Holland and his staff did some fine work by nabbing three players, particularly the versatile Adam Henrique. The veteran forward can help address either second-line wing or bottom-six center, two areas where Edmonton needed to improve. Throw in Sam Carrick and Troy Stecher for depth, and the Oilers had an unremarkable but solid deadline, which should lock them in as a true Stanley Cup favorite. — Daniel Nugent-Bowman

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Nugent-Bowman: Despite quiet deadline, Oilers are still the team to beat out West

Rating: 8 out of 10

Analysis: Bill Zito wanted to add to his middle-six but didn’t have much to offer — and he managed anyway. Vladimir Tarasenko using his no-movement clause to steer his way to South Florida helped. Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams’ desire to do right by Kyle Okposo did, as well. No matter what, Zito’s roster is stronger than it was last week, and the Panthers seem to be ready for another playoff run. — Sean Gentille

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Vladimir Tarasenko controlled his own destiny at the trade deadline. (Chris Tanouye / Getty Images)

Rating: 2 out of 10

Analysis: Their bed was made when acquiring Pierre-Luc Dubois in the offseason pushed them to the cap. And they’ll be counting on some or all of injured veterans Adrian Kempe, Mikey Anderson, Viktor Arvidsson and Carl Grundstrom returning down the stretch and into the postseason (assuming they hang on to their positions). But the Kings’ cap issues have made it difficult to make a trade at any point. They’ll have to rely on Dubois making a difference and All-Star goalie Cam Talbot giving them more than they spent on him. But when the top teams in the West leveled up and you didn’t, can you really call this deadline a success? — Eric Stephens

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Why Cam Talbot might be the Kings’ answer in net after all

Rating: 5 out of 10

Analysis: It’s hard to score this because it was obviously an underwhelming deadline in the midst of a disappointing season, but it’s exactly what Joe Smith and I forecasted — that Zach Bogosian would be re-signed and free agents Brandon Duhaime, Connor Dewar and Pat Maroon would likely be dealt for picks. It’s a broken record, but if the training camp extensions to Mats Zuccarello, Marcus Foligno and Ryan Hartman didn’t happen, the deadline would have had a lot more spice. — Michael Russo

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‘They played hard for us’: Wild GM Bill Guerin talks bittersweet deadline as Dewy 1 and 2 say goodbye

Rating: 8 out of 10

Analysis: The Canadiens did not have much to offer at the trade deadline, so finding a way to deal Jake Allen, get a third-round pick that could turn into a second and also alleviate their season-long problem of having three NHL goaltenders all in one swoop is pretty good work. General manager Kent Hughes had to monetize his lone remaining salary retention slot, and he did that. If you throw in the Sean Monahan trade to the Jets at the beginning of February, this grade goes up to a 10. — Arpon Basu

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Kent Hughes used opposing strategies to monetize what little the Canadiens had to offer

Nashville Predators

Rating: 6 out of 10

Analysis: The Preds’ 9-0-1 tear inspired Barry Trotz to do some buying, and the key additions are forwards Jason Zucker and Anthony Beauvillier, plus a third-round pick. Yakov Trenin is out the door along with a fifth and sixth. That’s a net gain without sacrificing the big picture. But Trotz didn’t move Alexandre Carrier and may not be able to extend him — a one-year deal for Dante Fabbro makes you wonder. His goalie decision is deferred to the summer, and Juuse Saros is playing right now like a goalie who could make a team dangerous in the spring. — Joe Rexrode

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NHL trade deadline: Grading every deal completed this trade season

Rating: 5 out of 10

Analysis: The Devils’ deadline in a vacuum was fine. They got what they could for Tyler Toffoli, and most importantly, they created cap space for next year by trading Vitek Vanecek — under contract with a $3.4 million cap hit through 2024-25 — for Kaapo Kahkonen, a pending unrestricted free agent. Tom Fitzgerald also picked up Jake Allen, who the Devils will have for next year too. My main question is if they could have done any of this sooner, especially given how much the Devils’ goalies struggled throughout the year. Had Fitzgerald traded for goalies earlier in the year, would this team be a bit closer to the playoff race? Instead of making moves focused on 2024-25, would New Jersey have spent the deadline trying to add? — Peter Baugh

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With Devils’ moves, Tom Fitzgerald looks to summer of ‘big-game hunting’ ahead

Rating: 5 out of 10

Analysis: Can you give a rating to nothing? The Islanders made zero transactions in the past 10 days, adding no one and subtracting no one, save putting Scott Mayfield on long-term injured reserve. Lou Lamoriello put this team together with lots of long-term contracts and, with Patrick Roy at the helm and a five-game winning streak boosting them back into the playoff hunt, decided no changes were necessary. Hard to gauge whether that’s a winning strategy or if the Isles simply didn’t have room or the assets to get in the deadline mix. — Arthur Staple

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Daniel Briere on Flyers’ deadline priorities and why he held on to Scott Laughton

Rating: 6 out of 10

Analysis: The Rangers filled their glaring needs. They got Alex Wennberg to play third-line center and added Jack Roslovic as a potential option at right wing alongside Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad. Chris Drury also picked up a depth defenseman in Chad Ruhwedel. The team made all these moves without parting with a first-round pick or a prospect. New York’s deadline could end up looking excellent if Roslovic clicks into place on the top line, but it feels as if conference foes Florida and Carolina — teams the Rangers might have to go through in the playoffs — were able to do more to solidify their rosters. — Peter Baugh

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Chris Drury fills Rangers’ needs at trade deadline but holds off on flashy move

Rating: 6 out of 10

Analysis: Steve Staios didn’t do anything drastic in his first trade deadline as Senators general manager. Sure, his return for Vladimir Tarasenko may have seemed soft on the surface, but when you realize this turned into a buyer’s market and Tarasenko controlled his destination, there really wasn’t much Staios could do. As Staios told The Athletic on Friday, he tried to look at some aggressive moves — but stopped short because he didn’t feel like he was getting fair value. “And at the end of the day, we were very responsible with how we went about things,” Staios said. The result was a fairly quiet and uneventful deadline for Staios, but it should set the table for an interesting summer where he can put a definitive stamp on this roster. — Ian Mendes

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Steve Staios reflects on his first trade deadline as Senators GM: ‘It’s hard to accelerate patience’

Rating: 8 out of 10

Analysis: Getting a first-round pick in the deal for Sean Walker was a nice bit of business by Daniel Briere. He also got a necessary depth defenseman in Erik Johnson and made a low-risk bet on Denis Gurianov. Where he loses a few points is that the Flyers are now stuck with Ryan Johansen and his $4 million salary cap hit through next season, with no apparent plans to play him. That could also lead to more dead money that could harm future plans. — Kevin Kurz

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Daniel Briere on Flyers’ deadline priorities and why he held on to Scott Laughton

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The Flyers got a first-rounder for Sean Walker but at the cost of taking back Ryan Johansen. (Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images)

Rating: 5 out of 10

Analysis: The Penguins’ fan base possessed outrageous expectations for what a rental would fetch, even one as good as Jake Guentzel. That said, Kyle Dubas was unable to land any bluechip prospects, which was disappointing. Still, three decent prospects are headed to a franchise that could use help in that regard. It was a small step in the right direction. — Josh Yohe

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‘Nobody’s happy about it’: Kyle Dubas on selling at first trade deadline

Rating: 5 out of 10

Analysis: Sharks general manager Mike Grier isn’t in an enviable position as a seller on a clear bottomfeeder, but he pushed forward with his massive rebuild by doing the expected in trading Anthony Duclair and the unexpected in trading longtime fan favorite Tomas Hertl, who Doug Wilson signed to an eight-year extension in 2022. Dealing those two is fine when it comes to the long-term outlook. It’s just the returns for those two were … meh. A third-round pick and a young defenseman for Duclair was fine, but the haul for Hertl should have been more. He got a center prospect in David Edstrom who’s solid but doesn’t have the upside of the star they dealt, plus draft capital in another 2025 first-round pick — but also Grier is retaining a portion of Hertl’s salary and cap hit for six (!) more years. He also swapped goalies in trading Kaapo Kahkonen for Vitek Vanecek and added depth in net by acquiring 26-year-old AHLer Devin Cooley, who once played for the Jr. Sharks youth program. All in all, nothing to beat your chest over. — Eric Stephens

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Sharks embrace the rebuild abyss by trading Tomáš Hertl — and hope for a quick exit

Rating: 7 out of 10

Analysis: The Seattle Kraken didn’t hit a home run, but it was good work done at the NHL trade deadline. On the outside of the playoff race — but still with a shot down the stretch — the Kraken sold Alex Wennberg to the Rangers, netting some futures in a consistent-with-market-value return. They then used the leverage of the deadline to get a deal done with top-line winger and organizational leader Jordan Eberle on a team-friendly two-year extension. Solid, workmanlike stuff from the Kraken front office that effectively straddled the near- and long-term priorities for the third-year club. — Thomas Drance

Rating: 2 out of 10

Analysis: We were asked to grade our team’s work at the deadline, but with the Blues, you have to include the questionable decisions and bad contracts that led to them doing nothing at the deadline. They couldn’t do anything. They weren’t buyers, and they had nothing to sell. The only reason I’m giving them 2 instead of 1 is that general manager Doug Armstrong didn’t do anything impulsive, like trade Pavel Buchnevich, to try and show he was doing something. His team is in a definite jam, and it was always going to take more than two weeks before the deadline to fix it. — Jeremy Rutherford

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Why the Blues’ Pavel Buchnevich wasn’t traded and GM Doug Armstrong stuck to the ‘charted’ course

Tampa Bay Lightning

Rating: 4 out of 10

Analysis: The Anthony Duclair trade is a good bet for the Lightning. The winger’s numbers may be down across the board in San Jose, but that should change in a stronger environment. The Matt Dumba trade, on the other hand, sinks Tampa Bay’s score. There were numerous defense targets the Lightning should have been after. But after missing out on Noah Hanifin, the options dwindled and they settled for an addition that will not be enough to give them a real boost. At least the price was low. — Shayna Goldman

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NHL trade grades: Duclair gives Lightning a middle-six boost

Rating: 4 out of 10

Analysis: The Leafs beefed up their blue line with Ilya Lyubushkin and Joel Edmundson. But neither perfectly filled Toronto’s need for an impact defenseman in the top four. Edmundson especially feels a lot like the defenders the Leafs already have — a depth left shot who can conceivably play the right — only he’s bigger. The Leafs also didn’t address a longstanding need at center — not an impact center, anyway. Connor Dewar is more depth help in the middle, a likely fourth liner. All three additions do bring some penalty-killing utility, so that’s something. What the Leafs needed, though, was more significant help around their stars — bolder swings like the ones (Noah Hanifin and Tomáš Hertl) Vegas took. Maybe a quieter deadline will pay off. Or maybe the vulnerabilities that weren’t addressed will be exposed. — Jonas Siegel

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The Maple Leafs played it safe at the trade deadline. They may regret it

Rating: 7 out of 10

Analysis: Some fans wanted to see the Canucks do more, but after making a dizzying number of in-season trades all year, the Pacific Division leaders played it conservatively in the final month of the deadline. Though Vancouver chased Chris Tanev and Jake Guentzel, it ultimately fell short in that pursuit, preferring instead to be mindful of longer-term priorities. Despite being quiet at the deadline, the Canucks have swung a series of deals that have slowly and surely raised the floor of a team that’s trending in the direction of a bona fide contender. — Thomas Drance

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Drance: Why the Canucks decided to be quiet at the NHL trade deadline

Vegas Golden Knights

Rating: 10 out of 10

Analysis: The Golden Knights came into this deadline with the plan to add (a lot) and did just that. In Tomáš Hertl, Noah Hanifin and Anthony Mantha, they added three players in good form who all fill positions of need. Mantha could be just a rental, but Hanifin and Hertl will both be core pieces of the team moving forward. It wasn’t cheap, but Vegas maximized its cap space and added a lot of talent as it tries to turn a slump around and go on another run. — Jesse Granger

Rating: 7 out of 10

Analysis: Brian MacLellan did well to cut ties with Evgeny Kuznetsov. It was time. Beyond that, he brought in decent returns on Anthony Mantha (second- and fourth-round picks) and Joel Edmundson (third- and fifth-round picks). Keeping Max Pacioretty around was understandable, given his wishes and the glut of rental wingers on the market, and there was no need to trade Nic Dowd or Charlie Lindgren if the offer wasn’t right. It was fine work at the deadline in D.C. — Sean Gentille

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NHL trade deadline moves: Full analysis of 33 deals from our staff

Winnipeg Jets

Rating: 8 out of 10

Analysis: Our Feb. 28 cutoff date is unkind to Winnipeg’s acquisition of Sean Monahan, but it leaves room for the Jets’ doubly devilish additions from New Jersey: Tyler Toffoli, who I see as an ideal right winger for Monahan and Nikolaj Ehlers on the second line, and right-shooting defenseman Colin Miller, who provides plenty of quality in a third-pairing and depth role. Winnipeg pulled off both acquisitions for a slew of mid-round picks: second- and third-round picks for Toffoli and a fourth-round pick for Miller. — Murat Ates

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Devils trade Tyler Toffoli to Jets for picks

(Top photos of Tyler Toffoli, Jake Guentzel and Tomáš Hertl: Bruce Bennett and  and Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)





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