- Capitals, Oilers capture headlines with major Deadline Day deals
- Hurricanes take steps to bolster blue line, but fail to reinforce injury-hobbled goaltending
- See the current Stanley Cup odds after the completion of the NHL Trade Deadline Day below
The Washington Capitals emerged as one of the winners at this year’s NHL Trade Deadline, pulling the trigger on deals to acquire veteran sniper Ilya Kovalchuk and defenceman Brenden Dillon, and have been rewarded at the sportsbooks with a substantial gain in Stanley Cup odds. Over in the Western Conference, the Edmonton Oilers are also climbing the odds after making four deadline deals that reinforce the club’s battered and bruised lineup.
Here is a look at the biggest deals of the days, and the teams that have enjoyed some of the biggest gains in the NHL futures.
Odds to Win Stanley Cup
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+550|
|St. Louis Blues||+900|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+1200|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+2200|
Odds taken on February 24, 2020
Capitals Add Skill, Toughness with Kovalchuk, Dillon
The Capitals hope to address their recent goal-scoring woes by adding Kovalchuk. The former Maurice Richard Trophy winner thrived in Montreal after being kicked to the curb by the Los Angeles Kings earlier this season, racking up six goals and seven assists in 22 appearances.
To Washington #Capitals
F Ilya Kovalchuk
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) February 24, 2020
Perched among the top-scoring teams for much of the season, the Capitals have struggled of late, averaging just 2.63 goals per game during a 2-5-1 run that briefly bounced them from top spot in the Metropolitan Division standings.
The slide quickly impacted the club’s position in Stanley Cup betting, with Washington entering Monday at average odds of +725. However, the additions of Kovalchuk and Dillon have boosted the Capitals slightly to a +700 bet.
Penguins Add Veteran Depth Ahead of the Trade Deadline
The Penguins followed up last week’s acquisition of Jason Zucker with a pair of trades on Monday. The club brought a familiar face back, picking up winger Conor Sheary along with centre Evan Rodriguez in an exchange that sends youngster Dominik Kahun to Buffalo and added veteran leadership by sending a conditional pick to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau.
Jim Rutherford: "The Penguins, in a short period of time, have [acquired] Zucker, Marleau, Rodrigues, and Sheary… Hopefully, we get healthy here in the next week or two, and we have a whole team and we see what we’ve really got."
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 24, 2020
Pittsburgh has been among the hottest teams in the NHL since embarking on their current 23-9-2 run, vaulting to a short +700 bet in the Stanley Cup odds. Currently mired in a three-game losing streak, the Penguins face a massive challenge to remain among the favorites as they continue a critical run of 11 games that features eight contests on the road.
Hurricanes Bolster Defence, Gamble on Young Goaltending
The Carolina Hurricanes strengthened their blue line by dealing for rearguards Sam Vatanen and Brady Skjei, and also added depth up the middle by picking up Vincent Trocheck in a trade that sent Eric Haula, Lucas Wallmark, and two prospects to Florida.
#Canes head coach Rod Brind'Amour confirms a concussion for Petr Mrazek.
Added that none of the Mrazek, Reimer or Pesce injuries will be "short term". Tough blow for this group.
— Alex Ohári 🇭🇺🔴⚪️ (@FutureCanes) February 24, 2020
Vatanen and Skjei bring a nice combination of puck-carrying skill and shutdown ability to a Hurricanes defensive corps hobbled by an injury to Jaccob Slavin. And Trocheck is expected to step into a regular role on the Canes’ second line. However, the Hurricanes have failed to address goaltending concerns arising from the injuries that sidelined both James Reimer and Petr Mrazek in Saturday’s historic 6-3 win in Toronto.
With the goaltending responsibilities now in the inexperienced hands of Anton Forsberg and Alex Nedeljkovic, it remains to be seen whether Carolina can maintain its slender grasp on a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Hurricanes have made gains in the Stanley Cup odds in the wake of Monday’s deals, climbing from +1800 to +1600. But with the goaltending responsibilities now in the inexperienced hands of Anton Forsberg and Alex Nedeljkovic, it remains to be seen whether Carolina can maintain its slender grasp on a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Oilers, Red Wings Complete Two Deadline Day Deals
Still locked in a tight battle for top spot in the Pacific Division, the Edmonton Oilers made three key deadline deals on Monday. Early in the day, Edmonton added defenceman Mike Green and speedy forward Andreas Athanasiou in a pair of trades with the Detroit Red Wings.
"Athanasiou is instant offence. He scores on the rush. He has a good shot, he is a good finisher, and I think he will complement McDavid very well. He isn't known for his defence, but I think part of that was due to the Wings losing and he was trying to create offence." Bultman
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) February 25, 2020
Green fills a hole on the blue line left by injuries to Oscar Klefbom and Kris Russell, while Athanasiou reinforces an Oiler attack recently ravaged by injuries. Sporting average Stanley Cup odds of +2400 going into the weekend, the Oilers have surged at the sportsbooks with the Trade Deadline now passed, climbing alongside the Vancouver Canucks at +2000.
But while Athanasiou is just one year removed from a 30-goal campaign, he arrives in Edmonton sporting an NHL-worst -45 plus/minus rating that has raised concerns about his commitment to his defensive responsibilities. In addition, injuries have plagued Green throughout his career, and the 34-year-old is currently on pace to record his lowest offensive numbers since his first full NHL season 13 years ago.
Vegas Surprises by Adding Lehner
The most surprising deal of the day saw the Vegas Golden Knights acquire goaltender Robin Lehner via a complex three-way trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks.
The Lehner to Vegas trade was actually a three-way trade between Chicago, Toronto, and Vegas
The easiest way to show the result is using a picture of our trade engine: pic.twitter.com/mBfUY1uMlH
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) February 24, 2020
Lehner is expected to battle veteran Marc-Andre Fleury for the top job in the Vegas crease and is a strong candidate to eventually take over the reins from the 35-year-old veteran. The Golden Knights made room for Lehner by shipping Malcolm Subban to Chicago in Monday’s deal. The club also added some veteran grit by picking up Nick Cousins from Montreal for a pick after acquiring defenceman Alec Martinez from Los Angeles for a pair of second-round picks last week.
However, the moves have done little to lift the Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup odds, where they hold steady as an attractive +1200 bet.
Busy Trade Deadline Fails to Produce Game-Changing Deal
While Monday’s Trade Deadline proved to be hectic, it lacked any blockbuster deals that are likely to move the needle significantly in any team’s favor. With aging veterans and depth players dominating the trade wire, tweaks were the order of the day.
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) February 24, 2020
And as the smoke clears, it is a team that remained silent at Monday’s deadline that continues to offer the most value in the Stanley Cup odds. Winners of four straight to remain atop the Central Division standings, the St. Louis Blues have lagged behind the Stanley Cup favorites throughout the season. But with 12 of their final 19 contests coming against teams currently outside the playoff picture, a first-place finish in the Western Conference is in reach, positioning St. Louis for a successful run at a second straight Stanley Cup title.
Pick: Blues to win Stanley Cup (+900)
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