Hodgemail: Did Monday's deals alter the playoff landscape? Staff
3/1/2011 9:32:49 PM
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With the Western Conference playoff race showing no signs of loosening up and a postseason dogfight in the East, you could say it was a surprise to see just 16 trades on Monday leading up to the NHL's deadline - just over half the number from last year.

And were those deals enough for any team to make a splash in the stretch run?

GM Dean Lombardi made the biggest deal of the day, paying perhaps a king's ransom (pardon the pun) to snag forward Dustin Penner from the Edmonton Oilers.

But after that, most of the deals were about adding 'depth forwards,' 'puck-moving defencemen' and 'character players.'

Supporting cast members like Maxim Lapierre, Radek Dvorak and Bryan Allen saw more than their fair share of the spotlight in the hours leading up to 3pm et, while more prominent names like Ales Hemsky, Tomas Vokoun and of course, Brad Richards remained in the shadows - at least where actual trades were concerned.

So here was Dave's question to you: "Did Monday's deadline deals alter the playoff landscape, and if so, how?"

And here are the answers that Dave liked best:

"Only if you count Jimmy Howard's contract extension. He and the Red Wings have settled things for the next two years and that's a good thing." - Angelo, Concord, ON

"Not the playoffs, but yes an altered landscape that could affect Landeskog. Florida can join Ottawa and Edmonton in the race to the bottom."  - Eric, St. Catharines, ON

"Max Lapierre will add some grit that Vancouver has missed since Rick Rypien left. Lapierre can be great for the Canucks as he was for the Habs in last year's playoffs."  - Alistair, Halifax

"The playoff landscape changed like a drive from Regina to Saskatoon." - Chris, Ottawa

"I altered my views on daytime drinking. How else did you want me to put up with 10 hours of your coverage?" - Marko, Vaughan, ON

And Dave's reply to all:

In other years, when there were more trades and bigger trades, we wanted to think that the Stanley Cup might be won or lost on "deadline day." but almost always, the playoffs brought us to the conclusion that "deadline day" was vastly over-rated.

This time, it is easy to say that yesterday changed nothing. Most of the Stanley Cup contenders did nothing, or next to nothing. 

I guess it's possible that we'll get surprised again, the opposite way, and at least one of the 16 deadline deals will become significant, but I can't tell you which one. 

The leading candidates are: Penner to L.A.; Dennis Wideman to Washington; Jason Arnott to Washington.

Put "none of the above" on the ballot and I could vote easily, and quickly.

Cabbie on

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