Skip to content

NHL trade deadline: Breaking down Friday's deals

Getty Images

Quick-hit analysis of big-league moves completed Friday, March 8.

Roslovic traded to Rangers

New York acquires: F Jack Roslovic
Columbus acquires: 2024 fourth-round pick

Without the full context, the Rangers acquiring Roslovic makes total sense. They could use his speed and playmaking, and the price is reasonable. But viewed through the lens of the entire deadline period, where New York also brought in forward Alexander Wennberg but not someone like Jake Guentzel, it's not as satisfying. The Rangers are injecting depth into their lineup while division rival Carolina is injecting a legitimate needle-mover in Guentzel. And there was no reunion between the Rangers and Pavel Buchnevich, or another splash as the deadline neared. Maybe GM Chris Drury was close but deemed the prices for quality talent to be too high. Anyway, the fourth-rounder going to the Blue Jackets upgrades to a third if the Rangers reach the Cup Final.

Hertl traded to Golden Knights

Vegas acquires: F Tomas Hertl, 2025 third-round pick, 2027 third-rounder
San Jose acquires: Prospect David Edstrom, 2025 first-round pick (Sharks retain 17% of Hertl's salary)

Vegas did it again. Anthony Mantha on Tuesday. Noah Hanifin two days later. Now Hertl at the buzzer on deadline day. What a week for Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon. Hertl's currently injured but expected to return during the regular season, and he should slot in behind Jack Eichel and ahead of William Karlsson and Nick Roy - that's unbelievable center depth to match unbelievable blue-line depth. But this acquisition doesn't come with zero risk. Hertl, a dual threat as a triggerman and playmaker, is 30 and only in the second year of an eight-year deal. Those final seasons could be tough to swallow at a $6.75-million cap hit. At any rate, I can't praise the Golden Knights enough for raising the bar on going "all-in." The defending Stanley Cup champions are on a mission to repeat. The Sharks, meanwhile, hit a home run here. Hertl's timeline as a star NHLer isn't aligned with the club's competitive timeline. Moving him, in general, would have been applaudable. To get a first in 2025, which is supposed to be a deep draft, as well as Edstrom, who's a 2023 first, in return? GM Mike Grier must be grinning widely.

Dumba traded to Lightning

Tampa Bay acquires: D Matt Dumba, 2025 seventh-round pick
Arizona acquires: 2027 fifth-round pick

The Lightning added Anthony Duclair up front Thursday and now Dumba's coming in to help the back end. Both contracts fit under the cap because star defenseman Mikhail Sergachev is on long-term injured reserve. As for what Dumba offers, his on-paper value likely exceeds his on-ice value. He shoots right, is physical, skates well, but he leaves something to be desired as far as his ability to impact the run of play. That said, I do like this move at this price for Tampa Bay - they needed another defenseman before Sergachev went down. Plus, Dumba's a pending UFA, so both parties can move on if this doesn't work out. Arizona not retaining any of Dumba's $3.9-million salary drove the price down.

Johnson traded to Flyers

Philadelphia acquires: D Erik Johnson
Buffalo acquires: 2024 fourth-round pick

Vitor Munhoz / Getty Images

Sabres GM Kevyn Adams cashes out on another veteran. Like Okposo, Johnson was one of the few 30-somethings in the Buffalo room. To flip a player of Johnson's caliber (a No. 6 defenseman at best this late into his career) for a fourth-rounder is good value. I do get the Flyers' motivations here, though: the club's blue line has been shaken up. Jamie Drysdale and Nick Seeler are injured, while Sean Walker is now on the Avalanche. They need NHL D-men to stay in the playoff hunt in the Eastern Conference.

Allen traded to Devils

New Jersey acquires: G Jake Allen
Montreal acquires: Conditional 2025 third-round pick (Canadiens retain 50% of Allen's salary)

Finally: The Devils, who own the league's second-worst team save percentage, acquired a goalie. Allen, 33, isn't the long-term answer between the pipes but he's worth bringing in for the rest of this season and next at a $1.9-million cap hit. GM Tom Fitzgerald can find a starter to share the workload with Allen in the offseason. (Jacob Markstrom, perhaps?) Props to Canadiens GM Kent Hughes for showcasing Allen throughout the season (21 starts in a three-goalie rotation) before cashing in on deadline day. Note: The third-rounder upgrades to a second if Allen plays 40 games for the Devils in 2024-25.

Zucker traded to Predators

Nashville acquires: F Jason Zucker
Arizona acquires: 2024 sixth-round pick

On one hand, I don't love the approach taken by Predators GM Barry Trotz. He should be sitting or selling ahead of the deadline, not buying a middle-six forward on an expensive expiring deal. On the other hand, Zucker fits coach Andrew Brunette's playing style well as a strong transition player. Perhaps Trotz simply couldn't pass up the overall value here, because based on the rental forward market, Zucker is definitely worth more than a sixth-rounder. (Arizona's unwillingness to retain salary certainly impacted the return.) Zucker signed a one-year, $5.3-million deal knowing he'd likely get dealt midseason. He put up only 25 points in 61 games in a Coyotes uniform.

Maroon traded to Bruins

Boston acquires: F Pat Maroon
Minnesota acquires: Minor-leaguer Luke Toporowski, conditional 2026 sixth-round pick

Bruce Kluckhohn / Getty Images

Maroon, 35, is far from a difference-maker in his 13th NHL season. He'll crash and bang but doesn't do much else in limited ice time. The Bruins picked up Maroon for insurance (a contender can never have too many depth pieces) and likely his personality and experience. The loveable, big-bodied winger is a three-time Stanley Cup champion (though he's currently injured and should return in a few weeks). The sixth-rounder transfers to Minnesota only if Maroon makes an appearance in the 2024 playoffs. Side plot: Remember the Maroon-Jack Edwards kerfuffle? Edwards will now call all of Maroon's games.

Okposo sent to Panthers

Florida acquires: F Kyle Okposo
Buffalo acquires: Conditional 2024 seventh-round pick, minor-leaguer Calle Sjalin

Florida made its big chess move earlier in the week with the Vladimir Tarasenko pickup. This Okposo trade is more of a straightforward checkers move. Okposo's slowed down in recent years, though he still has utility as a fourth-line winger, and the outgoing Sabres captain also brings leadership. That price isn't at all exorbitant, so why not? A notable trend with conditional picks this year: upgrading a round or two if the buying team goes on a deep playoff run. In this case, the seventh becomes a fifth in 2024 if Florida wins the Stanley Cup. Sjalin, meanwhile, is a 24-year-old AHL forward.

Toffoli traded to Jets

Winnipeg acquires: F Tyler Toffoli
New Jersey acquires: 2025 second-round pick, 2024 third-rounder (Devils retain 50% of Toffoli's salary)

The Jets, 17th in the NHL in goals per game, needed another goal-scorer. Toffoli, 31, fits the bill, and is on pace for his third 30-goal season. The smart, right-handed winger became the top sniper available after Jake Guentzel moved from Pittsburgh to Carolina late Thursday night. Couple this move with the Sean Monahan acquisition in February, and Winnipeg GM Kevin Cheveldayoff improved an already solid forward group in a substantial way. High marks for being aggressive - a word rarely used to describe Cheveldayoff and his managerial style. Toffoli is a pending unrestricted free agent making $4.25 million. As for the Devils, I believe getting a second and third for a rental of Toffoli's caliber is completely fair. First-round picks have been hard to acquire and he wasn't going to be the guy to command one.

Eberle re-signed by Kraken

Contract: 2 years, $9.5 million

Scott Rovak / National Hockey League / Getty

Well, there goes a productive winger. Jordan Eberle, a 33-year-old pending UFA who could have netted a decent package on the trade market, is staying in Seattle. He's fourth in Kraken scoring with 14 goals and 23 assists for 37 points in 58 games. Seattle doesn't have many forwards signed beyond next season, Eberle is a heart-and-soul type you want around young players, and the $4.75-million cap hit is fine. That said, the full no-trade clause may come back to bite GM Ron Francis a couple of deadlines from now.

Kuznetsov traded to Hurricanes

Carolina acquires: F Evgeny Kuznetsov
Washington acquires: 2025 third-round pick (Capitals retain 50% of Kuznetsov's salary)

Kuznetsov was a top-end playmaker in his prime. At 31, he's a reclamation project. The Hurricanes are hoping the career-long Capital can find a version of his old self after this change of scenery. The salary retention brings Kuznetsov's cap hit down to $3.9 million - not a bad bet for the Canes, all things considered (Kuznetsov will be a UFA after next season). Maybe Kuznetsov can thrive in a sheltered depth role down the stretch and then shoot for a second Stanley Cup ring. The Russian was recently assigned to AHL Hershey after nobody claimed him on waivers. To get a third-rounder for such a distressed asset is good business. Bravo, Caps.

John Matisz is theScore's senior NHL writer. Follow John on Twitter (@MatiszJohn) or contact him via email (

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox