AP Sports Writers
Loui Eriksson is still with Boston. Dan Hamhuis is still a Vancouver Canuck. And Jonathan Drouin is still on the roster of the Tampa Bay Lightning after the NHL’s trade deadline came and went Monday.
The league said there were 19 trades involving 37 players completed on Monday. That’s lower than last year’s numbers of 24 trades and 43 players, but it marked the 15th straight deadline day in which at least 30 players were dealt.
There were a few splashes made, mostly in the Western Conference by teams including Anaheim and Colorado as the afternoon deadline arrived.
Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic delivered on his intent to provide Colorado’s playoff run one more push. And Dallas added defensive depth by landing nine-year veteran Kris Russell in a trade with Calgary in exchange for defensemen Jyrki Jokipakka and Brett Pollock and a conditional second-round draft pick. Russell has 174 shot blocks in just 51 games this season.
But the day was largely notable for the names who didn’t move.
Selected third overall in the 2013 draft, Drouin’s future with the Lightning remains uncertain after his agent went public with his client’s trade demands in December. Drouin was unhappy over being demoted to the minors and has since left the AHL Syracuse Crunch to work out on his own in Montreal.
Boston acquired play-making forward Lee Stempniak from New Jersey and veteran defenseman John Michael Liles from Carolina. But the Bruins stood pat on Eriksson, who was a candidate to be traded because his contract expires this offseason.
“If you look around the league, I don’t think any team current in a playoff position traded a player of Loui’s magnitude,” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said. “I think one first-rounder was exchanged. The deal had to be right.”
Pittsburgh general manager Jim Rutherford said the asking prices were too high for some players he had identified, and Arizona GM Don Maloney said the uncertainty over how much the salary cap will grow this summer was a factor in preventing some teams from making trades.
Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan expressed disappointment he was unable to make an additional move.
“It seemed to be a little bit quieter today than I expected it to be, so there’s a little frustration,” MacLellan said. “But still, I’m comfortable with where we’re at as a team.”
The league-leading Capitals had already addressed their depth by acquiring forward Daniel Winnik from Toronto on Sunday, and adding defenseman Mike Weber from Buffalo last week. The East rival New York Rangers acquired Hurricanes captain Eric Staal in exchange for Finnish prospect Aleksi Saarela and a pair of second-round draft picks over the weekend.
In the West, Sakic completed three trades in which he added a top-line forward in Arizona’s Mikkel Boedker and filled out his defensive depth in acquiring New Jersey’s Eric Gelinas. The Avalanche have missed the postseason four of the past five seasons and currently hold down the West’s eighth and final playoff spot.
“We expect to make the playoffs,” Sakic said. “That’s what these moves are for, trying to help your team get better.”
Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog appreciated the support management provided.
“It sends a message to everybody in here that they’re willing up top to give us the best chance possible to go deep in the playoffs,” Landeskog said.
Boedker is an eight-year veteran who adds scoring punch. His 39 points (13 goals, 26 assists) ranked third on Arizona. Gelinas is a hard-shooting third-year defenseman who provides Colorado depth on the blue line.
In exchange, the Avalanche traded veteran forward Alex Tanguay and two prospects, forward Connor Bleackley and defenseman Kyle Wood, who were both selected in the 2014 draft. For Gelinas, Colorado sent the Devils a third-round pick in the 2017 draft.
Anaheim made a few splashes in acquiring two-way forward Jamie McGinn from Buffalo and forward Brandon Pirri from Florida.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks were quiet Monday, but they had already acquired Winnipeg forward Andrew Ladd in exchange for rookie forward Marko Dano and a first-round pick in this year’s draft.
Far below them in the standings, the Coyotes said trading Boedker shouldn’t be seen as a sign Arizona is pulling the plug on its season.
“We’re not throwing in the towel in,” Maloney said. “We’ve got some home games coming up, so let’s start winning our games and crawl our way back into the playoff hunt.”
The Coyotes also acquired winger Sergei Plotnikov from Pittsburgh in exchange for prospect Matthias Plachta and a conditional seventh-round pick in 2017.