Another trade deadline has come and gone, and it wasn't nearly as quiet as expected given quarantine restrictions and the flat cap.
The playoff field feels strangely set, with a couple of exceptions. With rosters essentially finalized, let's see which teams offer value in the futures market.
|Team||Odds (4/13)||Odds (3/23)|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+400||+400|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+450||+450|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+500||+700|
|New York Islanders||+800||+1200|
|St. Louis Blues||+1800||+1800|
*Only displaying teams with odds 35-1 or shorter
Tampa Bay Lightning (+450)
The Lightning announced the biggest pre-deadline acquisition a few weeks ago when they confirmed Nikita Kucherov is still on track to return for the playoffs. Little else was expected of the defending champions given their cap restraints. So, naturally, they solidified their blue line by adding a defense partner for Victor Hedman in David Savard. It's bordering on unfair at this point.
Tampa Bay has traded away three first-round picks since the beginning of last season and I don't believe the team is drafting again until 2027. But the Lightning already have one Cup to show for it and appear well on their way to another. Flags fly forever.
Boston Bruins (+1300)
We all know the Taylor Hall story so I won't beat it to death. He's sucked this year and wasn't a desired commodity as a result, but Boston feels like a perfect fit. The Bruins need scoring in a bad way, and a motivated Hall could do some serious damage on the second line.
This is something of a last chance for Hall. The impending unrestricted free agent has no excuse if he doesn't perform given he requested a trade to Boston. Additionally, this was a low-risk move by the Bruins given how little they gave up, with Hall using his no-trade clause to essentially back the Sabres into a corner. It's nice to see a team from Boston finally catch a break.
The Bruins also traded for Mike Reilly, who's enjoyed a breakout with the Senators, to play alongside Charlie McAvoy, Matt Grzelcyk, and Brandon Carlo in the top four. This roster is rounding out nicely, with Tuukka Rask also due back soon.
Pittsburgh Penguins (+1700)
Few people seem to care that the Penguins acquired two-time Stanley Cup champion Jeff Carter. This was low-key one of my favorite deadline deals. Carter's arrival makes it 16 Stanley Cups won collectively by this roster. If there's one thing Pittsburgh needed, it's more playoff experience.
Carter also came at a relative bargain despite posting better numbers than Hall, Nick Foligno, and Kyle Palmieri. The 36-year-old can play up and down the lineup at center or on the wing. He's still a strong skater and the offense hasn't dried up yet. Playing to the right of Evgeni Malkin wouldn't hurt, either. Carter's a good, smart hockey player, and the fit in Pittsburgh feels perfect. The Penguins will be a nightmare to deal with once they start getting their injured forwards back.
Vegas Golden Knights (+400)
Nothing against Mattias Janmark, but the Golden Knights paid more for him than Boston and Pittsburgh did for Hall and Carter, respectively. Janmark can provide some secondary scoring, but I'm not sure how much he moves the needle. This felt like a time for Vegas - which has come so close in each of the last three seasons - to add an impact player ahead of a likely showdown with the Avalanche, a team stacked with them. To me, it looks like Vegas overpaid for a depth guy.
I also would have loved to see the Golden Knights pay up for Ryan Getzlaf. He's having a down year but he would've been a great addition for Vegas' power play and its locker room.
Minnesota Wild (+1500)
The Wild have really tailed off after being analytical darlings throughout the first half of the season. Since March 17, they rank dead last in the NHL in xGF% and CF% at five-on-five. They're also second-last in GF%. With Minnesota's road to the Cup likely going through Vegas and Colorado, that's just not going to cut it.
There aren't any glaring holes on this roster, but some depth down the middle or secondary scoring on the wing would've been nice. Don't use cap space as an excuse, either - we saw plenty of teams get creative to make the numbers work. It's been a fun season in Minnesota, but the team picked the wrong day to become boring again.
Winnipeg Jets (+2200)
The Jets cleared nearly $4.8 million in cap space by moving Nathan Beaulieu to long-term injured reserve, paving the way for Kevin Cheveldayoff to swing for the fences. The general manager is no stranger to a deadline splash, acquiring Paul Stastny in 2018 and Kevin Hayes in 2019, so it's a real head-scratcher as to why he elected to let the newfound cap space go unused.
Maybe it's just me, but if I have a top-three goalie and one of the league's elite forward groups, I'm going all-in. The Jets can score with anyone and Connor Hellebuyck is capable of stealing a game on his own on any given night. Winnipeg needs help on the blue line, but instead of acquiring a Josh Manson, Jamie Oleksiak, or Vince Dunn, Chevy settled for Jordie Benn. Yeah, that ain't it.
Alex Moretto is theScore's supervising editor of sports betting. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, strongly believes in the power of the jinx, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.