The NHL trade deadline came and went, with much fanfare. Although, to be fair, it always has a great deal of fanfare, but rarely does the deadline itself ever live up to the expectations, rumors, and wild speculations.
This year, however, was an exception.
For time’s sake, let’s focus on what happened, team by team, in the Central Division. Who won, at the deadline? Who lost at the deadline?
Mar 4, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues goalie Ryan Miller (39) during the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Blues: Winners
The Blues arguably made the biggest deal, of the deadline, with the Miller/Ott trade, and it has improved them, significantly, but not as other worldly as many are saying. Yes, Miller is one of the best goalies, in the world, and he is an upgrade over Halak, but not as much as many are saying. Halak is a very solid goaltender, while not quite in the elite ranks, like Miller, he is more than serviceable, and is likely a top-10 NHL goaltender.
Ott is a good, gritty, veteran forward, who isn’t a bad addition, by any means, but when considering that his addition meant the subtraction of Chris Stewart, I’d say the Buffalo Sabres got the better end of that deal. Ott brings leadership and grit, something the Blues already have plenty of, so his addition feels a bit redundant. Stewart, on the other hand plays a bit of a chippy game, like Ott, but has much more upside, offensively. This swap(as well as the draft picks and Carrier), probably wouldn’t have happened, if the Miller portion, of the trade wasn’t there.
Miller is definitely an upgrade, but not as gigantic of one as many think. Ott is an arguable downgrade, but a slight one. Even though the the cost was very steep, the Blues are a better team, after the deadline, than they were before it. They are all in, now, for this season, so this was an appropriate move.