We were all waiting to see where Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers would go. He was either going to the Colorado Avalanche or the Florida Panthers. It was almost guaranteed to be Florida because it was closer to his family in Philadelphia, and that's what happened. Meaning the big winner in this is the Avalanche. That's because the Panthers pretty much guaranteed they won't win it all since these big deadline trades never work out.
Taylor Hall twice (sort of), Jarome Iginla twice (sort of), Rick Nash, Marián Hossa, Ray Bourque, and the list goes on and on. These guys were brought in to be the final piece, and none were. Yes, Ray Bourque did win it with the Colorado Avalanche, but that was the following season. These things rarely work out, but that's not surprising because they shouldn't. It's challenging to integrate a big-name superstar into your team with only a few regular-season games left. Plus, what does this tell your team? We aren't good enough to win without this player. Some people take the approach the organization is going all in, and it means they have confidence in the group but not if they think there's a huge hole.
The only time it worked out the last twenty years that I can recall is when Jeff Carter went to the Los Angeles Kings. They won it that season and then again two years later. But that was because the Kings were a defensive team, and they needed scoring. The Panthers and Avalanche are the two highest-scoring teams in the NHL and very deep. Let me repeat that. They are first and second in scoring. What do they need Giroux for? To mess up their team chemistry? I am willing to eat my words if I'm wrong, but I doubt I will be. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Before being traded, Giroux played in his 1000th NHL game, all with the Flyers, and received a pregame ceremony. He leaves the Flyers as the second-leading scorer in franchise history with 900 points. The Flyers received Owen Tippett, a 2024 1st-round draft pick, and a 2023 3rd-round pick. Interestingly, the Panthers also received prospects Connor Bunnaman and German Rubtsov. This concludes one of the weirdest three-year stretches ever for the Philadelphia Flyers. A team that was one win away from making the conference finals and then missed the playoffs the next two seasons. Only the Montreal Canadiens have had a weirder three-year stretch. Ironically, they played each other in the first round that season.
Things I like
The Boston Bruins acquired Hampus Lindholm from the Anaheim Ducks. Despite the recent decline, Lindholm is a solid defenseman, and the Bruins needed one because they've gotten rid of so many quality ones over the years. Maybe they should stop doing that. They signed him to an eight-year extension. The Bruins have a great team, but they're going to have a super tough opponent in the first round.
The Toronto Maple Leafs were busy. They put Petr Mrazek on waivers and acquired Mark Giordano for the Seattle Kraken. I'm surprised Mrazek hasn't worked out, especially with how solid he was on the Carolina Hurricanes. But all the goalies that leave Toronto end up playing better, so maybe it's the Maple Leafs. They signed Harri Säteri to replace him. He's played in nine NHL games and spent the last three seasons in the KHL. I'm not sure how that's better, but Jack Campbell had been around not doing much, and he's worked out. Maybe that will happen again. Hopefully, Giordano will make the defense better. But they brought in Jake Muzzin at the trade deadline a few years ago, and that didn't do much. I'm not trying to be pessimistic, as I would love to see the Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup.
Things I don't
- To say the Vegas Golden Knights have had injury problems this season would be an understatement. Let's look at their current injury report: Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Reilly Smith, Robin Lehner, Brayden McNabb, Alec Martinez, and now Jack Eichel, who was injured blocking a shot. There are three others, but they aren't as key. Their whole entire first line is injured as they barely cling to a playoff spot. Lehner being injured isn't surprising as it's been that way his entire career. I mentioned it was a bad idea when they chose him over Marc-Andre Fleury. Why they thought it would be any different, I have no idea. It's like Carson Wentz going to the Washington Commanders. No, it won't be any different. If the Dallas Stars can get their act together, I don't think the Golden Knights will make the playoffs.
Fights of the Week
Special thanks to hockeyfights.com for making this section a little easier to do.
Mason Geertsen vs Zack Kassian
Big boys throwing punches. There's a sequence where Kassian whiffed three times in a row.
Michael McCarron vs Zack MacEwen
MacEwen won, but McCarron came back for more.
Trent Frederic vs Brandon Duhaime
A strange fight, but they really went at it.
Goat of the Week
Sam Bennett - Florida Panthers
Bennett falls down, and Nick Roy takes it the other way for the game-winner. Anthony Duclair also received an unsportsmanlike penalty for abuse of officials in the aftermath, and I didn't see it live or in this video. The Golden Knights didn't score on the power play, but they added an empty-net goal.
Stat Line of the Week
03/19/21 Columbus 5 vs. St. Louis 4
Skater TOI G A +/- S PPG D. Perron 15:54 3 1 2 4 2
David Perron has been around. He played with four other teams in between his two St. Louis Blues stints. Now in his 15th season, he has yet to hit 30 goals. With his seventh career hat trick in a losing effort, he has 21 goals and probably won't get it again. Last season was the first time he scored over a point per game. But the Blues seem to be comfortably in a playoff spot, and I'm sure that's all he cares about.
770 – Goals for Alex Ovechkin surpassing Jaromir Jagr for third all-time 48 – Shots for the Bruins against the Chicago Blackhawks and their 20 in the Bruins overtime win 44 – Shots for the Carolina Hurricanes against the New York Rangers and their 17 in the Rangers win 35 – Saves and a shutout in the first career start for Maple Leaf's goalie Erik Kallgren against the Stars 43 – Saves and a shutout for Alex Nedeljkovic, the most saves by a Red Wings goalie in a shutout since 1956
The rankings are based on how the teams are currently playing.
Top 5 1. Florida 2. Washington 3. Boston 4. Pittsburgh 5. Edmonton
Bottom 5 30. Seattle 29. Ottawa 28. San Jose 27. Detroit 26. Anaheim