Trade deadline days are like mini holidays for us sports fans. The day is used by some GM's to stack the deck in hopes of a championship run, while others somberly trade away players in hopes for...well, just about anything they can get. The beautiful thing about today's deadline was that headlines revolved around both local teams: the Blue Jackets and Red Wings.
DETROIT RED WINGS:
Detroit really didn't have much of a choice in today's deadline. President Chris Illitch and GM Ken Holland both committed to a re-build at the end of last season, so it was a no brainer that the Wings were selling. Although the Wings didn't make huge waves, they did trade away two assets with decent returns. 28 yr old defenseman Nick Jensen and a fifth round pick were dealt to the Capitals for a second round draft pick and young defenseman Madison Bowey. It's a fair deal that gives both parties what they want. Jensen is a solid player with some good years left in him. Washington is looking for a run at back-to-back Stanley Cups and Jensen gives them much needed depth on the blue line. Although I wouldn't call Jensen old, he's still not a part of the young core like Larkin, Bertuzzi, Mantha etc... Madison Bowey has potential despite not living up to Washington's expectations. He's only 23 and could prove to be another building block to future Red Wings success.
Around midnight, I checked my phone to see that Detroit had also dealt the piece everyone was anticipating; Gustav Nyquist. After losing to the Sharks, Ken Holland struck a deal with San Jose to acquire another second round pick and a conditional third in 2020 for the 29 year old winger. Nyquist seems to be the guy that will get you 40-50 pts. a season but really nothing more. I think many thought he'd be a star in Detroit but he never reached his potential. As a depth winger on a championship team, Nyquist is a valuable asset and can provide some skill to the contending Sharks.
Did the Wings wow us? Nah. They really didn't have any room to. Nobody wanted Ken Holland to be bold and go grab a star like Panarin. The name of the game right now is stockpile high draft picks and hope to land a #1 guy on the blue line. The Wings are still headed in the right direction, and a roster spot for a defenseman and winger just opened up for a younger guy looking to get reps.
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS:
So on a different note, you could say the Blue Jackets were buyers this year.
Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen just pushed all his poker chips to the middle of the table. It's do or die time for you fifth liners so I suggest you buckle up for the rest of the season. I love this attitude from the Jackets organization. They've wanted to be relevant in the hockey community for so long and it might finally come true this season. Last season they were bounced by the eventual Stanley Cup Champions after blowing a 3-1 series lead (shoutout Indians fans) but the future looked bright. Even after saying that, there's a still a sense of "when will it be our year." This is it! You fifth liners are ALL IN. If they get bounced in the first round again, many people are going to be fired. First it will be Torts, then Kekalainen and so on and so forth. Don't worry about that now though. Be excited that the hockey community is watching the Jackets. Matt Duchene is a star, Dzingel was one of the most sought after guys at the deadline, and Kinkaid and McQuaid provide defensive depth. Oh and your Vezina trophy winning goaltender is staying put. Oh and Panarin, who is also a star, is staying put. Seth Jones and Zach Werenski are not only top defenseman, but they're also young. Be excited for what this season could shape out to be. a dark unknown lurks in the offseason, but if there's a new banner to hang in Nationwide Arena in October, you really won't care.