To win the Stanley Cup, the NHL trade deadline is a necessary evil.
The cost of doing business is high, the market is volatile and it’s a leap of faith that players teams acquire will pass the chemistry test. But the numbers don’t lie: The last 10 teams to win the Stanley Cup have made a trade around the deadline.
Some of those moves appeared immediately impactful, like the Los Angeles Kings adding Jeff Carter and Marian Gaborik. Others would end up becoming part of championship lore, like the Tampa Bay Lightning trading for Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow.
Of course, along with these moves were hundreds that teams felt would put them over the top but didn’t.
Which trades before Monday’s deadline were smart decisions? Which ones were overpayments? Which ones were tactical errors? Which ones level up their teams to championship status?
Here are our report cards for all 32 NHL teams and their trade deadline decisions:
Note: Kristen Shilton graded teams from the Atlantic and Central divisions, and Greg Wyshynski graded the Metro and Pacific divisions. Clubs are listed alphabetically by grade, with separate groups for teams with plus grades, regular grades and minus grades within each letter. Stats are collected from sites such as Natural Stat Trick, Hockey Reference and Evolving Hockey. Cap space figures are per CapFriendly