The Metropolitan Division was already the deepest and most competitive in the NHL.
Nearly every Metro contender made a move ahead of Monday’s trade deadline to gear up for the playoff push.
The first-place Washington Capitals got it started by acquiring Ilya Kovalchuk, the Pittsburgh Penguins answered by getting fellow veteran winger Patrick Marleau from San Jose and the New York Islanders got a major reinforcement in the form of center Jean-Gabriel Pageau.
And they weren’t alone.
The Carolina Hurricanes got immediate help by trading for Vincent Trocheck, and the Philadelphia Flyers made two depth forward moves by getting Derek Grant and Nate Thompson. Even the New York Rangers, whose recent hot streak put them within striking distance of a playoff position, kept forward Chris Kreider in the fold with a seven-year extension rather than dealing him away.
Only the Columbus Blue Jackets hadn’t – yet – gotten in on the action.
With seven teams in contention for four or five playoff spots, the arms race is on.
The Islanders traded conditional first- and third-round picks and a second to Ottawa for Pageau, who could be an ideal fit by adding offense. The Islanders rank 22nd in the league in goals per game, which probably won’t cut it when trying to compete with the high-scoring Capitals, Penguins and Flyers.
Washington and Pittsburgh each spent only a third-round pick to get a veteran looking to win the Stanley Cup for the first time. Kovalchuk joins a potent attack led by fellow Russians Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Marleau will be a sentimental favorite with Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.
“Patrick is a player who can play anywhere in our lineup,” Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said. “He’s a good two-way player, provides leadership and will be a good fit with our team.”
Carolina paid the price of two roster players and two prospects for Trocheck, who has two more years left on his contract. Hurricanes GM Don Waddell said the former Florida Panthers forward “brings elements of skill and competitiveness that fit the mold of the style we want to play.”
Forwards Derek Grant and Nate Thompson are perfect for the Flyers’ mold as big, tough competitors who provide some needed depth. With Pageau’s price tag set so high, Philadelphia gave up only two fifth-round picks and a prospect to solve their need for centers and add size.
“They have always been a team that has had that confidence in the teams that they are hard to play against,” Thompson.
“Over the last few years, they have added speed and skill, but even their skilled guys are hard to play against and play with that snarl and I think that is something that you always think about when you play against the Flyers.”
- With files from Associated Press
Marleau headed to Pittsburgh
San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau, 40, was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a conditional third-round pick. Marleau has 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points in 58 games this year. In 1,715 career games, he has 561 goals and 625 assists.
New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider, one of Ted Kulfan's top trade targets, signed a seven-year contract extension for $45.5 million.
Panthers deal Trocheck to Hurricanes
The Florida Panthers traded center Vincent Trocheck to the Carolina Hurricanes for forwards Erik Haula and Lucas Wallmark as well as prospects Chase Priskie and Eetu Luostarinen.
Trocheck has 10 goals and 26 assists for 36 points in 55 games this year. In 420 career games, he has 111 goals, 171 assists and 282 points.
Haula has 12 goals and 10 assists for 22 points in 44 games and Wallmark has 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points in 60 games.
Priskie, a sixth-round pick in 2016, is a defenseman who has six goals and 25 assists with the Charlotte Checkers and Luostarinen, a second-round pick in 2017, is a forward who has eight goals and 17 assists with Charlotte.
Also, the Montreal Canadiens dealt forward Nate Thompson to the Philadelphia Flyers for a fifth-round draft pick in 2021. Thompson has four goals and 10 assists in 63 games this year. In 760 career games, he has 62 goals and 93 assists.
In other deals, the Toronto Maple Leafs traded goalie Michael Hutchinson to the Colorado Avalanche for defenseman Calle Rosen, the Anaheim Ducks sent forward Derek Grant to the Philadelphia Flyers for forward Kyle Criscuolo and a fourth-round draft pick and the Buffalo Sabres acquired Wayne Simmonds from the New Jersey Devils for a fifth-rounder.
Senators trade Namestnikov, Pageau
The Colorado Avalanche acquired center Vladislav Namestnikov from the Ottawa Senators for a fourth-round pick in 2021.
Namestnikov, 27, has 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points this year. In 416 career games, the former member of the London Knights has 79 goals and 104 assists for 183 points with the Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers.
Namestnikov was one of three Russian players selected by Steve Yzerman in the 2011 draft when Yzerman was general manager in Tampa Bay. The Lightning also selected center Nikita Kucherov (537 career points in 507 games) in the second round and defenseman Nikita Nesterov (33 career points in 132 games) in the fifth round.
The Senators also traded Jean-Gabriel Pageau to the New York Islanders for three conditional draft picks (first round in 2020, second round in 2020 and a third-round pick in 2022 if the Islanders win the Stanley Cup).
Pageau, 27, has 24 goals and 16 assists for 40 points in 60 games this year. In 428 career games, he has 87 goals and 95 assists for 182 points.
The Senators now have the most draft picks (12) in the 2020 draft, including two first-rounders, three second-rounders and two third-rounders. The Devils have three first-rounders and the Wild, Hurricanes and Ducks have two first-rounders.
The Red Wings have 10 picks in the 2020 draft, including Edmonton's second-round pick acquired in the Andreas Athanasiou trade and Edmonton's fourth-round pick acquired in the Mike Green deal. Detroit has extra picks in the second round (Nick Jensen deal) and the third round (Gustav Nyquist deal).
Red Wings deal Green to Oilers
Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman traded defenseman Mike Green to the Edmonton Oilers for forward Kyle Brodziak and a conditional draft pick.
The conditional draft pick will either fall in the fourth round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft or the third round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.
The draft pick becomes a third-rounder if the Oilers advance to the conference final this year and if Green plays in half of the games.
Detroit retains half of Green’s salary-cap hit, which is approximately $2.7 million.
Brodziak is a 35-year-old winger who has 129 goals, 167 assists and 296 points in 917 career games with the Oilers, Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues. He was on long-term injured reserve because of a back injury that forced him to retire in September.
Green, who was pulled from the Red Wings' lineup along with forward Andreas Athanasiou before Detroit's 4-2 loss against the Calgary Flames on Sunday, has three goals and eight assists in 48 games this season.
►Follow the latest trades in the league here heading up to the deadline at 3 p.m.
Red Wings trade stories
NHL trade tracker
►Feb. 24: Tampa Bay Lightning acquire forward Barclay Goodrow, 2020 third-round pick from San Jose Sharks in exchange for 2020 first-round pick, forward Anthony Greco.
►Feb. 24: Columbus Blue Jackets acquire forward Devin Shore from Anaheim Ducks in exchange for forward Sonny Milano.
►Feb. 24: Calgary Flames acquire defenseman Erik Gustafsson from Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for 2020 third-round pick.
►Feb. 24: Washington Capitals acquire forward Daniel Sprong from Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenseman Christian Djoos.
►Feb. 24: Chicago Blackhawks acquire defenseman T.J. Brennan from Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forward Nathan Noel.
►Feb. 24: Edmonton Oilers acquire forward Tyler Ennis from Ottawa Senators in exchange for 2021 fifth-round pick.
►Feb. 24: Calgary Flames acquire defenseman Derek Forbort from Los Angeles Kings in exchange for conditional 2021 fourth-round pick. | Forbort traded to Flames by Kings
►Feb. 24: Vegas Golden Knights acquire forward Nick Cousins in exchange for 2021 fourth-round pick.
►Feb. 24: Vancouver Canucks acquire goaltender Louis Domingue from New Jersey Devils in exchange for goaltender Zane McIntyre.
►Feb. 24: Pittsburgh Penguins acquire forwards Conor Sheary and Evan Rodrigues from Buffalo Sabres in exchange for forward Dominik Kahun.
►Feb. 24: Florida Panthers acquire defenseman Emil Djuse from Dallas Stars in exchange for 2020 sixth-round pick.
►Feb. 24: Boston Bruins acquire forward Nick Ritchie from Anaheim Ducks in exchange for forward Danton Heinen.
►Feb. 24: Edmonton Oilers acquire forwards Andreas Athanasiou and Ryan Kuffner from Detroit Red Wings in exchange for forward Sam Gagner, 2020 second-round pick and 2021 second-round pick. | Athanasiou traded to Oilers by Red Wings
►Feb. 24: Buffalo Sabres acquire forward Wayne Simmonds from New Jersey Devils in exchange for conditional 2021 fifth-round pick.
►Feb. 24: Philadelphia Flyers acquire forward Derek Grant from Anaheim Ducks in exchange for forward Kyle Criscuolo, 2020 fourth-round pick.
►Feb. 24: Pittsburgh Penguins acquire forward Patrick Marleau from San Jose Sharks in exchange for conditional 2021 third-round draft pick.
►Feb. 24: Colorado Avalanche acquire goaltender Michael Hutchinson from Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for defenseman Calle Rosen.
►Feb. 24: Philadelphia Flyers acquire forward Nate Thompson from Montreal Canadiens in exchange for 2021 fifth-round draft pick.
►Feb. 24: Carolina Hurricanes acquire forward Vincent Trocheck in exchange for forwards Erik Haula, Lucas Wallmark, Eetu Luostarinen and defenseman Chase Priskie.
►Feb. 24: New York Islanders acquire forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau in exchange for conditional first-round pick in 2020, second-round pick in 2020 and conditional third-round pick in 2022.
►Feb. 24: Colorado Avalanche acquire forward Vladimir Namestnikov in exchange for 2021 fourth-round pick.
►Feb. 24: Edmonton Oilers acquire defenseman Mike Green from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for forward Kyle Brodziak and a conditional fourth-round draft pick.
►Feb. 23: Washington Capitals acquire forward Ilya Kovalchuk from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a 2020 third-round draft pick.
►Feb. 22: Nashville Predators acquire defenseman Ben Harpur from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward Miikka Salomaki.
►Feb. 21: Winnipeg Jets acquire forward Cody Eakin from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2021.
►Feb. 21: Boston Bruins acquire forward Ondrej Kase from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for forward David Backes, defenseman Axel Andersson and 2020 first-round pick.
►Feb. 20: Tampa Bay Lightning acquire forward Anthony Greco from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Danick Martel.
►Feb. 20: Pittsburgh Penguins acquire forwards Riley Barber and Phil Varone from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Joseph Blandisi and Jake Lucchini.
►Feb. 19: New York Rangers acquire goaltender J-F Berube from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for future considerations.
►Feb. 19: Toronto Maple Leafs acquire forward Max Veronneau from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for forward Aaron Luchuk and a conditional sixth round pick in 2021.
►Feb. 19: Vegas Golden Knights acquire defenseman Alec Martinez from the Los Angeles Kings for a 2020 second-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick.
►Feb. 19: Toronto Maple Leafs acquire forward Denis Malgin from the Florida Panthers for forward Mason Marchment.
►Feb. 18: St. Louis Blues acquire defenseman Marco Scandella from the Montreal Canadiens for a 2020 second-round pick and conditional a 2021 fourth-round pick.
►Feb. 18: Washington Capitals acquire defenseman Brenden Dillon from the San Jose Sharks for a 2020 second-round and 2021 conditional third-round pick.
►Feb. 18: Winnipeg Jets acquire defenseman Dylan DeMelo from the Ottawa Senators for a 2020 third-round draft pick.
►Feb. 18:New York Rangers acquire forward Julien Gauthier from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for defenseman Joey Keane.
►Feb. 17: Vancouver Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forward Tim Schaller, the rights to forward Tyler Madden, a 2020 second-round draft pick and a 2022 conditional draft pick.
►Feb. 16: Tampa Bay Lightning acquire forward Blake Coleman from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for forward prospect Nolan Foote and a first-round pick in the 2020 or 2021 NHL Draft.
►Feb. 16: New York Islanders acquire defenseman Andy Greene from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a 2021 second-round draft pick and defenseman prospect David Quenneville. | Greene traded to Islanders by Devils
►Feb. 10: Pittsburgh Penguins acquire forward Jason Zucker from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for forward Alex Galchenyuk, defenseman prospect Calen Addison and a first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft or 2021 NHL Draft.
►Feb. 5: Toronto Maple Leafs acquire goalie Jack Campbell and forward Kyle Clifford from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forward Trevor Moore, a 2020 third-round draft pick and a 2021 third-round draft pick.