Possibly the biggest headline leading in to Monday's 3:00pm EST. deadline did not come from an actual trade, but quite the opposite from the New York Rangers. The Metropolitan Division team not only confirmed that they are looking to sneak in to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference, but they are looking to become a contender for years to come. One of the top potential trade targets on Monday was forward Chris Kreider, but the Rangers hung on to their man with a seven-year contract extension on Monday morning. The 28-year-old was set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, but he signed a new deal that will pay him $6.5 million per season. The 28-year-old has recorded 24 goals and 21 assists through 60 games this season, and has gotten hot in February with six goals and five assists in 11 contests. The likes of the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues, and New York Islanders showed interest in the man that has overcome a scary blood clot injury from the 2017-2018 campaign. Instead, the Rangers are banking on the slight chance they see to make it in the postseason with a record of 33-24-4, as they look for their first playoff appearance in three years and their first winning season since the 2016-2017 season.
Penguins Add Patrick Marleau, Bring Back Sheary
The Pittsburgh Penguins added a veteran to their Stanley Cup push and gave that veteran a chance at the first Stanley Cup of his career. That veteran is Patrick Marleau, who was traded to the Penguins from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a conditional third-round draft pick. Marleau returned to the Sharks for his 20th NHL season on the veteran's minimum of $700,000 after spending the past two seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He now goes from a team near the bottom of the Pacific Division to a team that is in a three-team battle for first place in the Metropolitan Division. The 40-year-old did set Sharks franchise records with 1,551 games played, 518 goals, and 1,102 goals. Through 58 games this season, he has posted 10 goals and 10 assists, and was the captain of that team from 2003 to 2009. He will now play along side one of the greatest captains of all time in Sidney Crosby, with spring hockey coming his way yet again.
The Penguins also brought back a familiar face in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres, getting forward Conor Sheary to return to the white and yellow, while also adding Evan Rodrigues in the same deal. Center Dominik Kahun went over to Buffalo in this trade, as they get back the 27-year-old Sheary who won two Stanley Cups with the Penguins. His best season with them came in 2016-2017 when he got 23 goals and 53 points over 61 games, but he has struggled since leaving Pittsburgh for Buffalo. Rodrigues on the other hand openly showed interest in getting traded earlier this season, as the 26-year-old is coming off a season that saw him set career highs with nine goals and 29 points. He is currently working on a one-year, $2 million contract, making him a rental for now for the Penguins.
Oilers Add Green, Athanasiou From Red Wings, Ennis From Senators
The Edmonton Oilers recently added former Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, so it's no surprise that Holland targeted his old, rebuilding club to add to his playoff contender. The Edmonton Oilers made two separate deals on Monday with Detroit, including one to add defenseman Mike Green. The Oilers sent back forward Kyle Brodziak and either a 2020 or 2021 draft pick. The 34-year-old is also a former Washington Capital, and has three goals and eight assists over 48 games this season. The former 29th overall pick in the 2004 NHL Draft spent 10 seasons in D.C. before leaving for Detroit in free agency, as he will be a free agent after this season. In another deal with Detroit, the Oilers also acquired speedy forward Andreas Athanasiou for defenseman Sam Gagner two second-round picks over the next two years. The 25-year-old has spent his entire young NHL career with Detroit and has 10 goals and 14 assists this season after setting career-highs with 30 goals and 24 assists a season ago. Edmonton also did business with the Ottawa Senators to acquire Tyler Ennis, who has 14 goals and 19 assists in 61 games this season. They only needed to give up a fifth-round pick in that deal, as this productive days gives them a legitimate chance to overcome their three-point deficit for first place in the division.
Islanders Acquire and Extend Gabrile-Pageau
The New York Islanders were in business on Monday, not only making a trade for this season, but also making it working for their future. The Islanders acquired forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau from the Ottawa Senators for three draft picks. New York quickly went on to sign Pageau to a six-year contract extension that is worth $30 million. The forward was set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, but the 27-year-old found his new home much quicker than expected Pageau has recorded a career-high 24 goals, which is five more than his previous career best. He will look to help an Islanders team that is ranked 22nd in total offense in the NHL.
The Senators also traded away Vadislav Namestnikov to the Colorado Avalanche for a fourth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft. The 27-year-old played just two games with the New York Rangers this season before they dealt him to Ottawa, where he has posted 13 goals and 12 assists over 56 games. Over 416 career NHL games, Namestnikov has 79 goals and 104 assists, with his best season coming when he posted 48 points in 2017-2018 with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Flames Bolster Blue Line With Gustafsson, Forbort
The Calgary Flames focused defensively leading in to Monday's deadline, especially with the addition of defeseman Erik Gustafsson from the Chicago Blackhawks, who got a third-round draft pick in return. Gustafsson is coming off a breakout season in 2018-2019 when he posted 17 goals and 43 assists, being just one of six defenseman with over 60 points on the year. The 27-year-old has struggled a bit in the final season of his two-year, $.1.2 million contract, but the long list of defensemen for Chicago forced a move on this day. The Flames also traded for defenseman Derek Forbort from the Los Angeles Kings for a 2021 fourth-round draft pick. Forbort has recorded one assists over 13 games with the Kings, in his fifth NHL season out west. He will stay within the same division, but rises up from last place to a team that currently holds the first Wild Card spot.
Golden Knights Get Goalie Lehner From Blackhawks
The Las Vegas Golden Knights have relied heavily on veteran Marc-Andre Fleury, but they have finally gone out to get what they feel is a good, solid backup for him. The Knights traded for Robin Lehner from the Blackhawks, sending goaltender Malcolm Subban, a prospect, and a draft pick to the Windy City. Lehner thanked the city of Chicago as the news came out, but showed excitement about joining Vegas. He has been a rare bright spot for the last place Blackhawks, going 16-10-5 with a 3.01 goals-against-average and a .918 save percentage. He was on a one-year, $5 million contract after being a Vezina Trophy finalist with the New York Islanders in 2018-2019, but the struggles of Corey Crawford have haunted Chicago, who are eight points out of a playoff spot. The Golden Knights are looking to go three for three in playoff appearances in their existence, currently holding the top spot in the Pacific.
Hurricanes Get Trocheck, Acquire D in Skjei, Vatanen
The Carolina Hurricanes are another team staying relevant in a jam-packed Eastern Conference playoff race, and they got a legitimate scoring threat to help that cause, getting Vincent Trochek from the Florida Panthers. This is an interesting deal, with the Panthers also right in the thick of the playoff race in the Atlantic Division. Florida sent back Erik Haula, Lucas Wallmark, and two prospects to complete the deal. Trochek has 10 goals and 26 assists in his seventh NHL season, all of which have been with the Panthers. He does have the ability to light the lamp at a high rate, with his best season coming in 2017-2018 when he set career highs with 31 goals and 75 points. The Panthers are just four points behind the Hurricanes in the Wild Card hunt, but they gave up on a guy that still has two years left on his contract.
The Hurricanes also locked up their defense to help their cause. The team first acquired Brady Skjei from the New York Rangers, and late got Sami Vatanen from the New Jersey Devils. The move comes after the 'Canes lost Bret Pesce to a long-term shoulder injury, but they do get a locked in Skjei out of the deal. The 25-year-old is in the second season of a six-year deal, and has eight goals and 15 assist over 60 games in his fifth NHL season. His best season came in 2016-2017 when he played in 80 games and scored eight goals with 34 assists. Vatanen has appeared in 47 games this season for the last place Devils, posting five goals and 18 assists in that time. He joined the Devils in a trade from the Anaheim Ducks in November of 2017 and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Canucks Get Domingue For Between The Pipes
The Vancouver Canucks are the other team in the battle for first place in the Pacific Division, and they needed to solidify their goalie position after an injury. After Jacob Markstrom went down with a lower-body injury during their 9-3 win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday night, the team acquired goalie Louis Domingue from the New Jersey Devils. The deal got done right before the 3:00pm EST. deadline, as they had to replace a man that made 34 saves on 37 shots before going down at home. Markstrom had made 43 starts this season and was 23-16-4 with a 2.75 goals against average and a .918 save percentage. Domingue was not nearly as productive in the early parts of this season, going 3-8-2 with a 3.79 GAA, but he will do for now for the Canucks, who sent one AHL prospect the other way.
Maple Leafs Lock In Jake Muzzin
The Toronto Maple Leafs didn't make any significant trades on Monday, but they did take care of one of their own, giving defeseman Jake Muzzin a four-year contract extension. The contract will pay him $5.625 million per season, with a $16 million signing bonus included. The 30-year-old came over in a trade from the Los Angeles Kings in January of 2019 and has five goals and 17 assists over 52 games this season.