The NHL trade deadline was Monday and teams in New York took different approaches.
The Rangers made some additions for what they hope will be a long and successful Stanley Cup playoff run, while the Islanders and Sabres were relatively quiet.
The Rangers’ biggest addition was acquiring forward Andrew Copp from Winnipeg for a package of conditional draft picks and prospect Morgan Barron. Copp is somewhat of a Swiss Army knife on the ice, a versatile player who excels in a checking role but can also jump into the Rangers’ top six forward group at either center or wing.
Kopp has 35 points in 56 games this season and has played in all situations for the Jets. He has 34 games of playoff experience to lean on and should fit right in on the penalty kill and the third line of the Rangers. He may even get a look playing with Artemi Panarin on the second unit, a role currently filled by another recent acquisition — Frank Vatrano.
GM Chris Drury also traded a fourth-round pick for winger Tyler Motte from the Vancouver Canucks. He is another strong defensive forward who will add to the Rangers’ depth up front and help out the penalty kill.
Rickard Rakell was another player the Rangers were rumored to be in on and not only did the Rangers strike out there, he ended up going to division rival Pittsburgh, a team they will likely have to face in the first round. Despite not landing a premier scorer like Rakell, the Rangers should feel good about their offense.
The first line with Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad and Alexis Lafreniere has been excellent and they should get Kaapo Kakko back before the playoffs. On the back end, Justin Braun was acquired from Philadelphia for a third-round pick, a cheap price to pay when you consider the price for other defensemen. Depth on defense was a definite need for the Rangers as Patrick Nemeth hasn’t been great on the bottom pairing.
In New York sports betting, the Rangers’ odds improved from +2000 to +1800 to win the Cup. The Islanders and Sabres’ odds remained the same.
At DraftKings Sportsbook New York, the Colorado Avalanche are +425, while the Florida Panthers are +550.
Stanley Cup Odds for NY Teams
|⭐ New York Rangers||+1800|
|⭐ New York Islanders||+15000|
|⭐ Buffalo Sabers||+100000|
Islanders Re-Sign Two
The Islanders had a couple of pending UFAs they could have moved but were also in an interesting position as they are out of the playoff picture this year. But the Islanders look at themselves as a playoff team overall and expect to be back in contention next year.
With that in mind, New York signed Zach Parise and Cal Clutterbuck to contract extensions instead of trading them. This shows those players clearly agree that this season’s results are not indicative of where the Islanders stand as a team and should improve its NHL betting odds next season.
The returns on those players would have been minimal, so standing pat made a lot of sense for GM Lou Lamoriello, who said afterwards that there was a lot of interest in Clutterbuck in particular.
Sabres Trade Depth Defenseman
The Sabres traded defenseman Robert Hagg to the Panthers for a sixth-round draft pick and were open for business on a couple of other depth defensemen but ultimately stood pat on deadline day.
GM Kevyn Adams said the team would have been open to trading Colin Miller but an injury he recently suffered made him tough to move.