* A total of 21 trades involving 34 players were completed on NHL Trade Deadline Day presented by OFX. Among the moves, Vladislav Namestnikov (to WPG) was dealt on deadline day for the fourth time in his career, tied for the most by any player (since 1979-80) and the Ritchie brothers (Brett and Nick) went opposite ways in the same deal – believed to be the first brother-for-brother trade in NHL history.
* The Golden Knights-Devils game saw a franchise record set (saves in a game by a VGK goaltender) and another tied (longest goal streak in NJD club history) as Vegas moved into the top spot in the Western Conference.
* Carolina gained a slight edge in their pursuit of the Metropolitan Division title while one of their prospects, Pyotr Kochetkov, scored the latest goalie goal playing for the club’s AHL affiliate.
* Upwards of six Czech-born players could hit the ice when the Bruins host the Rangers as part of the first-ever Hockey Day in Czechia. The contest will also be part of a doubleheader in North America on ABC, ESPN+ and Sportsnet.
RUSH TO THE PLAYOFFS INTENSIFIES AS TRADE DEADLINE PASSES
The focus around the League now shifts toward the Rush to the Playoffs as the 2022-23 NHL Trade Deadline presented by OFX came and went Friday. Although Deadline Day featured 21 trades, much of the heavy lifting came in the weeks prior. Including deals made March 3, a total of 74 trades were completed in the six weeks leading up to the deadline – with 70 of those occurring in the past two weeks alone (the most ever in the 14 days ahead of the deadline).
Below is a recap of some key acquisitions by current playoff teams as we enter the final six weeks of the regular season:
* The NHL-leading Bruins (48-8-5, 101 points), the fastest team in NHL history to reach 100 points in a single season, added multiple pieces ahead of the deadline including Tyler Bertuzzi. Bertuzzi is the sixth player on Boston’s roster with at least one 30-goal season in his career; only four other teams have as many (FLA: 7; NYR: 6; PIT; 6; & CGY: 6).
* Stanley Cup champions Ryan O’Reilly (2019 w/ STL & Conn Smythe Trophy winner) and Luke Schenn (2020 & 2021 w/ TBL) were added to the Maple Leafs roster ahead of the trade deadline. Schenn, who captured two Cups with Tampa Bay, looks to aid Toronto – which is currently lined up to square off against the Lightning in the First Round for the second time in as many seasons – to its first playoff series victory since the 2004 Conference Quarterfinals.
* The Rangers also acquired Stanley Cup champions ahead of the deadline – reuniting 2013 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Patrick Kane with former Blackhawks teammate Artemi Panarin and also adding 2019 champion Vladimir Tarasenko. The 2022-23 campaign is just the second to feature three winners of the Conn Smythe Trophy traded within the same season (also Jonathan Quick to CBJ & VGK) following 1995-96 (Bill Ranford, Patrick Roy & Wayne Gretzky). Of note, Claude Lemieux was dealt by the Devils to the Islanders, and then the Islanders to the Avalanche on Oct. 3, 1995 – three days before the 1995-96 campaign began.
* The Kings continue to chase down the Golden Knights – who now have Jonathan Quick on their roster – for top spot in the Pacific Division and added Joonas Korpisalo to accompany Pheonix Copley between the pipes in Los Angeles. Korpisalo produced one of the greatest single-game playoff performances on record during his time with Columbus, posting 85 saves in Game 1 of the 2020 First Round against Tampa Bay – eclipsing Kelly Hrudey for the most by a goaltender in a playoff game since 1955-56.
* The Oilers added defenseman Mattias Ekholm ahead of deadline day and look to build off an appearance in the 2022 Western Conference Final. Ekholm has appeared in 75 career playoff games – including a run to the 2017 Stanley Cup Final with Nashville (1-10— 11 in 22 GP) – which stands as the most among all players on Edmonton’s current roster and 14 more than the next closest (Mattias Janmark: 61 GP).
* The Jets added to their playoff push by acquiring Vladislav Namestnikov from the Sharks. Namestnikov was traded on deadline day for the fourth time in his career (also 2018, 2020 & 2022), tying Alan May (1988, 1989, 1994 & 1995) for the highest such total by an NHL player since 1979-80.
PACIFIC DIVISION TIGHTENS UP WHILE HURRICANES PULL AHEAD IN METROPOLITAN
The Golden Knights (37-19-6, 80 points), Kraken (35-21-6, 78 points) and Oilers (34-21-8, 76 points) all won in an ever-tightening Pacific Division playoff race, while the Hurricanes strengthened their lead atop the Metropolitan Division.
* Adin Hill set a franchise record with 47 saves and Jonathan Marchessault (2-1—3) factored on every Vegas goal in regulation to help the club overtake idle Dallas (33-16-13, 79 points) for first place in the Western Conference standings. The Golden Knights hold a two-point edge atop the Pacific Division, where the top four clubs are divided by only four points.
* Jared McCann (1-1—2) became the first player to score 30 goals in a season for the Kraken as Seattle secured its third straight win and moved within two points of idle Los Angeles (35-20-8, 78 points) for second place in the Pacific Division.
* Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2-2—4) became the third Oilers player to hit the 30-goal mark this season, marking the first time since 1989-90 that Edmonton has had at least three 30-goal scorers. The Oilers, who continue to occupy the first Western Conference Wild Card position, will have a chance Saturday to sweep a home-and-home against the Jets (35-25-2, 72 points), who hold the second Wild Card spot.
* Brent Burns (37 years, 359 days) recorded his first career four-assist outing and became the fourth-oldest defenseman in NHL history to post four helpers in a game as Carolina (40-12-8, 88 points) moved two points ahead of New Jersey (40-15-6, 86 points). The Hurricanes have spent 74 consecutive days atop the Metropolitan Division as they try to fend off the Devils – the only other team to occupy first place in the division since late October. Despite New Jersey’s loss, Dawson Mercer extended his goal streak to eight games – tied for the second-longest in NHL history by a player age 21 or younger – as he set a new benchmark for the longest in the NHL this season and matched the Devils franchise record.
The Hurricanes-Coyotes game Friday marked the exact three-quarter mark of the 2022-23 NHL season. Click here to view the Final Quarter: 2022-23 NHL Season document.
NHL PODCAST WEEKLY ROUNDUP
* NHL Fantasy: Impact of Timo Meier trade on Devils
* La Tasse de café LNH: Spécial Date limite des transactions
* Draft Class: Brayden Yager joins; Adam Fantilli & NTDP analysis
* The Chirp w/ Daren Millard: Pete DeBoer joins; Showtime on Broadway
* NHL Fantasy: Fantasy Spin on flurry of trades
* NHL @ The Rink: Mike Rupp joins; Trade Deadline frenzy
* Friday edition of #NHLStats: Live Updates
* Seth Jarvis sports mullet in honor of Hurricanes trip to Mullett Arena
* Mark Wahlberg hypes up Max Domi-to-Stars trade, says Dallas got ‘a warrior’
* NHL Buzz: Aleksander Barkov expected back for Panthers on Saturday
* Pyotr Kochetkov scores goalie goal for Chicago Wolves
ABC, ESPN+ DOUBLE BILL CHOCK-FULL OF CONTENDERS
A pair of afternoon games on ABC, ESPN+ and Sportsnet are loaded with teams in the thick of the playoff picture. The double bill opens with the NHL’s League-leading Bruins (48-8-5, 101 points) hosting the Rangers (35-18-9, 79 points) and their new prized addition in three-time Stanley Cup champion Patrick Kane. It concludes with the defending Stanley Cup champion Avalanche (34-20-5, 73 points), who have won six of their last seven contests, squaring off with the Central Division-leading Stars (33-16-13, 79 points).
* The Bruins, who have held the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic Division for the entire 2022-23 season, enter on a nine-game win streak dating to Feb. 14. They can earn their first double-digit win streak nine years (12 GP in 2013-14).
KARVINA SET TO HOST FIRST HOCKEY DAY IN CZECHIA
The NHL, Nova Group and Czech Ice Hockey Federation along with community organizations will host the first-ever ”Hockey Day In Czechia” in Karvina on Saturday. The schedule of free events and activities open to the public at the Sport Complex include a youth hockey tournament, an exhibition game with former NHL players including Michal Neuvirth, Pavel Brendl and Jaroslav Svoboda, as well as interactive activities and a coaching seminar.
* The day will culminate with a viewing party of the NHL Saturday presented by SAP game broadcast of the Rangers-Bruins game, which will air on Nova Sport 1 in Czechia and Slovakia.
* A total of 253 Czech-born players have played at least one NHL game (regular-season or playoffs) in NHL history, including 37 this season and six set to be part of Saturday’s Bruins-Rangers contest.
Click here to view more #NHLStats ahead of the first-ever Hockey Day in Czechia