Buys and Sells: Will Deadline Deals Change Playoff Races?

Each Friday throughout the season, I'll provide you with my predictions on whose stock is on the rise and whose is failing miserably like the American job market pretty much everything these days. It's a neat little segment entitled Buys and Sells . There are a few teams/players/issues to buy and a few to sell.

This year's trade deadline features 22 trades that sent 45 players to new cities. There were only a handful of major ones, but those should still have an impact on their respective teams. Those deals can also drastically change the complexion of a the playoff races. Today, we'll examine if that will be the case for any of the teams currently in the hunt.

Buy: The Calgary Flames are now much, much scarier. The Flames added Jordan Leopold and Olli Jokinen on deadline day and arguably made the biggest moves of any team in the NHL (the Rangers may have something to say about that). The Flames were already a solid team out west and penciled into a top-four playoff spot. After last night's victory, they're a safe 10 points ahead of Vancouver in the division, but still trail both the Sharks and Red Wings by ten in the conference race. The new additions aren't going to help the Flames catch either of those teams, but they've become a much scarier opponent for not only whomever they face in the first round but also the Sharks and Wings. I don't know that the Flames are automatically on their level now, but if they meet in May or June it's going to be a hell of a series.

Buy: The New York Rangers making the playoffs. The Rangers gave up three rostered players and two draft picks to acquire the services of Derek Morris and Nik Antropov. Prior to the deadline, the Rangers were starting to slip out of the playoff race. Case in point, they were fourth in the conference on February 1st and now find themselves in a three way tie for sixth after beating the Islanders last night. The addition of Morris and Antropov should pay big dividends in the short term -- the future is questionable, although they did gain some cap flexibility next year -- and get the Broadway Blueshirts in the post-season. How far they go is a matter of how much they can gel between now and the postseason.

Sell: Inaction in Minnesota, Montreal. The Wild are only one point out of the playoffs out west. In the east, the Habs are in precarious playoff position, only a point ahead of the three way tie the Rangers find themselves in. Both teams had assets that could be moved at the deadline but chose not to. A big thumbs down to the Wild, but I do have to give the Habs some credit. Their addition of Mathieu Schneider seems to be having a positive effect, but will it be enough?

Buys and Sells: Will Deadline Deals Change Playoff Races? originally appeared on NHL FanHouse on Fri, 06 Mar 2009 09:25:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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