Well, the trade deadline is over, but that doesn't mean we can't wring a little bit more coverage out of it. We told you our thoughts on the Devils' acquisition of Steve Sullivan and even covered you with all the trades on Tuesday and Wednesday. Now, here's what's left over in my brain about the deals that were (and weren't) and some of the teams heavily involved in the past two days.
Devils Don't: When the Devils added Steve Sullivan, I think it's pretty safe to say Devils fans greeted it with a conjunctive, "That's it?" Make no mistake, Sullivan can help if he's got anything left, but yesterday was more about what the Devils chose not to do. They didn't jump into talks for a guy like Ryane Clowe, Jaromir Jagr, Jason Pominville or Martin Erat. They only dealt a seventh-round pick for Sullivan, preserving the few top prospects and 2013 draft selections still left in the cupboard. And you know what? It was the right move -- for now and for the next two or three seasons. As much as Devils fans are conditioned to think they can win the Stanley Cup every year, that's not the case this year. One player was not going to fix this team and the Devils didn't have the assets to overhaul their forwards like the Rangers did over the past few days. The Devils are a playoff team, but they might not make the postseason after long-term injuries to Dainius Zubrus, Martin Brodeur and Ilya Kovalchuk. We wrote before and during the season that the most important thing for New Jersey was to stay healthy. They didn't and it's cost them, but there were no quick-fix answers out there at or before yesterday's trade deadline. In the end, Lou Lamoriello made the right decision by standing pat.
Rangers re-do: I like what the Devils' cross-river rivals did over the past two days. Yes, they gave up a lot, but they completely revamped their team in the style their coach prefers to play, added talented depth and regained the cap flexibility they lost when they traded for Rick Nash. What we're seeing is that (at least for now), teams in this cap era can't afford to be top heavy in salary (Are you listening, Anaheim?). The Rangers had most of their cap tied up in Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, Rick Nash and Henrik Lundqivst and have several very talented RFAs they'll need to sign this summer. More importantly, I think it makes them better this year. Weird, right? Normally trading a proven 40-goal scorer from one of the most offensively inefficient teams wouldn't help that team moving forward. However, the Rangers now have a third-line center (which they didn't), a top-six grinder with a solid scoring touch and a 22-year-old puck-moving defenseman to replace guys like Stu Bickel and Steve Eminger. The Rangers might end up missing Gaborik's scoring touch if they make the playoffs or the draft picked they gave up for Ryane Clowe if they flame out, but that doesn't mean these were bad moves.