2021 NHL Trade Deadline

Vincent Cavaniola, Sportswriter

April 16, 2021: The 2021 NHL trade deadline was April 12 and multiple teams made some moves in hopes of increasing their chances of winning the Stanley Cup. The New York Islanders acquired F Kyle Palmieri and F Travis Zajac from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for forwards A.J Greer, a 2021 first-round draft pick, and Mason Jobst, a 2022 fourth-round draft pick. Many Islanders fans, including myself, were huge fans of this move since Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac have combined for 37 points through 37 games together this season with the Devils. Both players have already scored their first goals as New York Islanders, which is a very good sign. 

The Boston Bruins also made a big move by trading for F Taylor Hall. The former Buffalo Saber has not played up to his expectations this season thus far; he only has 2 goals and 17 assists through 37 games with the Sabres. Hall signed a 1-year, $8 million deal with Buffalo this past offseason, and one can guess that Buffalo did not want to pay for Hall’s contract anymore, especially considering their current standing in the league. More moves that caught hockey fans by surprise were the Toronto Maple Leafs acquiring F Nick Foligno from the Columbus Blue Jackets; the Washington Capitals getting F Anthony Mantha from the Detroit Red Wings; F Jeff Carter being sent to the Pittsburgh Penguins from the Los Angeles Kings; and former San Jose Shark G Devan Dubynk getting dealt to the Colorado Avalanche. 

There were some more trades that occurred on deadline day, but there weren’t big names involved like the ones previously stated. Overall, there were some winners and losers during the NHL trade deadline this year. In my opinion, the winners were the Boston Bruins, New York Islanders, and the Detroit Red Wings because they all made trades that will help their team either this season or in the future. The losers were the Buffalo Sabres, the Philadelphia Flyers, and the Nashville Predators because they either didn’t make the moves they needed for them to contend for a playoff spot or they didn’t get a better player in return for who they traded. 

The 2021 NHL regular season is getting closer and closer to ending, as most teams only have 12-14 games left. The top 4 teams from each division will make the playoffs and, as of now, it’s tough to tell who will make it. I’m expecting most arenas to be allowing more capacity for playoffs so the league and teams can make the money they need. The New York Islanders and New York Rangers will be increasing their arena capacity from 10% to 25% on May 19, which will be during the playoffs. The 2021 NHL playoffs will start May 11th and end July 9th. Hopefully, the New York Islanders will get back on track and stay in the current playoff spot they are in.