Who won? Who lost? Here are a few of the champs and chumps on Sunday in Newark:
Loser: Lovers Of Blockbuster Trades
Sure, the Cory Schneider trade shook the hockey world, but that was it for the big-time deals. Cal Clutterbuck for Nino Niederreiter, Jamie McBain for Andrej Sekera, two salary dumps by the Blackhawks and Tyler Kennedy to the Sharks were not exactly Twitter-crashing material. We blame the Flyers for this lack of fireworks, personally.
Winner: Joe Sakic’s Word
No poker face, no smoke screen, no pumping up the price to try and influence a trade – the Avalanche said they were taking a forward and not Seth Jones, and that’s exactly what they did in snagging Nathan MacKinnon.
Loser: Vancouver Canucks
The end of the Roberto Luongo/Cory Schneider saga resulted in Schneider being traded to the New Jersey Devils for the No. 9 overall pick (Bo Horvat); Luongo going from “mentally divorced” from the Canucks to their presumptive starter again; and teams like the Edmonton Oilers feeling they offered a better deal (a pick and a player) but were spurned by GM Mike Gillis.
Winner: Nashville Predators
Seth Jones fell into their laps at No. 4, giving the Predators an instantly marketable rookie star and a defenseman who will develop playing with Shea Weber and for assistant coach Phil Housley. A near-perfect fit for all involved.
Loser: Hunter Shinkaruk
Projected by some as a top-10 pick, the center from Medicine Hat was this year’s Angelo Esposito and/or Cam Fowler, dropping down to No. 24 where the Vancouver Canucks snagged him.
Winner: Aleksander Barkov
The Finnish center was the surprise choice in the top 10, going second overall to the Florida Panthers. He’s a three-zone player with size and skill, although one coming off of shoulder surgery. The Panthers coveted center Nathan MacKinnon; the stayed in the middle in selecting Barkov.
Loser: Martin Brodeur
With the acquisition of Cory Schneider, 27, Brodeur’s transition from workhorse starter to shared-time goaltender has arrived. Devils president Lou Lamoriello didn’t tell Brodeur, 41, the trade was going to happen; the star goalie admitted to being “a little surprised” by this development.
Winner: Anthony Brodeur
The Devils traded a 2015 seventh-round pick for the Los Angeles Kings’ seventh rounder in 2013 so they could draft Anthony Brodeur – the son of starter Marty Brodeur, who announced the pick in the night’s most heartfelt moment. (It’s really the least the Kings could do after that whole “beating them for the Stanley Cup” thing.)
Losers: Dave Bolland and Michael Frolik
Victims of the Chicago Blackhawks’ latest post-Stanley Cup salary purge, the veteran forwards were traded to Toronto and Winnipeg, respectively, to play out the last years of their contracts.
Winner: Bryan Bickell
The playoff hero was given a 4-year, $16-million contract to avoid free agency and remain with the Chicago Blackhawks … thanks to the salary they cleared in Bolland and Frolik.
Loser: Gary Bettman
Maybe it was post-lockout bitterness. Maybe it was the NHL cancelling Ilya Kovalchuk’s initial contract. Maybe they remember when he wouldn’t stand in the way of a potential relocation to Nashville in 1995. Whatever the case, New Jersey Devils fans in Prudential Center lustfully and loudly booed NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman from the start of the draft through the end of the first round – including inserting his name into the whistling “Rangers Suck” cheer heard during home games.
Winner: Devils fans
Booing Gary Bettman, chanting “Marty’s Better!” at Patrick Roy, cheering the Cory Schneider trade, watching Marty Brodeur draft his kid and filling the Rock's seats for the NHL Draft … it was a nice Sunday in Newark for the locals.