Saturday March 21st, 2015

Not every deal worked out swimmingly over the past year. Here are four that deserve a do-over.

Toronto acquires Nathan Horton from Columbus in exchange for David Clarkson

This trade earned plaudits for Leafs GM Dave Nonis in the The Big Smoke, but that's nonsense. A deal in which a wealthy team with no need of cap space moves a viable NHL depth player for an injured athlete likely never to play again can't possibly be considered a win. It's addressing a grease fire by torching the whole kitchen.

NHL
The 10 best moves of the 2014-15 NHL season

Dallas acquires Jhonas Enroth from Buffalo for Anders Lindback and a third-round pick

The pending UFA was expected to push struggling starter Kari Lehtonen for ice time and help the Stars mount a late-season run for the playoffs. Instead, Enroth has looked painfully small between the pipes as his save percentage has withered from .903 to .873 and he's earned one win in seven appearances. Meanwhile, Lindback has morphed into a rock star for the Sabres, keeping them competitive with a .930 save percentage (up from .875 in Dallas) and a smart 2.49 GAA (down from 3.71). Further evidence that Dallas is a goalie graveyard, or a testament to the greatness of Sabres assistant coach Arturs Irbe?

NY Islanders sign free agent Chad Johnson

Johnson was coming off an excellent rookie season spent in Boston (17-4-3, 2.10 GAA and .925 save percentage) when he was tabbed to spell starter Jaroslav Halak on Long Island. Only it didn't quite work out for the personable backstop. He struggled to find any measure of consistency (3.08 GAA, .889 save percentage) and eventually had his contract dumped on the Sabres...where he promptly was hurt and remaindered to IR.

Jaroslav Halak making most of his chance with revived Islanders

Montreal acquires Devante Smith-Pelly from Anaheim for Jiri Sekac

It's too soon to write this deal off entirely, but the early returns suggest it isn't working out the way Montreal GM Marc Bergevin envisioned. Instead of being the big body who creates room with his physical play, the lumbering winger has been a drag on the speed of his linemates, often lagging too far behind the attack to make any kind of effective contribution. He'll have a chance to re-create himself over the summer (losing weight might be a good place to start), but that'll be too late for him to make an impact on this year's Cup bid.

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