I think Andrew Ladd will help Chicago balance out its forward lines. He’s the perfect third guy for that Toews-Hossa line. I was kind of expecting there would be a better answer to this question, but it was a sleepy trade deadline.
Al Muir: Ladd's the obvious choice, but since you took him I'll go with an under-the-radar addition: Jamie McGinn. The Ducks are going to make some noise this spring, and his style perfectly complements the way they play the game. He's a guy who's willing to plant his feet just outside the crease and pay the price. If you saw that goal he scored against the Habs in his first game with Anaheim, that's exactly what he'll bring to the table in the playoffs.
AM: Yeah, it was Benning, but Boston’s Don Sweeney wasn't far behind. A year ago, he wouldn't (or couldn't) move picks for immediate help at the deadline. This year? He's giving 'em away like cheap candy at Halloween, swapping four to acquire a pair of rentals. There's nothing wrong with John-Michael Liles and Lee Stempniak. In a vacuum, both are honest players and solid deadline additions. But this team is going nowhere, and wasting futures on them makes no sense. Neither does holding on to Loui Eriksson, who'll either be overpaid on an extension or walk for nothing on July 1. The only thing worse than being mediocre in the NHL is being directionless and that's what exactly what the B's are.
MB: You took all the good answers, Sam. Not fair. It’s also not fair that Canada can put together a 16-man roster that doesn't include P.K. Subban and still be the prohibitive favorites. I do think Russia will have a pretty big chip on its shoulder after a series of poor tournaments. It’s hard to count out a team with Alex Ovechkin when he’s playing some the best hockey of his career, and I expect this tournament to be Andrei Vasilevskiy’s coming-out party to the hockey world—think Tuukka Rask during the 2006 WJC.
But Fenwick, Vesey, whatever ... the Preds don't have it. Neither do the Stars and their ECHL-quality goaltending. You see Antti Niemi's numbers since the All-Star break? A 3.99 GAA and .862 save percentage. Kari Lehtonen's not much better. The Blues are too banged up. I think the Hawks will realize that the calendar has flipped to March and they'll start turning it up ahead of the playoffs. The Central's theirs to lose.
AM: I think it breaks down to a million-five for production and the rest is pure intangibles.