The West got wilder, and the Columbus Blue Jackets are all in on their late-season NHL playoff push.
The Blue Jackets followed up last week’s addition of Ottawa forwards Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel by acquiring New York Rangers defenseman Adam McQuaid and New Jersey goalie Keith Kinkaid as Monday’s NHL trade deadline arrived — moves overshadowed by a series of trades made by some of the top contenders in the Western Conference.
A year after reaching the Stanley Cup Final, the Vegas Golden Knights not only acquired Ottawa forward Mark Stone but also reached an agreement to sign the pending unrestricted free agent to a contract extension.
The Central Division-leading Winnipeg Jets completed six trades, most notably acquiring center Kevin Hayes by sending forward Brendan Lemieux and a first-round pick to the retooling Rangers. Hayes has topped 40 points in four of his five NHL seasons and is projected to take over the second-line center spot alongside Patrik Laine.
And the Nashville Predators, a point behind Winnipeg, refused to stand by and watch. Nashville acquired forward Mikael Granlund in a trade that sent Kevin Fiala to Minnesota and then added power forward Wayne Simmonds in a deal with Philadelphia.
The Colorado Avalanche, who began the day ninth in the West and a point out of contention, attempted to fortify their playoff chances by acquiring forward Derick Brassard from Florida. Brassard is a 12-year-veteran who is switching teams for the second time in three weeks after being dealt to Florida by Pittsburgh.
Aside from Columbus, the most notable move in the East involved the Boston Bruins. They acquired forward Marcus Johansson from the New Jersey Devils.