NHL Trade Deadline Historical Results

March 3rd Trade Deadline Looming, Who Ups the Ante?

By Dana Lane

We are just eight days from the NHL trade deadline, a day that will define the rest of the season for most teams. A look at the NHL standings will tell you where your favorite team is whether they need depth pieces to finish off a tremendous start or a star forward or goaltender that will get a franchise closer to the top.

The deadline also gives fans of teams that will not make the postseason a peak at what direction their team is going to rebuild. These moves can lead to dramatic moves in the NHL betting lines moving forward. Let’s look at some of the franchises and General Managers that have had success and failure after the deadline.

Please note that every NHL regular season record will be calculated after March 1st unless noted otherwise. Also, remember the 2020-21 season was cut short and didn’t start until January, somewhat skewing the numbers. We start our NHL trade deadline with historical results at the top of the food chain.

Lightning logo Tampa Bay Lightning: Head Of The Class

We think going back over the last five seasons to compile a list of successful post-trade deadline franchises gives a historical and accurate measure of how those moves evolved into postseason success until this day. With two Stanley Cups (2020, 2021), a conference championship (2022), and one Presidents Cup Trophy (2019), the Tampa Bay Lightning have been the model franchise after the first of March for many years.

Behind the duo of General Manager Julien BriseBois (2010-present) and Head Coach Jon Cooper (2012-present), the Lightning has amassed a regular season mark of 65-43 (.602) and 59-33 (.641) postseason record since 17-18.

Regular season $100 bettors, who have ridden the Lightning after the deadline since ‘18, are down $704 but are $1341 richer in the postseason because of much shorter money lines. Their consistently high win percentage will put bettors on the right side on most nights even though the public will have more than their share of -300 games to crawl through.

The main reason Tampa has been to three cups in four seasons has been the ability for BriseBois to add players like Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow in 2020, and Nick Paul and Brandon Hagel last season. None of these are names you’ll associate with winning a Conn Smythe, but without them, Tampa’s path to success would have been far more difficult.

The likely round opponent for Cooper’s team is the Toronto Maple Leafs who just acquired Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari from the St. Louis Blues, so you can bet the Lightning will be looking for a top-six forward to not only add to their top-five offense but also to take more pressure off a defense that hasn’t been as sharp as in years past.

Stanley Cup Odds: +1200 (5th Choice Overall)

Bruins logo Boston Bruins: Collision Course With Presidents Trophy

With 26 games to play, the Boston Bruins lead the Atlantic Division by 13 points over the Toronto Maple Leafs. With a 43-8-5 record (91 points), first-year coach Jim Montgomery’s team owns a 7-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes (84 points) for the top overall record. But as star forward, Brad Marchand said, it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t win the Stanley Cup.

It’s been 12 seasons since Boston won their sixth title and four years since their last appearance against the St. Louis Blues, resulting in a seven-game loss in the 2019 finals. Even though Boston has not had as many parades as the Tampa Lightning over the last five years, bettors have been rejoicing with the Boston Bruins owning one of the best records in the league after March 1st. Don Sweeney, Boston’s GM since 2015, has won 66 of his 109 games (.606).

The problem for Sweeney is his team has not carried that into the postseason with a record of just 29-25, costing $100-bettors $91. In his tenure as GM, the former Bruins defenseman has yet to hoist the Stanley Cup but has proven that he can make the big-time trade deadline deals necessary to counter other teams in the East (Hall, Coyle, Lindholm) while building for the future. Sweeney has had three coaches (Julien, Cassidy and Montgomery) since taking over GM duties from Peter Chiarelli in April 2015.

He has compiled a 366-246 overall record, but just 36-37 in the postseason since 2015, a record that includes a Cup run in ‘19. Sweeney and team President Cam Neely, have already been busy this season acquiring Dmitry Orlov and right wing Garnet Hathaway from the Washington Capitals on Thursday in exchange for right wing Craig Smith, a 2023 first-round pick, a 2025 second-round pick, and a 2024 third-round pick.

The Capitals are retaining 50 percent of Orlov’s salary. The Minnesota Wild are getting a 2023 fifth-round pick from the Bruins for retaining an additional 25 percent of Orlov’s salary. Boston now owns more defensive depth in Orlov and is a gritty, edgy, player in Hathaway, the stuff Stanley Cup champions are made of.

Stanley Cup Odds: +475 (1st Choice Overall)

Hurricanes logo Carolina Hurricanes: Playoff Fate Far From Solidified

Not to suggest that the Carolina Hurricanes won’t make the playoffs, but with the Devils just five points behind, the moves the ‘Canes make at the deadline will determine whether they face a wild card team or a tougher series against the New York Rangers who would seem to be their most likely opponent without a division crown.

Since 2018, the Hurricanes are 61-44 (.581) after March 1st, but still giving $100 bettors a headache because that has still left their backers without a profit (-$15). The betting public’s frustration has carried over into the postseason where Carolina owns an even 20-20 record (-$357). Another example of a team that you can rely on to cash a ticket on most nights, but when you have to navigate the waters of inflated lines, you must be choosy when putting Rod Brind’amour’s team on your card.

Despite a lack of success for bettors overall, GM Don Waddell has a reputation for getting back way more in trades than he gives. It had been rumored that the Hurricanes were interested in the Bruins Craig Smith, but with Smith going to Washington in a deal Thursday, the ‘Canes might turn their attention to a deal involving Timo Meier.

Whatever they decide, Waddell has already stated that top prospect Alexander Nikishin will not be part of any trade. With over $10 million in cap space, you can bet that Carolina will do all it can to close the gap between themselves and the Bruins.

Stanley Cup Odds: +750 (T-Second choice with Colorado)

Devils logo New Jersey Devils: Going Against History

If one team is headed to the postseason this season but hasn’t been kind to bettors after the deadline historically, it’s the New Jersey Devils. That makes sense considering the Devils haven’t been in contention for a postseason spot since 2017-18, and have missed playoff hockey in nine of their last 10 seasons. Over the last five years, the Devils are 40-70 (.364) from March on, losing bettors $1641.

General Manager, Tom Fitzgerald hired 22-year, veteran coach, Lindy Ruff a few months after taking office in early 2020. It would be fair to say that’s the exact moment the Devils fate started to turn, even though there is plenty still left to prove to the betting public. With all of Ruff’s experience, the veteran coach may still have something to prove to himself with a 20-48 (.294) regular season record after March 1st, since 2020 while failing to make the postseason six straight years.

The Alberta native has taken just 10 teams to the postseason in his 21 years in the league. Ruff has not had a winning post-March record since his 2015-16 season in Dallas when the Stars finished 12-6, but while still missing the playoffs. Fitzgerald has consistently said that he won’t sacrifice the future to grab rental at the deadline.

He has stated that he would rather improve his team over the Summer than make moves to bolster a team that is ahead of schedule in its development. Bettors need to pay close attention to the Devils to see if there are cracks in the armor if they decide to stand down over the next few weeks.

Stanley Cup Odds: +1600 (T-6th Choice)

That’s a deeper look at a few post-trade NHL deadline historical results. Below are the teams who have been the most and least profitable in the postseason since the 2017-2018 season. The results are based on a $100 wager, backing the positive teams and fading the negative teams.

Post-Trade Deadline Historical Results (+)

Tampa Bay Lightning 59-33 $1341
Montreal Canadiens 18-14 $1217
New York Islanders 28-21 $1147
Dallas Stars 25-22 $876
Colorado Avalanche 40-23 $778

Post-Trade Deadline Historical Results (-)

Pittsburgh Penguins 12-21 $1128
Nashville Predators 12-21 $1094
Calgary Flames 12-17 $929
Florida Panthers 7-13 $779
Edmonton Oilers 9-15 $749

A 30-year Las Vegas resident in his 26th year as a professional sports handicapper, Dana intertwines a strong analytical approach along with his trusted intuition. Dana consistently uses his contacts to give his followers a consistent stream of income.

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