By the end of Monday, several dozen players will have changed addresses to close out the annual trade festival period. Then begins the process of sorting out whether those address changes will pay dividends. Here's a look at some of our favorite trade deadline deals of recent years.
Feb. 26, 2008: Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis to the Pittsburgh Penguins from the Atlanta Thrashers for Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Angelo Esposito and a first-round pick in the 2008 draft
We love this deal not just because Hossa would help get the Penguins to the finals with 26 points but the unexpected bonus of Dupuis, who has become such an integral part of the Penguins' identity. As an aside, we also love the story of our colleague Craig Custance, who was covering the Thrashers at the time, asking Dupuis his view of the Hossa deal in the lobby of a Montreal hotel where the Thrashers were playing, only to discover that Dupuis was actually part of it.
March 4, 2009: Bill Guerin to the Pittsburgh Penguins from the New York Islanders for a third-round pick
How many times do we say a player has been added for his leadership? Or how often do we suggest a team needs a veteran presence in the locker room? How often does it actually happen? In this case, it happened in spades with Guerin. It wasn't so much what the veteran winger did on the ice -- Guerin had 15 points during the Penguins' Stanley Cup run -- but the intangibles he brought to the dressing room. Ask anyone connected to that team and they will credit Guerin, who remains with the team as an assistant GM, for helping that Pens team get over the hump. The fact the team has failed to reach those heights since is a reminder of how rare those kinds of players are and a reminder of how important Guerin was at a crucial time in the team's evolution.
March 5, 2014: Marian Gaborik to Los Angeles Kings from the Columbus Blue Jackets for Matt Frattin, second- and third-round pick in 2014
This is one of those deals I didn't like at the time. It was difficult to imagine the speedy, skilled Gaborik fitting in with the bruising Kings. And given Gaborik's lack of durability, we figured this was a deal that was destined for the scrap heap. Of course, that wasn't how it turned out at all. Gaborik was a dynamic presence, playing mostly with Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar, leading all playoff scorers with 14 goals as the Kings won a Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons. The fact that GM Dean Lombardi was then able to lock up Gaborik, who could have become an unrestricted free agent, for the long term was a bonus for a deal that turned out better than many expected.
Feb. 26, 2008: Brad Richards and Johan Holmqvist to Dallas Stars from Tampa Bay Lightning for Jussi Jokinen, Jeff Halpern, Mike Smith and a fourth-round pick in 2009
What I liked about this trade is that it involved a star player -- Richards was not far removed from his turn as playoff MVP with the Tampa Bay Lightning -- who took some time to integrate with his new team. In fact, the Stars fell in the standings after the deal but then rebounded with Richards' help to a surprise berth in the Western Conference finals, Richards tallying 15 points in 18 playoff games. The other memorable element of this deal is that it brought home the humanity of the trade period that we often overlook. Talking to Stars netminder Marty Turco at the time, expecting him to rave about the Richards acquisition, he was pleased that the Stars had made such a move, but he became emotional about the loss of close friends Smith, Halpern and Jokinen, talking about losing his "brothers." Food for thought.
Feb. 15, 2011: Chris Kelly to the Boston Bruins from the Ottawa Senators for a second-round pick in 2011
What I like about these deals is that they involved lower-profile players but ended up having far-reaching implications for a number of teams. First, Peverley, Kelly and Michael Ryder formed a potent third line for a Bruins team that overcame significant obstacles to win its first Stanley Cup since 1972, less than four months after the deals were made. Kelly remains a big part of the Bruins' dressing room mix while Peverley was later dealt to the Stars as part of the Tyler Seguin deal. What makes this deal so interesting is that this spring, the fruits of that deal look to play a significant role in the Jets' first playoff berth since 2007, as Wheeler has evolved into a key offensive presence while Stuart is part of a hard-working blue-line corps.
March 9, 2006: Mark Recchi to the Carolina Hurricanes from the Pittsburgh Penguins for Krystofer Kolanos, Niklas Nordgren and a second-round pick in 2007
The Recchi addition by GM Jim Rutherford was an exercise in modifying a plan on the fly. In January 2006, Rutherford had made a preemptive strike in landing Doug Weight, the top rental center on the market, from the St. Louis Blues. But Weight suffered an injury and, in an effort to add offensive depth to one of the NHL's most prolific teams, Rutherford went back to the well and added Recchi. The veteran winger would contribute 16 points in 25 postseason games as the Hurricanes won their first and only Stanley Cup.
April 2, 2013: Michal Handzus to the Chicago Blackhawks from the San Jose Sharks for a fourth-round pick in 2013
This is an example of a trade that might have initially left fans a bit cold. The team felt it needed to be better, bigger and deeper down the middle as the team headed into the postseason after storming through the lockout-shortened 2013 regular season. Handzus, who had been with the team previously, was an under-the-radar acquisition by GM Stan Bowman. And while it didn't seem like it would be a fit, Handzus did yeoman work, averaging 16:03 throughout the playoffs and chipping in 11 points in 23 games while taking important draws and providing solid two-way play.