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Requirement: team must have made the Stanley Cup Finals…
1. Dwayne Roloson to Edmonton (2006)
When you talk about deadline deals that made an impact, Edmonton’s acquisition of Dwayne Roloson has to be at or near the top of this list. He was sent from Minnesota to the Oilers on the day prior to the deadline in 2006 in exchange for a 1st-rounder and a conditional pick. Like most of the Oilers’ deadline acquisitions that year, Roloson certainly made a huge impact with his new team. Edmonton had juggled Ty Conklin and Jussi Markkanen between the pipes that season, but managed to be in the hunt for the postseason before Roloson came to town.
All he did was help the Oilers clinch a playoff berth in Game #81, and then carry them to the finals as the 8th seed in the West! Roli’s numbers weren’t jaw-dropping, but he was more than clutch when he needed to be (see above) during the Oilers’ unforgettable Cinderella run. Unfortunately, he broke his leg in Game 1 against Carolina in the finals on a collision in the crease, and had to watch his team lose in seven games. I’m willing to bet they would have won that series if he didn’t get hurt.
2. Doug Weight & Mark Recchi to Carolina (2006)
GM Jim Rutherford made two moves that helped the Hurricanes win their only Stanley Cup to date. First, he picked up Doug Weight from St. Louis in January, and followed it up by acquiring Mark Recchi via Pittsburgh on deadline day. Between the two moves, the ‘Canes gave up 9 ‘assets’; and only one them has turned out to be a good NHLer (Patrik Berglund, 1st round 2006, St. Louis). Those two veterans pick ups glued things together for Carolina as they stormed their way to the Cup. Weight and Recchi combined for 29 points that postseason, and each scored big goals along the way. There’s no doubt that these two veterans were big pieces to Carolina’s Cup-winning puzzle.
3. Bill Guerin to Pittsburgh (2009)
Like Weight and Recchi in Carolina, Bill Guerin brought an important veteran presence to Pittsburgh’s lineup and locker room. He was acquired by GM Ray Shero on deadline day for a conditional draft pick, which turned into a 3rd-rounder. Guerin found immediate chemistry on the top line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz. He chipped in 15 points in 24 playoff games, including a crucial overtime game-winner in Game 2 over the Flyers. He also scored dagger-goals in series-clinching wins over Washington and Carolina. And after the Pens won the Cup, most of the players praised Guerin for getting the team’s mindset right after losing 5-0 in Game 5. Shero’s smartest trade in his short time with the Pens was probably this one, acquiring the veteran Guerin for such a low cost.
4. Marian Hossa to Pittsburgh (2008)
Today, most Penguins fans hate Marian Hossa for taking Detroit’s lower offer on July 1, 2008. But in the three months before that, Hossa was a key component to the Pens’ run to the finals. He came over from Atlanta (along with Pascal Dupuis) for a hefty package. Although Hossa got hurt in his first game in black and gold, he came back with a vengeance, and just may have been Pittsburgh’s best player in the playoffs; he tallied 26 points in 20 games. Crosby and his running mate for his first deep run in the playoffs were the only two that didn’t disappear in the finals against Detroit. In the end, he didn’t help win them a Cup or re-sign with the team in the summer; but Hossa helped the Pens lay that stepping stone before last year’s Stanley Cup win over Detroit – who Hossa had signed to specifically win the Cup!
5. Brad Stuart to Detroit (2008)
GM Ken Holland usually makes smart trades come deadline day, and Brad Stuart is no exception. Acquired from Los Angeles for a pair of draft picks, Stuart instantly jelled on the Red Wings’ powerful blue-line. Before the 2008 playoffs, the veteran defenseman boasted a lot of playoff experience between the Sharks and Flames, but had never won a Cup. His great play throughout the postseason with Detroit went overlooked by many. Stuart compiled a plus-15 rating, and chipped in 7 points. He was a small piece to their puzzle, but yet important. Most of time, these are the kind of deals that can put a team over the top on the way to Lord Stanley.
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