Originally written on Red Light District Hockey | Last updated 3/29/12
A month removed from the trade deadline, how are the new faces faring in their new places?
Jeff Carter, Los Angeles
He may not be setting the world on fire statistically (6 goals in 16 games), but Carter’s presence has undoubtedly been a boost to the Kings’ anemic offense. With Carter in the lineup the Kings are 10-5-0 and scoring 3.0 goals per game – well above their season average. Carter’s true impact could be felt in the playoffs – if the Kings get in.
Jack Johnson, Columbus
Johnson has been everything the Jackets had hoped for, and maybe more. The young defender was overshadowed by Drew Doughty in Los Angeles and simply wasn’t a good fit within that team’s fabric. Johnson has taken advantage of a fresh start in Columbus, tallying 10 points and averaging north of 27 minutes of ice-time in 16 games.
Hal Gill, Paul Gaustad and Andrei Kostitsyn, Nashville
Predators GM David Poile was busy at the trade deadline filling specific needs. Gill has been just what the doctor ordered defensively; Gaustad (when in the lineup) has been clutch in the faceoff circle; the older Kostitysn has scored a couple big goals already. Poile parted with three good draft picks to get this veteran trio, and the moves have paid off thus far.
Jamie McGinn and Steve Downie, Colorado
Colorado’s playoff hopes don’t look promising, but is unlikely that they would have gotten this close without two of their late-season acquisitions. Both McGinn and Downie provided an instant spark to the lineup. McGinn has 12 points in 15 games with the Avs (much better production than in San Jose), while Downie has 13 points in 18 games.
Pavel Kubina and Nicklas Grossmann, Philadelphia
Even without Chris Pronger and Andrej Meszaros, the Flyers’ blue-line has played well – due in part to the depth additions of Kubina and Grossmann at the deadline. Their minutes have fluctuated but they’ve been effective, posting a combined plus-4 rating. They give the Flyers a deep defense corps going into the playoffs.
Cody Hodgson, Buffalo
Hodgson wanted/needed a change of scenery and it looks like it’s going to benefit him in the short and long term. He went his first 10 games in Buffalo without recording a single point. However, the 22-year-old has seven points in the last five games (all Sabres wins, by the way) as he has flourished playing alongside Thomas Vanek and Corey Tropp.
Antoine Vermette, Phoenix
Vermette hasn’t been as productive as the Coyotes had hoped when they acquired him last month. The veteran center has seven points in 17 games, a tick below the pace he was at in Columbus. However, Vermette has provided hard minutes and good numbers in the faceoff dot.
Johnny Oduya, Chicago
On deadline day the Blackhawks were desperately looking for a defenseman. Oduya has consistently logged more than 20 minutes, which is exactly what GM Stan Bowman was seeking. Oduya is only a plus-3, but has allowed everything to fall into place on Chicago’s back end. The team is 9-2-2 since he was acquired.
Marek Zidlicky, New Jersey
After being disgruntled in Minnesota, Zidlicky has found been a better fit with the Devils. His production has been inconsistent, but is starting to see more ice-time as the season moves along. If he keeps this up in the playoffs he will have been worth the multiple mediocre pieces the Devils gave up getting him.
Photos credit: Getty Images
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