And just like that, a boring NHL trade season just got exciting with Monday’s blockbuster deal.
The Vancouver Canucks did their first piece of “major surgery” on the disappointing team’s roster by trading captain Bo Horvat, an All-Star, to the New York Islanders for forwards Anthony Beauvillier and Aatu Raty and a protected 2023 first-round draft pick.
Horvat was a pending unrestricted free agent, and Canucks president Jim Rutherford recently said the team had made its best offer.
Here is analysis on the bigger deals or other moves that have taken place leading up to the March 3 NHL trade deadline. There will be a live blog on deadline day.
When is the NHL trade deadline?
The NHL trade deadline is at 3 p.m. ET on March 3.
Who are some of the bigger names who could be moved before the deadline?
Chicago’s Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Max Domi. San Jose’s Erik Karlsson and Timo Meier. St. Louis’ Vladimir Tarasenko and Ryan O’Reilly. Vancouver’s Brock Beiser and Luke Schenn. Anaheim’s John Klingberg. Arizona’s Jakob Chychrun and Nick Bjugstad.
What trades were made before the March 3 deadline?
Jan. 30: The New York Islanders acquire forward Bo Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks for forwards Anthony Beauvillier and Aatu Raty and a protected 2023 first-round draft pick. This deal solves two problems. The Canucks couldn’t offer Horvat enough to account for his All-Star season, and the Islanders are having trouble scoring. Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said it was incumbent upon him to try to fix that, and he made a very good start. Horvat has 31 goals this season – matching his career best from last season – and 54 points in 49 games. He had four assists in his final game with the Canucks, and is the Islanders’ new leader in goals, points and power play goals and points. That could make the difference on a team that has had to rely too much on its stellar goaltending. The Canucks wanted back players who could step into the lineup. Beauvillier has had a 20-goal season but just nine this season. Raty, the Islanders’ top prospect, could benefit from a change of scenery. The draft pick would move to 2024 if it lands in the top 12. Vancouver will retain 25 percent of Horvat’s salary.
Jan. 25: The Colorado Avalanche acquire forward Matt Nieto and defenseman Ryan Merkley from the San Jose Sharks for defenseman Jacob MacDonald and forward Martin Kaut. The banged-up Avalanche need depth players, and Nieto played for them previously. Merkley, a former first-round pick, never found a place with San Jose. Sharks general manager Mike Grier ends up getting some assets for Nieto, a pending unrestricted free agent. His better test will be the return if he deals Karlsson or Meier.
Dec. 19: The Florida Panthers acquire forward Givani Smith from the Detroit Red Wings for defenseman Michael Del Zotto. Detroit then trades Del Zotto to the Anaheim Ducks for forward Danny O’Regan. Smith didn’t pan out a fourth-line grinder with the Red Wings. He fills that role in Florida.
Nov. 23: The Minnesota Wild acquire forward Ryan Reaves from the New York Rangers for a fifth-round 2025 pick. The Rangers made this move early in the season to give them more cap space to make a bigger move at the deadline. The Wild were interested in Reaves’ toughness.
Nov. 23: The Toronto Maple Leafs acquire defenseman Conor Timmins from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for forward Curtis Douglas. The Maple Leafs were missing three defensemen at the time, and Timmins adds to their defensive depth.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NHL trade tracker: Vancouver Canucks deal Bo Horvat to NY Islanders