Not surprisingly, the story that dominated headlines around the league Thursday had little to do with Wednesday's trade deadline. But then, most were caught a little off guard when the NHL announced it would shrink its penalty against the New Jersey Devils for circumventing the collective bargaining agreement when signing Ilya Kovalchuk in 2010. In a nutshell, the Devils are entitled to keep a 2014 first-round draft pick (30th overall), and the fine has been cut in half. Get the full story here.
Otherwise, post-trade deadline assessments and premature report cards made the rounds Thursday and early Friday. In-house, several general managers from around the league anonymously gave ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun their take of which teams came out on top once Wednesday's trade deadline hit. And ESPN Insider Neil Greenberg takes a more analytic view of which clubs capitalized on the best trade bargains.
• Word has it defenseman Alexander Edler was this close to becoming a member of the Boston Bruins on Wednesday. But the dominoes apparently didn’t fall as anticipated. As outlined by the Boston Globe, the Bruins were said to be waiting on the Pittsburgh Penguins to forge a deal -- presumably for forward Ryan Kesler -- with the Vancouver Canucks. Once that went through, the Bruins then would have struck a deal with the Canucks for Edler. But it didn’t work out that way. And here we are.
• So far, so good for Martin Erat and the Phoenix Coyotes. The former Washington Capitals forward gelled nicely with new linemates Radim Vrbata and Kyle Chipchura in Thursday’ 5-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Center Martin Hanzal is expected to replace Chipchura once he’s back to full health.
• It’s not like defenseman Andrej Meszaros can just waltz into a top-six role with the Bruins. Freshly acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers, Meszaros will have to fight D-man Matt Bartkowski for the privilege of seeing regular minutes.
• It’s not like Raphael Diaz can just waltz into a plum depth role with the New York Rangers. Freshly acquired from the Canucks, Diaz will have to fight blueliner Justin Falk for the privilege of serving as the Rangers’ seventh defenseman. That being said, coach Alain Vigneault is leaving the door open for Diaz to blow him away.
• Still no word on when Tomas Vokoun (blood clot) will be ready to compete for the Penguins. As it stands, the veteran netminder is scavenging for quality practice time behind Marc-Andre Fleury and Jeff Zatkoff.
• Despite Thursday’s 3-1 loss to the Kings, the Winnipeg Jets are reportedly pleased with how winger Michael Frolik is filling in as third-line center. With center Mark Scheifele out for the regular season, Frolik was shuffled off the top line to fill the void.
• So far, the Canucks seem happy with how new guy Shawn Matthias is working out. Coach John Tortorella going as far as calling the former Panther “probably our best forward” after Thursday’s 6-1 loss to the Stars.
• The return of Roberto Luongo isn’t the only story to watch for on Friday. Look for center Vincent Trocheck to make his NHL debut for the Panthers against the Buffalo Sabres. The 20-year-old was recalled from San Antonio Wednesday.
• Goalie Brian Elliott totally gets why the St. Louis Blues traded for Ryan Miller, and insists he’s going to make the best of whatever leftover playing time is available. Elliott also concedes this may be his last season with the Blues.
• Coach Mike Babcock appears happy with how former Predator David Legwand is comporting himself, centering a top line with Johan Franzen and Gustav Nyquist. With several key members of the Detroit Red Wings injured, expect that trio to stick together for some time.
• Pending unrestricted free agent Paul Stastny says he’s relieved at not being traded before the deadline. The plan is to renew contract talks with the Colorado Avalanche once the season is over. Also, kudos to Avalanche rookie Nathan MacKinnon for breaking Wayne Gretzky’s record of longest consecutive-game point streak by an 18-year-old. MacKinnon notched an assist Thursday, extending his streak to 13 games.