Trade deadline winners 

March, 3, 2010

It was a strange trade deadline. It figured to be that way with the Olympic trade freeze changing the normal timeline for the general managers. There were a lot of deals, though. In fact, according to TSN, there was a record 30 deadline deals involving 53 players and 25 draft picks.

Despite the quantity of deals, there wasn't that one big blockbuster that could change the dynamic of the chase for the Stanley Cup. The big names -- Ilya Kovalchuk, Dion Phaneuf, J.S. Giguere -- were sent packing weeks ago.

Instead, we watched teams look to fill holes with role players of varying skill levels. There were a lot of gritty forwards and depth defenders sent scurrying to airports all over North America. And there were a couple of pretty good players that will be changing sweaters, too.

Here are four teams that I feel helped themselves at the deadline.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.