Breaking down Western Conference

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:42 PM ET

The Calgary Flames weren’t alone in essentially standing pat.

But the problem is the others who chose to do that Monday at the trade deadline were mostly front-runners or teams that have already given up on their hopes of making the playoffs.

The middle-of-the-pack teams directly ahead of them in the Western Conference standings as of Monday morning made impact moves — none bigger than the Los Angeles Kings adding Dustin Penner from the Edmonton Oilers — and have no intention of slipping up so the Flames can catch up. And no fewer than four of the teams chasing them in the jam-packed standings loaded up either before or during the final day.

Bringing in a 13th forward and seventh or eighth defenceman is all the Flames were expected to do considering how well they’ve played. The question is whether that will be enough.

Here’s what their Western Conference rivals did on deadline day.

1. VANCOUVER CANUCKS

Added: F Christopher Higgins, F Maxim Lapierre

Lost: D Evan Oberg, F Joel Perrault, two 3rd-round picks,

Analysis: Realizing they have a limited window of opportunity to compete for Stanley Cup, the Canucks added a couple of solid forwards to an already potent group and gave up very little to do so. Covering themselves off in case of injuries up front, they’re the clear favourite in the west.

Games remaining vs. Flames: 2

2. DETROIT RED WINGS

Added: None

Lost: None

Analysis: They were too busy re-signing goaltender Jimmy Howard and celebrating the health of Mike Modano, Dan Cleary and Valtteri Filppula to bother making trades in hopes of improving. They’re a cap team that has overcome plenty of injuries all season and still sits atop their division, so no one will chastise them for standing pat Monday. They already have all the elements of a championship team and aren’t about to slide.

Games remaining vs. Flames: 0

3. SAN JOSE SHARKS

Added: None

Lost: None

Analysis: They picked up tough guy Ben Eager in January and added puck-moving powerplay defenceman Ian White a month later. And with the way they’ve been playing, they didn’t feel the need to mess with their already talent-laden team. Although it’s still a battle, it would be a surprise to see them slip out of the division lead between now and April now that all their stars seem to be contributing.

Games remaining vs. Flames: 1

4. PHOENIX COYOTES

Added: D Rostislav Kleska, F Dane Byers

Lost: F Scottie Upshall, D Sami Lepisto

Analysis: Wanted to make a deal for a defenceman in case Ed Jovanovski can’t return from orbital bone surgery this season. Klesla has never been overly offensive but is a stable force on the blueline but gave up a hard working goal-scorer for someone whose stats are similar to the younger Lepisto’s. Byers is a project at power forward. Not sure this will work out positively now or for the future of the franchise.

Games remaining vs. Flames: 2

5. LOS ANGELES KINGS

Added: F Dustin Penner

Lost: D Colten Teubert, 1st round pick, cond. 3rd-round pick

Analysis: The deal that saved trade deadline day. Looking for more scoring, the Kings brought in big-bodied Penner and his 21 goals and 39 points in 61 games with the Oilers. And they didn’t have to give up anyone on their current roster to do it. Makes them even stronger contender for stretch drive and playoffs.

Games remaining vs. Flames: 1

6. CALGARY FLAMES

Added: F Fredrik Modin, D Brett Carson (waivers)

Lost: 7th-round pick

Analysis: Started by claiming Carson from the Carolina Hurricanes on waivers and added the former Tampa Bay Lightning sniper Modin late in the afternoon. Considering how they’ve been playing lately, anything bigger might have disrupted the chemistry in the room. And acting GM Jay Feaster didn’t want to give up high or mid-round draft picks, either. Rolling the dice on what they’ve got being enough. It won’t be easy.

7. MINNESOTA WILD

Added: D Jeff Penner, F Mikko Lehtonen

Lost: G Anton Khudobin

Analysis: Minor-league deals, although Lehtonen is a pretty dynamic power forward playing in Sweden right now and could become a decent NHLer at some point. But the move doesn’t help the Wild for this season and they’ll go with what they’ve got for the remainer of the year and — if they can cling to a spot — the playoffs.

Games remaining vs. Flames: 0

8. DALLAS STARS

Added: None

Lost: None

Analysis: The Stars made a splash, simply by NOT trading star centre Brad Richards. Now they just need him to get healthy again. Keeping the pending unrestricted free agent is a risk because there’s no guarantee he’ll re-sign with them this summer, but the Stars bolstered their blueline by adding Alex Goligoski before the deadline and feel they have a team worthy of contention. If they get consistent goaltending, they may.

Games remaining vs. Flames: 1

9. CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

Added: D Chris Campoli, cond. 7th-round pick

Lost: C Ryan Potulny, 2nd-round pick

Analysis: Not a huge move by the defending Stanley Cup champs, but adding Campoli was big considering they just found out they’ve lost Jordan Hendry to a torn ACL. Campoli is another puck-moving blueliner who suits the Blackhawks style on the back end. It gives their pairings pretty good balance and might give them the sort of boost they need to earn one of the last available berths.

Games remaining vs. Flames: 1

10. NASHVILLE PREDATORS

Added: None

Lost: None

Analysis: Although they nabbed Mike Fisher earlier this month, rumour has it the Preds were trying to pry Ales Hemsky away from the Edmonton Oilers. Unable to do so, there’s still a hole among their forward ranks that will have to be filled by young Colin Wilson and the inconsistent Sergei Kostitsyn. That’s a lot of pressure on the blueline and goaltenders when the bottom six forwards don’t seem all that capable of contributing.

Games remaining vs. Flames: 1

11. ANAHEIM DUCKS

Added: F Brad Winchester, F Joel Perreault, 3rd-round pick

Lost: F Maxim Lapierre, F MacGregor Sharp, 3rd-round pick

Analysis: Always liked the way Winchester plays, but the moves the Ducks have made in recent weeks make you wonder if we’ve gone back in time. Aside from the need addition of G Dan Ellis because of Jonas Hiller’s dizziness, they’ve added a bruiser in D Francois Beauchemin, a pest in Jarkko Ruutu, and an enforcer in Brian MacGrattan. Sounds like they already think they’re in the post-season.

Games remaining vs. Flames: 2

12. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS

Added: F Scottie Upshall, D Sami Lepisto, F Greg Moore, F Michael Chaput

Lost: D Rostislav Kleska, F Dane Byers, F Tom Sestito

Analysis: Former player Jeremy Roenick said it best: Teams win Cups with players like Upshall. Okay, so no one is ready to dub the long-shot Blue Jackets as playoff contenders just yet, but they added to an already dangerous set of forwards with the talented and feisty Upshall from Phoenix. And Lepisto adequately replaces the departing Klesla on the back end. They should be considered a dark horse to make it now.

Games remaining vs. Flames: 1

13. ST. LOUIS BLUES

Added: 3rd-round pick

Lost: Brad Winchester

Analysis: They ditched dangerous forward Brad Boyes immediately after their game against the Flames Sunday and added another pick by handing Winchester over to the Ducks. Apparently, they’ve given up on their season. Yes, they brought in the talented Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk in a deal that sent Erik Johnson to Denver, but the pre-deadline moves were made with a look to the future rather than the present, and their actions Monday backed that up.

Games remaining vs. Flames: 2

14. COLORADO AVALANCHE

Added: D Shawn Belle

Lost: D Kevin Montgomery

Analysis: Belle wasn’t happy with the Oilers farm team in Oklahoma, and he’s worth taking a shot at considering the Avalanche has begun to rebuild. They didn’t get what they wanted for John-Michael Liles, otherwise they might have bulked up even more for the future — which is all they have to look forward to from the moment they decided to dump one of their best players in Chris Stewart.

Games remaining vs. Flames: 2

15. EDMONTON OILERS

Added: D Colten Teubert, D Kevin Montgomery, 1st-round pick, cond. 3rd-round pick.

Lost: F Dustin Penner, D Shawn Belle

Analysis: They got rid of a big salary in Penner, and hung on to Ales Hemsky in the hopes they can now afford to re-sign the star winger. To boot, they added a potential future stud shutdown defenceman in big-hitter Teubert, a first-round pick (although it could be a high one from the Kings) and a conditional third-rounder that turns into a second-round selection if the Kings win the Stanley Cup. They got even younger. A team to watch in the future. Awful for now.

Games remaining vs. Flames: 2


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