3 Unexpected Trades In The Central Division In 2022-23

The top of the Central Division in the NHL has been close for most of the year, and as playoffs approach it's still as close as ever. This is what made the trade deadline very important for the teams fighting for home ice advantage as the three unexpected trades in this division came from the Minnesota Wild, Colorado Avalanche, and Dallas Stars.

First looking at the Wild, the expectation was that they'd make a significant addition up front as they are down a couple of players and have lacked enough high-end talent all season. They instead took on cap, made a couple of middle-six additions, and interestingly added John Klingberg from the Anaheim Ducks. This came as a surprise because of the cap hit, even at 50 percent retained, and the role that Klingberg would have. He essentially just took over Calen Addison's spot in the lineup and forced the youngster to be scratched. Addison has been effective on the power-play and the Wild have also had more than enough good defencemen all season long.

There was no getting around that the Avalanche needed a second line center all season long after the departure of Nazem Kadri in the summer and the inability of anyone to claim that role. This is what made everyone believe that the goal for the trade deadline was to address that hole. The team did bring in a center, but it was Lars Eller who was playing on the fourth line in Washington. The Avalanche have J.T. Compher, Alex Newhook, and Evan Rodrigues to choose form on the second and third line already, so Eller wasn't the fix they needed.

Finally, the expectation was that the Stars were going to upgrade at forward. Not surprisingly, they acquired Max Domi. But during a very down season, they took a chance and swapped Denis Gurianov with Evgenii Dadonov. This was surprising because at first it felt like a very lateral move. But after some games under his belt, it has turned out to be a really smart move for the Stars in adding scoring help.

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