NHL trade grades: Breaking down the best, worst deals from 2020 deadline day

This year's NHL trade deadline was far steadier than previous editions, when huge deals came down the pipeline in the final minutes or even after the deadline had officially passed.

While there was an element of that on Monday, there were also some substantial agreements made well before the 3 p.m. ET deadline. The biggest of the early-day moves was arguably Jean-Gabriel Pageau heading to the Islanders in what appeared to be a rental situation but was quickly revealed to be a long-time deal for the now-former Senator.

As the morning turned to the afternoon, a clear pattern emerged as a handful of teams dominated the transactions. The Hurricanes, Flames Oilers and Senators were active early, to be joined by the Ducks and Golden Knights as the clock ticked on.

NHL TRADE TRACKER
Full list of every deal completed before the 2020 deadline

Even with the early flurry of activity, a huge transaction came right as the trade window officially closed with Robin Lehner traded to the aforementioned Golden Knights.

We've graded each of the significant trades from 2020 deadline day in real time below. Head here if you're looking for an entire list of deals that went down.

2020 NHL trade deadline grades

(All times Eastern)

TRADE: A rare goalie-for-goalie trade

Vancouver receives: New Jersey receives:
Louis Domingue (G) Zane McIntyre (G)

Canucks: B

Devils: B

Jacob Markstrom reportedly has a knee injury that may keep him out for a while, necessitating this deal.

TRADE: Goodrow swaps coasts

Tampa Bay receives: San Jose receives:
Barclay Goodrow (F), 2020 third-round pick (PHI) Anthony Greco (F), 2020 first-round pick

Lightning: D

Sharks: A+

Can someone explain this deal to me from the Lightning's perspective? A first-round pick (and an AHLer) for Goodrow and the Flyers' third-rounder seems like a very steep price to pay, but good on the Sharks for extracting that kind of return.

3:17 p.m. — Not exactly a trade, but Toronto was busy on deadline day.

3:01 p.m — Deals are still rolling in past the official end of the trade window.

3:00 p.m. — The deadline is here! No more trades can be made, but many more will be announced as the afternoon rolls on.

TRADE: VGK drops last-minute bomb

Vegas receives: Chicago receives:
Robin Lehner (G) Malcolm Subban (G), Slava Demin (D)

Golden Knights: A

Blackhawks: B-

There are now two starting-caliber goalies in Vegas, even if Lehner's in a slump. This is a great deal for a Vegas team that sees itself going deep into the playoffs and possibly needing relief for 35-year-old Marc-Andre Fleury without suffering a drop-off in quality.

TRADE: 'Canes land Vatanen

Carolina receives: New Jersey receives:
Sami Vatanen (D) Janne Kuokkanen (F), second-round pick

Hurricanes: B+

New Jersey: A-

A good, puck-moving blueliner than will boost the Hurricanes and give them another push in the postseason. Vatanen is on the IR, but should be healthy soon. The 'Canes would score higher here if this wasn't a rental.

2:47 p.m. — We're near the finish line. Of course, deals can still be announced after 3 p.m. ET, but teams will have had to alerted the NHL central office before then.

2:36 p.m. — Speculation on Jumbo Joe will continue until 3 p.m., probably.

2:27 p.m. — ... it's the Penguins

2:22 p.m. — Who's at the other end of this deal?

2:03 p.m. — It's starting to pick up again...

2:01 p.m. — Ken Holland is not done for the day.

1:59 p.m. — Calgary adding a D-man?

1:56 p.m. — But why?

1:51 p.m. — The Isles lock up Pageau for an additional six years.

1:38 p.m. — Are the Habs still offloading?

1:33 p.m. — The Hurricanes may not be done yet.

1:28 p.m. — We are here for good-natured trolling by hockey wives on deadline day.

1:22 p.m. — Could it be?

TRADE: More speed for Edmonton, but will it work?

Edmonton receives: Detroit receives:
Andreas Athanasiou (F), Ryan Kuffner (F) Sam Gagner (F), 2020 second-round pick, 2021 second-round pick

Oilers: B

Detroit: A

Connor McDavid gets a fellow speed merchant to play alongside. Ken Holland knows what he's getting from Athanasiou, who's been having a terrble year but can certainly be rejuvenated with better teammates. Athanasiou has been heavily criticized as a selfish player, but if the Oilers can get the best out of him they just hit the jackpot.

GRADES: Oilers acquire speedster to play with McDavid

12:45 p.m. — Parise to the Isles seems to be getting closer.

12:33 p.m. — Meanwhile in Toronto...

12:30 p.m. — We're seeing both a major and minor deal taking shape.

12:11 p.m. — Anybody seen Tyler Ennis?

12:10 p.m. — We've hit a lunchtime lull in the trade market. Still almost three hours to go.

11:54 a.m. — Wayne Simmonds heads to Buffalo.

11:45 a.m. —

11:37 a.m. — They're coming fast and furious now.

11:34 a.m. — Some depth moving both ways.

TRADE: Leafs bring Rosen home

Toronto receives: Colorado receives:
Calle Rosen (D) Michael Hutchinson (G)

Leafs: B

Avalanche: B

The Michael Hutchinson era is mercifully over in Toronto. Hutchinson gets away from the intense spotlight that follows the Leafs everywhere, and Toronto brings a familiar face back into the fold. This works out for all parties, even if neither player is going to have a big impact on their new teams.

11:25 a.m. — Here are the details on the Kreider extension, which feels like a deadline day move on its own even though he's not changing teams.

11:13 a.m. — The top candidate to move today seems to now be off limits.

TRADE: Marleau's quest for Stanley brings him to Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh receives: San Jose receives:
Patrick Marleau (F) 2021 conditional third-round pick

Penguins: B

Sharks: B+

This is obviously a short-term move for the Penguins, who add even more experience to an already veteran group. Marleau isn't what he was even two years ago, but he's still got enough to add to the bottom-6 of a Stanley Cup contender. The only question is where exactly does he fit?

11:00 a.m. — One of the league's elder statesmen looks to be making a big move.

10:54 a.m. — Thompson is confirmed (but not yet official), with more details.

10:42 a.m. — Philly looking to get in on today's action.

10:24 a.m. — The Hurricanes are eager to shore up their blue line.

TRADE: Carolina pays big-time for Trocheck

Carolina receives: Florida receives:
Vincent Trocheck (F) Eric Haula (F), Lucas Wallmark (F), Chase Priskie (D), Eetu Luostarinen (F)

Hurricanes: B-

Panthers: A

That's quite the Haul-a for the Panthers.

In all seriousness, the Hurricanes gave up a lot for Trocheck on the surface, but they're getting back a player who put up 75 point two seasons ago and still has two more years left on his current contract.

TRADE: Pageau heads to the Islanders, Sens receive haul of picks

New York receives: Ottawa receives:
Jean-Gabriel Pageau (F) 2020 conditional first-round pick, 2020 second-round pick, 2022 conditional third-round pick

Islanders: A-

Senators: A

Ottawa isn't wasting any time this morning, and continues to stockpile assets. The Isles get a player having a career year and ready to contribute in the top-6 immediately.

GRADES: Senators stockpile draft picks by sending Pageau to Islanders

9:46 a.m. — Looks like one of the bigger names is coming off the board early.

Here are the early-morning deals that kicked off deadline day:

TRADE: Ottawa begins to unload, Avs the first recipient

Colorado receives: Ottawa receives:
Vladislav Namestnikov 2021 fourth-round pick

Avalanche: A

Senators: B

The Senators are firm sellers, and they'll spend the rest of the day trying to maximize their return. For the Avs, getting a proven winger for a fourth-round pick is good business.

TRADE: Green heads west

Edmonton receives: Detroit receives:
Mike Green (D) Kyle Brodziak (F), 2020 or 2021 conditional draft pick

Oilers: B+

Detroit: A

Mike Green is having a down year, but then so is everyone on the Red Wings. The experienced RHD boosts Edmonton's overall depth and adds some offensive thrust to the rearguard. For Detroit,, who retains 50 percent of Green's $2,687,500 cap hit, this is all about adding assets to an oncoming rebuild.

Of course, the trades didn't begin on Monday morning. Let's recap some of the more notale deals that took place prior to deadline day:

TRADE: Capitals add offensive threat from Canadiens (Feb. 23)

Washington receives: Montreal receives:
Ilya Kovalchuk (F) 2020 third-round pick

Capitals: A-

Canadiens: B

As SN's Sam Jarden writes, "[t]he fact that Washington managed to squeeze in another offensive threat for a playoff run while staying under the cap, can only be a good thing."

For the Canadiens, "it's another trade to stockpile draft picks after a disappointing season thus far."

TRADE: Capitals add defensive depth as Sharks begin anew (Feb. 18)

Washington receives: San Jose receives:
Brenden Dillon (D) 2020 second-round pick (from COL), 2021 conditional third-round pick

Capitals: A

Sharks: B-

As SN's Sam Ficcaro writes , "Dillon should fit in seamlessly with Washington as he'll likely get paired with Carlson on the top pairing."

Additionally, "it feels San Jose could have gotten more from the Capitals or another trade partner. Yes, Dillon is a pending unrestricted free agent but he has a relatively low AAV of $3.27 million and was considered one of the best defensemen available on the market."

TRADE: Canucks pay hefty price for offensive threat (Feb. 17)

Vancouver receives: Los Angeles receives:
Tyler Toffoli (F) Tim Schaller (F), Tyler Madden (F), 2020 second-round pick, 2022 conditional fourth-round pick

Canucks: B

Kings: A-

As SN's Sam Ficcaro writes , the Canucks "made a win-now move acquiring Toffoli who immediately becomes its best winger with Brock Boeser out for three weeks."

However, "Toffoli is a pending unrestricted free agent and the Canucks are going to have a tough time re-signing him. "

TRADE: Lightning gain depth, Devils add top prospect (Feb. 15)

Tampa Bay receives: New Jersey receives:
Blake Coleman (F) Nolan Foote (F), 2020 conditional first-round pick (from VAN)

Lightning: B

Devils: A

As SN's Steve Kournianos writes , "the Bolts obviously are in win-now mode and need to erase the pain of last year’s disastrous postseason. Unless Tampa Bay wins the Stanley Cup, the trading of essentially two first-round picks for a winger who’ll be lucky to play more than 10-12 minutes a game at 5v5 is hard to justify — regardless of Coleman’s shot proclivity or how well their AHL prospects are progressing."

TRADE: Penguins gamble big on Jason Zucker; Wild get solid return (Feb. 11)

Pittsburgh receives: Minnesota receives:
Jason Zucker (F) Alex Galchenyuk (F), Calen Addison (D), 2020 conditional first-round pick

Penguins: B+

Wild: A

As wrote at the time , "getting a player like Zucker comes with a cost, and the Penguins paid a big one. Galchenyuk is having a down year but is still just 25 and can easily turn it around in a new environment, while Addison is seen as a gifted defensive prospect. And then there's the first-rounder in the upcoming draft, which could turn into another blue-chipper."

However, the "looks like it could be one of the rare ones that works out for both sides."

TRADE: Kyle Clifford and Jack Campbell dealt from Kings to Maple Leafs (Feb. 5)

Toronto receives: Los Angeles receives:
Jack Campbell (G), Kyle Clifford (F) Trevor Moore (F), 2020 third-round pick, 2021 conditional third-round pick)

Leafs: A-

Kings: B

As SN's Jackie Spiegel writes , the "Maple Leafs got their [much-needed] backup goalie in Campbell ... As for Clifford, he'll be a bottom-six forward but will add a desperately needed gritty, tough, physical element."

For the Kings, they shed some salary and added assets as the full rebuild is on.