Western Conference teams among winners at NHL trade deadline

The smoke from last week’s NHL trade deadline has cleared, and a few winners emerged from the flurry of activity.

— The New York Rangers successfully started their much-publicized rebuild, as general manager Jeff Gorton made several deals to kick-start the process.

— The Tampa Bay Lightning landed an elite defenseman (Ryan McDonagh of the Rangers) to help in their pursuit of the Stanley Cup.

— And Jussi Jokinen’s real estate agent might have picked up another commission since the veteran forward was moved to his fourth team — this season.

In the Western Conference, a handful of general managers were busy making moves to bolster their lineup for the final five weeks of the regular season and beyond.

Here is a brief look at three teams that made deals that could make life tougher for the Golden Knights:

Sharks — San Jose landed Buffalo’s Evander Kane, the top winger available at the deadline, and did so at an affordable price. The Sharks gave up a conditional first-round pick that becomes a second-rounder if they can’t re-sign him, a fourth-rounder and a fringe prospect in Danny O’Regan.

Compare that to the bounty Boston gave up to acquire Rick Nash, and it’s a pretty good move for Sharks general manager Doug Wilson.

Kane, 26, despite his less-than-stellar reputation off the ice, has three straight 20-goal seasons and injected much-needed speed on the Sharks’ top line alongside Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi. The Sharks scored 12 goals in their first two games with Kane in the lineup and face the Knights twice this month (March 22 and 31).

Jets — GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is notoriously hesitant to make moves at the trade deadline, but he went for it this year with the acquisition of veteran center Paul Stastny from St. Louis.

The Jets gave up their first-round pick, a conditional 2020 fourth-round pick and prospect Erik Foley in the deal, but now are one of the deepest teams in the Western Conference down the middle.

Stastny remains a talented playmaker and joins 33-goal scorer Patrik Laine and wing Nikolaj Ehlers (25 goals, 49 points) to give Winnipeg a potent second line.

Predators — Nashville signaled its intent to win now by giving up first- and fourth-round picks, along with a prospect, to Chicago for bottom-six forward Ryan Hartman.

Hartman scored 19 goals as a rookie last season and plays with an edge, a key attribute in the postseason. He also is a restricted free agent, which means Hartman could be annoying Predators’ opponents for the foreseeable future if he re-signs.

The Predators didn’t acquire Hartman for his offense, unlike Kane and Stastny. Rather, Nashville is expected to get a boost on offense if it signs 2017 first-round pick Eeli Tolvanen once his Kontinental Hockey League season concludes.

Special guest

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere will meet with members of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School hockey team after Sunday’s game against the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Florida.

Gostisbehere is a former student at Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students were killed Feb. 14. The Stoneman Douglas hockey team won the state title 11 days after the mass shooting.

“I’m not the biggest political guy there is,” Gostisbehere told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “But it is my old school. My hometown. And it’s cool to watch these guys stand up for what they truly believe. Obviously, they want some change. It’s cool to see how some of the kids who survived are coming through it and … handling themselves as young adults.”

Poile tops wins list

Nashville’s David Poile became the winningest general manager in league history Thursday with the Predators’ 4-2 victory at Edmonton.

The win was the 1,320th of Poile’s career as a GM, passing former Oilers and Rangers GM Glen Sather.

Poile was the GM of the Washington Capitals from 1982 to 1997 before taking over in Nashville in 1998.

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

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