Dallas Stars Daily Links: Analyzing the Central Division Post-Deadline

Dallas may not be in the conversation anymore, but what does hockey's toughest division look like now? Also, an adorable handwritten letter and a sad, sad day for Calgary

Well, that was fun. A bit of a letdown for the "blow it up now" crew, admittedly, but at least the activity was there.

So, what are we looking at? Specifically in the West, because the East is basically Boston and Florida in a staring contest for 8th, which is probably a great setup for a Bagheera/Baloo joke. Make that one, would you?

Playoffs, yes. Well, as of this morning, it sure looks like the Central Division will be taking both wild card spots, just as I predicted. (Never you mind about who took them, never you mind.) Here are the standings to date:

1 Nashville 64 41 16 7 89 35
2 St. Louis 63 40 18 5 85 32
3 Chicago 64 38 21 5 81 30
4 Winnipeg 64 32 20 12 76 26
5 Minnesota 62 33 22 7 73 31

Los Angeles and Calgary are both at 70 points with 62 GP, and San Jose is at 70 points with 64 GP. So while it's still possible that Devan Dubnyk will turn into a pumpkin or that the Jets will remember that they are the Jets, odds heavily favor things staying as they are for these five current playoff teams in the Central.

You'll find more details in the links below, but here are the big moves made by these teams. Check out Hockey Wilderness for a more complete list of the to/from details on the Central's transactions:

Chicago got its defenseman in Kimmo Timonen, who is old but should still be good, we hope; and Antoine Vermette, who found himself the darling of the trade deadline despite not really being all that amazing.

Winnipeg was busy earlier getting Stafford and Tyler Myers, but they also wound up with Lee Stempniak and Jiri Tlusty, in case you forgot.

Minnesota acquired Sean Bergenheim, Jordan Leopold and Chris Stewart.

St. Louis's big moves were to get Zbynek Michalek and Olli Jokinen, along with Robert(o) Bortuzzo.

Nashville stayed mostly quiet, although they previously snagged Santorelli and Cody Franson from Toronto.

So, there you have it. All these moves, and Devan Dubnyk may still be the most important trade that took place in the Central this 2015. That is just my opinion, of course; keep in mind that we are all-too-aware of how much goaltending can affect a team's fortunes. In any case, there now stands a very real chance that we could see former Predator Devan Dubnyk (who didn't really listen to Mitch Korn) face Pekka Rinne (Korn prodigy) in the first round of the playoffs.

That is a series I would watch.

* * * * *

By the way, you know how Toronto is talking about rebuilding? This is what that looks like:

Okay. So, the Stars pretty much stood pat yesterday. Here is a video of Jim Nill talking about that. I like that jacket he is wearing. Does anyone know where I can buy those? [Stars]

If you like goals, then you'll enjoy tonight's game, some suspect. [DMN]

Erik Cole is a Red Wings now, but let's all hope he makes it to the Conference Finals. Here is what Winging It in Motown thinks of the trade after some time to reflect. [WIiM]

It sure sounds like the Ducks are planning to be ready for a Rumble with the Kings, even if LA doesn't show up to the dance this year. [Puck Daddy]

Chris Stewart found out what team he had been traded to by calling TSN. Not sure if this is zany or sad. Probably more sad. [SI]

The Calgary Flames saw their tenuous playoff hopes get coated with butter and slid across the kitchen floor yesterday after the news that Mark Giordano is out for the season with a torn bicep. [The Score]

Would you like a comprehensive list of every trade completed in the last few days? Okay, here you go. [SB Nation]

Here is a two-sentence rundown of every deadline deal by Justin Bourne. Give it a read for reals. Also, he loved the Cole trade (for Dallas). [The Score]

Or if you'd like to read the Loui Eriksson list of trades, here you go. [NHL]

Jeff Petry will be an interesting defenseman to keep your eye on in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Here is an article on the trade that sent him to Montreal. Also, there is a video of a bunch of TSN guys on their Macs and smartphones. That's kind of good TV, I guess. [TSN]

Finally, here is your adorable moment of the day (or year, maybe). Jordan Leopold's daughter wrote a handwritten letter (REMEMBER THOSE, KIDS?) to the Minnesota Wild Coaches asking them to trade for her father. Aww. [SB Nation]