The Mega Metro

Welcome to the Pregame Skate, a Five Minute Major Upgrade to Your Inbox

🚎Free Transportation: NHL Seattle announced they will pay for fan’s public transportation, becoming the third United States franchise to do so. The city also plans to spend $7 million to upgrade the monorail’s downtown station.

Deadline Deals Deliver

(@ny_islanders)

What’s Happening: Not every trade deadline addition pans out, but the players below have been able to deliver for their new club’s immediately. Let’s take a look:

  • Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored a goal in his Islanders debut, a 4-3 overtime loss to the Rangers. Oh, and the 180 pound forward also fought in his first game. Watch here.

  • Tyler Toffoli netted the overtime winner Tuesday against the Canadiens and now has five points in three games since joining the Canucks.

  • Alec Martinez has six points in four games for the Golden Knights since joining their blue line. He’s also helped Vegas become a stronger defensive team, a trait that was on display last night in their shutout victory over Connor McDavid and the Oilers.

The Bigger Picture: One unexpected team is on the rise following the deadline. The New York Rangers, who continued their rebuild by trading away defenseman Brady Skjei, find themselves just four points out of a playoff spot following Tuesday’s OT win.

More on the Rangers

The Mega Metro

What’s Happening: The Metropolitan Division has been the most competitive all season long, as evidenced by the fact that seven teams within the division are on pace to finish with at least 94 points. The already tight race to win the division is about to get even more intense following the NHL trade deadline on Monday.

Here’s Why: The Capitals, Penguins, Islanders and Hurricanes all added important new pieces, and the Rangers set themselves up for a successful rebuild in the coming years.

More Details: Capitals GM Brian MacLellan traded for defenseman Brenden Dillon and veteran winger Ilya Kovalchuk, who should fit in well on one of the top three lines. The Penguins also gained some experience with the addition of Patrick Marleau and will get some extra speed up front from Stanley Cup champion Conor Sheary, who rejoins the club after a few years in Buffalo.

Now to the Big Apple, where the Islanders and Rangers both had active trade deadlines. Isles GM Lou Lamoriello landed Jean-Gabriel Pageau AND signed him to a six year extension. The Rangers decided to lock in Chris Kreider for the next seven years while also electing to move Brady Skjei to Carolina, who also picked up Vincent Trocheck and Sami Vatanen at the deadline.

The Bigger Picture: Just eight points separate the top six teams in the Metropolitan Division, so we will have an eye on these teams specifically to see how their deadline additions impact the remainder of the season.

Dig Deeper: Rob Rossi, The Athletic (subscription)

One Game to Watch: Stars vs. Bruins

When: Thursday, February 27th @ 7:30 p.m. EST

Watch: NBCSN

The Matchup: Both of these clubs last played on Tuesday night—the Stars hopped out to an early lead on the new look Hurricanes and didn’t look back, winning 4-1. The Bruins lost to the Flames and are now on a two game skid. This one should be a defensive battle, and we think the Bruins prevail on home ice.

More Links from the Rink

  • Joe Thornton, who is still in search of his first Stanley Cup, was disappointed the Sharks didn’t move him at the trade deadline.

  • Following an active trade deadline, where do the Rangers go from here?

  • More details on the NHL’s emergency backup goaltender system via The New York Times.