4 deadline deals with playoff payoff

Matt MoulsonDave Reginek/NHLI/Getty Images

Not all deadline deals are created equally. Here are four that could be sneaky-good during the playoffs:

1. Steve Ott, St. Louis Blues

The bottom line is that few people like to play against the pesky Ott, who cut his teeth in Dallas and earned the captain's C in Buffalo when Thomas Vanek was traded earlier in the season. Ott was dealt to St. Louis at the deadline with Ryan Miller. Ott isn't just a disturbing presence, although that is a key factor come playoff time, but he can play up and down the lineup, can take key draws, kill penalties and, for a Blues team that has staggered into the postseason, he might be just the catalyst for turning things around when the real season starts.

2. Matt Moulson, Minnesota Wild

Not sure this counts as sneaky, but with big-name guys such as Marian Gaborik and Thomas Vanek on the move in early March, Moulson was part of a second tier of offensive guys who will be counted on heavily this spring. In Minnesota, that's especially the case with Mikael Granlund sidelined.

3. Andrew MacDonald, Philadelphia Flyers

If there has been reason to doubt the Flyers' ability to survive a close-checking playoff series against the New York Rangers, it's been their defensive depth. While there weren't a lot of top-end defensemen available at the trade deadline, former New York Islander MacDonald was highly sought after, and the Flyers are a better team with him in the mix. MacDonald has played eight straight games in which he's logged more than 20 minutes and he will be an important fixture as the Flyers try to keep Rick Nash, Brad Richards, Derick Brassard and Martin St. Louis at bay.

4. David Legwand, Detroit Red Wings

It's unlikely the Red Wings would have made a pitch for hometowner Legwand, who had spent his entire career with the Nashville Predators, had they not been so decimated by injury, especially down the middle. But Legwand has proved to be a useful addition, and even though he has only one goal and one point in his past six games, he has the potential to help out on the power play and play up and down the lineup, which will be important against the powerhouse Boston Bruins.