Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver were three teams who went into the trade deadline hoping to land an impact player. All three missed out, and are out of the playoffs. With that said, there were three teams who dealt for impact players, and all three are still around, though one team will be soon gone.
The Penguins gave up a lot of young talent to get Hossa, and so far, he's been just what they've needed. Two goals today put the Penguins ahead to the third round. In total, Hossa has 10 points in 8 games, and has played very well.
Brad Richards was the biggest name moved at the deadline, and has been huge for the Stars. 11 points in 11 games, his playmaking is a big reason that the Sharks are likely onto the third round. He has been a perfect addition to this team, and compliments Morraeu and Ribeiro nicely.
Finally, Brian Campbell is a huge reason why the Sharks are still alive. Seven points in 11 games, with the biggest being in the form of his lone goal last game to keep the Sharks alive. I honestly believe that the winner of this series will beat the Wings next round, but I'm sure a guy named "The Mule" will have something to say about that.
So in past years, deadline deals have been called unneccesary. The teams who make the deals rarely go all the way, once again showing that in the NHL you have to build from within. This year things could be different, as the Penguins, Stars and Sharks are all much improved since the deadline, muchly because of their moves. While Detroit and Philly did little at the deadline to make themselves better, they will give it their all, I think this year the deals made at the deadline will be the difference.