Monday, 1 April 2013

What Deadline?

Monday night saw another flurry of action happen across the trade wire as the Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues strengthened their teams by dealing for defencemen. We've seen some major players, both on the ice and in the front office, move already, so is there actually a need for a deadline other than to impose a date and time when teams cannot trade with one another? Honestly, there aren't many assets left when one considers all the trades that have already gone down. Tonight, we saw two quality defencemen move to teams where they could have significant impacts on the playoff hopes and aspirations of the teams that acquired them.

Robyn Regehr waived his no-trade clause after the Sabres had arranged a deal for him to join the defending Stanley Cup champions in Los Angeles. The Kings will get a guy who can play twenty minutes a night, is not afraid to take the body, and will certainly clear space in front of the net. With Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene on the IR since January, the Kings opted to deal a pair of second-round picks for Regehr to shore up their blue line. Honestly, I like this pick-up by the Los Angeles Kings, and I think that this trade will make them very difficult to play against for whomever draws them in the playoffs. For Buffalo, the rebuild is on... again.

The St. Louis Blues were looking for another defenceman to add to their blue line after picking up Jordan Leopold earlier in the week, and they went out and dealt a first-round pick and a couple of prospects for Jay Bouwmeester. GM Doug Armstrong reportedly wanted an elite defenceman with a left-handed shot, and Bouwmeester was the player he settled on. The problem that some will say is that Bouwmeester has played a total of zero NHL playoff games in his career, but I think the Blues have a larger problem.

Jaroslav Halak went down in what looked like a lot of pain tonight, and the Blues keep adding non-physical, somewhat-offensive defencemen to their roster. Leopold and Bouwmeester have done nothing to impress anyone for nearly a decade, yet they are still coveted because of how they play game. Personally, I'd take Regehr in a heartbeat over Leopold and/or Bouwmeester because he plays how you need to play in the playoffs - tough, physical, and with an edge. That wins championships. That's why Los Angeles is up 1-0 in championships over St. Louis.

The trade deadline is just a couple of days away. Ryan Clowe - no goals, 11 assists - is still available, and apparently Kiprusoff and the Maple Leafs are trying to figure out how to bring the veteran goalie to Toronto. Roberto Luongo is still in play, and Ben Bishop is available from Ottawa for the right price. There are still assets out there, and someone will eventually jump at a deal that could be the difference for that team. Personally, I don't think the assets remaining are worth their asking prices, but I'm not in a hot seat in an NHL front office.

Be ready, folks, as 3PM ET on Wednesday will close the trading window on this season, and we'll see which team has made the necessary improvements required for a long playoff run. As an added bonus, we'll be doing a Trade Deadline Review on The Hockey Show on Thursday night at 6PM CT on 101.5 UMFM, so make sure you tune into that as we look at who went where, who got better, who is rebuilding, and who we like to win the Stanley Cup! Join us via Twitter and on the phone as we take your tweets and calls as well!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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