Tuesday, 26 February 2008

The NHL Flea Market

The NHL held its biggest day of salary purging and personnel changes today, and there were some surprises along the way. Yes, the NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone, and what we're left with could change some teams' fortunes for seasons to come. Big names were moved. Character players changed teams. Goaltenders were shuffled like cards. Draft picks were exchanged frequently and without prejudice. While the number of trades and players involved were not as plentiful as in years past, there were still some eyebrow-raising deals made, as well as some name that were rumoured to be on the move who stayed put. Here's a breakdown of what each team did on Trade Deadline Day.

Acquired: G Jean-Sebastien Aubin, D Marc-Andre Bergeron, D Jay Leach, future considerations (NAS).
Gone: F Brandon Bochenski, F Brandon Segal, 2008 3rd-round and 7th-round picks.
Teebz: Bergeron will give them another powerplay quarterback. Aubin will allow Hiller to return to the AHL for more development. Leach strengthens the defensive unit.

Acquired: F Joe Motzko, F Angelo Esposito, F Erik Christensen, F Colby Armstrong, 2008 1st-round pick.
Gone: F Alexandre Giroux, F Marian Hossa, F Pascal Dupuis.
Teebz: The jury is out on Esposito still, but Christensen and Armstrong will provide some good character on a Thrashers team sorely needing some. Motzko has shown flashes of brilliance with Washington, and will fit nicely on a third line in Atlanta. Of course, that first-round pick will give Atlanta another prospect.

No moves made on Trade Deadline Day.
Teebz: Why? For a team that could sorely use a first-line centerman to replace and compliment Patrice Bergeron until he gets back into the lineup, this team could have used an Olli Jokinen.

Acquired: F Steve Bernier, 2008 1st-round pick.
Gone: D Brian Campbell, 2008 7th-round pick.
Teebz: Buffalo was a seller, but get a quality young forward in Bernier back. Buffalo has done pretty good with draft picks as well, so that first-round pick will come in handy.

No moves made on Trade Deadline Day.
Teebz: For a team that was thought to be a front-runner in the Olli Jokinen sweepstakes, they make no moves. I thought that Calgary might go after a big-framed defenceman such as Hal Gill to wear down teams in the playoffs, but that was not the case.

Acquired: F Tuomo Ruutu.
Gone: F Andrew Ladd.
Teebz: This swap was underachiever for underachiever. Ladd did contribute in Carolina's Stanley Cup run, but did little since. Perhaps a change of scenery will re-ignite both men's careers.

Acquired: F Andrew Ladd, 2008 6th-round pick.
Gone: F Tuomo Ruutu, F Martin Lapointe.
Teebz: Chicago is always a seller, and yet always they sell little to nothing on Deadline Day. They didn't get any better after today, but didn't get any worse either. Status quo in Chi-town.

Acquired: D Adam Foote, D Ruslan Salei.
Gone: D Karlis Skrastins, 2008/09 conditional 1st-round pick, 2008 3rd-round and 4th-round picks.
Teebz: Colorado bulks up their back-end as they stated in their Deadline Day plans. Foote will provide steady play and leadership while Salei brings some grittiness to Colorado's defence unit.

Acquired: D Theo Ruth, 2008/09 conditional 1st-round pick, 2008 4th-round pick.
Gone: F Sergei Fedorov, D Adam Foote.
Teebz: Columbus' GM Scott Howson might take some heat over these deals, but these deals will allow the Blue Jackets to get younger. Howson has never been afraid to build through the draft, and looks comfortable with that strategy.

Acquired: F Brad Richards, G Johan Holmqvist.
Gone: G Mike Smith, F Jussi Jokinen, F Jeff Halpern, 2008 4th-round pick.
Teebz: Dallas acquires one of the marquee names at the deadline in Richards. The scary part is that the Stars have 14 players under contract next season for approximately $45 million, and that includes Richards' huge salary. Now that's cap management, and the Stars are looking for a deep playoff run this year.

Acquired: D Brad Stuart.
Gone: 2008 2nd-round pick, 2009 4th-round pick.
Teebz: Ken Holland obviously thinks his team has the right tools to go deep in the playoffs. By adding Stuart, the defensive six get deeper in talent. With Detroit having several players returning from injuries, Stuart should help them as a #3 or #4 defenceman.

No moves made on Trade Deadline Day.
Teebz: Lowe was reportedly interested in Hossa, but, like their provincial rivals, the Oilers did nothing. Roloson was reportedly on the block, but he'll continue to play second fiddle to Mathieu Garon.

Acquired: D Wade Belak, F Chad Kilger, D Karlis Skrastins, 2008 3rd-round pick.
Gone: D Ruslan Salei, 2008 3rd-round and 5th-round picks.
Teebz: Belak and Kilger? Doesn't Florida have enough useless baggage on their team already? Skrastins will at least be a stay-at-home defenceman, something Vokoun won't recognize.

Acquired: 2008 2nd-round and 7th-round picks, 2009 4th-round pick.
Gone: G Jean-Sebastien Aubin, D Brad Stuart.
Teebz: Ok, that's like 200 draft picks over the next two years for the Kings. Seriously, what's with stockpiling picks? Trading away a defenceman who was proving his worth is always a great idea when trying to secure the #1 overall pick. Thanks for mailing in the season, Lombardi.

Acquired: F Chris Simon.
Gone: 2008 6th-round pick.
Teebz: Could Doug Risebrough not get the Hanson Brothers in a trade? This trade was made purely due to last year's playoffs where the Anaheim Ducks literally beat the hell out of Minnesota in their series. Now, the Wild have Derek Boogaard, Todd Fedoruk, and Chris Simon in their lineup. Where's Ogie Oglethorpe?

Acquired: 2009 2nd-round pick.
Gone: G Cristobal Huet.
Teebz: Shocking? Yes. Gainey has basically made it clear that the Habs will live and die with 20 year-old goalie Carey Price. It should also be noted that the Canadiens didn't get Marian Hossa. I'm sure that Habs fans aren't the happiest group right now.

Acquired: F Brandon Bochenski, F Jan Hlavac.
Gone: 2008 7th-round pick, future considerations (ANA).
Teebz: For a team that made the biggest splash at the deadline last season in getting Peter Forsberg, the Predators opted to add a few character guys this season. Perhaps the Predators learned from their mistakes from a year ago.

Acquired: D Bryce Salvador.
Gone: F Cam Janssen.
Teebz: Trader Lou made the first deal today, and then was quiet. Salvador will eat up minutes for the Devils with playing steady hockey. Maybe Lou is planning something bigger? Brent Sutter might not be safe after all.

Acquired: D Rob Davison, 2008 3rd-round and 6th-round picks.
Gone: F Chris Simon, D Marc-Andre Bergeron, 2008 7th-round pick.
Teebz: Aside from losing the guy who is leading the league in number of days suspended, the Islanders practically did nothing. Is GM Garth Snow content with his team who are currently out of a playoff spot?

Acquired: F Fredrik Sjostrom, F Josh Gratton, D Christian Backman, G David Leneveu.
Gone: F Marcel Hossa, G Al Montoya, 2008 4th-round pick.
Teebz: These moves seem like a wash. The Rangers get no better, but no worse. Backman is an average puck-moving defenceman, and, with Boyle being off the market, the Rangers really had no other options to look at.

Acquired: F Martin Lapointe.
Gone: 2008 6th-round pick.
Teebz: This move was made to increase the leadership inside a tense locker room. It could also be reasoned that Lapointe will be placed into Chris Neil's role with Neil sidelined by a knee injury. Perhaps the knee is worse than originally thought?

No moves made on Trade Deadline Day.
Teebz: Having acquired Vaclav Prospel and Jaroslav Modry before Deadline Day, it was easy to see that Philadelphia wouldn't be making many more moves. It was rumoured that Philly was interested in Dan Boyle, but he was taken off the market when he signed an extension with Tampa Bay.

Acquired: F Marcel Hossa, G Al Montoya.
Gone: F Fredrik Sjostrom, F Josh Gratton, G David Leneveu.
Teebz: No better, but no worse. Phoenix's status quo is probably for the best as they've been on a major tear recently. Hossa may add some scoring punch, but that's a stretch at best with his recent play.

Acquired: F Marian Hossa, F Pascal Dupuis, D Hal Gill.
Gone: F Angelo Esposito, F Erik Christensen, F Colby Armstrong, 2008 1st-round and 2nd-round picks, 2009 5th-round pick.
Teebz: The Penguins came out of nowhere to grab a marquee name in Hossa today. Hossa will certainly help the Penguins in goal scoring, and is defensively sound as a forward. Dupuis will fill a third-line role, and do some PK work. Hal Gill will make life hell for opposing forwards with his big body. If the Penguins can re-sign Hossa, the amount they gave up to get him might seem like pennies.

Acquired: D Brian Campbell, 2008 7th-round pick.
Gone: D Rob Davison, F Steve Bernier, 2008 1st-round pick.
Teebz: GM Doug Murray got his man in Brian Campbell. If Campbell can provide the offensive spark from the back-end like he did in Buffalo, the Sharks could become a legitimate Stanley Cup threat.

Acquired: F Cam Janssen, 2008 4th-round pick.
Gone: D Bryce Salvador, D Christian Backman.
Teebz: The Blues give up a couple of decent defencemen. With Janssen in the lineup, though, the Blues have a legitimate tough guy who can battle the other heavyweights in the NHL.

Acquired: G Mike Smith, F Jussi Jokinen, F Jeff Halpern, F Brandon Segal, 2008 4th-round and two 7th-round picks.
Gone: F Jan Hlavac, F Brad Richards, D Jay Leach, G Johan Holmqvist.
Teebz: The Lightning shed an albatross contract in Richards, and get to start building their team back into contention. Having Mike Smith in the net is a good start as he was solid with Dallas.

Acquired: 2008 2nd-round, 3rd-round, and 5th-round picks, 2009 5th-round pick.
Gone: D Wade Belak, D Hal Gill, F Chad Kilger.
Teebz: I hope other GMs were watching how no-trade clauses can destroy a team. Fletcher will begin to rebuild this team through the draft, but they are at least 4-to-5 years away from respectability.

Acquired: F Matt Pettinger.
Gone: F Matt Cooke.
Teebz: GM Dave Nonis didn't get a top-6 forward for his team, so he had better hope that Pettinger will score 20 goals over the last four weeks of the season. Otherwise, the Canucks enter the playoffs with the same problem they had last season: scoring goals.

Acquired: F Matt Cooke, F Alexandre Giroux, F Sergei Fedorov, G Cristobal Huet.
Gone: F Matt Pettinger, F Joe Motzko, D Theo Ruth, 2009 2nd-round pick.
Teebz: It appears that Washington is preparing for two things: (a) a run at the Southeast Division title, and (b) free agency. Huet's and Fedorov's contracts both expire meaning the Capitals can sign other free agents due to no salary cap implications. Huet, meanwhile, will provide solid goaltending with Kolzig, and Fedorov will provide leadership in the room with his Russian teammates in Kozlov, Semin, and Ovechkin.

Ok, so that's all of them. I was surprised that Olli Jokinen didn't get moved, but that would basically be moving all of Florida's offensive abilities in one move, which would basically kill the franchise.

Congrats to San Jose, Dallas, and Pittsburgh for making the biggest splashes today. Now it's time to watch hockey gear up for the playoffs, and to see if these trades pan out to be excellent deals or colossal mistakes.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

Kirsten said...

Team toughness is not our problem right now. We have Voros, Fedoruk, and Boogaard. What we need is someone to score some damn goals.