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Welcome to our live trade deadline blog, folks. We’re going to keep it fast and fun here. Entries are in reverse chronological order...
In the immortal words of the Chappelle Show, Wrap it Up, B.
After a full day of paranoia and baited breath, the trade deadline is winding down.
The big deals are done and we have distinct winners and losers.
If you’re a fan of Washington or Pittsburgh, today was a good day. Ditto for those out west in Dallas and San Jose.
If you live in Ottawa or Vancouver, you’re problem staring at your TV or computer, screaming, “what the hell was that?”
In Montreal, you’re downright confused and hoping that as a rookie goaltender for the Canadiens, Carey Price is contractually obligated to play like an instant legend and take the team to a Stanley Cup.
And in Toronto, you’re punching any one of your buddies in the side of the head if they utter the phrase “no-trade clause.”
The second season is approaching.
It’s on, folks.
The minor deals are filtering in now. Goalie J-S Aubin goes from one California bench to another, getting shipped from L.A. to Anaheim for a seventh round pick, where I suppose he adds depth in net behind Jiggy and Jonas Hiller.
In another small move, the Capitals nab center Alexandre Giroux from Atlanta for right winger Joe Motzko.
What does a seventh round pick from Nashville get you? Apparently, Tampa’s Jan Hlavac. The left winger had 22 points in 62 games for the Bolts.
I’m close to passing out at this point.
It’s fast and furious as all the last-second deals come out.
First, Chris Simon has moved his circus to Minnesota.
The Wild pick up the controversial bruiser from the Islanders for a sixth round pick. Coupled with Derek Boogaard and Todd Fedoruk, clearly Minnesota’s intent in the playoffs is to literally murder Anaheim.
Los Angeles dumps defenseman Brad Stuart on Detroit for a second rounder in 2008 and fourth rounder in 2009. This is savvy for the Kings; Stuart is a minus-16 this year, though for the Wings, they get a much-needed big body for a ravaged blueline.
Third round picks are flying around now. Toronto gets one from Florida for power forward Chad Kilger, while the Isles get one from Anaheim for power play specialist Marc-Andre Bergeron.
Another deal to post up: Phoenix gets goalie Al Montoya and left winger Marcel Hossa from the Rangers for goalie David LeNeveu, enforcer Josh Gratton and spotty right winger Fredrik Sjostrom.
Wow! Marian Hossa has finally been dealt from Atlanta…and Pittsburgh is the winner.
The Thrashers get Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen and prospect Angelo Esposito, plus a first round pick.
For the Pens, Hossa is another offensive weapon going forward, but he is unrestricted this summer. They also get Pascal Dupuis in the deal.
Now here’s the thing: Christensen is lights-out in the shootout (granted, not a playoff concern, but going forward…) and Armstrong is Sidney Crosby’s best friend. He made Sid laugh, so what happens now that he’s gone?
Esposito has seen his stock drop dramatically, but that first round pick could be a millstone for the Pens – this is a deep draft.
Around the office, initial reaction was mixed, but a lot of guys think the Pens gave up too much.
Over on Sportsnet, Doug MacLean takes the lead for best non-question asked today, essentially congratulating Adam Foote for playing so well after MacLean signed him in Columbus. Of course, he failed to point out that none of those Foote-led teams ever did anything and MacLean is no longer managing an NHL team, so maybe he shouldn’t be patting himself on the back that much.
Pittsburgh jumps in the ring late today by adding Hal Gill from the Maple Leafs. Gill is a great penalty killer with a huge wingspan and the size (6-foot-7, 250 pounds) to match. Needless to say, this is a tweak move for the Pens, but a very savvy one. In return, the Leafs get a second and fifth round pick in 2008.
Around the office, we are all bemused by this deal and slightly impressed by the return Toronto got.
Christian Backman has been dealt to the Rangers, another quiet team today. The Blueshirts get the Blues defenseman for a fourth round pick.
We’re getting down to the deadline now, with about a half-hour left. Trades always get reported after 3 p.m. EST, but for all intents and purposes, a lull has developed since the Cooke-Pettinger swap.
Big names are still out there, Atlanta’s Marian Hossa being the most coveted.
Toronto, expected to be a player in at least some capacity, hasn’t done anything of substance, while Anaheim and Detroit have stayed completely off the ledger.
If a trade goes down now, expect it to be major, especially on the Hossa front. Thrashers GM Don Waddell is clearly fielding a lot of offers and hey, he might as well take all the time he has in order to get the right package.
All day long the name Olli Jokinen has surfaced, but each time the Florida captain has been associated with the fact he won’t be moved. I’m betting he stays a Panther; Jokinen legitimately loves being in Florida, playoffs or no playoffs.
The following teams haven’t done enough so far today: Ottawa, Vancouver and Detroit.
Ottawa and Detroit are listing despite their lofty perches in the standings and momentum is everything come playoff time. Meanwhile, everyone around the Canucks got better (Dallas, San Jose) and all Vancouver has to show for today is Matt Pettinger.
Detroit’s problem is partly due to injuries to Nick Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski – there’s an hour of ice time per game right there – but even before that, something was amiss in Motown. The problems of the Senators are well documented and I doubt anyone is taking Ray Emery off their hands in the next hour and a half, so that’s that.
Meanwhile, Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun managed to go from 0-to-moron in four seconds on TSN. The bombastic columnist mocked Columbus fans, saying they didn’t know the NHL had playoffs, then turned around and claimed the Blue Jackets and Avalanche played in the same division.
Which magical division is that, Steve?
Washington and Vancouver have flipped Matts: Cooke is going to the Caps, while Pettinger is heading to the West Coast.
For those keeping score at home, Washington has added a No. 1 goaltender (Huet), a decorated veteran and Cup winner (Fedorov) and now a nasty agitator in Cooke. Add Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green to that list and all of a sudden the Caps are looking kinda scary.
Here’s the back end of those Columbus deals: Sergei Fedorov goes to Washington for defenseman Ted Ruth of Notre Dame (CCHA) and Adam Foote goes to Colorado for a conditional first round draft pick: If the Avs make the playoffs, it’s a 2008 pick. If they don’t, it’s for 2009. If Foote re-signs in Colorado, the Jackets get another pick.
So essentially, the Jackets have decided to pack it in this year. Michael Peca and David Vyborny are two other vets who will be unrestricted free agents this summer, so stay posted.
Quickly, San Jose defenseman Rob Davison goes to the Islanders for a seventh round pick. Davison can also play forward.
Everything old is older again in Colorado.
First, Foppa and his foot returns. Now, Adam Foote is coming back to town.
Remember when I wrote about the well-poisoning that led to Brian Campbell’s jettisoning in Buffalo? Looks like a similar situation happened in Columbus.
TSN has reported that contract negotiations had become downright brooding between the two sides and seeing as Foote was a pending unrestricted free agent this summer, the Jackets had to make a move.
Meanwhile, Sergei Fedorov is headed to Washington, though we don’t know what Columbus is getting in return yet on either deal.
Ottawa makes its first deal of the day and the Senators get…Martin Lapointe.
To be fair, the Sens only gave up a sixth round pick to Chicago for the veteran right winger. But if Ottawa doesn’t land a big piece later today, that’s basically a white flag being raised in the Canadian capital.
In Buffalo, there’s the longest scrum in the history of scrums for Brian Campbell. Essentially, the reporters are trying to get Campbell to cry and Campbell is deflecting them. It’s not exactly Barbara Walters. From what I gather, he’s sad and happy to be traded.
Good deal for Carolina and Chicago by swapping Andrew Ladd for fellow left winger Tuomo Ruutu.
Naturally, Ruutu has been marred by injuries for a good chunk of his career and Ladd hasn’t lived up to his draft position (fourth overall in 2004), but maybe this is one of those change-of-venue situations where both teams can benefit.
Carolina must now fend off a stronger Washington squad for the division title and perhaps the only Southeast berth in the playoffs, so they’ll need a healthy Ruutu and a productive one. Chicago has a bit more time sussing out Ladd’s worth.
Sure, Marian Hossa is a dynamic player and the biggest name on everyone’s deadline radar right now, but with a lull in the action, I’d just like to point out that Hossa is a career minus-9 in the playoffs and has gotten past the first round just twice.
Getting back to all the fanciness of deadline day TV, there’s way too much out there. Too many analysts, too many graphics, too many “24” spoofs – how about this: Three analysts sit at a bar. The host stands behind the bar. The host feeds the analysts trade news and booze and they start it all at 8 in the morning. Even better, they do it in someone’s wood-paneled basement. No flat panels, no nothing. Just ranting and surliness. I mean, at this point we just want the names. My way adds funny.
Quick one: Florida’s Ruslan Salei goes to Colorado for fellow defenseman Karlis Skrastins and a third round draft pick.
Brad Richards is going to Dallas.
The Tampa center and goalie Johan Holmqvist are indeed heading to Texas in exchange for Mike Smith, Jussi Jokinen and Jeff Halpern.
Naturally, Richards brings Stanley Cup experience and an elite pedigree, while Tampa gets a competent goaltender in Smith.
Now, is Tampa really comfortable going into next season with a battery of Smith and Karri Ramo?
The Bolts are really high on Ramo, even though he has gotten shelled this season, but that’s a young goaltending tandem going forward.
Speaking of young tandems, it appears as though Carey Price is the man in Montreal now, because the Habs just traded Cristobal Huet to Washington for a second round pick. This was a surprise, though Huet was due to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
Huet would have been the best goalie available come July 1, so the Habs would have paid out the nose to re-sign him. On the other hand, only a second round pick? Don’t forget, Minnesota got a first rounder for Dwayne Roloson at the deadline. Nice pick-up for the Caps.
Around the office here, people are saying Washington wins the Southeast now.
Brian Campbell to San Jose: Who had that on its cover a month ago? Yeah, that’s right, The Hockey News.
What. Ken Campbell is doing fist-pumps in the office.
This had to be done. The well was poisoned in Buffalo and Campbell would have left in the summer.
The Sabres get power forward Steve Bernier and a first round pick in return, which is a pretty good deal for Buffalo considering the circumstances.
Obviously from the other side, the Sharks get the most coveted defenseman of the day and a player who can straight-up bomb it from the point.
Wade Belak is a Florida Panther.
The Leafs traded their enforcer to the Cats for a 2008 fifth round pick. That brings the trade total to two today, both featuring a goon.
This is a bizarre trade. Belak was a fan favorite in Toronto and while a fifth round pick could turn into say, Ryan Miller, as THN editor Brian Costello pointed out, this is the Leafs who will be selecting that player.
Remember Luca Cereda?
Lots of buzz around Rob Blake this day, but other than his history as one of the best defensemen in the past two decades, has anyone actually looked at his body of work in the past two seasons?
Blake had his worst offensive output in nearly a decade last year and he’s a minus-13 this season. I always assumed the reason Los Angeles kept him around was so he could mentor Jack Johnson, not because he had any sort of intrinsic value for them on the ice as a minute-muncher anymore. Any team picking up Blake today is a team facing disappointment tomorrow.
If you want to find out absolutely nothing of note about Marian Hossa from several reporters in different Canadian cities, tune into TSN.
It’s funny how reporters can get all frothy on deadline day. For example, before New Jersey sent Cam Janssen to St. Louis for Bryce Salvador, several outlets were reporting Vitaly Vishnevski was the Devil on the move. That’s completely contrary to the whole point of trade deadline day. While Vishnevski may not be having a huge year, he’s still one of the fiercest hitters in the league and definitely a much better player than Janssen.
New Jersey is a contender, why would they go sideways or backwards in a deal? Think about it, boys.
Early office banter: Ken Campbell and Mike Brophy both say they wouldn’t be surprised if the Devils won the East (not because of Bryce Salvador, necessarily, but just in general).
Ken Campbell is reporting that Dallas is the front-runner for Brad Richards. The package apparently is goalie Mike Smith, defenseman Mark Fistric and shootout ace Jussi Jokinen. Check out the story here.
New Jersey’s Cam Janssen is going to St. Louis for Bryce Salvador. Janssen is an enforcer who is actually from St. Louis and Salvador is a big body (6-foot-2, 222 pounds) who gives the Devils some depth on the blueline.
There’s a rumor floating around that Toronto’s Kyle Wellwood has asked for a trade. The Leafs, in turn, likely asked Wellwood to go back in time and play better so someone might want him.
In the first instance of TV wackiness, Pierre McGuire and Darren Dutchyshen of TSN are standing waayyy too close to each other, almost like they’re posing for a prom photo.
Likely it was so neither of them blocked the graphic on the screen behind him, but it could be because “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men came on in the studio and we just couldn’t hear it.
You know who I feel bad for today? The West Coast GMs. Imagine what time Vancouver’s Dave Nonis or San Jose’s Doug Wilson had to wake up today. Like, 4 a.m. PST?
Brian Burke was probably up all night (sleep is for the weak), so he’ll be all right, but I like the idea of Nonis sitting at his kitchen table in his pajamas and a Bluetooth while infomercials play on the TV in the background.
A lot of talk right now about whether Dallas will move goalie Mike Smith.
Now, Dallas is a goalie factory (look at what Dan Ellis doing in Nashville), so if they can get a big chip for him – Tampa’s Brad Richards has been one name thrown out there – it would be a super-savvy move.
Marty Turco still has at least five years of good hockey in him and Tobias Stephan is a capable backup.
In the future, look out for current Colorado College keeper Richard Bachman. He’s putting up dazzling numbers for the Tigers this season and leads the WCHA in every important statistical category. Plus, he’s a freshman who told me he has no problem coming along slowly and playing all four years of college – just like Turco did at the University of Michigan.
Let’s get last night out of the way first: Tampa Bay is officially serious about landing Steven Stamkos with the No. 1 pick in the draft. By trading Vaclav Prospal to Philadelphia for middling prospect Alexandre Picard and a conditional pick, then signing Dan Boyle to a six-year contract at more than $6 million per, the Bolts have made themselves worse in the short-term, and likely in the long-term, as well. That’s tough to do. The gauntlet has been thrown down, nervous GMs of the NHL.
Sportsnet analyst and THN correspondent Bruce Garrioch is reporting the Thrashers have told Marian Hossa not to come to practice today, naturally paving the way for his exit from Atlanta.
Here’s a question: If they send him to Montreal, who hosts Atlanta tonight, can he just go to the home dressing room and suit up for the Habs? That would be great. I hope the Habs bring a “Hossa” nameplate and an iron to the rink today.
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