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The Hockey News 2010 Trade Deadline Central

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The NHL’s trade deadline day is an emotional roller coaster for fans and players alike. The moves made can impact a team immediately and for years to come, so anticipation is justifiably intense.

Starting with the first deals made Wednesday, THN.com will be providing up-to-the-minute updates on each transaction followed by instant analysis from one of our experts.

And don't forget to tell us what you think - give us your take on each deal by leaving a comment on which team you think came out on top in each deal or vote on the big trades of the day in THN's Puck Poll.

 

8:55 EST
Calgary Flames

TO CALGARY
Andy Delmore, D

Detroit Red Wings

TO DETROIT
Riley Armstrong, RW

ANALYSIS: In a swap of American League farmhands, the Flames get 33-year-old blueliner Andy Delmore by sending 25-year-old winger Riley Armstrong to Detroit.

Delmore returned to North American after playing two years in Germany and suited up for 54 games with Grand Rapids this season, collecting five goals and 20 points. He hasn’t seen any NHL action since 2005-06, but if the Flames blueline depth chart became pillaged by injury he could step in and play big league minutes.

Armstrong, inked as free agent in 2004 by San Jose after going undrafted, had a two-game cup of coffee with the Sharks last season before signing with the Flames this summer. In 38 games with AHL Abbotsford this season, he has 11 goals and 19 points. Winner: Calgary. - EF

4:55 EST
Phoenix Coyotes

TO PHOENIX
Petteri Nokelainen, RW

Anaheim Ducks

TO ANAHEIM
2011 6th round pick

ANALYSIS: Petteri Nokelainen bumps Wojtek Wolski as the highest player drafted in the first round of 2004 to be traded on deadline day, 2010.

Nokelainen went 16th overall once upon a time to the Islanders (Wolski was taken 21st overall by Colorado) and has been busy not living up to that potential ever since. You have to believe Phoenix is acquiring him in the hopes he can provide some steady minutes rather than banking on any late-blooming at this point. Winner: Phoenix. - RD

4:49 EST
New York Rangers

TO RANGERS
Anders Eriksson, D

Phoenix Coyotes

TO PHOENIX
Miika Wiikman, G; 2011 7th round pick

ANALYSIS: Anders Eriksson has played more games in the AHL and in Europe over the past six years than in the NHL. And he blew Toronto’s chances to make it to the Cup final in 2002 by being in the middle of a brutal giveaway in a series-deciding overtime game. Why you’d want to add a guy like this, even if all you’re moving is a small, 26-year-old ECHL goalie is beyond me. Winner: Phoenix. - RB

4:39 EST
Phoenix Coyotes

TO PHOENIX
Alexandre Picard, LW

Columbus Blue Jackets

TO COLUMBUS
Chad Kolarik, RW

ANALYSIS: A swap of prospects saw Columbus deal 2004 first round pick Alexandre Picard to Phoenix for forward Chad Kolarik.

Picard, selected fourth overall by the Blue Jackets, has played 67 NHL games, but never has managed to stick with the big team and currently skates for Columbus’ American League affiliate in Syracuse.

Kolarik, Phoenix’s seventh pick (199th overall) in 2004, sits second on the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate with 17 goals. If either player realizes their potential, the team they do it with becomes the winner of this deal. Winner: Phoenix. - EF

4:12 EST
Colorado Avalanche

TO COLORADO
Stephane Yelle, LW; Harrison Reed, C

Carolina Hurricanes

TO CAROLINA
Cedric Lalonde-McNicoll, C; 2010 6th round pick

ANALYSIS: Journeyman center Stephane Yelle returns to the first team he played NHL games with in a deal that sends him and prospect Harrison Reed to Colorado for prospect Cedric Lalonde-McNicoll and a sixth round draft pick.

Yelle spent the first seven years of his career with Colorado before he was traded to Calgary (along with Chris Drury) in 2002 for Derek Morris, Dean McAmmond and Jeff Shantz. Yelle will provide some veteran leadership and defense for a young Avs team still aiming to make the playoffs, but he is at the tail end of a very productive NHL stint.

Going to Carolina is Lalonde-McNicoll, a small (5-foot-10), but skilled center who lit up the Quebec League last season – 66 assists and 104 points in 65 games with Shawinigan – and who now skates for Lake Erie of the American League. He joins a group of Carolina prospects that got significantly bigger after Canes GM Jim Rutherford conducted a fire sale of sorts on Deadline Day. Winner: Carolina. - AP.

7:07 EST
Calgary Flames

TO CALGARY
Steve Staios, D

Edmonton Oilers

TO OILERS
Aaron Johnson, D; 2010 or 2011 3rd round pick

ANALYSIS: Bringing Steve Staios into the fold helps Calgary recoup some of the meanness it lost when Dion Phaneuf was traded to Toronto – ideally without any of the defensive miscues.

Staios is a stay-at-home defender – nothing more, nothing less – who will be counted on to play third-pair minutes and keep things as calm as possible when he’s on the ice. Calgary hasn’t been able to get out of the first round since 2004 and, while Staios is by no means a difference-maker, at least his DNA is pre-disposed to tough, playoff hockey.

He has one year left at $2.2 million on his contract, meaning the Flames are really up against it in terms of cap space. This was a pure salary dump for the Oilers and getting a third-rounder out of the deal is quite satisfactory. Winner: Edmonton. - RD

3:41 EST
Nashville Predators

TO NASHVILLE
Dustin Boyd, C

Calgary Flames

TO CALGARY
2010 4th round pick

ANALYSIS: The way it’s going for Nashville, their first round playoff matchup is likely to be against one of the West’s better teams: San Jose, Chicago or Vancouver. While the first two have some effective sandpaper players on their third and fourth lines – guys crucial to long playoff grinds – Vancouver is lacking in that department. This deal will provide Nashville with a necessary toughness on the depth lines to matchup with or outmatch these teams.

The Preds will likely replace the soft Marcel Goc on the third line with the more-gritty Dustin Boyd. This is purely a move made with an eye towards a tough first round matchup. Good, cheap addition by the Preds to address a minor, but important part of a post-season roster. Winner: Nashville. - RB

3:40 EST
Toronto Maple Leafs

TO TORONTO
Chris Peluso, D

Pittsburgh Penguins

TO PENGUINS
2010 6th round pick

ANALYSIS: The rebuilding Leafs bafflingly give up a draft pick to top dogs Pittsburgh in order to acquire defenseman Chris Peluso. A senior at Bemidji State, Peluso was part of the Beavers’ stunning run through the Frozen Four tournament last season. He has one goal in his college career, but does have playmaking abilities. Winner: Pittsburgh. - RK

3:31 EST
Anaheim Ducks

TO ANAHEIM
Lubomir Visnovsky, D

Edmonton Oilers

TO EDMONTON
Ryan Whitney, D; 2010 6th round pick

ANALYSIS: Arguably the biggest trade of Deadline Day saw the moribund Edmonton Oilers ship veteran blueliner Lubomir Visnovsky to Anaheim for D-man Ryan Whitney.

The deal – along with the trade that brought Aaron Ward from Carolina to Anaheim – capped a significant remaking of the Ducks’ defense corps. Along with Scott Niedermayer and James Wisniewski, they now have one of the more experienced top-four units in the league.

To acquire Visnovsky – an increasingly injury-prone defenseman whose cap hit of $5.6 million lasts through the 2012-13 campaign – the Ducks had to part with Whitney, who at age 27 has underwhelmed with two NHL franchises. He has three years to go on the six-year, $24 million pact he signed with Pittsburgh in 2007.

There are big-time question marks on both sides of this swap. But in the salary-capped days of one team’s letdown being traded for another team’s underachiever, these are the types of trades that are necessary if GMs want to move significant salaries.

Who wins? Whitney may prove more beneficial to the Oilers’ cause in the future – and the simple fact he’s under contract until 2013 has to be good for an Edmonton squad that has a tough time retaining players – but in the short term, the playoff-contending Ducks do. WINNER: Anaheim. - AP
VOTE FOR WINNER

3:28 EST
Columbus Blue Jackets

TO COLUMBUS
Matt Rust, C

Florida Panthers

TO FLORIDA
Mathieu Roy, D

ANALYSIS: We analyze ’em all, trades both big and small. Columbus sends defenseman Mathieu Roy to Florida in exchange for center Matt Rust.

Roy is a big blueliner who has mostly played in the minors during his seven-year pro career and isn’t afraid to stick up for his teammates by dropping the gloves.

In Rust, the Jackets land a former U.S. NTDP product who also suited up for the stars and stripes at the world juniors. The young pivot is currently enjoying his best offensive season at the University of Michigan with 32 points through 37 games.

Given Florida’s other trades, don’t be surprised to see Roy play right away. Rust’s upside looks to be pretty limited right now, though he is still in college. Winner: Florida. - RK

3:20 EST
Anaheim Ducks

TO ANAHEIM
Joey MacDonald, G

Toronto Maple Leafs

TO TORONTO
2011 7th round pick

ANALYSIS: Jonas Hiller can get real comfortable in the Anaheim crease. Assuming Curtis McElhinney, acquired earlier in the day from Calgary for Vesa Toskala, is currently penciled in as the backup, Joey MacDonald at least gives them some depth at the position.

MacDonald was fairly serviceable for the Islanders in 49 NHL games last year, but is best suited to an AHL role. However, the Ducks don’t have an affiliate right now, so if MacDonald isn’t called up to the big show, he may just stay right where he is with the Toronto Marlies. Winner: Toronto. - RK

3:19 EST
Los Angeles Kings

TO LOS ANGELES
Fredrik Modin, LW

Columbus Blue Jackets

TO COLUMBUS
Conditional 2010 7th round pick

ANALYSIS: A month ago there was speculation the Kings were in the hunt for Ilya Kovalchuk to add more punch to an already-potent team looking to make a post-season splash.

Today, the Kings picked up Fredrik Modin.

OK, so they didn’t exactly hit a homerun, but Modin provides another taste of veteran experience, some good size and a depth scorer when he’s healthy (he’s missed 41 games due to injury this season). While Modin won’t have the same impact some of the players rumored to be going to Hollywood would have had, the Kings were sitting pretty before the deadline and decided to only make a tweak by adding this 35-year-old pending UFA.

Modin will shore up the left side on the third line where spot-starters like Scott Parse and the traded Ted Purcell filled in. Winner: Los Angeles. - RB

3:12 EST
Washington Capitals

TO WASHINGTON
Joe Corvo, D

Carolina Hurricanes

TO CAROLINA
Brian Pothier, D; Oskar Osala, LW; 2011 2nd round pick

ANALYSIS: In this deal, the Capitals and Hurricanes essentially swapped 32-year-old puck-moving defensemen who have spent much of this season injured. Corvo gives the Caps another weapon from the blueline, while the Hurricanes get Osala, a hulking winger who is playing in the minors and was No. 10 on Washington’s prospect list. Winner: Carolina. - KC
VOTE FOR WINNER

3:08 EST
Vancouver Canucks

TO VANCOUVER
Andrew Alberts, D

Carolina Hurricanes

TO CAROLINA
2010 3rd round pick

ANALYSIS: One of the things we in the hockey-talkin’ business stress before deadline day is that not every buzzer-beater deal is a big one. File the acquisition of Andrew Alberts by the Canucks under that banner.

As long as the 6-foot-5, 218-pound Alberts arrives at the rink in some form of a bad mood every day, Vancouver will be happy. The Canucks have no idea when or if Willie Mitchell will return from post-concussion syndrome, so they’re looking to add NHL-caliber bodies on the back end. Winner: Carolina. - RD

3:07 EST
Phoenix Coyotes

TO PHOENIX
Lee Stempniak, LW

Toronto Maple Leafs

TO TORONTO
Matt Jones, D; 2010 4th round pick; 2010 7th round pick

ANALYSIS: Phoenix has proved to be the big mover and shaker on the day, with the latest deal being the acquisition of right winger Lee Stempniak from Toronto in exchange for fourth and seventh round draft picks.

Stempniak looked like a promising goal-scorer as a young member of the St. Louis Blues, but took a step back once dealt to Toronto last season. He showed a lot of hustle this season, however, and was even given power play and penalty-killing duties. Having said that, the Leafs have one of the worst PK units in the NHL.

As a UFA this summer, Stempniak comes with little commitment for Phoenix and the Coyotes will hope they get the Stempniak of St. Louis, not Toronto. He can definitely contribute in the right situation.

For the Leafs, all draft picks are good draft picks; getting a fourth- and a seventh-rounder is decent return for a player who largely disappointed. Interestingly enough, Stempniak was one of the last players acquired by the Leafs before GM Brian Burke was hired. Winner: Phoenix. - RK

2:51 EST
Washington Capitals

TO WASHINGTON
Milan Jurcina, D

Columbus Blue Jackets

TO COLUMBUS
2010 6th round pick

ANALYSIS: The Washington Capitals continued to stock up for a deep playoff push by repatriating defenseman Milan Jurcina from Columbus in return for a sixth-round draft pick.

The Caps originally traded Jurcina (along with then-captain Chris Clark) to Columbus last December for Jason Chimera. But with the Blue Jackets out of the playoff race and Jurcina scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the regular-season ends, Jackets GM Scott Howson had to get what he could for him.

It isn’t much, mind you, but it is something. That said, Jurcina’s familiarity factor with Washington clearly worked in the 6-foot-4 Slovak’s favor; he’ll add another big body to a defense corps that needs all the soldiers it can get. Winner: Washington. - AP

2:37 EST
Atlanta Thrashers

TO ATLANTA
Clarke MacArthur, LW

Buffalo Sabres

TO BUFFALO
2010 3rd round pick; 2010 4th round pick

ANALYSIS: Buffalo GM Darcy Regier needed to make roster space for the incoming Raffi Torres, so Clarke MacArthur is the guy heading out.

The 24-year-old was a member of Canada’s loaded 2005 world junior team, where he scored four goals in six games. He’s 5-foot-11, 191 pounds and was a proficient scorer in parts of three seasons with the Rochester Americans of the AHL and scored 17 goals for the Sabres in his first full NHL season last year.

He’s on pace for about the same production this year, so he’s still trying to find consistency, but he fits in well on the left side in Atlanta, especially if they move out Vyacheslav Kozlov, who has requested a trade. Winner: Atlanta. - RB

2:20 EST
Buffalo Sabres

TO BUFFALO
Raffi Torres, LW

Columbus Blue Jackets

TO COLUMBUS
Nathan Paetsch, D, 2010 2nd round pick

ANALYSIS: Raffi Torres wasn’t the most well known NHLer on the trade market. But he is a hard-working forward with some edge to his game – and that’s why he’s a perfect fit with the Buffalo Sabres, who acquired him Wednesday from Columbus.

Torres and his 19 goals this season should help the offense-challenged Sabres. So will the 28-year-old’s grit – and the fact his $2.75 million contract comes off the books at the end of the year.

To land him, Sabres GM Darcy Regier had to surrender Nathan Paetsch – a 26-year-old blueliner who already cleared waivers in January – and a second-round draft pick.

Paetsch will get every opportunity to earn a spot on the Blue Jackets next season (he is an unrestricted free agent as of this summer), but Columbus has to be pleased with getting a second-rounder for someone who was about to price himself out of the organization’s salary structure.

This deal is win-win for both teams. But the playoff-bound Sabres get the edge in the short term for what Torres can bring immediately. Winner: Buffalo. - AP
VOTE FOR WINNER

2:04 EST
Calgary Flames

TO CALGARY
Vesa Toskala, G

Anaheim Ducks

TO ANAHEIM
Curtis McElhinney, G

ANALYSIS: Miikka Kiprusoff has a buddy as his new backup. Vesa Toskala comes to town from Anaheim and, regardless of what you think about his play over the last two years, he’s the best secondary goalie Calgary has had in a while.

Toskala and Kipper are Finnish countrymen and friends, having come up through the San Jose organization together. Based on what they parted with – a guy who was never able to even be a truly competent No. 2 – the Flames made out just fine in this deal.

If they really wanted to fortify their crease, maybe they kick the tires on Martin Biron, Josh Harding or Dan Ellis – at which point the tires would ask for a much bigger kick back than Curtis McElhinney.

Toskala is one of those guys who wasn’t as good as everyone thought when he was in San Jose and likely isn’t as bad as he showed under the bright lights in Toronto. He never played a single minute for the Ducks after being acquired just over a month ago. Expect him to turn in three or four half-decent performances for Toronto West – or Calgary, your choice – down the stretch before becoming a UFA. Winner: Calgary. - RD
VOTE FOR WINNER

1:47 EST
Washington Capitals

TO WASHINGTON
Eric Belanger, C

Minnesota Wild

TO MINNESOTA
2010 2nd round pick

ANALYSIS: Eric Belanger started off the season on a roll for the Minnesota Wild with 12 points in his first 15 games, but has cooled considerably since. The veteran pivot was acquired by Washington in exchange for a second round draft pick in 2010 and for a team that only gave up a seventh-rounder for Scott Walker earlier in the day, this seems like an overpay.

Belanger has never scored 40 points in a season, but he is good on faceoffs and will be responsible defensively. Consider him another depth forward on this Caps team and a rental; Belanger is a UFA this summer. For a team with little in the pipeline, the Wild was wise to grab a solid draft slot in return. Winner: Minnesota. - RK
VOTE FOR WINNER

1:31 EST
Los Angeles Kings

TO LOS ANGELES
Jeff Halpern, RW

Tampa Bay Lightning

TO TAMPA BAY
Ted Purcell, RW; 2010 3rd round pick

ANALYSIS: The Los Angeles Kings hadn’t yet bowed out of the Ray Whitney Sweepstakes, but GM Dean Lombardi added a veteran performer in Jeff Halpern on Deadline Day.

The 33-year-old forward – traded to L.A. by Tampa Bay in exchange for young left winger Teddy Purcell and a third-round draft pick – is a defensive specialist who suffered through an injury-plagued 2008-09 campaign with the Lightning; he will firm up the Kings’ reserves up front – and more importantly, will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.

But the price Lombardi paid for Halpern appears steep. Purcell, a 24-year-old University of Maine product signed as an undrafted free agent in 2007, is a big body who eventually could be a key contributor on Tampa’s power play.

This seems to be a classic trade where one team clearly gets short-term benefits, while the other gets more in the long run. Winner: Tampa Bay. - AP
VOTE FOR WINNER

1:22 EST
Phoenix Coyotes

TO PHOENIX
Mathieu Schneider, D

Vancouver Canucks

TO VANCOUVER
Sean Zimmerman, D; conditional 2010 draft pick

ANALYSIS: The Vancouver Canucks were expected to move Mathieu Schneider if there was a deal to be had. Schneider had missed time to injury and was demoted to American League Manitoba in January.

At this point in his career, Schneider is a pure power play specialist and he’ll join an intriguing defense corps in Phoenix that already includes Ed Jovanovski and Keith Yandle. Winner: Phoenix. - RB.

12:53 EST
Detroit Red Wings

TO DETROIT
Jordan Owens, LW

New York Rangers

TO RANGERS
Kris Newbury, C

ANALYSIS: In a move sure to really only affect the teams’ American League affiliates, the New York Rangers sent left winger Jordan Owens to Detroit in exchange for center Kris Newbury.

Newbury has played parts of several NHL seasons in the past for Toronto and is a tough customer who can also contribute offensively. Owens is a speedy mid-sized winger, who will head to AHL Grand Rapids while Newbury takes up residence with the Hartford Wolf Pack. Winner: New York. - RK

12:44 EST
Colorado Avalanche

TO COLORADO
Peter Mueller, RW; Kevin Porter, RW

Phoenix Coyotes

TO PHOENIX
Wojtek Wolski, LW

ANALYSIS: Colorado ownership has been reluctant to spend money this season and the trading of pending RFA Wojtek Wolski to Phoenix confirms that. While Peter Mueller is also an RFA at season’s end, he’s having a poor season and is already making $1.1 million less than Wolski, so he’ll be much cheaper to keep on.

Wolski is having a career year on Colorado’s second unit and is on pace to score more than 20 goals and 60 points. It’s surprising the Avs would trade such a productive player as they close in on the playoffs and hope to make a push for home-ice advantage, but the team is clearly still focusing on the health of the franchise long-term even with this year’s success.

Wolski will be an offensive upgrade for Phoenix and immediately becomes the team’s leading point-getter along with Shane Doan at 47 points. The Coyotes have enjoyed a breakthrough season on the back of strong team defense and the goaltending of Ilya Bryzgalov, but needed an offensive upgrade in a big way; they rank 25th in the NHL in goals-for per game.

The Avs are banking on Mueller, 21, to bounce back from his atrocious season and recapture his form from his 54-point rookie season, though his production has declined each year in the NHL.

Kevin Porter was Phoenix’s fifth-ranked prospect in THN’s Future Watch issue this year. A Hobey Baker Award winner with Michigan, Porter is a smallish right winger and further bolsters Colorado’s pipeline of youth.

“He can make plays, kill penalties, hasn’t quite found that regular niche yet,” Coyotes GM Don Maloney said for Future Watch. Winner: Phoenix. - RB
VOTE FOR WINNER

12:36 EST
Vancouver Canucks

TO VANCOUVER
Yan Stastny, F

St. Louis Blues

TO ST. LOUIS
Pierre-Cedric Labrie, LW

ANALYSIS: In what can charitably be described as move of minor consequences, the Vancouver Canucks acquired center Yan Stastny from St. Louis in exchange for prospect Pierre-Cedric Labrie.

Stastny, originally selected 259th overall by Boston in 2002, joins his fourth NHL franchise in five seasons; he will be looked upon for depth purposes as the Canucks attempt to embark on a deep playoff run.

Labrie, an undrafted left winger signed by the Canucks in 2007, has spent the last three seasons with Manitoba of the American League. This year, he has two goals and three points in 35 games. Winner: Vancouver. - AP

12:24 EST
Washington Capitals

TO WASHINGTON
Scott Walker, RW

Carolina Hurricanes

TO CAROLINA
2010 7th round pick

ANALYSIS: The sell-off in Carolina is in full swing, but it’s a little surprising the Canes could only pry a seventh-round pick out of Washington in exchange for veteran right winger Scott Walker.

The 36-year-old is a gritty player who can kill penalties and plays physical. For a Capitals team that is long on skill in the top-six, the right winger can be slotted on the third or fourth line and provide solid depth.

He is an unrestricted free agent this summer, so don’t be surprised if Walker turns out to be a classic ‘rental’ player as the Caps make a run at the Stanley Cup. Having said that, it’s hard to believe a roster player with character was only worth what will likely be one of the final picks in the 2010 draft. Winner: Washington. - RK

11:46 EST
Carolina Hurricanes

TO CAROLINA
Justin Pogge, G; conditional 4th round pick

Anaheim Ducks

TO ANAHEIM
Aaron Ward, D

ANALYSIS: In a somewhat surprising deal, veteran defenseman Aaron Ward was shipped by the Canes to Anaheim for a surplus goalie (Justin Pogge, who never was going to usurp Jonas Hiller as the Ducks starter) and a fourth round draft pick (that was the original property of the Boston Bruins) in either 2010 or 2011.

Ward – who was recently rumored to be bound for a second stint with Boston – joins a Ducks team that apparently believes it can atone for an awful start to the year and still qualify for a playoff berth. The 37-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, making him all the more attractive to Ducks GM Bob Murray.

In Pogge, the Canes hope to have found a backup for Cam Ward for the foreseeable future. The 23-year-old former Western League MVP is now on his third NHL team. Winner: Anaheim. - AP
VOTE FOR WINNER

11:39 EST
Boston Bruins

TO BOSTON
Dennis Seidenberg, D; Matt Bartkowski, D

Florida Panthers

TO FLORIDA
Craig Weller, RW; Byron Bitz, RW; 2010 2nd round pick

ANALYSIS: Boston’s decision to move offense-minded D-man Derek Morris earlier today makes more sense now that the B’s have essentially replaced his production with Dennis Seidenberg. Some quick, rudimentary math tells us the Bruins created a bit more than $1.5 million in cap room between the deal with Florida and sending Morris to Phoenix, so Boston GM Peter Chiarelli could be eyeing another move today.

Matt Bartkowski was not among Florida’s top 10 prospects in THN’s Future Watch 2010, but does have a respectable four goals and 16 points in 34 games as a sophomore defenseman with Ohio State this year.

If Byron Bitz, who willingly throws his big body around in the corners, turns into a poor man’s Milan Lucic, the Panthers will be happy.

Florida is obviously throwing in the towel on this year, having now stripped the blueline corps of Seidenberg and Jordan Leopold (No. 2 and 3 in team defense scoring) in favor of future endeavors. They must make good on the second-rounders they got in the two deals. Winner: Florida. - RD
VOTE FOR WINNER

11:01 EST
New Jersey Devils
 

TO NEW JERSEY
Martin Skoula, D

Toronto Maple Leafs

TO TORONTO
2010 5th round pick

ANALYSIS: Well that didn’t take long, did it? Acquired just last night from Pittsburgh, Martin Skoula was sent to New Jersey by the Toronto Maple Leafs. The big, 6-foot-3, 226-pound defenseman really had no place reserved for him in Toronto and was clearly cap ballast in the Alexei Ponikarovsky deal. Whatever the Leafs could get in return for the pending UFA is a bonus. Winner: Toronto. - RK

10:27 EST
Phoenix Coyotes

TO PHOENIX
Derek Morris, D

Boston Bruins

TO BOSTON
2011 conditional pick

ANALYSIS: Moving Derek means Dennis needs to step up. The Bruins moved Derek Morris to Phoenix – where he played from March of 2004 until March of last year – for a fourth round pick. Morris, traded for the third time at the deadline now, was second in scoring among Bruins defensemen with three goals and 25 points in 58 games. Boston is starved for offense and Dennis Wideman was supposed to provide more of it from the back end this season, but that simply hasn’t happened.

In that regard, it seems like a strange decision for the Bruins to move a blueliner who could wind up with 35 points this year, but Morris has always had his defensive warts and Boston coach Claude Julien is a no-nonsense guy when it comes to taking care of home base.

Phoenix obviously knows what it’s getting in Morris, whose annual contract of $3.3 million expires in July. Getting six weeks – maybe more – of offensive upside from Morris is a gamble worth taking for the Coyotes. Especially for a fourth-rounder. Winner: Phoenix. - RD
VOTE FOR WINNER

01:33 EST
Montreal Canadiens

TO MONTREAL
Aaron Palushaj, RW

St. Louis Blues

TO ST. LOUIS
Matt D'Agostini, LW

ANALYSIS: The Montreal Canadiens amd St. Louis Blues hooked up for a somewhat curious trade, swapping wingers Matt D'Agostini and Aaron Palushaj.

D’Agostini a right-shooting winger from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., has 14 goals and 25 points in 94 career NHL games. He had scored just two goals and four points in 40 games this season and had struggled mightily since sustaining a concussion in Chicago on Halloween. The 23-year-old missed 13 games after and has a tough time finding ice time and a regular spot in the lineup since returning Dec. 1; he has a goal and two assists and has been a healthy scratch on six occasions.

Palushaj, 20, was a second round selection (44th) by St. Louis in 2007. He spent two seasons with Michigan, scoring 23 goals and 94 points in 82 games with the Wolverines. This season with AHL Peoria, the six-foot, 183-pounder Northville, Mich., native has five goals and 22 points in 44 games. Winner: Montreal. - JG

 

21:22 EST MARCH 2
Pittsburgh Penguins

TO PITTSBURGH
Alexei Ponikarovsky, RW

Toronto Maple Leafs

TO TORONTO
Luca Caputi, W; Martin Skoula, D

ANALYSIS: Based on earlier deals this week, the price for Toronto Maple Leafs left winger Alex Ponikarovsky should have been a second round draft choice, but GM Brian Burke went another way, dealing the big Ukrainian to Pittsburgh for prospect left winger Luca Caputi and defenseman Martin Skoula.

Word out of Pitt is that ‘Poni’ will play with Evgeni Malkin, giving the Pens a lot of size and skill on that line, making the team even more dangerous than it already was.

But the return for Ponikarovsky was puzzling. Skoula was clearly included as salary cap ballast – the Pens are right up against it now – and does provide a warm body for the Leafs should they trade more blueliners. Caputi, No. 2 in Pittsburgh's top 10, but not in the top 75 prospects in THN's Future Watch, is naturally the ‘future’ part of the deal, but the 6-foot-2, 184-pounder is still a work in progress.

The Toronto native was having a solid American League campaign with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and excels on the power play. As he gets stronger, he’ll have a chance to crack the Leafs’ lineup, but in the grand scheme of things you have to wonder; will he ever be as good as Ponikarovsky?

At least with draft picks, Burke could have increased the ceiling of his returns for one of his most sought-after commodities. Winner: Pittsburgh. - RK
VOTE FOR WINNER

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NHL Pre-season Predictions: Central Division – No. 3 Minnesota Wild

THN’s PRE-SEASON PREDICTION: Third in Central Division. 2013: 26-19-3....

NHL Pre-season Predictions: Central Division - No. 4 Dallas Stars

THN’s PRE-SEASON PREDICTION: Fourth in Central Division. 2013: 22-22-4. 11th...
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