The NHL trade deadline is only hours away. With Antoine Vermette dealt to Chicago and Curtis Glencross shipped off to Washington, the pool of available trade talent is quickly drying up. Here’s a look at the notable players who could be on the move and the clubs they’re linked to.
Marek Zidlicky, New Jersey Devils. The 38-year-old blueliner has a no-trade clause which will limit where the Devils can ship him. He’s an experienced puck-moving defenseman with a right-handed shot, which could interest the Ducks and Red Wings. CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty suggests the Bruins could also make a pitch. Read more
25 YEARS AGO
RANGERS ACQUIRE: Mike Gartner
NORTH STARS ACQUIRE: Ulf Dahlen; 1990 4th-rounder (Cal McCowan); 1991 4th-rounder (Alexei Zhitnik)
THE BREAKDOWN: After a decade in Washington, Gartner hadn’t played a full season with the North Stars before being traded on deadline day 1990 for a package that included then-23-year-old Dahlen and two draft picks – the better of which (Zhitnik) was flipped to L.A. for two years of Todd Elik. Dahlen blossomed, scoring 92 goals in three seasons. But Gartner peeled off three straight seasons of at least 40 goals, playing a big role in two playoff runs before he was dealt to Toronto for Glenn Anderson a few months before the Blueshirts’ 1994 Cup win.
LONG-TERM WINNER: RANGERS Read more
As of Wednesday night, there is no division in the league that boasts more teams on the brink of the playoffs Central Division and that could have a major impact on the trade deadline action throughout the division. The Minnesota Wild made a major move in landing Devan Dubnyk in December and made another splash when they landed Sean Bergenheim from the Florida Panthers, so it will be interesting to see if the Winnipeg Jets – currently holding on for dear life to one of the West’s wild-card spots – answers back.
St. Louis, Chicago and Nashville are all probably done aside from minor deals and Colorado and Dallas are right in the middle – they could be buyers and they could be sellers. Don’t be shocked if the Central is the quietest of the four divisions at the deadline. Read more
Let the wheelin’ and dealin’ begin! Here are the remaining 10 big-time players most likely to find new NHL homes by March 2:
Colorado Avalanche, center
Contract status: 1 year @ $6M
Good fit for…ARI, BUF, FLA, MTL, WPG
Although some think O’Reilly, 24, could make the jump to become a bona fide No. 1 center, many pro scouts view him more as a tremendous second-line pivot. He’s a solid two-way forward with exceptional discipline (he had just two penalty minutes in 80 games last season), and he’s not a rental, with one season left on a two-year, $12-million contract. The Avs need a young defenseman in return. It’s more a matter of when he’s traded, not if. Read more
There are moments when NHL goaltenders seem to defy all laws regarding human flexibility and make stops that would make Stretch Armstrong fear a pulled groin. Semyon Varlamov had one of those moments last night.
With Sunday’s contest between Colorado and Tampa Bay not even two minutes old, an Avalanche turnover just inside the Lightning zone sprung Ryan Callahan and Steven Stamkos on a two-on-one. Callahan elected to shoot, but Varlamov made the stop. However, the puck careened on to the stick of Alex Killorn who thought he had the entire net to shoot at. Varlamov had other ideas. Read more
Corey Crawford did not have a good Friday night.
After allowing one goal through 50 minutes of action, the Chicago Blackhawks netminder gave up two power play goals in 24 seconds to the Colorado Avalanche. That wasn’t the worst of it for Crawford, though. With little over five minutes left to play and the Avalanche up 3-1, defenseman Brad Stuart flipped the puck in on Crawford from center ice before heading to the bench for a change. Stuart was just about on the Avalanche bench by the time he realized the puck had squeaked by Crawford. Yikes. Read more
Jonathan Quick hasn’t been quite as good as the Los Angeles Kings have needed him to be this season, but all will be forgotten if he keeps making saves like his one on Alex Tanguay last night. Really, if he does that, we could be talking about the Kings again come June.
With the Kings up 3-1 over the Avalanche, John Mitchell picked up a loose puck on wing and skated down below Los Angeles’ right wing circle. Across the ice he saw a wide open Tanguay and put a perfect pass right on his tape. If you recreated this play 100 times, it would be a goal more than 90 percent of the time, but Quick wasn’t having any of it. Check out the incredible splits save he makes: Read more
By Tom Lynn
Despite the atmosphere in private, the regular season was going very well for the Wild in 2007-08, even more so than the prior season. Similar to 2006-07, the Wild came out of the gate in ’07 with five straight wins, and seven in their first eight games. But although the Wild were on a pace to garner fewer overall points than the record 104 of 2006-07, the team moved into first place in the Northwest division Jan. 11 and never really looked back, falling no lower than second-place for the rest of the season (then only for a few days). Adding to the first-place status were Marian Gaborik’s franchise-record 42 goals and Brian Rolston having a third straight 30-goal season. The team was repeating the prior year and building on it.
The trade deadline that season fell on Feb. 26, 2008. It had been moved to earlier in the season under the new CBA in an effort to preserve some competitive integrity to the regular season (so that better and wealthier teams could not simply reload and reconfigure themselves into different entities with three weeks left in the season). This was pushed in a large part by Nashville GM David Poile, who smartly realized that the old, late deadline that had helped him command higher prices when we was a “seller” during the Preds’ early years now hurt him as a “buyer” as the Preds had matured into a playoff contender. It was easier for the big-market teams to dole out money or take on salary late in the season, so moving the trade deadline earlier in the season, when there was more uncertainty about playoff positioning and hence fewer deals to be made, put small-market teams on a more even footing. Read more