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
Blue Jackets left winger Corey Tropp didn’t score a goal that counted Thursday in Columbus’ 5-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, but his disallowed goal on star netminder Carey Price was nonetheless a marvel of hand-eye co-ordination.
The 25-year-old Tropp has just one goal and six points in 46 games with the Jackets this season, and he nearly had his second after being knocked to the ice directly in front of Price and putting the puck in the net from a seated position on the ice: (video via Reddit user Grizzy19 and streamable.com) Read more
If there’s going to be trade action in any division, the Atlantic is the one to watch. With Montreal, Tampa Bay and Detroit fighting for top spot, Boston and Florida trading punches in the Wild Card and Toronto set for a full rebuild, there’s potential for the entire division to be shaken up on March 2. Even if the star players, such as Maple Leafs Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf, aren’t moved at the deadline, there are going to be changes coming to the Atlantic as the teams either push for a shot in the wide open Eastern Conference or shuffle the deck and build for the future. Read more
The trade deadline marks a time of buyers and sellers, of lopsided deals helping one side in the short term and the other down the road.
That’s why Tuesday’s swap between the Anaheim Ducks and Montreal Canadiens feels odd. They rank second and first in their respective conferences and completed a true “hockey trade,” with right winger Devante Smith-Pelly, 22, going to Montreal for left winger Jiri Sekac, 22. Both players have one year remaining on their deals, Smith-Pelly at $800,000 and Sekac at $925,000, before becoming restricted free agents. They were born four days apart in 1992.
If the GM Marc Bergevin wants to improve at the trade deadline, he’s going to have to do so without dealing defenseman Alexei Emelin, who will reportedly be out indefinitely with a shoulder injury.
In Wednesday’s game against the Ottawa Senators, Emelin was injured during the first shift of the evening following a hit from Senators winger Mark Stone. Emelin slid into the boards awkwardly and remained on the ice for nearly 40 seconds before being helped to the dressing room. Read more
When the Montreal Canadiens lost defenseman Alexei Emelin to an injury in the first period of Wednesday night’s game against Ottawa, the pressure on the team’s defense corps ratcheted up significantly. There was no immediate word on the severity of Emelin’s upper-body ailment, but in the immediate wake of losing the veteran and the 20 minutes he averages per game, head coach Michel Therrien leaned on a blueliner he’s been leaning on more of late: star P.K. Subban was on his way to playing more than 30 minutes for the third time in five games when he was forced out of the game late in the second period after blocking a shot. Subban returned to start the third and still finished the night with 30:45 of playing time, but it very easily could’ve been a higher number than that.
The Canadiens are already rumored to be seeking a defenseman on the trade market, and the injury scares to two of their veterans should be considered a warning shot across the bow to accelerate the process. Because while the 25-year-old Subban is clearly capable of being on the ice for more than half of every game, Therrien and GM Marc Bergevin must be delicate with his minutes. Just as an NHL GM must balance the needs of the now with the needs of tomorrow on the salary cap front, so too must he keep an eye on the big picture when it comes to the use of his star players. And because Subban is one of the NHL’s most marketable, personable and talented players, Bergevin needs to be aware of the demands that are going to be placed on him not only this year, but beyond. Read more
The Montreal Canadiens entered this week perched atop the Eastern Conference standings. Despite their success thus far, there are some areas of concern. The Habs are among this season’s lowest-scoring teams while giving up a high number of shots-against per game. That’s prompted questions about their prospects for a lengthy playoff run.
Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin tends to work more quietly on trades than many of his peers. He has acquired playoff rental players in the past. In 2013 he shipped Erik Cole to Dallas for Michael Ryder. He pulled off the steal of the 2014 trade deadline, shipping a prospect and a draft pick to the New York Islanders for winger Thomas Vanek.
That’s why there’s growing anticipation Bergevin could pull off a significant move or two by this season’s trade deadline. It’s rumored he’s in the market for a scoring forward and a top-four defenseman. Read more
The stat line said it all Saturday night for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ David Clarkson.
Two minutes and 31 seconds of ice time. 27 penalty minutes. Ejected from the game for a dangerous hit on Montreal’s Sergei Gonchar.
In short: a disaster.