The Wayne Gretzky shocker to L.A. will always be hockey’s pre-eminent swap. It is, after all, known simply as “The Trade.”
That said, the first seismic, earth-shattering, mind-blowing blockbuster to register on my Richter scale happened more than a decade earlier, on Nov. 7, 1975, when the Rangers sent Jean Ratelle, Brad Park and Joe Zanussi to Boston for Phil Esposito and Carol Vadnais. To borrow a line from Greg Kihn, they just don’t write ’em like that anymore. Read more
It’s time for the NHL trade deadline, which means it’s time for a torrent of clichés from players and team brass. So this year, why not have some fun with it? Print out this handy NHL Trade Deadline Cliché Bingo Card and by the time March 2 rolls around, it shouldn’t take you long to complete it – especially if you watch one of the Jedi masters of cliché, such as Blues defenseman and amateur verbal anesthesiologist Jay Bouwmeester, go to work in front of a microphone: Read more
Talk about unlikely destinations for Jaromir Jagr.
The Florida Panthers announced Thursday they have acquired 43-year-old winger Jarmoir Jagr from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a second-round pick in 2015 and a conditional third-round selection in 2016. The conditions of the third-round pick have not yet been released. Read more
Under the watchful eye of chief operating officer John Collins, the NHL has become the most event-driven league among major sports. From the Winter Classic to the All-Star Game fantasy draft to the NHL Awards in Las Vegas, Collins has positioned the NHL as an industry leader when it comes to staging glitzy, revenue-generating spectacles. It has helped build the league into an almost $4 billion business.
So why not make the trade deadline an event? It’s already one of the most highly anticipated days on the NHL calendar, so the league might as well cash in on it and make it even more compelling for fans at the same time. The league could sell a sponsorship deal and auction the television rights to the highest bidder. NHL Trade Deadline Day, brought to you by (insert sponsor’s name here) televised exclusively on (insert network’s name here). It could be much the same as baseball’s winter meetings but on a grander scale. 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
Better rush to get this blog up before every name in the headline above finds a new team.
The writing on the wall is pretty much in perma-Sharpie for right winger Jaromir Jagr and center Antoine Vermette. Left winger Joffrey Lupul has a decent shot at changing addresses before March 2′s trade deadline, too, assuming the Toronto Maple Leafs eat some of his $5.25-million cap hit.
Admit it: one of the funnest things to do this time of year is speculate on deals and propose some of your own. Let’s take a crack at it in this space with a few plausible swaps for each on-the-block player.
With the Eastern Conference about as wide open as it gets in the parity-laden NHL, the trade deadline could be huge in the Metropolitan Division. Who knows if, come deadline day, a GM from one of the three main contenders swings a deal that changes their team’s fate.
The New York Islanders made their biggest splash in the off-season, trading for blueliners Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy, the latter of whom was signed to a seven-year extension on Tuesday. The New York Rangers are right at the top of the standings thanks to a red hot Rich Nash. And the Pittsburgh Penguins… well, the Penguins have two guys by the name of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin who can be game breakers at any time. But don’t count out the Capitals.
Even the lowly Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets are making some noise heading into the deadline, which could make the Metropolitan extremely active come deadline day. Read more
As the NHL’s March 2 trade deadline draws closer, the number of deals are starting to pick up. Early Tuesday, the Canadiens sent left winger Jiri Sekac to Anaheim for right winger Devante Smith-Pelley – and late the same night, the surging Minnesota Wild attempted to bolster their playoff chances by acquiring disgruntled winger Sean Bergenheim and a seventh-round draft pick in 2016 from Florida in exchange for a 2016 third-round pick.
Bergenheim had fallen out of favor very publicly in Florida – he’s been out of Florida’s lineup for ten of their past 16 games and his agent has angrily demanded a trade on his behalf – but he’s still got decent numbers (eight goals and 18 points in 39 games) in limited minutes and isn’t a defensive liability. He’ll help the Wild deal with injuries to wingers Jason Zucker, Ryan Carter and Matt Cooke. The 31-year-old Finn hasn’t scored more than 17 goals in either of his previous seasons with the Panthers, but his expiring contract, reasonable salary cap pro-rated hit (his 2014-15 salary is $2.75 million) and playoff history (which includes nine goals in 16 games with Tampa Bay in 2011 and three goals and six points in seven games with Florida in 2012) made him attractive enough to Wild GM Chuck Fletcher. Read more