Could Dion Phaneuf become the next Larry Murphy?

Ken Campbell
Phaneuf

The last time the Toronto Maple Leafs traded a maligned defenseman to the Detroit Red Wings it was Larry Murphy, who went on to win two more Stanley Cups in Detroit and cement his credentials as a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. After all, four Stanley Cups looks a lot better than two on the career resume.

That was 1996-97 and Murphy was being booed every time he stepped on the ice in Toronto. The Leafs were so desperate to part with Murphy, they gave up the ubiquitous “future considerations” which turned out to be Detroit picking up part of his salary and allegedly sending then-GM a bottle of wine to then-GM Cliff Fletcher that summer.

A year later, the Maple Leafs made out a little better when they gifted another defenseman to the Red Wings in the form of Jamie Macoun. They at least got a fourth-round pick that turned out to be the useful Alexei Ponikarovsky in that deal. Macoun, meanwhile, went on to be a top-four defenseman for the Red Wings and helped them to their second consecutive Stanley Cup in 1998. Read more

Curtis Glencross dealt to Capitals for second, third-round picks

Jared Clinton
Curtis Glencross (Rich Lam/Getty Images)

After seven seasons as a Calgary Flame, unrestricted free agent-to-be Curtis Glencross is heading to Washington.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reported early Sunday afternoon that the Capitals have acquired the two-time 20-goal man in exchange for second- and third-round picks in the 2015 draft. Glencross, 32, has nine goals and 28 points this season in 53 games with the Flames, and could find his fit in Washington’s top-six as soon as tomorrow.

Earlier in the season it appeared Calgary and Glencross would work toward a new deal, but news came as the Monday trade deadline approached that the winger had submitted a list of teams that he would be willing to accept a trade to and the Flames would look to move him. Read more

From Eva Mendes to Brian Burke, trade deadline day is a wacky ride at TSN

The Hockey News
James Duthie (TSN/Bell Media)

By Jamie Duthie

The phone rings at 3:45 a.m. Sorry pings, not rings (it is March 9, 2004, and I have an old-school Blackberry). You know those sudden jolting wake-ups that interrupt the sweetest, deepest of dreams? One second you’re rubbing sunscreen on Eva Mendes’ back while she lies in the sand…of the bunker beside 18 at Augusta where you just won your third Green Jacket…wearing a mask and flippers for the entire final round (I have no idea)…and PING! PING! PING!

Suddenly Eva’s gone and you jump up in your bed and have no idea where you are or why it sounds like there are five fire trucks in your room.

I finally grasp that it is my phone and not Ladders 65-68 driving under the bed. PING! PING! PING!

“Wha…Uhh…Helloooo?

“James, it’s Mark.”

Mark? Mark who? Mark Ward or Mark Tadiello, my two best friends from high school? Mark Messier? Mark’s Work Warehouse saying my polar fleece socks are in? Mark Wahlberg? (I’m still groggy.)

“Wha…what time is it?”

“It’s 3:45. You need to get in right now.” (Oh. Mark Milliere. My boss.) “It’s been a crazy night. Todd Bertuzzi badly injured Steve Moore. We’re going on early.”

“How early?”

“As soon as you get here.” Read more

Chicago acquires Antoine Vermette from Arizona for first-round pick, Klas Dahlbeck

Jared Clinton
Antoine Vermette  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Antoine Vermette didn’t have to wait until Monday to find out where he’s going to finish the 2014-15 season.

Late Saturday, the Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes came to terms on a deal involving the veteran center. The trade sees defensive prospect Klas Dahlbeck and a first-round pick in 2015 going to the Coyotes, meeting what Arizona was reportedly demanding for Vermette.

Vermette, 32, was one of the big prizes this deadline, and the acquisition by the Blackhawks appears to be a sign the team intends on spending every last dollar of the cap relief they received when winger Patrick Kane went down with a shoulder injury and was subsequently placed on long-term injured reserve. Read more

Five trade deadline deals that absolutely flopped

David Legwand (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

With the trade deadline days away, everyone has taken the time to reflect on the deadline deals that were blockbusters, those that changed a team’s fate or gave them a boost on their road to the Stanley Cup and even looked back at who won long-term.

But what about those deals that looked big at the time but ended up being colossal flops? Not every deal can be a gem and, for one GM in particular, there have been quite a few that looked like they could have made an impact at the time but turned into absolutely nothing.

What constitutes a deadline day flop? The trade has to involve a number of moving parts because, let’s be honest, while a player-for-player deal with two stars is fun, a five- or six-player deal can be much more interesting. In addition, a flop means the trade didn’t work out for either squad, or the team that was supposed to be the buyer, getting the player they believe will put them over the top, has to have the deal backfire badly. Read more

The leftovers: how Jonathan Bernier and the remaining Maple Leafs cope with a rebuild

Matt Larkin
Jonathan Bernier.  (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

There’s often a disconnect between rumor and result as the NHL trade deadline approaches. No so with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the month of February. Name the rumored departure and it’s happened so far like clockwork. Unrestricted free agents-to-be Cody Franson, Mike Santorelli and Daniel Winnik were supposed to go, and they did. Early. No dillydallying from GM Dave Nonis. Off they went for picks, a prospect and warm bodies Zach Sill and Olli Jokinen.

The moves signalled the beginning of a rebuild but not a demolition of the team’s core just yet. It was obvious Nonis would ship out the UFAs to ensure he got something with his team way out of playoff contention.

Then came the David Clarkson bombshell. Essentially buying out Clarkson’s contract by acquiring the injured Nathan Horton, who doesn’t count against the cap, sent a message to the rest of the team: Toronto truly wants to shake up its nucleus. The operation is broke and needs fixing.

Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier played arguably his best game of the season Thursday night, turning away 47 Philadelphia Flyer shots in a 3-2 victory, and it was all the more impressive considering he and his teammates learned of the Clarkson news shortly before game time.

The team called a meeting and Clarkson wasn’t there. Bernier said he and the players knew something was up at that point.

Read more

Anaheim Ducks acquire Tomas Fleischmann for Dany Heatley, third-round pick

Jared Clinton
Tomas Fleischmann, left, has been traded to the Anaheim Ducks. (Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)

Another domino has fallen ahead of Monday’s trade deadline, as the Florida Panthers traded Tomas Fleischmann to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Dany Heatley and a third-round pick in 2015.

The Panthers have made no secret of Fleischmann’s availability and it was clear that the 30-year-old winger would be dealt by the deadline. With just seven goals and 21 points in 52 games for Florida this season, Fleischmann is on pace for a second straight season of 30 points or fewer.

Fleischmann will become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, but is earning $4.5 million this season in the final year of a four-year, $18 million contract he signed with the Panthers in July 2011. Read more

Picking winners of five blockbuster trades from the past 25 years

Ray Bourque (Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

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