• 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

  • Hurricanes ship Tim Gleason to Capitals for Jack Hillen, pick

    Jared Clinton
    Tim Gleason (Gregg Forwerck/Getty Images)

    Tim Gleason is going to get a shot at the playoffs this season after all.

    The Washington Capitals announced this afternoon they have acquired the 32-year-old blueliner for the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for defenseman Jack Hillen and a fourth-round pick in the 2015 draft.

    Gleason, who has spent nine of his eleven seasons with the Hurricanes, will join his third team in three seasons with the trade to Washington. He was signed by Carolina in the off-season to a one-year, $1.2 million contract after being dealt by the Hurricanes to the Maple Leafs last season. Read more

  • Trade Eric Staal? GM Ron Francis knows all about big swaps

    Ron Francis (B Bennett/Getty Images)

    Ron Francis ponders the question before offering a “safe” answer.

    “Did the Hartford Whalers make a mistake trading you March 4, 1991?”

    The correct answer is a resounding, “Yes!” Of course it was a mistake trading Francis along with defensemen Ulf Samuelsson and Grant Jennings to the Pittsburgh Penguins for forwards John Cullen and Jeff Parker and defenseman Zarley Zalapski. The Penguins immediately went on a two Stanley Cup run. Read more

  • Brad Marchand takes hilarious dive after Eric Gelinas trip

    Jared Clinton
    Brad Marchand (Getty Images)

    There is diving and then there is performance art. Friday night, Brad Marchand presented us with the latter.

    In overtime of the Boston Bruins’ game against the New Jersey Devils, Marchand took one of the most hilarious dives there will likely ever be. After Reilly Smith put a puck on goal in the extra frame, Marchand followed the puck to the net and was chopped in the foot by Devils defenseman Eric Gelinas. And what was Marchand’s reaction? Flying, rolling and finally coming to a stop with his legs above his head, of course. Read more

  • Rumor Roundup: Maple Leafs, Bruins and Coyotes trade buzz

    Lyle Richardson
    Antoine Vermette  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    The Toronto Maple Leafs’ dealing the supposedly untradeable David Clarkson to Columbus for Nathan Horton stunned the hockey world. It’s sparked considerable buzz over what other surprises Leafs GM Dave Nonis has in store leading up to the March 2 trade deadline.

    David Staples of the Edmonton Journal notes a rumor making the rounds linked the Oilers to Leafs center Tyler Bozak. Staples doubts the Oilers would take on the 28-year-old Bozak’s $4.2-million annual cap hit without sending an expensive contract back to the Leafs. There’s also the little matter of Bozak’s modified no-trade clause.

    TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports Leafs winger Joffrey Lupul could be on the Washington Capitals radar. CSN Washington.com’s Chuck Gormley suggests players like Dallas’ Erik Cole or Vernon Fiddler might interest the Caps but made no mention of Lupul. Read more