The NHL Trade Deadline has officially passed, and while not as active as the past few years it saw a few name players change teams along with a bevy of picks. The most noticeable difference in this year was that the number of depth players, such as bottom pairing defensemen and lower line players, was significantly smaller. These kinds of players, dealt for lower round picks, normally dominate the trades, but not so this year.
In part one of my review I’ll list each trade, give an analysis on why it was done and who the winner of the deal was. First though I’ll go over the deals that were made in advance of the deadline. Also note there were some very minor deals done that I haven’t listed, but trust me, you aren’t missing anything.
To Ottawa Senators: Nathan Campoli, Mike Comrie
To New York Islanders: 1st rd pick, Dean McAmmond
Analysis: The trade is a bit odd. Part of it makes sense, namely the Islanders wanting another first round pick (San Jose’s which will be towards the end of the round), and Ottawa was in desperate need of a puck moving defenseman. What isn’t clear is why the Sens took Comrie, a UFA who they aren’t very likely to sign. It would make sense if they were within reach of the playoffs, and while they are not mathematically eliminated, the way they’ve played has made it so. McAmmond was little more than a salary dump and will be let go by the Isles after the year ends.
Winner: Islanders. A first is always a commodity, no matter where in the round it is, and in the cap world drafting is ever more important. Though Campoli is more proven, he’s not worth a first. If Comrie re-signs with the Sens, it will be more even, but regardless Isles take it.
To Pittsburgh: Chris Kunitz, Eric Tangradi
To Anaheim: Ryan Whitney
Analysis: Both teams fulfilled needs here. Anaheim had an aging defense and most of them were free agents end of the year. Pittsburgh needed a gritty scoring winger and a top forward prospect as their prospects were more shallow than the kiddie pool. Whitney has a lot of potential, but regressing this year, plus the Penguins abundance of young puck moving blueliners made him expendable. Anaheim had an abundance of scoring forwards, mostly young, so giving up the 29 year old Kunitz won’t hurt a whole lot. Tangradi is a big power forward who is currently second in league scoring in the OHL behind only top prospect and most hyped since Sidney Crosby Jon Tavares.
Winner: Pittsburgh. Kunitz is already proven and in the few games he has played has already paid dividends. Defensemen take longer to develop in general, and Whitney could be an all star, but his regression this year, not injury related despite many claims, is a cause for concern. The big wild card is Tangradi, who could end up a good forward for many years to come.
To Montreal Canadiens: Mathieu Schneider
To Atlanta Thrashers: 2nd rd pick, 3rd round pick
Analysis: Montrealw as looking for a boost on the blue line and they got it with the venerable Schneider. He fit in immediately and has already helped to bring some substance to the Montreal power play. Atlanta gets two higher round picks to further add to their young talent pool.
Winner: Montreal. Normally I’d give this to the team getting the picks because it is a high price to pay for a few month rental player, but with GM Don Waddell in charge the picks are most likely going to be wasted like most others during his ten year tenure.
To New Jersey Devils: Nicolas Havelid, Myles Stoesz
To Atlanta Thrashers: Anssi Salmela
Analysis: If you pay attention to the hockey deadline, you know a trade like this was coming from Lou Lamoriello. Again he went for the depth defensemen for a mid range prospect or pick, this time defenseman Anssi Salmela. Salmela can be a fixture on Atlanta’s blue line in a few years, while Havelid will be an immediate boost for the Devil’s playoff run.
Winner: Atlanta. I give it to them solely for the long term gain. However, this shouldn’t be an under rated acquisition for the Devils as Havelid was one of the few bright spots on the Thrashers this year.
To Ottawa Senators: Pascal Leclaire, 2nd rd pick
To Columbus Blue Jackets: Antoine Vermette
Analysis: One of the few times a rumored trade actually came true. The Senators haven’t had a stable goaltender since Patrick Lalime, but even he was shaky at times, especially in the playoffs. To solve this they got Leclaire, a 26 year old goalie to who is quite talented but unfortunately injury prone. Vermette is a young winger who is having a tough year, but can easily rebound from it in the right situation. Though his stock was low, teams were still interested, deterred by his $3mm price tag and the possibility he may not return to form.
Winner: Ottawa. The second round pick really propelled it in their favor. No doubt Leclaire can be a staple in the nets for years, his injury problems put a big question mark on him. Still, there is a big question mark on the guy they traded and Ottawa got something they needed more, plus a high pick to boot.
To Calgary Flames: Jordan Leopold
To Colorado Avalanche: Lawrence Nycholat, Ryan Wilson, 2nd rd pick
Analysis: If there is one thing Calgary GM Daryl Sutter loves to have going into the playoffs, it’s a girth of quality defensemen. Leopold was traded to the Avalanche only a few years ago but injuries plagued his effectiveness and now he returns to the team that originally drafted him. In return the avalanche got a mediocre prospect in Wilson, a second rounder and, most puzzling, Nycholat, a defenseman who Calgary claimed off waivers only a few days before. The Avalanche could have claimed him but chose not to. I’ll never get why teams do that.
Winner: Calgary. The Flames got the depth defenseman they wanted and the Avs got, well, a second round pick cause the other two aren’t worth much. Given the Avs recent draft history, Calgary will be better off.
To Dallas Stars: Brendan Morrison
To Anaheim Ducks: nothing (claimed via waivers)
Analysis: Morrison had been a disappointment to the Ducks, scoring a mere ten goals in his time there. I should note though former GM Brian Burke has an affinity for any player he had in Vancouver (Morrison, Bertuzzi, May) and wants them on his team. Thinking Morrison was still a scoring center (which he never really was mind you) he signed him to a one year deal. As everyone but Burke expected Morrison flopped not being stuck between two guys named Bertuzzi and Naslund in their scoring primes. Anaheim put him on waivers hoping someone would just take him off their hands. Dallas, needing center depth due to injuries bit.
Winner: Tie. Anaheim didn’t want him and in Dallas he is just a band aid.
To Buffalo Sabres: Mikael Tellqvist
To Phoenix Coyotes: 4th rd pick
Analysis: Injuries to their goaltending basically forced the trade for the Sabres and while Tellqvist will never live up to his potential, he is a serviceable fill in. The Coyotes didn’t have much use for Tellqvist who’s play is very erratic. A pure depth move that there is no love lost from either side parting with what they did.
Winner: Tie. Buffalo didn’t give up much and they didn’t get much, and vice versa. No risk on either side.
To Boston Bruins: Steve Montador
To Anaheim Ducks: Petteri Nokeleinen
Analysis: Despite having trouble finding a home to start the year, Montador was a pleasant surprise for the Ducks, filling in admirably when they had injuries. He gives the Bruins the depth on defense a playoff team wants. Nokeleinen was a former first round pick by the Isles, but has yet to really put it together. At 23 there is still time for him to develop, but only time will tell.
Winner: Boston. Though a former first round pick, and traded for 2nd round pick and prospect earlier in the year, Nokeleinen has only three points in 33 games this year. Not a good sign for the future, 23 or not.
To Calgary Flames: Olli Jokinen, 3rd rd pick
To : Mathew Lombardi, Brandon Prust, 1st rd pick
Analysis: Calgary finally got the first line center they have sought for more than a decade in the perennial all star Jokinen, who switched teams for the second time this year. Oddly he goes to the team coached by the man e has performed best under: Mike Keenan (yes, he somehow still has a job). Not fitting well into the Yotes scheme, they deemed him expendable. Calgary gives up two young players, center Lombardi who can develop into a top line player and scrappy winger Prust. They also get a 1st round pick which is always changing hands in big deals like this.
Winner: Calgary. If Jokinen was a UFA Phoenix may have won, but he’s signed for a few more years, so Calgary can rest easy knowing they’ve got their first line center going into the off season. Though it hurt their depth, they're going for broke with their deals.
To Boston Bruins: Mark Recchi, 2nd rd pick
To Tampa Bay Lightning: Matt Lashoff, Martin’s Karsums
Analysis: Looking for more scoring power since Marco Sturm was sidelined the year with a knee injury, the seemingly ageless Recchi, along with a 2010 2nd rounder was obtained for secondary scoring, plus lots of playoff experience including two cups. Going to Tampa were a good defensive and forward prospect in Lashoff and Karsums respectively. Tampa’s prospect system isn’t too good, a result of the poor drafting record of former GM Jay Feaster, so they needed guys like this.
Winner: Tampa Bay. Getting two good prospects for a 40 year old winger is always good, especially since they're closer to having an immediate impact than the pick they gave up. Recchi will help the Bruins, but not past this year.
To Pittsburgh Penguins: Bill Guerin
To New York Islanders: Conditional pick: 5th round, 4th if Pens make playoffs, 3rd if they win a round
Analysis: Like last year, Pens GM Ray Shero went and got one of the bigger named players available. The only difference is this time he gave up close to nothing. Guerin, though not having a particular good playoff history, is better than the alternative of Miroslav Satan, and unlike Satan, he’ll take the body and not just float hoping to score. The Isles, well, they got hosed. I’m sorry, I can’t really put a good spin on it, and it really has nothing to do with being a Pens fan. For one of the bigger names out there the best you can do is a 3rd, and that’s based on an “if”. I know Guerin isn’t an all star anymore, but considering Dominic Moore went for a 2nd round pick, you’d think the Isles could do better.
Winner: Pittsburgh. Isles get at best a 3rd and the Pens get a power forward whom shoots the puck (something most players on the team don't like to do) and will give them extra grit and leadership down the stretch. Not to mention take a roster spot away from Satan.
To Philadelphia Flyers: Daniel Carcillo
To Phoenix Coyotes: Scottie Upshall, 2nd rd pick
Analysis: Everyone knows the Flyers like tough, scrappy or cheap players, and Carcillo fits the middle one perfectly. An agitator who isn’t afraid to drop them, he gets under the skin of the opposition. The only problem is he can’t control himself and leads the league in penalty minutes, and most aren’t good penalties. Phoenix gets former first round pick Upshall who had a pretty good sting with the Flyers, and can provide some much needed scoring for the Coyotes who are lacking on the wings. They also get a 2nd round pick.
Winner: Phoenix. Given the Flyers are filled with grit, whether a guy like Carcillo fits doesn’t mean much when he wasn’t really needed. Phoenix got something they needed and more. Philly probably could have gotten Carcillo straight up, so good job by the Yotes.
To New York Rangers: Nik Antropov
To Toronto Maple Leafs: 2nd rd pick, conditional pick (conditions unknown)
Analysis: The Rangers needed help up front, and they got it. Antropov is having a career year (hey, he does need a new contract) and while he is listed as a center, he can play wing, which is what he’ll be doing. He’s a big body, and while he may not go out hitting people all the time he has no problem going into traffic or standing in front of the net. Consistency is a problem for him, and the last thing the free falling Rangers need is for the invisible Antropov to show up. Toronto gets more picks, further continuing their rebuilding under Brian Burke.
Winner: Tie. It’d be easier to gauge this if we knew what the conditional pick was. If it’s a second or third, I’d give it to Toronto. If it’s a sixth, I’d give it to the Rangers.
To New York Rangers: Derek Morris
To Phoenix Coyotes: Nigel Dawes, Petr Prucha, Dmitri Kalinin
Analysis: The Yotes continued their purge, dealing UFA dman Morris to the Rangers. The Rangers get more stability on the blue line (what, Wade Redden isn’t what you hoped?) and get rid of the often maligned Kalinin. Prucha was a regular scratch, meaning Dawes was the only real asset they gave up. Phoenix is hoping Prucha and Kalinin fair better with them then the Rangers, but make no mistake, the young Dawes was the main part of this package.
Winner: New York. Morris will help on a shoddy blue line, and Phoenix gets two under achievers New York didn’t want. They should hope Dawes works out well.
To Buffalo Sabres: Dominic Moore
To Toronto Maple Leafs: 2nd Round pick
Analysis: Moore has been a good third line center since he entered the league and can chip in a timely goal while providing good defense. That said he isn’t a difference maker which is what a 2nd rounder normally gets you. He’s having a good year, which just happens to coincide with being a UFA and on a bad team (someone has to score on a bad team). If center depth is what the Sabres want they got it, but don't expect him to be lighting the lamp.
Winner: Toronto. A second round pick for Moore? Really?
To Anaheim Ducks: Erik Christensen
To Atlanta Thrashers: Eric O’Dell
Analysis: Christensen was one of the players who the Pens dealt to Atlanta to get Hossa. As a center who couldn’t convert to wing and not fit for lower line duty he didn’t have a place on the Pens behind the other centers Crosby, Malkin and Staal (in his defense, most centers wouldn’t behind that lineup). Atlanta who was hurting for centers was a good place for him to go. Sadly, his play got worse. At this point you can’t really expect anything out of him (other than a shootout goal) and Anaheim will probably be his last chance at the NHL. Thrashers get O’Dell who is was a 2nd round pick last year, so he probably won’t be making an impact (if any) for at least a few years.
Winner: Atlanta. O’Dell at this point still has a chance to develop.
To Florida Panthers: Steve Eminger
To Tampa Bay Lightning: Noah Welch, 3rd rd pick
Analysis: Tampa has made many head scratching moves this year and this is another. Eminger was their best defensemen this year, and they went and dealt him for a pick and Welch who has barely played the past few seasons due to shoulder injuries. Granted it’s a sorry state when Eminger is your best defenseman, but giving him up leaves you in worse condition. Panthers get another defenseman for what they hope is their first playoff appearance in the better part of a decade.
Winner: Florida. Eminger is a much more proven commodity than the other two and can help immediately.
To Columbus Blue Jackets: Kevin Lelande
To Calgary Flames: 4th rd pick
Analysis: Nothing real spectacular here. Columbus wanted another goalie with Leclaire gone and Calgary had an extra.
To Philadelphia Flyers: Kyle McLaren
To San Jose Sharks: 6th rd pick
Analysis: McLaren was once a sought after defenseman, but injuries and the new rules have limited his effectiveness. He has spent the entire year in the minors as a cap casualty of San Jose’s. Being a slow and hitting defenseman, Philadelphia wanted him. There is concern whether or not he can perform well at this point, especially with a history of bad knees, but chances are the Flyers aren’t going to be playing much.
Winner: Philadelphia. He’s a UFA after this year and sixth round picks are normally good for just trading.
To Chicago Blackhawks: Samuel Pahlsson
To Anaheim Ducks: James Wisniewski
Analysis: Anaheim continued their purging of players, clearing cap space and the remnants of the cup team that obviously was no longer a serious threat. In Pahlsson the Hawks, limited by almost no cap space, get a good checking line center that will help with their inexperienced players as they march to their first postseason in, well, forever. The Ducks get a younger defenseman, continuing the rebuilding of their corps that is going to look almost nothing like it did this year.
Winner: Anaheim. Not selling Pahlsson short, but Anaheim has the better long term asset and is a step in their rebuilding.
To San Jose Sharks: Travis Moen, Kent Huskins
To Anaheim: Nick Bonino, Timo Pielmeier, Condtional pick (conditions unknown)
Analysis: Moen was another of Anaheim’s effective checkers during their cup run, so San Jose was eager to add a player like him. Huskins is merely a seventh defenseman. In return Anaheim gets prospects Bonino and Pielmeier along with a conditional pick.
Winner: San Jose. It’s hard to judge when prospects or picks are the main return, but Moen is still young at 26 and has already solidified his place in the NHL while still having room to improve.
To Edmonton Oilers: Patrick O’Sullivan, 2nd rd pick
To Carolina Hurricanes: Eric Cole
To LA Kings: Justin Williams
Analysis: Though technically a three way it wasn’t one of the more complicated ones that involves something from every team ending up on the other. Cole going back to Carolina isn’t surprising as he hadn’t worked out in Edmonton. What is surprising is that LA gave up O’Sullivan, the youngest of the group at 24 plus a 2nd rounder for the oft injured Williams. Carolina immediately flipped that package to Edmonton to get Cole back. It’s hoped that a change of scenery will help all players.
Winner: Edmonton. O’Sullivan is the youngest and they got a second round pick in addition.
To Edmonton Oilers: Ales Kotalik
To Buffalo Sabres: 2nd rd pick
Analysis: The Oilers have needed extra scoring up front all year, and after getting O’Sullivan in a three way deal obtained Kotalik from Buffalo. While Kotalik won’t be putting up huge numbers, he definitely fits the need for secondary scoring. Though a UFA chances are his demands aren’t too high and they can resign him.
Winner: Buffalo. If the Oilers cant resign him, Kotalik isn’t enough of an impact player to be what gets them over the hump.
To Toronto Maple Leafs: Olaf Kolzig, Jamie Heward, Andy Rogers, 4th rd pick
To Tampa Bay Lightning: Richard Petiot
Analysis: I’m lost. And so is every other hockey fan. Kolzig and Heward are both injured for the rest of the year and UFA’s who won’t be retained. Rogers is a former first round pick, but hasn’t been able to crack Tampa’s ultra-weak defense corps. Petiot is 26, so hardly a prospect. At first it would seem it’s a salary dump, but Tampa saved less than a million and got rid of two guys who won’t be around on either team next year, so it’s not a salary dump. SO what does that make this trade? Beats the hell out of me cause there wasn’t much to gain for either.
Winner: Tie? I guess???