Tony Breaks Down The Deadline Deals
The NHL’s trade deadline has come and passed and, for the first time in a while, barely generated any noise in the hockey world. The reason? Not many big names were dealt. Other than players such as Ilya Kovalchuk and Olli Jokinen, most of the other players who were traded aresn’t exactly household names. (Kovalchuk and Jokinen were actually dealt a month before the deadline- but still count as a “deadline deal.”)
Regardless of whether those players were popular or not, they were acquired by other teams for a reason. There were 31 trades at this year’s deadline, a new league record. There were also 55 players and 25 draft picks dealt, also a new record.
Some thoughts on this year’s deadline deals:
The New York Rangers acquired center Olli Jokinen and left-winger Brandon Prust from the Calgary Flames in exchange for right-winger Ales Kotalik and left-winger Christopher Higgins.
Jokinen was never able to create any sort of chemistry with Jarome Iginla, and the Rangers needed another scoring threat opposite Marian Gaborik.
The New Jersey Devils acquired left-winger Ilya Kovalchuk and defenseman Anssi Salmela from the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for defenseman Johnny Oduya, right-winger Niclas Bergfors, center Patrice Cormier and a first-round draft pick in 2010.
As one writer predicted, the Thrashers weren’t able to come to a contract agreement with Kovalchuk, so he was dealt to a Stanley Cup contender for some building blocks for the future.
The Detroit Red Wings acquired defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and a fifth-round draft pick in 2011 from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for left-winger Ville Leino.
Detroit didn’t have enough room on their roster for Leino, so he was dealt for some depth on defense and a draft pick. The San Jose Sharks acquired defenseman Niclas Wallin and a fifth-round draft pick in 2010 from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a second-round draft pick in 2010 (originally acquired from Buffalo.)
The Sharks were looking for a veteran defenseman to help them make a playoff run, and Carolina is building for the future. The Montreal Canadiens acquired center Dominic Moore from the Florida Panthers in exchange for a second-round draft pick in 2011.
Montreal coveted depth at center, and Florida needed to make cultural changes in their locker room.
The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired defenseman Steve Wagner from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for defenseman Nate Guenin.
Essentially a swap of prospects between these two teams. The Ottawa Senators acquired center Matt Cullen from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for defenseman Alexandre Picard and a second-round draft pick in 2010. Ottawa wanted a gritty center to help them in the playoffs, and Carolina got a young defenseman for the future.
The Minnesota Wild acquired defenseman Cam Barker from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for defenseman Kim Johnsson and defenseman Nick Leddy. Chicago knew they wouldn’t be able to re-sign Barker after the season, but they didn’t want to experience a drop-off in talent. They addressed that concern by acquiring a playoff-tested veteran in Johnsson and a top prospect in Leddy.
The New York Rangers acquired left-winger Jody Shelley from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick in 2011. The Rangers needed to add some more muscle to their team, and Shelley fit the bill.
The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired defenseman Jordan Leopold from the Florida Panthers in exchange for a second-round draft pick in 2010. Pittsburgh picked up some grit at the deadline by bringing in Leopold and Florida landed another draft pick.
The Nashville Predators acquired defenseman Denis Grebeshkov from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a second-round draft pick in 2010. Edmonton wanted to build for the future, and Nashville wanted to acquire a defenseman who could help them in the playoffs.
The Atlanta Thrashers acquired right-winger Evgeny Artyukhin from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenseman Nathan Oystrick and a conditional draft pick in 2011.
Atlanta wanted to bring in some size, and they got just that in Artyukhin. The Boston Bruins acquired defenseman Steven Kampfer from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick in either 2010 or 2011.
Anaheim felt, due to the depth they had on defense in their organization, that their prospect was expendable. The Ottawa Senators acquired defenseman Andy Sutton from the New York Islanders in exchange for a second-round draft pick in 2010.
Ottawa, much like the Cullen trade, wanted grit and experience for the playoffs. They got both in Sutton. The Edmonton Oilers acquired left-winger Matt Marquardt from the Boston Bruins in exchange for defenseman Cody Wild. Essentially a swap of prospects between these two teams.
The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired left-winger Alexei Ponikarovsky from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for defenseman Martin Skoula and left-winger Luca Caputi. Pittsburgh was able to acquire a talented scoring threat that should fit in nicely with players such as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
The New Jersey Devils acquired defenseman Martin Skoula from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick in 2010. Skoula heads to New Jersey, where he will be reunited with his old coach from Minnesota, Jacques Lemaire.
The St. Louis Blues acquired right-winger Matt D’Agostini from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for right-winger Aaron Palushaj. D’Agostini fell out of favor in Montreal and will get a fresh start in St. Louis.
The Phoenix Coyotes acquired defenseman Derek Morris from the Boston Bruins in exchange for a conditional draft pick in 2011. Morris heads back to Phoenix to help Phoenix make a push towards the playoffs.
The Boston Bruins acquired defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and defenseman Matt Bartkowski from the Florida Panthers in exchange for right-winger Byron Bitz, right-winger Craig Weller and a second-round draft pick in 2010.
The main prize in this trade is Seidenberg, who should help the Boston Bruins become even better on their own blueline.
The Anaheim Ducks acquired defenseman Aaron Ward from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for goaltender Justin Pogge and a fourth-round draft pick in either 2010 or 2011.
Anaheim adds a defenseman in Ward that has won three Stanley Cups and should help them in the playoffs.
The Washington Capitals acquired right-winger Scott Walker from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in 2010. The addition of Walker to a team that boasts the likes of Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green should provide an element of grit to one of the league’s best teams.
The Vancouver Canucks acquired center Yan Stastny from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for left-winger Pierre-Cedric Labrie. Essentially a trade involving a depth player (Stastny) for a prospect (Labrie).
The Phoenix Coyotes acquired left-winger Wojtek Wolski from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for right-winger Peter Mueller and center Kevin Porter.
The Avs and Coyotes decided to swap two under-achieving former first-round picks (Wolski and Mueller), in hopes that a change of scenery would benefit each player.
The Phoenix Coyotes acquired defenseman Mathieu Schneider from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for defenseman Sean Zimmerman and a sixth-round draft pick in 2010.
Phoenix brings in an experienced power-play quarterback with a Stanley Cup on his resume (1992-93 Montreal Canadiens.)
The Kings acquired a veteran center in their push for the playoffs and the Lightning acquired a young prospect in Purcell.
The acquisition of Belanger, like Scott Walker, adds a physical veteran presence to the Caps.
The Calgary Flames acquired goaltender Vesa Toskala from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for goaltender Curtis McElhinney.
Toskala is reunited in Calgary with his former teammate in San Jose, Miikka Kiprusoff.
The Washington Capitals acquired defenseman Milan Jurcina from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a conditional sixth-round draft pick in 2010. The physical Jurcina, originally traded to Columbus earlier in the season, comes back to Washington for a playoff run.
The Phoenix Coyotes acquired right-winger Lee Stempniak from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for defenseman Matt Jones and fourth-and seventh-round draft picks in 2010.
Stempniak heads to Phoenix, where perhaps he can re-discover the form he showed in St. Louis where he once scored 27 goals.
The Washington Capitals acquired defenseman Joe Corvo from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for defenseman Brian Pothier, left-winger Oskar Osala and a second-round draft pick in 2010.
Corvo gives the Capitals another weapon at the point along with Mike Green, making their already excellent powerplay even more frightening.
Given that Modin has had a ton of injuries the past few years, this is a bit of a gamble for L.A. But if he’s healthy, he can provide some veteran leadership for the youthful Kings.
The Anaheim Ducks acquired goaltender Joey MacDonald from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in 2011. The Ducks needed more depth in goal beyond Jonas Hiller and Curtis McElhinney.
The Anaheim Ducks acquired defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for defenseman Ryan Whitney and a sixth-round pick in 2010. Each are very talented offensive-defensemen that needed a change of scenery.
The prospect didn’t have a future under Brian Burke in Toronto, perhaps he will with Ray Shero in Pittsburgh. The Nashville Predators acquired center Dustin Boyd from the Calgary Flames in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick in 2010.
Boyd has a bright future ahead of him in Nashville, unlike in Calgary where he didn’t fit into General Manager Darryl Sutter’s plans. The Vancouver Canucks acquired defenseman Andrew Alberts from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a third-round draft pick in 2010.
Vancouver was looking for some depth on the blueline and they got that in Alberts. The Calgary Flames acquired defenseman Steve Staios from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for defenseman Aaron Johnson and a third-round draft pick in 2010 or 2011.
The Flames felt that they needed more veteran leadership on their defense, and Staios provides them with that.
Carolina was clearly a seller at this year’s deadline, making seven different trades. Yelle heads back to Colorado, where he won the Stanley Cup in 2001. The Phoenix Coyotes acquired left-winger Alexandre Picard from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for center Chad Kolarik.
Picard clearly didn’t live up to the hype that came with being the eighth overall pick in 2004. He needed a change of scenery, and Columbus obliged.
The New York Rangers acquired defenseman Anders Eriksson from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for goaltender Miika Wiikman and a seventh-round draft pick in 2011. The Rangers wanted some veteran depth on defense, and they’ll get that out of Eriksson.
The Phoenix Coyotes acquired center Petteri Nokelainen from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick in 2010.
Nokelainen, formerly the 16th overall pick in 2004 by the Islanders, has turned into a bit of a journeyman and will give the Coyotes some depth. The Calgary Flames acquired defenseman Andy Delmore from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for center Riley Armstrong.
The Atlanta Thrasher acquired left-winger Clarke MacArthur from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for third-and fourth-round draft picks in 2010. MacArthur always had talent, but he could never reach his full potential in Buffalo. That, and he needed an awful lot of work to do on his defensive play. Perhaps he will be able to reach his potential in Atlanta.
The Buffalo Sabres acquired left-winger Raffi Torres from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for defenseman Nathan Paetsch and a second-round draft pick in 2010.
Paetsch was never able to get ample playing time in Buffalo because there were always better options on the Sabres’ defense. He will get that chance in Columbus. Torres will bring a gritty style of play to Buffalo and will also contribute by scoring some goals. He is exactly what the Sabres needed.