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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Trade Deadline Upons Us

***Another warning for all you non sports or hockey fans: LOOK AWAY!!***
Last month, I wrote about the upcoming NHL trade deadline. Well, today the deadline is upon us. At 3:00 PM today, all 30 teams will have their final rosters sollidified. Play-off bound teams will have traded for some veteran help and will have tried to shore any holes that they have. Non play-off bound teams will have traded for some youth and to free up some salary room.

However, this year's trade dead-line will look significantly different than years past. Don't get me wrong. Many deals will be made, but, perhaps, there will not be that many blockbuster deals. First off, there's a salary cap. I think that GMs will be more cautious because they're not just looking at this season, but they're also looking at how any player will effect their salary cap room for the upcoming season. This cautious approach will most likely translate into not really seeing that many marquee players traded around. Next, the trade dead-line comes 40 days before the end of the season instead of about 20. That means that there more time for newly acquired players to gel, but it also means that there might me less teams that see themselves as being definitively out of the playoff hunt. This will, most likely, effect the lattitude that teams see themselves as having in giving up core players for younger talent.

In any case, the new system is gearing up for some interesting trades and rumors. A lot of good stuff has already happened. No team's sleeping right now. I'll be going through the trades already made, and I'll also will be updating throughout the day until the 3:00 PM trade dead-line arrives.
(Hat Tip: NHL.com; Hockey Trade Romors; The Fourth Period)
-Montreal Canadadians-
The Montreal Canadiens stunned the hockey world by shipping the struggling Theodore to the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night for Swiss national 'keeper David Aebischer.

This is the first big blockbuster trade so far, and it is a stunner. At the start of the Olympic break, the Canadians' front office declared that they had no intention of trading Theodore, a Hart Trophy winner. They stated that they were going to assist Theodore in getting past the huge hump that he's been in this season. Well, so much for honesty. Either, they weren't telling the truth at that interview, or when he broke his heel, walking down icy steps, during the Olympic break, the Canadians decided that they just didn't have the effort needed to support Theodore's come-back.

Personally, I believe that the change of scenery is just what Theodore needs to get back into his all-star winning ways. Like Detroit, and even more so, Montreal is a tough place to play hockey. With 23 Stanley Cups, the Canadians and Montreal is steeped in hockey tradidtion, playing there means you play to win. Not just to win, but to win the Stanley Cup. Every year this team doesn't make the playoffs or doesn't make the playoffs, the town-folk let the players hear about it. It can be a down-right pressure cooker. Some people thrive in that kind of environment, and some people wilt. I think Jose may have just caved under the pressure to carry the team on his back into the playoffs.

However, I'm very surprised that the Avalanche was the team to pick him up. I was figuring a team like the Oilers or even the Canucks were more likely to pick him up. I did not hear anything about Aebischer being on the chopping block or that the orginization felt that they needed to replace him with another goalie. Aebischer is a very good goalie. Having studied under the tutalage of super-goalie Patrick Roy, David established himself as a very capable #1 goalie. Now, the Av.s are heading for the playoffs. But, now, Jose won't be healthy under just around playoff time. He hasn't played much this season, and the Av.s might have to rely on non-tested rookie goal-tender, Budaj, to carry him through the playoffs. I don't think it's the year of the Av.s, but next year will be exciting to see if Jose can return to his old form.

-Edmonton Oilers-
The day began with Roloson filling Edmonton's goaltending needs. Oilers GM Kevin Lowe pulled off his much-anticipated move. But he sounded far from relieved after acquiring the 36-year-old veteran from the Minnesota Wild for a 2006 first-round draft pick and a conditional pick.

It's been much rumored that Edmonton was looking to solidify their goaltending situation, and that Minnesota had two capable #1 goalies in Dwayne Roloson and Manny Fernandez, so it was likely that one of them would go this time around. Well, when the Wild signed Fernandez to a big contract exension, it was obvious which one they saw as expendable. I think Roloson is more than capable to helping the Oilers make the playoffs. Other than that, there really isn't much to say about this trade since it really was expected, and I'm not surprised at all that it was the Oilers that made the deal. I'm just surprised that the Wild didn't really ask for anything in return.

The smaller deals:
-The Toronto Maple Leafs traded Ken Klee to the New Jersey Devils for Alex Suglobov. The Leafs also got Luke Richardson from the Columbus Blue Jackets for some draft picks.
-The LA Kings traded Denis Grebeshkov, Jeff Tambillini, and a conditional pick to the New York Islanders for Mark Parrish and Brent Sopel.
I don't really understand this deal on the part of the Islanders because Parrish and Sopel are both established and good players. The only explanation that could be garnered is that the Islanders now realize that their playoff prospects are slim and are clearing up salary room as Parrish is becoming a free agent this summer.
-The San Jose Sharks got feisty player, Ville Nieminen, from the New York Ranger in exchange for a draft pick.
-The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim traded Joel Stepp to the Atlanta Thrashers for goalie, Jani Hurme.

Waivers:
-Tampa Bay - Norm Milley
-Phoenix - Philippe Sauve
-Philadelphia - Turner Stevenson
-Atlanta - Rico Fata
-Chicago - Andy Hilbert
So, far the Boston Bruins claimed Mariusz Czerkawski off of waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs. I also expect that, at least, Sauve, Stevenson, and Fata will be claimed by the end of the day.

We'll see how things progress and keep you updated.


**UPDATE:**
-The Chicago Blackhawks traded Todd Simpson to the Montreal Canadians for a draft pick.
-The New York Islanders have traded Brad Lukowich to the New Jersey Devils for a draft pick.
-The New Jersey also traded Sean Brown to the Vancouver Canucks for a draft pick.
-The Phoenix Coyotes traded Denis Gauthier to the Philadelphia Flyers for Josh Gratton and a draft pick. The Coyotes also traded Sean O'Donnell to the Mighty Ducks for Joel Perrault
-In an expexted move, the Buffalo Sabres unloaded one of their fabulous trio of goalies, Mika Noronen to the Vancouver Canucks for a draft pick. I'm surprised the Sabres didn't want more for him, but since they've been doing so well this season, maybe they figured they didn't need something huge in return.
-Jeff Friesen was traded by the Washington Capitals to the Mighty Ducks for a draft pick.
-One of the Pittsburgh Penguins' failed big off season acquisitions, Mark Recchi was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes for a draft pick, Kris Kolanos, and Niklas Nordgren. Another big move by the Hurricanes to shore up an already steller team.

With less than an hour left left to go until the trade deadline is over, here are some players still rumored to be on the trading block:
-Sergei Samsonov (Bruins)
-Brendan Witt (Capitals)
-Coyotes might still be offering up Cujo and high scorer, Mike Comrie
-The Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks are still looking to move players.
More updates to come as they happen!!

**UPDATE #2, 2:28 PM**:
-A guy who's always been a steady and dependable guy on defense, The Mighty Ducks' Keith Carney has been traded to Vancouver for a draft pick and prospect. Again, I understand why the Canucks would be after a steller player like Carney, but I'm confused at why the Mighty Ducks would risk their playoff hopes and expectations by trading away a guy like Carney. He practically back-stopped, besides Jiggy, the Ducks to a suprise Stanley Cup win back in '03.
-In an very expected move, the Detroit Red Wings has dumped Jamie Rivers to the Coyotes for a late draft pick. Rivers has been a dissapointment for the Wings. He's barely played in the past couple of seasons, and when he has, he has not played well. The Wings have been looking to get rid of him for most of the season. I believe doing it now shows that the Wings are looking to open up some cap room for a veteran stay at home defenseman that they've been talking about the past couple of months.

**UPDATE #3, 2:47 PM**:
-The New York Rangers have just acquired Sandish Ozolinsh from the Mighty Ducks for a draft pick. Ozolinsh has had some problems this season. He just came back from completing a Substance Abuse Rehab program. However, when he's on his game, he's a very smart offensive defenseman. If he gets back on his game, the surprise of the season, the Rangers will have a great addition to their line-up in time for their playoff run.
JUST 9 MINUTES LEFT!!

**UPDATE #4, 3:01 PM**:
In the last 10 minutes of the trade deadline, here's what happened:
-Washington Capitals' traded Brendan Witt (He requested a trade.), to the Nashville Predators for an unexpected first round draft pick and Kris Beech.
-The Pittsburgh Penguins traded Cory Cross to the Detroit Red Wings for a draft pick. I guess this is the depth veteran defenseman the Wings were looking for. I don't know much about him, but the Wings have had a knack for getting these mostly ignored core players. They also can afford to give up draft picks as their scouts are natoriously famous for picking out diamonds in the rough that the Wings get in the late rounds.
-The Vancouver Canucks traded Steve McCarthy to the Atlanta Thrasher for a draft pick.
-The Boston Bruins have traded Sergei Samsonov to the Edmonton Oilers for a yet to be determined trade.
-The Ottawa Senators traded Brandon Bochenski to the Chicago Blackhawks for Tyler Arnason. Arnason has been one of the hawks' failed off-season acquisitions, and he's been the one most rumored to go, so no surprise here.
Now, eventhough the trade dead-line has passed, deals can still be announced for the rest of the day, so I will keep you posted as the rest of the deals get announced.

**FINAL UPDATE, 5:09 PM**:
OK, so I think these are the final deals are as follows: (If there's any more, I'll update them tomorrow. I'll also have a post about who I think were the biggest winners in today's trades.)
-Samsonov trade update- For Samsonov, the Oilers sent the Bruins Marty Reasoner, Yan Stastny, and a draft pick.
-The Colorado Avalanche acquired Jim Dowd from the Chicago Blackhawks for a draft pick.
-The San Jose Sharks traded Niko Dimitrakos to the Phildelphia Flyers for a draft pick. Another surprise for me since I think Niko's a pretty good player. I wonder how the Sharks view their playoff hopes. I thought they had a chance. Hmmm...
-The Dallas Stars have traded Martin Skoula and Shawn Belle to the Minnesota Wild for Willie Mitchell and a draft pick.
-In another surprise, the New York Islanders traded Oleg Kvasha to the Phoenix Coyotes for a draft pick. I think today's trades by the Islanders show that they know this season was an unfortunate loss for them, and they're looking to rebuild with draft picks and younger cheaper players.
-The Phoenix Coyotes then traded Jamie Lundmark to the Calgary Flames for a draft pick. They also traded Tim Jackman to the LA Kings for Yannick Lehoux
-The St Louis Blues unloaded another heavy price player as they traded Eric Weinrich to the Vancouver Canucks for a draft pick.
-The Calgary Flames traded Jason Weimer to the New Jersey Devils for a draft pick.
-The Florid Panthers have traded Petr Teticek to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Rick Jackman, another Penguin that was heavily rumored to be on their way out.

That should be it. We'll see when I wake up tomorrow!!

4 Comments:

At 1:08 AM, Blogger Ezzie said...

Ugh. Hockey. Not even a real sport... ;)

 
At 1:35 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Oooh, Ez, don't go there. ;-p

 
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At 7:17 PM, Blogger Askinstoo said...

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