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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

NHL Trades Deadline, 2007

*UPDATE* (4:49 PM EST):
Joel Kwiatkowski was traded from the Florida Panthers to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a pick.

Jason Ward was traded from the LA Kings to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a pick.

Chicago traded Karl Stewart and a draft pick to Tampa Bay for a player who's name I can't pronounce.

Miko Lehtonen was traded from the Buffalo Sabres to Nashville for a draft pick.

Nolan Sheafer was traded from the San Jose Sharks to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a late round pick.

*UPDATE* (4:27 PM EST):
David Hale and a 5th round pick has been traded from the New Jersey Devils to the Calgary Flames 3rd rounder.

The Mattias Norstrom trade involved 7 parts to it. Mattias Norstrom, a prospect, a couple of mid-round draft picks to Dallas for Jaroslav Modry, Johan Fransson, and 3 early round draft picks.

The Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning have made a trade, but no specifics yet.

The deal that's brought Ryan Smyth to NY Islanders apparently took place within the last 20 minutes of the trade deadline. Most General Managers didn't even know he was available! I am again so surprised at the way the Oilers handled this situation. Smyth should have been signed this past summer. As a deal wasn't done, the Oilers should have set an earlier deadline of when to start calling up teams and put the news out there that he's fully available.

*UPDATE* (4:00 PM EST):
OK, Blogger's servers are on the fritz right now, so you'll get a bunch of updates at once.

*UPDATE* (3:55 PM EST):
The Bruins and St Louis have made a low level trade. Brad Boyes, of the Bruins, has been traded to the Blues for Dennis Wideman.

*UPDATE* (3:52 PM EST):
TFP is saying that the Blackhawks have made a deal, but there are no specifics at this time.

*UPDATE* (3:35 PM EST):
It is being confirmed that Ryan Smyth has been traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the NY Islanders. It's being said it's for a 1st round pick, Robert Nillson, and Ryan O'Mara. Wow. The Islanders are a point out of the playoffs right now, and Smyth will only help out their chances. Help out their chances a lot. Wow!

No new word on what the Dallas Stars dealt to get Mattias Norstrom.

*UPDATE* (3:26 PM EST):
It's being reported that Mattias Norstrom has been traded from the LA Kings to the Dallas Stars. The Stars had to make a move, and Norstrom is a huge addition. The biggest problem with the Stars come playoff time has been their goalie. Marty Turco has been the biggest choke artist come playoff time. He shines in the regular season and then just collapses in the playoffs. I'm surprised the Stars didn't make a push for a Biron type goalie. It's TBA what and/or who he was traded for.

A 3rd party team is saying that Ryan Smyth has been traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the NY Islanders for TBA. All I can if this is true is WOW. The Oilers couldn't get a contract done with Smyth, but he is the Oilers' best player and a fan favorite in Edmonton. If this is true, it's a huge deal. I'll keep you posted.

*UPDATE* (3:00 PM EST):
Last minute trades so far:
Rumor has it that Mattias Norstrom is being traded from the LA Kings. This would be huge for whoever gets him.

Scott Parker have been traded from the San Jose Sharks back to the Colorado Av.s for a draft pick.

The trade deadline is officially over, with no trades being announced in the past 30 minutes. There may be some last second trades still in the works, so there may be something to announce in a few minutes.

As I predicted, this season was pretty slow in the trades. But, some big trades were still made. The West were the biggest players in this trade year, with the Penguins being the only Eastern team to make any sort of splash. They only got better and didn't give up a lot in return. Like Nashville, Pittsburgh has a huge trough of young players and prospects still waiting in the wings, so they had some talent to spare. Buffalo made some moves, but they were more desperate than positive. The Sabres are so injured right now that it would take a Peter Forsberg like trade to make up for all the injuries. While the Thrashers got Tkachuk, most analysts agree that the Thrashers paid way too much for him. The Penguins are the big winners in the East, and I wouldn't be surprised if they went farther in the playoffs than any-one imagined. Expect them to be the Detroit Tigers of hockey this year.

In the West, lots of teams were doing business, but it seems that the Wings and the Sharks are the big winners. The Sharks got Guerin for much cheaper than the Thrashers go Tkachuk, and he will bring a much needed scoring touch to a team starved for scoring. While Anaheim made some moves, they did not make any of the big moves that most people thought they needed. While they have the best defensive duo in the league with Niedermeyer and Pronger and some great young players, they needed some toughness and a solid power forward. They did not make these moves, and I feel that San Jose have now added the best possible chance to over-take the Ducks in their division. Very disappointed with the Ducks.

After a 2nd line this season that looked anemic for scoring, the Wings have now added 2 players that can reignite some life and take some flack off of the first line. With Holmstrom-Datsyuk-Zetterberg on the first line, Calder-Lang-Bertuzzi on the 2nd line, Maltby-Draper-Franzen on the 3rd line, and Filpulla-Hudler-Samuelson on the 4th line, The Wings look very dangerous on paper. Although they only made 2 moves, the Wings have just stepped up their game a huge notch and have a huge physical answer to Nashville's Forsberg trade. If Bertuzzi can get back into game shape and stay healthy, he makes the Wings a formidable opponent this playoff year.

*UPDATE* (2:36 PM EST):
Shawn Matthias is the prospect that is being traded from the Wings to the Panthers for Bertuzzi. The conditional draft pick depends on how well the Wings and Bertuzzi does in the playoffs and if Bertuzzi resigns with the Wings after this season.

*UPDATE* (2:26 PM EST):
Dainius Zubrus and a minor league player has been traded from the Washington Capitals to the Buffalo Sabres for Jiri Novotny and a 1st round draft pick.

Yanic Perault is being shipped back to the Toronto Maple Leafs from the Phoenix Coyotes for Brendan Bell and a 2nd round pick.

The conference call with the league has been completed, and it's official. Bertuzzi is a Red Wing.

Pascal Dupuis has been traded from the NY Rangers to the Atlanta Thrashers for a prospect.

The Brad May trade was updated. Anaheim sent goalie, Michael Wall, to the Avs. With Bryzgalov and Gigi a hufe 1-2 goalie punch, the Ducks can afford to get rid of a goalie, and the Avs are desperate for some goalie help.

*UPDATE* (2:16 PM EST):
As of now, it's being said that the Florida Panthers have traded Todd Bertuzzi to the Detroit Red Wings for a conditional draft pick and a prospect. This is a done deal barring the conference call with the league. Analysis: Bertuzzi is a big hulking gritty power forward that, when at his best, can wear the opposing team down. In the playoffs, that's huge. However, he's been out all season with a back injury and hasn't played a game yet this season. He has 20 games to get back into game shape. I'm not sure it's enough time, but if he can rush back into form, he will be able to make a big impact on a team that's been lacking toughness and protection for its star players all season long.

Brad May has been traded from the Colorado Avalanche to the Anaheim Ducks for a TBA.

*UPDATE* (1:58 PM EST):
With only an hour left until the trade deadline, there's only one trade to talk about. Oleg Saprykin and a 7th round pick have been traded from the Phoenix Coyotes to the Ottawa Senators for a 2nd round pick.
The Ward trade has been updated, and the Bruins sent Paul Mara to the Rangers for the defenseman.

*UPDATE* (1:04 PM EST):
The New York Rangers have shipped Aaron Ward to the Boston Bruins for an undisclosed player. Rumors had it that the reason this trade happened, for a non-playoff team, is because of locker room tensions between Ward and Jagr. This is not the first time that Jagr has had problems with other players in the locker-room. Frankly, I never believed Jagr deserved to be the captain of a team. He's not a character player, and he's not a leader. He's an egotistical super-star. I think the Rangers need to rethink the leadership role they've placed Jagr in.

*UPDATE* (12:44 EST):
Several players have been claimed off of waivers:
Michael Leighton to Monteral, Brian Boucher is going to Columbus, Denis Hamel is going to Philly, Jason Krog is headed to Atlanta, and Niko Kapenan is shipping off to Phoenix.

*UPDATE* (12:21 PM EST):
Sorry I didn't update before now. I got busy with other things. Here's what's happened over the past few hours:
Dominic Moore has been traded from the Pittsburg Penguins to the Minnesota Wild for a draft pick.

Bill Guerin has been taken. The St Louis Blues forward has been traded to the San Jose Sharks for a 1st round draft pick, Ville Niemenan, and Jay Barriball. Analysis: Guerin came a little bit cheaper than Tkachuk did, but whether he can help turn around San Jose's losing streak of late remains to be seen.

George Laroque, the big forward from the Pheonix Coyotes, was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Dan Carcillo and a 2008 8th round draft pick. Analysis: With Pittsburgh making a surprising run this season, they have become buyers for the first time in years. I like what the Penguins are doing. They're showing that this season is not a fluke, and they are serious about going for a deep playoff run.

Columbus Blue Jackets back-up goalie was traded to the Buffalo Sabres for an undisclosed draft pick. Analysis: Buffalo traded for another back-up goalie immediately after trading away star back-up, a starter on any other team, Martin Biron to Philly for a 2nd round draft pick. I think the Sabres made a bad move. Unless Biron was begging for a trade or holding a gun to their heads, there is no reason the Sabres should have given Biron away for so little. A starting goalie on any other team without a Ryan Miller, the Sabres should have held out for more. If Miller gets injured in the playoffs and Conklin has to come in, that's it. The Sabres are out.

Rumors are circulating that the Washington Capitals are definitely shopping Danius Zubrus as he did not skate with the team today. While rumors like these have been circulating in regards to other players not seen in practice, on a day like today, unless he broke something, chances are that he is being traded.

*UPDATE* (8:40 AM EST):
TFP sources is confirming that the Gary Roberts trade has been finalized.

*UPDATE* (8:25 AM EST):
Nothing very exciting to report. The Roberts deal still hasn't been finalized. The only thing of interest to note is that the NY Rangers have unexpectedly announced that they are open to hearing trading options for Jaramir Jagr. Jagr is the captain of the Rangers and has had a less than stellar performance this season. This is admittedly due to the fact that Jagr has still been suffering from the effects of a severe shoulder injury he suffered in last year's playoffs. With play making skills like Jagr's, he obviously needs his arms to be in top form. However, I'm not sure there will be any takers for the Czech Republican. His price will be incredibly high.

*UPDATE* (5:02 AM EST):
While not a done deal yet, sources are saying that the Gary Roberts trade to Pittsburgh is a done deal. Sources are also saying that the deal is for Pittsburgh defenseman, Noah Welch. All Roberts has to do now is sign on the dotted line.

The other big rumor circulating is in regards to NY Islanders' Jason Blake. As I stated with the trade for Zednick, it does look like he was gotten in the situation that Blake is traded. It's looking more likely that he will be. The teams to be rumored to be the front runners for Blake are Detroit and San Jose. Detroit is said to still be looking at Florida's Todd Bertuzzi, but the price is said to be a bit high for a player that has been injured all season long and hasn't played yet and is a high risk gamble. Detroit is also interested in St Louis' Bill Guerin, but considering the price paid for team-mate, Keith Tkachuk, he may also be too expensive for any team to pay.

We're got back from Eilat last night, and, yes, we'll be posting about it a little bit later on, but for now, there are more important matters to discuss. Today, Tuesday, February 27th is the NHL's trade deadline. It closes at early this afternoon. As has become tradition at the French Hill, I will be giving constant updates and analysis on today's trades. This year is a little bit more strange than year's past. Playoff bound teams looking for "rental players", players that can help them with a playoff run, used to come at a fair price. This was before the salary cap. This year, more than last year, we are seeing the facts of every team having, for the most part, the same starting grounds. That means the price of rental players have moved from a money issue to a futures issue. It seems that the price of all the coveted players this year includes draft picks and prospects. That means that a playoff bound team has to essentially decide between getting better for a Stanley Cup run in the present and possibly gambling away Stanley Cup runs in the future. Of course, these prophecies can't be fulfilled until a team that gives up said future either gets bumped from the playoffs or wins the Chalice. If the team gets bumped early, the deal will be looked on as a complete wash-out. If the team wins it all, their GM will be looked on as a venerable genius.

Case in point: The biggest trade so far is Nashville trading 2 early round draft picks, a young promising player, and a highly rated prospect for international phenom, Peter Forsberg, from Philidelphia. That's a lot of potential futures for a player who will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season and might just sign back up with his former team. Up side to this trade: The Nashville Predators are an expansion team and have spent most of their short time in existence at the bottom of the playoff pool. This is the first real year that they're a solid playoff team that has a real shot at threatening for the Cup. Because they were so bad for so many years, though, they were able to get a lot of early round draft picks and have been able to cultivate a smörgåsbord's worth of young talent, highly touted prospects, and early draft picks. So, in the greater scheme of things, giving up this many futures for one player is actually a small price to pay for this team. Peter Forsberg is considered to be on the of the, if not THE, best all around hockey player in the world. Any team would be instantly better with him in the line-up. When he's at his best, he can carry an entire team on his back. With 2 Stanley Cups under his belt, he brings some much needed experience to a team that has never made it past the second round of the playoffs and is still very young. He's, in a word, phenomenal. On top of this, in an unfamiliar hockey territory such as Tennessee, a guy with as much clout as Peter puts fans in the stands, and that's always important.
Down Side: If Nashville gets booted early in the playoffs or doesn't win it all and Peter proceeds to resign with his old team, the Predators will look as though they got completely robbed by Philadelphia. Peter will return to a team that's gotten a hell of a lot better because of his trade, and Nashville will be left with nothing. However, the biggest problem with this trade is Peter's health. He's had a history of foot and ankle problems. He missed 16 games this season, alone, because of groin problems due to the foot issue and because he couldn't find skates that were comfortable for his ailment. He appears healthy now, but if he reinjures his foot in the slightest, he will not be able to be effective for the Predators in the playoffs.
All in all, I think this was a safe trade, give Nashville's position, and I wish Detroit had been able to pick him up.

That brings us to today. Peter's trade set the benchmark, and all selling teams have set the price for their players extremely high, and most playoff teams, or buyers, are not willing to sell their future for one temporary player. Most teams don't have the luxury of Nashville, and this year's trade deadline might be a little bit quieter than years past because of this problem. On to the trade-deadline:

Here are the major trades that have happened up until now:
Rumors keep circulating that despite Florida Panther Gary Roberts' demands that he will only waive his no-trade clause to play for Toronto or Ottawa, they have secured a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Now, all Roberts has to do is physically sign a wave to his no-trade clause. Nothing has been finalized, so it remains rumors until it's done.

Lots happened Monday night:
In a 3 way deal, Kyle Calder was traded from the Philadelphia Flyers to the Chicago Blackhawks for Lasse Kukkoned and a 3rd round pick. The Blackhawks then traded Calder to the Detroit Red Wings for Jason Williams. Analysis: I think the Wings and Flyers are the winners in this trade. The Flyers are piling up the early round picks and prospects this trade deadline season, as they start rebuilding after a dismal season that finds them last in the league. While Calder's stats don't suggest strong defensive play, a -31, don't be fooled. Chicago has had another bad season, and their overall poor play is the reason for Calder's stats. It does NOT reflect on his talent. He is still a young player, and he has much to offer to solve Detroit's lack of toughness and grittiness. He can also add some nice garbage goals on the power play. Jason Williams had a breakout season last year, with his first 20 goal season, but it really seems to have been a fluke. Aside from being injured this year, Williams may have been putting in some goals, but he has been a complete defensive disappointment. He's lazy in his own zone, and I'm glad we've gotten rid of him. Calder may just be what is needed to spark the 3rd line with Lang and Cleary. I, personally, hope that Robert Lang is the next guy on the chopping block.

Bryan Smolinski was traded from the Chicago Blackhawks to the Vancouver Canucks for a conditional 2nd round pick.

Brent Sopel returned to the Vancouver Canucks, after being traded from the LA Kings for a 2nd and 4th round draft picks.

Lawrence Nicholat was traded from the Washington Capitals to the Ottawa Senators for Andy Hedlund and a 6th round draft pick.

Richard Zednick was traded from the Washington Capitals to the New York Islanders for a 2nd round pick. Analysis: It's clear that the Caps are trying to revamp their lineup and understands that it really needs to start building around phenom Alexander Ovechkin instead of trying to make the playoffs. The Islanders' going after Zednick may be an indication that they're trying to shore up their lineup in case Jason Blake ends up getting traded.

Keith Tkachuk was traded from the St Louis Blues to the Atlanta Thrashers for Greg Metropolit, 1st and 3rd round draft picks in 2007 and a 2nd round pick in 2008. Analysis: Atlanta paid way too heavy a price for the 34 year old. Nashville didn't even give up this much for Forsberg, and, while Tkachuk is a strong power forward, he's not in the same league as Forsberg. Regardless of what the Thrashers do in the playoffs, with Keith being an unrestricted free agent after this season, I think Atlanta will pay a heavy price for this trade. This trade set a superficially gargantuan price for any first tier player, and this is the main reason why others of his caliber will NOT be moved before the deadline.

Craig Rivet was traded from the Montreal Canadians to the San Jose Sharks for Josh Gorges and a first round pick. Analysis: I think the Sharks got bitten in this one. While Rivet had a great season last year, he has been a disappointment this season. Give that, he was not worth a first round draft pick, and I don't think there's enough time for Rivet to get comfortable again.

Anson Carter was traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Caroline Hurricanes for a 5th round draft pick. Analysis: Carolina is the clear winner here. They gave up little for a gritty player that can also put the puck in the net.

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At 6:28 PM, Blogger shlemazl said...

Wow! This is a great summary - thanks.

Too bad Leafs did not dare to revamp the team to set themselves for the next year.

I bet on Pittsburgh for this year's cup, but then I haven't seen what the western teams are like.


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