March 04, 2009

Trade Deadline Thoughts

The one disappointment for me this trade deadline was that the team I was going to pick as a "sleeper" this post-season just vaulted themselves into serious contender status. Good on Calgary for being aggressive in a buyers market.

First they brought in Jordan Leopold, a former Flames defenseman who knows the team already. They needed to upgrade their blue line, and did so nicely.

Then they reeled in the biggest fish of the day - Olli Jokinen. Every team in the league wants to add a big strapping center this time of year, but only Calgary got the job done. True, he's never played in the playoffs, but he's a Mike Keenan favorite and could compliment Jarome Iginla very well.

Chemistry should not be a problem here. The Flames should be able to assimilate each player fairly quickly, given previous relationships with each player.

The Flames just joined the Sharks and Wings in the west as top contenders. I do wonder if Kiprusoff can hold up playing this many games, but Calgary is looking like a real threat this post season.

Some more random thoughts -

Buffalo - good job by Buffalo for identifying a player, Dominic Moore, who fits their system nicely. Buffalo is strong down the middle.

Boston - I'm not as big of a fan of Mark Recchi as others, but I really like the Steve Montador pick up. He's a good depth defenseman who plays with gumption and can clear the puck.

Toronto - Burke did as expected, dumping two players he did not want back, Antropov and Moore, and getting two second round draft picks in return.

More interestingly, they announced Vesa Toskala is done for the year, undergoing season ending surgery. They picked up Martin Gerber on waivers to join Johnny Bower Curtis Joseph for the rest of the season. Presumably they want to give Justin Pogge a look, too.

In a curious move the Leafs also picked up the tab for Tampa's Olaf Kolzig and Jamie Heward, who are both likely injured for the rest of the season. The two teams traded minor league defensemen as well, but the key to this deal is Tampa giving Burke a 4th round pick. Essentially, Toronto has the cap room and the cash and are buying a draft pick. I'm surprised it was only at 4th rounder though.

There is some suggestion that Tampa was looking to dump salary to reach a revenue sharing target, too. Welcome to the "new" NHL.

Tampa - putting that complicated Kolzig deal aside, the trade that caught my attention was Eminger for Noah Welch and a third.

The new owners/management in Tampa have screwed up time and time again, but never more so than trading Dan Boyle away, in exchange for Matt Carle in a cap squeeze trade. Carle was traded for Eminger and loose cannon Steve Downie.

Essentially now, Tampa this season traded Dan Boyle, likely Norris Trophy finalist, for Noah Welch, a third, and a guy who just assaulted a minor league linesman. Nice.

Just a note on Eminger: He was a real standout in junior, but has never really found his way in the NHL. Maybe he will find his way in Florida. Why? His junior coach was Peter DeBoer, now the coach in FLA.

Pittsburgh - The pick up Bill Guerin, who, along with Chris Kunitz, will look good on a new line Sidney Crosby. That being said, Guerin is a well travelled guy who hasn't really done much in a decade.

Three Way Trade - In a complicated deal Erik Cole goes back to Carolina, Patrick O'Sullivan to Edmonton and Justin Williams to LA.

I get Cole going back home to Carolina to be reunited with Eric Staal. I get Edmonton dumping salary and getting a good youngster in Patrick O'Sullivan, even though I'm not sold on him personally. I'm not sure why LA wanted Williams so bad, but that has been the rumour for a while now. He's a great guy, tireless worker, but injury prone and a break from LA's game plan of stock piling great young talent.

Edmonton - Oilers also add Ales Kotalik for a 2nd. A 2nd for a UFA rental like Kotalik is a high price. He's great in the shootout, so he might get the Oilers a couple of extra points to make the playoffs yet.

San Jose - Nice additions with rugged winger Travis Moen and a capable depth defenseman in Kent Huskins.

Vancouver - I'm disappointed they did not pick up a third line center to replace Wellwood. With Kesler on line two, they needed a grittier, more defensive presence in the three hole. And they needed to improve their PK.

Chicago - They picked up Sami Pahlsson, the Stanley Cup standout from a few years back. He sure would've looked good in Vancouver. And hey, it's looking like Vancouver-Chicago may be a first round match up. And Pahlsson is a noted Sedin silencer.

Pahlsson currently is battling mono, though. He's listed as day to day.

New York & Phoenix - In addition to Antropov the Rangers also got the, in my opinion, highly over-rated Derek Morris. But he might fade in nicely in the Big Apple.

The Coyotes assimilate three players in return for the UFA rental. Petr Prucha has some talent and Nigel Dawes has some great speed, and Kalinin might be a salvageable project. From a hockey stand point it's interesting in that the "prospects" Phoenix got are all NHLers already.

There may be more at stake here though. The Rangers were probably looking at shedding cap space, while the Coyotes may have been looking to inflate expenditures to meet revenue sharing goals?

Philadelphia - The Flyers were pretty quiet by their standards, but they got Dan Carcillo who will soon be a Flyers fan favorite.

The best thing about Trade Deadline Day 2009? I found a serviceable use for Twitter!

By the way, this was my first trade deadline I took off from my so-called real job. I don't know that I'll do that again.

While there were good moments, I found the 4 channels and 50 or more combined hours of television coverage to be excessive, over-analytical, tedious and at times down right irritating. And I only watched TSN from 8am to 2pm PST.

I think next year I'll just keep tabs on all the activity via Illegal Curve's live blog. Richard Pollack did an amazing job of whimsically summarizing all the activity and the drama.

If you are looking for a good place to catch up on all of today's events, be sure to tune into the Illegal Curve radio show tonight.


Pieless said...

What I can't figure out is why Vancouver didn't pick up Brendan Morrison on waivers. I think he'd be a great fit between Pyatt and Bernier, better than Wellwood at least, and he's already use to playing under Vigneault. The only reasons I can see why they wouldn't have picked him up are that they don't want to take on his contract, or something happened when he left in the off-season that would cause them not to want him back.

Joe Pelletier said...

Pieless - it is possible that Vancouver did put a claim in on Morrison. But because Dallas is lower in the standings, they would get first dibs.


Pieless said...

Oh, I wasn't aware that's how it worked, good to know. Thanks for the informative reply and generally great blog. :)