Trade Deadline Analysis

We’ll be covering the NHL Trade Deadline all day here at Hockey or Die, updating this post as the day goes by and analyzing trades as they happen.

[4:22] And, as it seems everything is settled now, we end the non-stop trade deadline coverage.  Thanks for reading, everyone.

[4:12] Apparently the Canucks were approached about Cory Schneider, but were never offered sufficient return.

[4:09] Another minor deal coming through now; Stephane Yelle has returned to Colorado.

[4:02] The Oilers have made another deal, sending Steve Staios to Calgary for Aaron Johnson and a 3rd round draft pick.  An unqualified win for Steve Tambellini.

[3:55] Edmonton radio guy Jason Gregor is predicting that the Oilers have one more trade to announce, likely involving Ethan Moreau.

[3:53] The Blue Jackets have sent a decent AHL forward in Alexandre Picard to Phoenix for Chad Kolarik, another decent AHL forward.  Looks like a “change of scenery” trade.

[3:50] “The only thing I hate about not having a first or second round pick is having my guys sit around for a couple of hours.” – Brian Burke.

[3:46] Nashville has added Dustin Boyd from Calgary in exchange for a fourth round draft pick.  Boyd has some offensive ability but isn’t anything special.

[3:44] The Oilers have also picked up a sixth round pick in the Whitney/Visnovsky trade.

[3:40] Toronto has acquired prospect Chris Peluso from Pittsburgh in exchange for a sixth round pick.  It’s a fairly insignificant move for both teams, and Peluso’s a fringe prospect.

[3:38] Ryan Whitney is a one-dimensional offensive defenceman who has never had success against decent opposition; he can handle a second-pairing role and put up points on the power play.  Visnovsky’s a great two-way player who puts up more offence.  Aside from the difference in age and size, Visnovsky’s the superior player in every respect.

[3:30] Edmonton has dealt Lubomir Visnovsky to Anaheim in exchange for Ryan Whitney.  Anaheim’s the big winner right now, and I’m not at all sure what I think of this deal from Edmonton’s perspective.

[3:29] Florida has picked up Mathieu Roy from Columbus in exchange for prospect Matt Rust.  Roy’s a useful depth guy and while Rust is a lower-tier prospect (he can score a bit but he’s tiny) I think this is agood trade for the Jackets and not one I understand from a Panthers perspective.

[3:24] The cost for Alberts is apparently a third-round pick, and while I realize the Canucks had some injuries on their back end, wow.  Big overpay by Vancouver.

[3:18] Joey MacDonald is now the fourth goalie traded to/from Anaheim today.  The Ducks give the Leafs a late pick for the AHL goalie.

[3:14] Andrew Alberts joins the Canucks.  Alberts is useful enough in a depth role but the Canucks have done a lot more for the Manitoba Moose than they have for their NHL team.

[3:11] Not satisifed with adding only Jurcina, Washington has acquired Joe Corvo from Carolina in exchange for Brian Pothier and Oskar Osala.  Washington didn’t upgrade by very much, but then they didn’t pay very much either.

[3:09] Lee Stempniak has been sent to Phoenix for two late draft picks; an interesting move for the Coyotes to pick up a useful rental player, and good work by Toronto to get some sort of return.

[3:06] That Oilers/Bruins deal appears to have been shot down by Bruce Garrioch, who says that Boston made no moves that we don’t know about.

[3:04] Fredrik Modin may have been dealt to Los Angeles.

[3:00] The deadline is past but we’ll continue hearing about deals for some time yet.  The Oilers may have a deal in place with Boston, with the names mentioned being Andrew Cogliano, Steve Staios and Michael Ryder.

[2:55] Continuing with the non-trade news, Dan Hamhuis will not be dealt by Nashville.

[2:52] Ray Whitney is off the market and will not be dealt.  Another victory for the no-trade clause.  It also sounds like Sheldon Souray will not be dealt after an infection to his hand makes it less likely that he’ll play again this year.

[2:49] Milan Jurcina has been returned to Washington.  I imagine the Blue Jackets will give Paetsch a shot at his spot, and I’m a little surprised to see the Capitals re-acquire this player as a depth defenceman.

[2:42] Rumour has it that the Leafs will be able to move Lee Stempniak.  Also in the rumour department, it sounds like Philadelphia is going to keep going with Michael Leighton, which just goes to show that ‘what have you done for me lately’ is a malady that also affects NHL general managers.

[2:37] Clarke MacArthur dealt to Atlanta.  The Sabres have received a third- and fourth-round draft pick in exchange, which makes some sense; MacArthur has essentially evolved into a useful bottom-six guy but Buffalo clearly feels they’ve upgraded by adding Torres.

[2:29] Torres is likely to be only a rental player, as he’s expressed his desire to sign with Toronto next year.  That said, if the Leafs play hardball I wonder if Buffalo would be an acceptable alternative?

[2:24] The Torres trade sees a second round pick and Nathan Paetsch heading the other way, according to the Columbus Dispatch.  A nice addition for Buffalo, and I’m curious to see if Paetsch gets more ice-time in Columbus.  He was a great scoring defenceman in the WHL and AHL and had one fine year in Buffalo in 2006-07.  As for Torres, I’ve always liked him and he fits perfectly in Buffalo; he can score a bit but is also a reliable two-way player with a vicious streak.

[2:20] Raffi Torres has been dealt to Buffalo for a player and a pick.

[2:19] I know that some pretty amazing men are NHL GM’s, but it’ll take a lot of effort to make a move as needlessly stupid as Sutter’s acquisition of Toskala.  It’s a good thing for Flames fans that he won’t be playing.

[2:11] The conditional pick heading to Vancouver in the Schneider deal is a sixth round selection, and they also pick up depth defenceman Sean Zimmerman, who is certainly slated for Manitoba.

[2:09] I should retract some of that surprise.  The only thing the Sutter-run Flames like better than iffy youngsters in the back-up position is washed-up veterans.

[2:07] Garnet Exelby could still find himself in a different city by the end of the day; a beat reporter in Philadelphia indicates that the Flyers have some interest.

[2:04] Wow.  Apparently the Flames have taken Toskala in exchange for McElhinney.  The only word I have is astonishement; seriously, who thinks ‘I need a reliable backup goalie’ and comes up with ‘Vesa Toskala’ as the answer?  I know he has history with Kiprusoff but this deal makes no sense whatsoever.

[2:02] Still no word on return, but it seems that Anaheim has picked up McElhinney.  It makes good sense if they’re still hoping for a playoff berth; they traded Pogge earlier today and we all know that Vesa Toskala is a lousy goaltender.

[2:00] Wild forward Owen Nolan is a hot commodity right now; according to beat reporter Michael Russo many teams have phoned to ask about his availability but the Wild are leaning towards not trading him.

[1:56] It sounds more and more like the Leafs may move Tomas Kaberle.  It seems like everyone is passing along some story or another about how he’s now willing to waive his NTC for the right deal.

[1:52] Eric Belanger will be a big help in Washington.  A second round pick seems like a little more than fair market value, but even so he’s a tremendous player in his own end.  He was on of Jacques Lemaire’s go-to players for defensive zone draws last year in Minnesota and has retained that role under Todd Richards.  A much better trade for Washington than the Scott Walker deal.

[1:49] Calgary has supposedly dealt backup goalie Curtis McElhinney, although there are no details at this point. 

[1:46] Whoah.  The Kings gave up Ted Purcell and a third round pick for Halpern.  I know Purcell’s having a poor season but Brian Lawton just fleeced the Kings.  A clear win for Tampa Bay, who not only get the assets but also clear a bunch of salary.  Smart.

[1:44] Remember that comment about Belanger from about 10 minutes ago?  He’s been traded to Washington for a second round pick.  I’ve always liked Belanger, who does all those little defensive things that every team needs.

[1:39] Getting back to the Mathieu Schneider trade, the Canucks apparently get a draft pick from the Coyotes if the defenceman clears waivers.  If I were a team with a vested interest in the failure of both Vancouver and Phoenix, I think I’d look at claiming him.  Colorado has lots of cap space…

[1:36] I’d hate to be an NHL’er on deadline day.  Michael Russo passes on an exchange with Wild forward Eric Belanger, who asked him if he should go out on to the ice for practice.

[1:32] The Kings have acquired Jeff Halpern from the Lightning.  Halpern has had a ridiculous number of own zone faceoffs this year, he kills penalties, he’s tough, and he wins faceoffs.  Theo ne negative is that he’s fairly expensive for the rest of the year, but dependant on return, I like this deal for Los Angeles.

[1:21] The Oilers are denying that they’re close to sending Tom Gilbert to Buffalo.

[1:21] The Canucks have reportedly dealt Mathieu Schneider to Phoenix.  As soon as details show up I’ll have them, but that’s just a strange deal on the face of it.  I wonder if perhaps there’s some confusion with Cory Schneider, who would make some sense.

[1:15] The reason the Blues were willing to trade Stastny for (essentially) nothing is that Stastny is on a one-way deal while Labrie is not.  Vancouver just bought themselves a little bit of depth, and they needed it (although I question the choice of player).

[1:11] No chance the Oilers are done.  According to Bob Stauffer, the Oilers are likely to recall both Johan Motin and Dean Arsene from Springfield.  The most likely reason is because two of Tom Gilbert, Lubomir Visnovsky and Steve Staios won’t finish the day as Oilers.

[1:05] Kouleas is really hammering home the point that first round picks have incredibly high trade value, and I think he’s bang on when it comes to that point.  I don’t like them as much as he does, because they’re essentially lottery tickets, but he’s bang on about their trade value.  It’s just that sometimes a team gets Keith Tkachuk and sometimes they get Shawn Antoski.

[12:55] Detroit trades Kris Newbury to the Rangers for Jordan Owens.  Neither player should have much NHL impact.

[12:46] The rumours that Peter Mueller would be moved have come to fruition: he’s on his way to ColoradoKevin Porter goes with him and Colorado sends Wojtek Wolski back the other way.  That’s just a weird trade by Colorado, since right now Wolski is easily the best of the three players.  Mueller’s a good player who I think is better than he’s shown this season, and Porter is a good prospect who will probably end up as a third-liner in the NHL, but neither is close to Wolski at this point in time.  Wolski’s a one-dimensional player who can add offence but not much else.  Phoenix wins today but over the long haul I suspect Colorado might win this deal.  With both of these teams in the thick of the playoff chase, I’m very surprised to see Colorado sell like this.

[12:40] My question about why the Canucks would pick up Stastny has been answered; all they had to give up was one Pierre-Cedric Labrie, who as far as I can tell has almost no value.  Probably just an AHL depth move almost completely unconnected to the NHL roster. 

[12:36] Great questions about the Oilers pickup of Ryan Jones from Nashville raised in this article.  I have to admit that I don’t have the answers, but the questions are certainly relevant.

[12:32] Vancouver has apparently added Yan Stastny from the Blues.  I know he’s dirt cheap but he’s really not an NHL calibre player; weren’t there better depth players they could add?

[12:29] The Capitals have picked up Scott Walker from the Hurricanes for a seventh round pick.  Walker makes $2.5 million this season and seems like a bit of an extravagance for Washington, given that he’s probably #12 or #13 on their forward depth chart.

[12:24] In addition to the live blog at BDHS, three other Score Federation blogs are doing Trade Deadline coverage: Sens Chirp, Maple Leafs Hot Stove, and Canucks Hockey Blog.

[12:20] Not much happening right now, so I went over and read the blogging coverage over at Black Dog Hates Skunks.  Funny stuff.

[12:05] The Oilers have claimed Ryan Jones off waivers from Nashville.  A nice pickup for the Oilers; Jones doesn’t bring much scoring but he’s a capable two-way fourth liner. 

[12:00] I just wanted to remind everyone that Steve Kouleas is on The Score right now as part of our network’s television coverage of the NHL trade deadline.

[11:51] James Mirtle reminds us all that Derek Morris had to waive his no-trade clause to accept a move to Phoenix.  I have to think there’s a good chance they re-sign him this summer.

[11:49] Carolina has traded defenceman Aaron Ward to Anaheim in exchange for a fourth round pick and goaltender Justin Pogge.  Pogge’s having a nice AHL season and it’s interesting to see the Hurricanes getting him tossed into the deal.  I don’t get this deal from Anaheim’s perspective; despite Ward’s vaunted Stanley Cup experience he’s having a terrible season.  I don’t know why the Ducks would pay anything for this guy given what else is available today.  Winner: Carolina.

[11:43] A relatively big trade just went down.  Boston has acquired defenceman Dennis Seidenberg from Florida along with prospect Matt Bartkowski in exchange for a second round pick, Byron Bitz and Craig Wellar.  I’m of the mind that the second round pick is the biggest part of the deal from Florida’s perspective, because Wellar is a fringe NHL’er and Bitz is big but otherwise a fairly generic fourth liner.  I actually like this trade a lot from Boston’s perspective, because I think very highly of Seidenberg, a serially underrated defenceman who plays top quality opponents, pays the price physically, and adds a little offence besides.  The other thing is that while Bartkowski was a late pick in 2008 (and an overager to boot) he’s had some nice seasons in the USHL and NCAA and could surprise.  A nice trade for both sides, and because Seidenberg only makes $2.25 million the Bruins still have some cap room.

[11:32] We’ve known for a while now that Slava Kozlov wants out of Atlanta. We also know that he’s struggled this season and that there probably aren’t a lot of teams lining up to acquire him. In any case, he made a bunch of really interesting comments (passed on by Jay Grossman), indicating that he might move on to the KHL. He was also highly critical of coach John Anderson, and while it’s unsurprising that he feels that way it’s highly surprising that he would say it publicly while still a Thrasher.
[11:19] The return on Skoula is a fifth round pick. Very nice move by the Leafs to flip the player, but then again New Jersey is adding a guy familiar with Jacques Lemaire and getting paid barely more than the league minimum, so they didn’t fare too badly either. Even if Skoula ends up as seventh defenceman, this wasn’t a lousy move.
[11:15] Apparently the Oilers are discussing a Tom Gilbert trade. If he ends up being dealt, that will mean that Steve Tambellini has moved both of his young top-four defenceman during the worst season of their careers. I hope this isn’t true, as I can’t see him getting a decent return on the player at this juncture.
[11:13] Doing some more digging, I came across this excellent article from the Minnesota Tribune. There’s a lot of gold in there, both on Lemaire and on Skoula, but this quote puts most of it in a nutshell:

“Skoula makes a lot of good things [happen] on the ice,” said Lemaire, noting his size and mobility. “I look at one of the worst games that he played there [against San Jose], and he still does good things on the ice. At times he relaxes. That’s when he makes mistakes. So what do you do?”

[11:07] I was trying to dig up some fun Jacques Lemaire quotes on Skoula from their time together in Minnesota, so I did a Google search. The top result was this less than inspiring question.

[10:58] The man in the picture above has made a move, sending defenceman Martin Skoula to New Jersey. Skoula joined the Leafs last night in the Ponikarovsky trade, and makes it look a little better. I didn’t think the Leafs would be able to flip Skoula, despite his cheap contract, because he’s struggled the last few seasons. I’m not sure what the return is, but assuming it’s a late draft pick or a fringe prospect this is a good trade by Brian Burke.

[10:39] Not much return at all, as it turns out; all that Phoenix had to give up to bring Morris back was a fourth round draft pick. Ultimately for the Bruins the impact of this deal will depend on what they can bring in with their newly-cleared cap space, but for the Coyotes this is a pretty clear win. He’s a pending free agent, he’s familiar with the team, and he could very well be re-signed at a reduced rate in the summer. All of that, and all the Coyotes had to give up was a late pick. Nice work by Don Maloney.

[10:31] Morris has had a pretty good season in Boston and despite the fact that he’s never been able to replicate his pre-lockout offence has turned into a pretty good two-way defenceman. Given his salary, however, I can’t imagine the Coyotes paid a lot for him.

[10:24] The Bruins have apparently cleared some cap space, sending defenceman Derek Morris to Phoenix, where he spent five seasons. No word on return as of yet.

[10:13] Sheldon Souray has softened on the list of teams he’ll be willing to waive his no-trade clause to join, reportedly expanding the list to include 19 clubs. The wrinkle? No Canadian teams, which I assume is related to the irritation of having to leave the country to visit his family in California.

[10:07] According to Minnesota Wild beat reporter Michael Russo, the Wild have dealt forward Robbie Earl to Calgary. No word on return as of yet, but I can’t imagine it will be much; Earl’s now had two consecutive seasons where he can’t score in the AHL and is already 24 years old. Russo’s a funny guy. Robbie Earl has been recalled by Minnesota, who are playing in Calgary, not traded. Sorry, everyone.

[10:02] The big story so far this morning is that Tomas Vokoun has submitted a list of teams to management in Florida that he’d be willing to waive his no-trade clause to join. One of those teams is Philadelphia, and according to Flyers beat reporter Tim Panaccio the Panthers are asking for Jeff Carter in exchange. I don’t see that happening, particularly given the number of goalies on the market (although I’ll admit Vokoun’s the best of the lot).

[9:56] All the times indicated on the left are Eastern Time, and I’ll be using them to indicate when stuff happens as the day goes on. I thought it might be nice to start with a look at a trade made last night between Montreal and St. Louis. The Canadiens sold low on Matt D’Agostini, swapping him to the Blues in favour of Aaron Palushaj. D’Agostini is suffering through a miserable season but did a lot of things right last year and in both the AHL and junior. Palushaj is also struggling this year, but his struggles have taken place in the AHL; he has a fine NCAA and USHL track record but in his first year of pro hockey he has been limited to five goals and 22 points in 44 games. The one area where Palushaj has an edge is that he’s willing to mix it up a bit despite his relatively small stature. Winner: St. Louis.