With the official 3:00 PM deadline just a couple of hours away, the trades are slowly starting to pick up. A couple of veteran defenceman are on the move as the Washington Capitals have acquired Dennis Wideman from Florida and the Phoenix Coyotes have swapped a couple of players with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

In his second move of the day, Dale Tallon traded Dennis Wideman for a 2011 3rd round pick and forward Jake Hauswirth. Tallon was declared the winner of his first move of the day when he picked up Nicklas Bergfors and Patrick Rissmiller for Radek Dvorak and a 5th round pick, but the Wideman move is rather inexplicable. Wideman has one more year remaining on his contract at $3.937 million per, and was figured to play a larger role in Florida after Saturday’s Bryan McCabe trade. The addition of Wideman in Washington gives the Capitals a lot of depth on the blue line.

The Columbus Blue Jackets figured to be looking for depth on defence, as opposed to taking it away – they could have another move in the works. General manager Scott Howson acquired Scottie Upshall and defenceman Sami Lepisto for Rostislav Klesla and forward Dane Byers. Upshall will slot in nicely as a depth forward with Columbus and he’s in the last year of his current deal, while Lepisto provides a Klesla-like offensive replacement with less of a physical component to his game. Klesla provides depth and experience for the Coyotes and he figures in to their long-term plans as he’s got three more years at $2.975 million remaining on his contract.

They’re not blockbuster deals by any means, but some valuable veterans trading places as their teams prepare for the stretch run.