Archive for the ‘Deadline Day’ Category

The five big names on the day

We’ve gone team by team, we showed you the insanity of Leafs nation and we broke down the early goings on during the deadline. Here are the top tweeted players during this year’s trade deadline.

Obviously the two big ones to sneak in here are Cody Hodgson and Zack Kassian. Neither player was expected to move during the deadline, but they ended up being exchanged for one another after all. At 3:35 pm when their trades broke they became the most talked about traded players on the day. Kassian led all traded players in number of mentions despite, realistically, still being a prospect.

Rick Nash was obviously the big name to be thrown out there and has been for some time now. As people played the will he or won’t he game, he was mentioned over 17,000 times and reached a potential of 16 million impressions. These numbers will be interesting to revisit once the Blue Jackets are able to explore trades for him again.

Kostitsyn was the first player to be dealt on the deadline and was the closest player to Nash territory, impression wise. His 11,014 mentions garnered him the potential to reach 15 million impressions. Not too bad for a guy who nobody knew would be getting dealt on Monday.

All in all, trade deadline day is a fascinating way to see how we talk hockey online and all the ways it can possibly break down. Even if it was a bit of a dud by history’s standards, thanks for taking part folks. It was a ton of fun for me.

Data Source: Sysomos

A late blockbuster set the Canucks off

During every trade deadline some teams stand out among the rest, and this year’s edition was no different as the Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins all figured to be big players along with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks.

All of those teams put up big numbers in the social media circles today after their trade deadline antics. The Red Wings, who figured to play a larger role than they did, were only mentioned 5,742 times. Sure it seems like a lot, but when you compare that to the Predators who were active, picking up Andrei Kostitsyn and Paul Gaustad, and mentioned 8,888 times, it’s not that much activity.  The Red Wings have a much bigger fanbase though, as they had 9 million impressions to the Predators 12 million, despite the big disparity in tweets. Simply put, the Preds fanbase just doesn’t have the social media presence other teams do. Detroit on the other hand was expected to be active on deadline day but simply didn’t pull the trigger on anything. Kyle Quincey was their big acquisition this past week.

The Stanley Cup combatants in Vancouver and Boston were also very active and close in terms of mentions. The Canucks were mentioned 12, 326 times to the Bruins 11,151, while the Canucks reached a much bigger audience with their 28 million impressions to the Bruins 15 million. Boston made several moves today, but they ultimately couldn’t keep up with the presence of the Canadian teams online who really dominated twitter.

The Canucks had the highest number of tweets at a given time because of the Hodgson-Kassian swap which broke at 3:35 pm.

As we explored in our last infographic, the Leafs rule the roost with over 30, 000 mentions and 40 million impressions.

The Tweet Tracker shows us a nice balance between which teams were busy on trade deadline day and which teams have the most active fanbases.

Data Source: Sysomos

And they did pretty much nothing

As many of you know, we’ve been tracking social media chatter for the deadline and unveiled our first infographic earlier today with some names rumored to be moving. This one concerns everyone’s favorite media hub, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

How’s this for the center of the universe? The Toronto Maple Leafs who, realistically, did nothing on trade deadline day were a social media behemoth as their fans clamored to figure out what deals, if any, Brian Burke would be making. Here is a brief rundown of the Leafs social media action.

The Leafs were mentioned over 30,000 times on Twitter from 8 pm on Sunday night until the 3 pm NHL Trade Deadline. That many mentions resulted in over 40 million impressions.

Ironically, the most talked about player in all of the Leafs banter was Rick Nash who isn’t actually a Leaf at all. Rather, it was Leafs fans begging and pleading with Burke and Co. to bring Nash to his hometown team. It didn’t happen.

Of course, the Leafs did make one trade today as Keith Aulie was swapped for Carter Ashton. Note the spike in Ashton mentions (over 1,900) once he was brought into the fold in Toronto. Ashton’s numbers doubled those of Mikhail Grabovski who had Brian Burke come out and openly state that he wouldn’t be trading #84 an hour and a half before he picked up Ashton.

Data Source: Sysomos

Well this saga is over

Well, we finally got our “blockbuster” as Cody Hodgson is being sent to Buffalo in exchange for Zack Kassian who is on his way to Vancouver. Also flipping squads are Marc-Andre Gragnani and Alexander Sulzer. Interestingly, it may Gragnani that tips this trade in favor of Vancouver.

The Sami Pahlsson trade to Vancouver now makes a hell of a lot more sense for Vancouver as they seem a lot less backlogged down the middle with the departure of Hodgson. You free up a lot more minutes for Pahlsson by moving Hodgson and reap a lot of the benefits I laid out in the corresponding post – namely, they’re a much more tough to play against, two-way team.

By acquiring Kassian, the Canucks shore up an immediate need that is constantly harped on when we break down their roster. It’s tempting to say that they’re just not tough enough and it will catch up with them over the course of a playoff series, much like it did against Boston in the Cup Finals last season. In many ways the Canucks have picked up their own Milan Lucic in Zack Kassian as that is the immediate comparison I draw in my mind between Kassian and any active player in the NHL. He brings some serious tenacity to their wing, makes them even harder to play against and has plenty of upside going forward from an offensive perspective. I’m a very big fan.

The player I really like in all of this trading is Gragnani who emerged as a very solid offensive defenseman during Buffalo’s playoff series against Philadelphia. Had the Sabres not gone out and signed Christian Ehrhoff – how’d that work out? – Gragnani would have been their go-to power play quarterback and puck moving defenseman. I think the Canucks got a real steal in MAG.

Going back to Buffalo is Cody Hodgson. He won’t be sticking around in Vancouver after finally appearing to have it figured out. Luckily for Hodgson, he may finally have an opportunity to fully live up to his offensive potential as he wasn’t getting anything more than third line minutes in Vancouver and that wasn’t going to change any time soon. Rather, in Buffalo he’ll likely be put in the top two lines right away and have a chance to play with the likes of Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy. If you think you can get a hold of Cody Hodgson in your fantasy leagues, do it. He could be poised to REALLY break out as the talent and minutes around him are poised to grow.

In Sulzer, Buffalo acquires your run of the mill depth defenseman – a bigger stay at home guy who could slide into the six or seven spot – though he’ll have to edge out Buffalo’s defensive prospects T.J. Brennan and Brayden McNabb to really earn his spot. Buffalo is putting a lot of stock in Hodgson working out with this trade because as far as Sulzer goes, you’re not getting much of anything.

That’s my take on the deal at least. Who do you gang think won the deal? Comment, #BShelf, Facebook.

Don’t forget to check out theScore’s trade tracker here and the Backhand Shelf livestream here.

Also off to the Music City

Paul Gaustad is heading to the Nashville Predators with a fourth round pick for a pretty hefty price tag as they sent a first round pick back to Buffalo. Once again though, you have to be a bit fixated on Nashville as they’ve picked up some solid pieces going forward.

First things first: I don’t think Paul Gaustad is worth a first round pick. To me he is a good guy to have on your third line who can occasionally fill in on your second. I’m a fan of what he bring to a team looking to grind it out deep into the playoffs, but ultimately it’s a steep price to pay.

WITH ALL OF THAT IN MIND… we realistically have to acknowledge that Nashville is saying “we’re going for it.” This team might not have Ryan Suter past this season, and they need to make it clear to their fans and their players that they are dead serious about trying to win a Stanley Cup. They have acquired good depth defenseman in Hal Gill, good secondary scoring in Andrei Kostitsyn and now a big depth center in Gaustad that immediately makes your team tougher and a much more difficult matchup. He’ll fit right into the Nashville system and should bring them closer to the big boys in the West.

They paid a lot, but I have Nashville as a trade deadline winner nonetheless.

Don’t forget to check out theScore’s trade tracker here and the Backhand Shelf livestream here.

Everyone's favorite waiver wire guy

Brian Rolston and Mike Mottau are heading to the defending champion Boston Bruins in exchange for a couple of prospects in Marc Cantin and Yannick Riendeau. Minnesota also made a swap with the Bruins, sending human puck absorber Greg Zanon to the B’s in exchange for Steve Kampfer. The needs for each side are pretty clear here as the Bruins look to add depth down the stretch while the Islanders look to stockpile useful prospects.

In Rolston the Bruins get a guy who has been in Beantown before and can play useful minutes. He’s obviously not the guy who was an all-star calibre player in Minnesota, but he can still play useful minutes in Boston’s bottom six. Mottau is a bit of a Johnny Oduya type of guy in that he is a fairly mobile guy who hasn’t been defensively steady since he departed New Jersey. Again that’s part of the system you play in and part due to injury. He should be a nice fit for Boston in a defense first role. Greg Zanon is more of the same for Boston as he is a gritty defenseman who will block a lot of shots for you. All nice additions for a Boston team that seems to have lost its way of late.

In terms of what has headed back the other way from Boston is a bit of a mixed bag. Kampfer has been trying to break into the Boston defensive corps for some time now and just hasn’t been able to hold down a spot. He’s a young guy (24) and can move the puck quite nicely. Minnesota seems to be going for a more mobile defensive corps in their own right when you look at who they shipped out in Zidlicky, Zanon and Schultz, while picking up Foster, Gilbert and Kampfer.

For the Isles, they get a couple of prospects I quite like. Marc Cantin was a solid citizen on a good St. Michael’s Majors squad in 2011 that fell just short of a Memorial Cup. He’s a steady guy who plays good sit back defense. He won’t wow you with what he does but he makes heads up plays. In Riendeau they have taken on a bit of a project player given that he is very offensively minded and not much else, but with a little work he could be a decent organizational guy for them.

Good trades for each party in this tree.

Don’t forget to check out theScore’s trade tracker here and the Backhand Shelf livestream here.

Skating in the Windy City

Johnny Oduya is now off to play for the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a second and third round pick in 2013. The deal gives the Blackhawks defensive depth that they’ve been looking for and gets Oduya out of Winnipeg where he had become a bit of a whipping boy.

Oduya has lost the form he displayed in New Jersey which made him a key part of the Ilya Kovalchuk trade for the then-Thrashers. Obviously a lot of that has to do with no longer being a part of Jacques Lemaire’s system which can cover a lot of defensive deficiencies, but he is a good player nevertheless. It’s unfortunate that things didn’t work out in Winnipeg better for Oduya but Chicago will be a good place for him to play out the season.

As an impending UFA, Oduya will be put on a lower pair in Chicago than he would have been forced to play in Winnipeg down the stretch. With a favorable pairing on a better team, I wouldn’t be shocked if Oduya slots in nicely in Chicago and makes an impact on their Cup push. Realistically, the guy is playing for a job next year as much as he is a title in 2012 and the Blackhawks could be the perfect place for him to get a good contract and win some games.

Win-win deal for both parties here.

Don’t forget to check out theScore’s trade tracker here and the Backhand Shelf livestream here.