Tag:NHL trade deadline
Posted on: February 28, 2011 2:57 pm

Oilers get their price for Penner

Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini had been saying for weeks that he had no problem hanging on to Dustin Penner and Ales Hemsky, but would part with either one for the right return. The Oilers got it for Penner an hour before the deadline from the desperate Los Angeles Kings.

The Kings needed to do something because they are young and emerging and poised to take the next step, especially now that they have seem to have salvaged what started off as a great season. Los Angeles has gone 6-1-2 record in the last 10 games and they have really good goaltending and one of the best young defense groups in the game.

But offense has been a problem, even with Anze Kopitar on pace for an 80-point season.  The Kings actually have a pretty good group of forwards with Justin Williams (signed to a contract extension earlier in the day),  Dustin Brown and Ryan Smyth, but adding Penner gives Los Angeles a big, powerful net crasher who can score.

Penner didn’t come cheap though for Los Angeles. The Kings sent Edmonton a first-round draft pick this June, a top prospect in Colton Teubert and a conditional draft pick next year. But Los Angeles has a really deep system and a lot of cap space and can afford to spend some its largess on a chance to go deep now.

Edmonton is rebuilding with very young and very talented players and this deal works in that direction.  Tuebert is a very highly-touted defenseman who was the 13th overall pick and will get a chance to show what he can do in the NHL with the Oilers. And a first-round pick is a first round pick.

The Oilers would have been comfortable keeping Penner. He's only 28, good for 25 to 30 goals a season, and has another year on his contract at $4.2 million, not an unreasonable sum for a first line player.

But the price was right for Penner. For both teams.
Category: NHL
Posted on: February 28, 2011 2:06 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2011 2:12 pm

Panthers part of last minute rush and more

It’s coming down to the 11th hour (or 1400 military time). Anyway, the trade waters are rustling a little quicker as the deadline approaches, with the Florida Panthers continuing to be busy bees and the Chicago Blackhawks adding a piece for their title defense hopes.

The Panthers have been in strip-down mode for the last week, and made their third deal of the day and their fifth in the last week by sending defenseman Bryan Allen to the Carolina Hurricanes for forward Sergei Samsonov. Florida saves a little payroll for the balance of this season by moving the big, physical Allen to Carolina, and get a player who showed some tremendous skill in his first few NHL seasons.

But that was nearly a decade ago and Samsonov is 32 years old now with plenty of miles on him. But he is in the last year of his contract and Florida still needs some NHL players to finish out a season that has seen them shed most of them.

Allen will add some depth to the blue line, much like Chris Campoli will for the Blackhawks. Campoli went to Chicago for prospect Ryan Potulny and a second-round draft pick.

Campoli is the latest of the Senators players to go in their fire sale and maybe part of the price Ottawa had to pay to keep Chris Phillips around.
Category: NHL
Posted on: February 28, 2011 1:40 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2011 1:42 pm

Jackets end expansion ties by trading Klesla

The Columbus Blue Jackets have finally broken entirely with their past by trading away the last of their originals, Rostislav Klesla.

The 28-year-old defenseman was the very first draft choice for the expansion draft choice, but along with the rest of the franchise, he spent the next 10 seasons getting almost nowhere. Klesla did become a relatively reliable defenseman when he was healthy, which wasn’t that often over the last few seasons, but not what Columbus expected from such a high draft pick.

In Phoenix though, he’ll be an upgrade to Sami Lepisto, who went back to Columbus along with Scottie Upshall for Klesla and minor leaguer Dane Byers in the deal.  And Klesla will help help fill a void created by the injury to Ed Jovanovski.

The deal exchanged $3 million worth of salaries between  the teams. For Columbus the key is the feisty Upshall, a former first round pick by Nashville, who can provide energy and a scoring touch.  Their blue line group can handle the tradeoff from Klesla to Lepisto, and the Jackets are better up front now with Upshall.

He could be a good fit on line with Rick Nash on a team that has been charging toward a playoff spot of late.
Category: NHL
Posted on: February 28, 2011 1:12 pm

Wideman trade fills a void for Caps

Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon must be licking his chops waiting for this June’s draft.

Tallon was the story of last year’s festivities only a few weeks after he got the job when he came home with three first rounders and six of the top 50 players chosen. In less than four months, he’ll have at least 10 picks in the first three rounds, the latest coming today when Florida traded defenseman Dennis Wideman to the Washington Capitals.

The Panthers received a low-level minor leaguer named Jake Hauswirth in the deal, but more important to them was adding another third-round pick in June. It’s the fourth Tallon has stockpiled, to go a along with a first-round choice and two in the second round, and is part of the rapid-fire reload the general manager has engineering for the long-suffering team.

Tallon also shed a $4 million salary for the balance of this season and next, and will have nearly $40 million in available cap space heading into next season. Thanks to what is about to become 10 consecutive seasons without a playoff appearance, the Panthers are a money-losing operation, so how much they use for free agents and the like is debatable.

Tallon has always been about building through the draft anyway, so this fits into his plan. Especially because Wideman wasn’t really a piece the Panthers needed right now.

Wideman came last summer in a trade for Nathan Horton and provided the kind of offense, particularly on the power play that was expected. But he gave the puck away a lot and was a major liability defensively. His minus-26 was the worst on Florida.

But that may not matter much in Washington where the Caps are without Mike Green and Tom Poti these days. Both are offensive-minded defenseman and Green is one of the catalysts for the team’s attack, so Wideman can help fill some of that void.  The irony though is that Washington has been trying to get its blue liners to think more about their own end this season.

No matter. The Caps are hurting and need to get things ramped up for the playoffs. Besides, the third-round pick Washington gave up is likely to be no better than the middle of the round and Hauswirth isn’t really much of a prospect.

So all it really cost the Caps was money. And sometimes that's the cheapest price to pay.
Category: NHL
Posted on: February 28, 2011 11:24 am
Edited on: February 28, 2011 11:30 am

Phillips deal makes sense for both sides

It could be that the offers for Chris Phillips weren’t all that tempting to the Ottawa Senators because there's no doubt GM Bryan Murray had plenty of inquiries for the veteran defenseman. Phillips was one of the more interesting players widely presumed to be up for grabs by the trade deadline and the Senators made it clear they were listening.

Thing is Phillips really didn’t want to go anywhere. He’s been with the Senators since they drafted him first overall in 1996, his wife is from Ottawa and he is very comfortable there despite the trying times they team has gone through this season. But he is also a quality stay-at-home type that playoff-bound teams were looking to pick up on a rental basis, so he was out there.

Until the Senators ended the uncertainty however. That happened less than 24 hours before the deadline when Ottawa signed the 32-year-old to a three-year extension worth just a little more than $9 million.   It’s about a half million dollar annual cut in pay for Phillips, and the deal was likely for a shorter term than Phillips might have received as an unrestricted free agent next July.

But Phillips got to stay in Ottawa and the Senators got to hang on to a worthwhile player amid their fire sale.

The Senators have moved veterans Mike Fisher, Chris Kelly, Jarkko Ruutu  and Alex Kovalev in recent weeks and the for sale sign is not coming down before the 3 p.m. deadline. They’ve gotten pretty good returns on Fisher and Kelly because they still have term on their contracts, and at least something for the others who were rentals free to walk in July. 

Phillips though still has a lot of value as a player, but in an environment where the vultures were circling the Senators, not enough to entice Ottawa to part with someone who does as much for the organization off the ice as on.

And that’s a good thing for all concerned because Phillips still has lots of hockey left in him, enough to contribute when this team does turn things around.
Category: NHL
Posted on: February 28, 2011 11:08 am

Thrashers in buying mode with trade for Dvorak

It seemed like Atlanta was thinking about next season rather than this one when they made a deal with the Boston Bruins a couple of weeks ago, but GM Rick Dudley apparently still has designs on a playoff spot now.

The Thrashers, who sent one of their top offensive threats Rich Peverley to Boston for younger players Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart, have won only four times in their last 20 games. In the process, they'v blown a playoff spot they had much of the season and fallen to 11th in the East. Atlanta's owners are desperate to sell too, but the reality is that Atlanta is still only four points below the cutoff.

So Atlanta is still in the mix, and Dudley has pulled off a nice little deal to help the cause by getting Radek Dvorak and even a fifth-round pick from the Florida Panthers.

Dvorak isn’t a difference maker of course, but he’s a versatile 15-year veteran who went to the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals with Edmonton. Dvorak has very good speed, scores some and kills penalty very well And Atlanta is only on the hook for the balance of his $1.7 million salary this season.

For the Panthers, the key to this deal is Bergfors, a 23-year-old forward who has now been dumped by two teams in the last year. He was part of the package New Jersey sent to Atlanta last year for Ilya Kovalchuk, but he Bergfors has apparently worn out his welcome with the Thrashers, who made him a healthy scratch several times lately.

Still, Bergfors was a first round draft pick of New Jersey in 2005 and he’s young enough to have an upside. Florida also picked up Patrick Rissmiller. He’s a 32-year- old forward who has has spent much of the last three seasons in the minors after a few seasons with the San Jose Sharks.


Category: NHL
Posted on: February 28, 2011 7:32 am
Edited on: February 28, 2011 9:03 am

Sabres become men with deal for Boyes

It must feel good for Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier to be a buyer for a change at the deadline.

His new owner Terry Pegula gave him the mandate to spend money to build a winner and Regier wasted little time starting the effort by acquiring sharp-shooting forward Brad Boyes from the St. Louis Blues for a second-round draft pick in a midnight move.

Boyes comes with a $4 million annual price tag and another season left on his contract, a hefty price for someone who has scored only 26 goals in the last year a half, with only 12 of them this season. But the Blues, who have now officially raised the white flag, haven’t exactly been an offensive juggernaut in that time. And Boyes did score 43 and 33 times in the two seasons before that, so maybe a change of scenery will help him regain his touch.

Boyes certainly is durable – he hasn’t missed a game since the lockout and he is only 28 years old. A fresh start and a new system might be the ticket for him, but if not, the Sabres, under Pegula, can at least afford it.


Category: NHL
Posted on: February 27, 2011 4:53 pm

Arnott has one foot out the door

Will Jason Arnott’s second tour of duty with the Devils end after New Jersey plays the Florida Panthers this afternoon?

The veteran seems to be hoping so with the trade deadline less than 24 hours away.

“I want to play in the playoffs,” Arnott said in an interview.

That doesn’t seem likely with the Devils despite the fact they have been the league’s hottest team over the last seven weeks. New Jersey has moved 16 points closer to a playoff spot than it was on Jan. 8, but still remains a very large 11 points shy with quarter season remaining.

“It’s a pretty big hill to climb,” Arnott said.

One that would take something akin to a second Miracle on Ice. And Arnott, best known for scoring the Devils Stanley Cup-winning goal in overtime against Dallas in 2000, knows that. He was brought back in a trade with Nashville last June to help a team with title aspirations. But with the Devils’ playoff hopes bleak at best right now, the 36-year-old Arnott is among the potential rentals GM Lou Lamoriello has to dangle if he decides to start looking to next season and beyond.

For his part, Arnott seems anxious to waive his no-movement clause.

 “Obviously I want to stay, that’s why I came back, but it would be quite a gamble,” Arnott said. “We’re in such a big hole it’s pretty tough to bounce back from that.”

Mind you the Devils have been doing a pretty good job trying, with an amazing 16-2-2 run since early January. Arnott has been part of the turnaround, but after Friday night’s loss in Tampa, he said he had to think about moving on. The defeat was the first for New Jersey in nine games but it was coupled with a win by the eighth-seed Carolina Hurricanes.

“It’s the last year of my contract and I’m getting older,” Arnott said. “I want to try to win another Stanley Cup.”

Arnott might get the chance because he is one of the more appealing rentals out there, which could help drive up the price a bit for the Devils as the 3 p.m. cutoff approaches Monday. Arnott is a big center who can score, and he would be a good fit on a team looking for size down the middle and a second-line anchor. 

He is pricey however with more than $1 million of in salary left this season and he can walk as an unrestricted free agent this summer, so his trade value is somewhat diminished.  And of course, the Devils may decide that a move at the moment isn't in their best interests when a playoff spot is still a possibility. We'll know by Monday.
Category: NHL
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