Well, the trade deadline has come and gone, and yet again, Canadiens coach/GM Bob Gainey stole the show, making the biggest deal of the week. In this special edition of the recap, we look at all of the trades and assess them, proclaim the winners and losers, and throw out a few tidbits you may not have known.
We start with the transactions from this past Wednesday.
MIN trades G Dwayne Roloson to EDM for a 2006 1st round draft pick and a conditional 3rd rounder in 2007.
Analysis: Did this ever set the market for goalies or what? Edmonton was in desperate need of a goalie and they got one, but a 1st rounder for a rent-a-player with 6 wins on the season? Both teams get what they need, but Edmonton paid the steepest price.
CBJ trades D Luke Richardson to TOR for either a 5th round pick in 2006, or a 4th rounder in 2007.
Analysis: The Leafs do it again. When almost everyone is wanting a youth movement, the Leafs…get older. Now, Richardson is a decent player with good leadership skills, so it’s not all bad, and it’s not like the price was that high.
NYR trades W Ville Nieminen to SJ for a 3rd round pick in 2006.
Analysis: Considering the Rangers are in playoff contention, this came as a surprise. But, given that Nieminen is a 4th liner and the Rangers got a 3rd rounder for him, I can see why Glen Sather jumped at this deal.
MTL trades G Jose Theodore to COL for G David Aebischer
Analysis: Before I start, yes, I was wrong in predicting that Theodore wasn’t going anywhere in my preview, thanks to everyone, and I mean everyone who was kind enough to point that one out. Now, as for the deal, this one had one thing written all over it…salary cap. The Habs save a ton of dough on this deal that can be used in free agency next season, and get a healthy goalie for their stretch drive. Meanwhile, the Avs place their immediate future in jeopardy, going with Budaj and Kolesnik as their goalies for the rest of the regular season.
If Theodore returns to form, Colorado gets a huge steal, contract notwithstanding. If he doesn’t though, the Canadiens will make out like bandits. This will not be one of those deals that both teams win, one will, but one won’t.
Winner: I’m of the opinion that Theodore will return to somewhat decent form, so I’ll give the Avs the edge for now. It all depends on how Gainey spends the extra dough, that could play a huge role in who wins and loses here.
NJ trades W Alex Suglobov to TOR for D Ken Klee
Analysis: This deal makes sense for the Leafs, not as much for the Devils. Is Klee really that much of an upgrade on Dan McGillis, who’s toiling in the minors at the moment? And if so, is it really worth losing one of their better prospects for it? In a word, no.
NYI trades W Mark Parrish and D Brent Sopel to LA for D Denis Grebeshkov, F Jeff Tambellini and a conditional 3rd round pick
Analysis: Let the fire sale begin on Long Island, with a lame duck GM at the helm. Kings certainly improve now, but coughing up a pair of recent 1st rounders for an adequate d-man and a rent-a-winger? Wow.
Other notes from Wednesday:
BOS claims W Mariusz Czerkawski off waivers from TOR
Analysis: Given the amount of minor leaguers playing for the B’s right now, Czerkawski should fit right in.
OTT signs D Brad Norton
Analysis: This is a stunner, I’m positive there were better d-men out there willing to play for a cup contender. Norton won’t hurt them, but there were better options out there for depth.
Then came deadline day, a day where a record 25 deals were made, and just 40 players were dealt. In other words, despite the quantity, there wasn’t much to the deadline.
CHI trades D Todd Simpson to MTL for a 6th round pick in 2006.
Analysis: Depth move, adds some needed toughness to the lineup if he actually gets into the lineup. A 6th rounder, big whoop, fans won’t be missing that pick come draft time.
NYI trades D Brad Lukowich to NJ for a 3rd round pick in 2006
Analysis: The Devils are saddled with useless contracts in the minors, and they opt to get another guy with a deal through next year? This trade helps the Devils now, but will further kill them in the cap for next season.
NJ trades D Sean Brown to VAN for a 4th round pick in 2006
Analysis: Everyone saw a move like this coming, the Devils had to unload a d-man given their acquisitions, and they got a pretty good return for Brown as well. Given what Vancouver did later in the day, wonder if they already regret this move?
BUF trades G Mika Noronen to VAN for a 2nd round pick in 2006
Analysis: The ‘Nucks had to do this deal, get a goalie with at least some NHL experience in that backup spot in case Auld goes down. Not a bad deal for the Sabres either, a 2nd rounder for a goalie who’s played 3 whole games all season.
PHX trades D Denis Gauthier to PHI for a pair of 2nd round picks in 2006 and W Josh Gratton
Analysis: The rent-a-d-man market continues to become more and more ridiculous. Gauthier is a 3rd pairing defenceman on a good team, and suddenly is worth 2 second rounders? This deal is even more of a steal for the Yotes given Gauthier’s contract demands (3 years, $7.5 M).
PHX trades D Sean O’Donnell to ANA for C Joel Perrault
Analysis: Who in the world is Joel Perrault? Nothing more is needed here.
WAS trades W Jeff Friesen to ANA for a 2nd round pick in 2006
Analysis: This was one of the earlier deals made in the day, I think Anaheim could’ve held out and parted with a 3rd or 4th rounder instead come late afternoon. Friesen is a good player, but given his play as of late, a 2nd’s a steep price to pay.
PIT trades W Mark Recchi to CAR for a 2nd round pick in 2006, C Krystofer Kolanos, and W Niklas Nordgren
Analysis: Let’s look at what Pittsburgh gets first. Kolanos, former first rounder, been waived twice and claimed by teams better than the Pens. Nordgren, an older rookie with little to no potential aside from 4th line duty. The 2nd rounder isn’t that bad. Carolina makes out like bandits here though.
ANA trades D Keith Carney and the rights to D Juha Alen to VAN for a 2nd round pick in 2006 and D Brett Skinner
Analysis: Carney for a 2nd rounder, not a bad deal for both teams. The Ducks are in really rough shape for the playoffs, and Carney’s an impending UFA, best to get something for him now. Meanwhile, given the injuries to Vancouver’s D, this addition could be critical to their success.
DET trades D Jamie Rivers to PHX for a 7th round pick in 2006
Analysis: Why on earth would Phoenix do this? Yes, it’s a 7th rounder, but Rivers has no value to the team now, or in the future.
ANA trades D Sandis Ozolinsh to NYR for a 3rd round pick in 2006
Analysis: Let the dumping of players in Anaheim continue, this time the Rangers are the benefactors. Ozolinsh’s contract was a major factor here, another year at $2.75 mil. If Ozo can return to form though, watch out for the Rangers, he could be the final cog.
WAS trades D Brendan Witt to NAS for a 1st round pick in 2006 and Kris Beech
Analysis: This is a HUGE overpayment by the Preds for a d-man who’ll play on their 3rd pairing and get 15 minutes a game when he’s not fighting players from his own bench. Even worse though, is he’s another rent-a-player.
PIT trades D Cory Cross to DET for a 4th round pick in 2007
Analysis: I like this trade on both ends, Cross had no future in PIT and was a throw-in in the Tarnstrom deal. Detroit meanwhile, gets an upgrade for the playoff run at a reasonable cost.
VAN trades D Steve McCarthy to ATL for a conditional 2007 draft pick
Analysis: It wasn’t that long ago that McCarthy was being mentioned as a potential top pairing defender, how times have changed. Well worth the risk for Atlanta.
BOS trades W Sergei Samsonov to EDM for C Marty Reasoner, C Yan Stastny, and a 2nd round pick in 2006
Analysis: Edmonton’s going for it this year, no doubt about it. Samsonov gets them another scoring winger to add to a potent lineup (and they need it with their goaltending). Boston meanwhile, re-acquires a 4th line checker, a prospect with 4th line potential, and a 2nd round pick. What they failed to secure is another conditional pick if Samsonov re-ups with the Oilers, that could come back to bite them.
CHI trades C Tyler Arnason to OTT for RW Brandon Bochenski and a 2nd round pick in 2006
Analysis: Did anyone see this coming? I know Ottawa was going after Jokinen and this was their fall back plan, but this still was surprising. Bochenski has the potential to explode in Chicago and a 2nd rounder is still valuable. And Montreal fans though Ribeiro for Arnason straight up would cut it.
CHI trades C Jim Dowd to COL for a 4th round pick in 2006
Analysis: A depth move, nothing more. The Avs certainly aren’t expecting Dowd to replace injured Svatos’ production, just add some veteran leadership for the playoff run.
SJ trades Nikos Dimitrakos to PHI for a 3rd round pick in 2006
Analysis: The Flyers are banking on Dimitrakos regaining his 2004 form, or else there’s no reason to make this deal. Unfortunately, he won’t be able to from the 4th line, not sure what Bobby Clarke was thinking here. That being said, he’s young and has potential still, so it may wind up being worthwhile down the road.
MIN trades D Willie Mitchell and a 2nd round pick in 2007 to DAL for D Martin Skoula and D Shawn Belle
Analysis: GM Armstrong’s first attempt at upgrading at D (Ninnimaa) failed, this one will be more successul. Mitchell will be a key cog for them down the stretch and in the playoffs. Belle and Skoula was a tough price to pay though, particularly for another potential rent-a-player.
NYI trades W Oleg Kvasha to PHX for a 3rd round pick in 2006
Analysis: What is Phoenix doing? If they’re rebuilding, trading picks is the wrong way to go about it, and Kvasha has been nothing but disastrous throughout his career.
PHX trades C Jamie Lundmark to CGY for a 4th round pick in 2006
Analysis: Earlier in the year, Phoenix traded a former 1st rounder (Jeff Taffe) for Lundmark. Months later, they trade him for a 4th. A 1st for a 4th…I won’t even try to spin it positively. Lundmark is offensive minded, Flames need some guys like that.
STL trades D Eric Weinrich to VAN for a 3rd round pick in 2006 and D Tomas Mojzis
Analysis: Someone forgot to tell GM Nonis that the injured D will be back soon, the Nucks now have an overload of D, but that’s a good thing. Blues get something for Weinrich, good deal on both ends.
PHX trades W Tim Jackman to LA for C Yanick Lehoux
Analysis: This deal competes with the Simpson-6th rounder trade as the smallest of the deadline. Nothing really needs to be said here.
Winner: Los Angeles
CGY trades C Jason Wiemer to NJ for a 4th round pick in 2006
Analysis: Where is NJ getting this cap space? Well worth it for them, Wiemer is a good veteran centre with a feisty side, frankly, I’m surprised the Flames moved him.
PIT trades D Ric Jackman to FLA for C Petr Taticek
Analysis: Taticek isn’t far removed from being a 1st rounder and has plenty of potential. Add to that the fact that Florida isn’t making the playoffs, and this deal makes no sense on the Panthers part.
Now, let’s look at the winners and losers of the deadline.
Edmonton: Got the G they needed and a high quality winger, price was high, but they met their goals.
Vancouver: Needed D, got plenty, upgraded their backup spot as well.
Islanders: Plenty of youth and draft picks for the new GM to work with, pricey vets let loose.
Tampa Bay: No goalie equals huge trouble for their playoff hopes.
Toronto: They needed to blow it up and actually try to rebuild, Suglobov was a start, shouldn’t have been the whole thing.
Philadelphia: Got upgrades, but the players are nothing more than lower pairing and lower line guys, paid too much a price.
Finally, let’s look at some things you may not have realized about the players moved:
Did you Know?:
1) Yan Stastny began the season as a Bruin. After the B’s dealt a 4th for Isbister (to EDM), they flipped Stastny for their pick back a few days later. And now they want him back too.
2) Yanick Lehoux was a Coyote already this year. The team claimed him off waivers, then re-waived him 2 weeks later. And now they trade for him…
3) Remember the Luongo to Panthers from Isles trade? Here’s how it looks now: Panthers get Luongo and Jokinen, Isles get DiPietro, a 3rd round pick, and Jeff Tambellini. Not a move that will appear on Milbury’s future hockey resume.
The regular edition of the weekly recap will return next week.