Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wrapping Up Deadline Day

Deadline day is always one of my favorite days of the year. Thankfully the internet and media coverage has taken things to a new level and I was happily able to observe much of the day's proceedings from the comfort of my cube and listen to TSN's streaming coverage. It truly was hockey heaven, and a far cry from my days growing up in Northern California and having to read the transactions section of the sports page the next day to see who went where on deadline day.

There were a lot of moves made, some bigger than others of course, and I will take a look at all of the significant deals (with one exception) here and give my reactions. If you are wanting to find out how I feel about the Marion Hossa deal, you'll have to scroll up because that is getting it's own post. Anyway, on to the rest of the deals:

Marc-Andre Bergeron to Anaheim for a 2008 3rd round pick
My take: I like this trade for the Ducks a lot. It gives them even more defensive depth and if Bergeron can regain the form he showed last season this trade is a steal. I'm not sure why the Islanders gave up on Bergeron so soon.

Chad Kilger to Florida for a 2008 3rd round pick
My take: This move doesn't make much sense to me from a Panthers point of view. Kilger could be a solid contributor for a playoff bound team, but I don't see him making much of a difference in Florida.

Brad Stuart to Detroit for 2008 2nd round pick and 2009 4th round pick
My take: This is a good move for the Red Wings as they are really banged up right now. Stuart is a UFA this summer, but Detroit didn't give up too much to get him so it's not a big loss for them if they don't resign him. The future is now for the Red Wings.

Chris Simon to Minnesota for a 2008 6th round pick
My take: Garth Snow should get a contract extension for getting anything in return for Simon. I don't know why the Wild would be interested in his services, but they got him. Buyer beware.

Hal Gill to Pittsburgh for 2008 2nd round pick and 2009 5th round pick
My take: Gill is the kind of guy who is finding it tough to thrive in the new NHL. Big, but not very mobile, he tends to excel when given a specific assignment and should prove to be useful to the Pens come playoff time. I had hoped for a little more of a blue line upgrade, but I'll take him.

Sergei Fedorov to Washington for Ted Ruth
My take: I woke up this morning with a really strong feeling that Fedorov was going to be a Penguin by day's end. That turned out not to be the case. I like this move for the Caps. They are still in good shape to challenge for the Southeast Division and the 3 seed in the East. If they can pull that off then Fedorov should come in very useful along the way.

Adam Foote to Colorado for conditional draft picks
My take: According to TSN, Foote went into the day optimistic about signing an extension with Columbus. When those talks broke down he pretty much forced them to trade him to the Avalanche. This move should work out for both teams as the Avs add a proven (and familiar) playoff warrior and the Blue Jackets pick up some extra picks to continue to build on this season's modest success.

Martin LaPointe to Ottawa for a 2008 6th round pick
My take: I like this move for the Sens. They are in win now mode and give up relatively nothing to bring in a solid vet who should be real good for their locker room. Unfortunately they didn't address their goaltending situation so I don't feel to good about Ottawa's chances this season. Which makes me feel good, if that makes sense.

Tuomo Ruutu to Carolina for Andrew Ladd
My take: This move surprised me a little only because Ladd had been playing very well of late and seemed to be thriving in an increased role after Carolina sent Cory Stillman to Ottawa. I guess the Hurricanes ran out of patience and decided to swap him for a new bundle of unrealized potential in Ruutu. This move could work out well for both teams if the players involved can stay healthy and benefit from the change in scenery.

Ruslan Salei to Colorado for Karlis Skrastins and a 2008 3rd round pick
My take: Honestly, this strikes me as a pretty lateral move, but since I would take Salei over Skrastins I'll give the edge to Colorado. With Salei and Foote in tow they are definitely tougher to play against than they were this morning.

Cristobal Huet to Washington for a 2009 2nd round pick
My take: This move really shocked me. It just doesn't make sense to me from a Montreal point of view. Sure Huet is a pending UFA, but even if they wanted to hand the reigns to Carey Price that badly Huet still has value as an insurance policy heading into the postseason. This could be a big blunder for a club that entered the day as legitimate contenders in the Eastern Conference.

Brad Richards and Johan Holmqvist to Dallas for Mike Smith, Jussi Jokinen, Jeff Halpern, and a 2009 4th round pick
My take: I like this move for both teams. Dallas brings in a top forward and a decent back up to Marty Turco without significantly weakening their lineup. Also, as salaries continue to rise Richards' contract begins to look a little more acceptable. Tampa also helped themselves by bringing in a potential solution between the pipes and shedding Richards' salary, much of which they spent by extending Dan Boyle this morning. This trade makes good sense for both teams and helps solidify the Stars as a real contender in the West.

Brian Campbell and a 2008 7th round pick to San Jose for Steve Bernier and a 2008 1st round pick
My take: This is another deal that works well for both clubs. San Jose got the puck moving defenseman they needed at an acceptable price considering how loaded with young talent they are. The Sabres got a good player in Bernier and a 1st rounder in what is looking like a very deep draft this year. More importantly for Buffalo, they got something for Campbell and won't have to relive last summer's misery come July 1st when Campbell will be a UFA.

Bryce Salvador to New Jersey for Cam Janssen
My take:
The first deal of the day was a great one for New Jersey. They solidify their blue line by giving up a player in Janssen that they really didn't want anyway. The Devils are putting themselves in position to be the team to beat in the East.

Random musings:

  • Once again, listening to the streaming coverage was bliss. I wished I didn't have to miss out on the last two hours before the deadline, but what can you do?
  • It was hilarious to hear all the former GM's busting on each other, but I was a little shocked nobody called out Milbury for trading Roberto Luongo when he was GM for the Islanders. Maybe they're all afraid of him.
  • The balance of power definitely seems to lie in the West right now. If you asked me which teams in the East I think have a legit chance to win the Cup I would say the Devils, Penguins, and Rangers. Everyone else just seems to flawed to me.
  • The NHL shouldn't have games on deadline day. Some of these rosters will be pretty depleted tonight.
  • What's with the family reunion (Forsberg and Foote) in Colorado? Here's hoping they bring Scott Young and Mike Ricci out of retirement to join in the fun.
  • After all his big talk, Bob Gainey actually weakened his team today.
  • Where were Vancouver and Calgary today?
  • Finally, it's always interesting to see how guys do in their first game with their new team. It seems like there were a few years in the past where almost every new player scored in his debut. Just something to watch for.

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