Thursday, March 5, 2009

Trade Deadline Aftermath: The Winners, The Losers and The Miserable Failures

When the D-Day shakedown was all said and done, there were 22 trades involving 45 players. Throw in the 2 waiver pickups on D-Day (as well as 2 the day before), and the average of 25 trades for the previous 3 seasons post-lookout was almost duplicated. Some experts thought it might be a lull this year, with less transaction with the uncertain fiscal future.

The Winners:

Flames: Holy Jokinen!!! The obvious choice here, but, even surprising for me as a Flames fan, GM Sutter makes a major splash by throwing Jokinen a life-preserver to stop Olli from drowning in the desert. Darryl also managed to bring back Jordan Leopold to solidify the "D", giving the Flames an additional solid 2-way top 4 d-man. With 2 goals from Jokinen and 1 from Leopold tonight against the Flyers in Phili, the trade has had an instant impact. However, there's a lot of hockey to be played and we don't know yet how Jokinen and 1st yr Flame Mike Cammalleri will perform in a Cup run, since neither have yet to see post-season play. With the writing now certainly on the wall that Cammalleri won't be resigned in the off-season (not because of the Flames don't want him, but economics), the Flames brass are obviously showing they want to go for the Holy Grail this season!

Oilers: Flipping underachieving Eric Cole for the young and talented - with the best yet to come from - Patrick O'Sullivan and eventually skilled forward with a great shot Ales Kotalik, GM Steve Tambellini impressed me in his 1st D-Day as Oilers GM. I really thought Edmonton would reel in a big fish yesterday, but this was a solid move nonetheless. Does it make them a Cup contender? No, but this is a very good hockey move.
Bruins: No Pronger, no problem. The Bruins were likely expected to do more and a recent slide might have Bruins' Faithful nervous. However, Recchi still has some gas in the tank and brings his vast experience and great hockey sense which will be valuable in their quest for the Cup. Steve Montador is no Pronger, of course, but has been solid this year and has playoff experience, as a member of the '03-'04 Flames that took Tampa to a 7th game in the Cup finals. The Bruins have had a good thing going all year and a major shakeup was not the way to go, especially if it meant giving up Kessel to land Pronger.
Lightning: Not for now, but some surprisingly (for me, at least) solid moves by GM Brian Lawton. Picking up talented young d-man Matt Lashoff and the promising forward Martin Karsums in the Recchi deal was well done indeed. Getting Noah Welch and a 3rd for Eminger was solid. I'm still a little confused by the trade for Petiot from the Leafs, but it looks like the suckered the Leafs into taking on salary. Hopefully, they'll continue to take baby steps to get that franchise back on track. • Senators: If Leclaire can be healthy for next year, the Sens likely have the best goalie the franchise has seen. Not sure how they convinced Columbus to add on a 2nd round pick for Vermette as well.
Panthers: Sometimes the best move is the trade you didn't make. A lot would argue to the contrary, but holding on to Jay Boumeester is a solid non-move by the franchise. They're actually one of the hottest teams in the new year and need to make the playoffs to try and keep fans interested. From what I can see, J-Bo is enjoying himself and might just be inclined to resign with them in the offseason.
Coyotes: The Jokinen Experiment was a surprising failure, but they made the most of it landing speedster Lombardi, who unfortunately often leaves you wanting more, spunky Brandon Prust and a 1st rnd pick. They also somehow convinced the Flyers to give them Scottie Upshall and a 2nd rnder for Carcillo.

The Losers:

Canadiens: No moves from the Habs? Picking up Schneider before the deadline was a nice move, but it needed to be followed by a big name forward pick up. They're playing better as of late, but I'll be surprised if they go deep in the playoffs.

Canucks: Not immediately, but I thought they could've used some depth on the blueline. With fragile d-men such as Salo and Bieksa, Canucks GM Gillis might be kicking himself as the gruelling playoffs get underway.
Blue Jackets: I actually like the Vermette trade for them as well, but I think they really needed to land a Jokinen- type player - a true #1 center for Nash.
Capitals: Strong team, but could've used a couple more horses for the playoff run. I really thought they'd make a stronger play for Derek Morris.

The Miserable Failures:

Kings: The usually savvy GM Dean Lombardi brings in talented, but brittle Justin Williams for up and coming talented forward Patrick O'Sullivan plus a 2nd round pick.

Rangers: Okay, so they added a couple of the better players available in Derek Morris and Nik Antropov...Unfortunately, the cancer they added the day before in picking up Sean Avery in the worst kept secret transaction of the NHL season. Yeah - so NYC is about the only place for Avery, I wish there'd be some GM Code in which a loser like this would simply be understandably never brought back to the big leagues. I wish I could sit down with Tom Renney and have a beer and watch the Rangers NOT make the playoffs.

"Rarely imitated, never duplicated!"
The Hockey Spy


JAG,  Mar 5, 2009, 11:16:00 PM  

I disagree about the Oilers being considered among the big wingers here. I would put them under a whole new catagory of "To Be Determined". I think O'Sullivan, although no one can doubt his talent, was not the type of player the Oilers really needed to succeed. On the other hand, one would have thought a hard-nosed player like Cole was exactly what the Oil needed. It will be interesting to see how this trade works out.
The Toronto/Tampa Bay deal was an obvious salary dump by Tampa. Andy Rogers, as far as I know, is a half decent defensive prospect (plus he was the only player that may become an NHLer that I played with :) ). I guess Tampa had to give Toronto something pretty good to take on Kolzig. Petiot is a non-factor in this trade.

The Hockey Spy,  Mar 6, 2009, 9:26:00 AM  

Jag: I see your point on the Oilers, but still have to disagre with ya...turning Eric COle ultimately into O'Sullivan & Kotalik was a great move - for the long haul...not now, not for this yr's playoffs - but next season & beyond, mark my word this will make Oil Nation happy...Cole has been decent of late but overall not the 1st liner they envisioned when trading for him and giving up one Pitkanen...
Agree with ya on Lightning/Leafs deal. Hate to disappoint ya, but ROgers value is slipping as a prospect...I saw him as a Calgary Hitmen and given his size and mobility - I envisioned even a better pro than junior...I hope he can turn it around!! WHen did u play with him?
Thx for the comments!

yauzer,  Mar 6, 2009, 11:09:00 AM  

Calgary made huge strides on deadline day by landing Jokinen & Leopold. Something that may be overlooked is that Sutter was able to land a 3rd + 4th rounder at the end of the day.
However, the writing is on the wall for Cammy. He is all but guaranteed to leave at the conclusion of the season. Maybe Sutter can trade his negotiating rights for a late rounder.

JAG,  Mar 6, 2009, 9:18:00 PM  

Calgary Royals.

The Hockey Spy,  Mar 7, 2009, 10:04:00 AM  

I hear ya Yauzer...A long ways away, but where do you think Cammy will end up? From Ontario, so ya gotta think the Leafs will make a big play for him, but now he does have a taste of winning! I just hope it's not the offense,

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