Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Kerrzy's Notebook: D-Day Blog

Just days after most of our country sat down to watch Canada beat the US in dramatic fashion to take home the gold medal at the Olympics - hockey fans have something else to look forward to...yes folks, it's trade deadline day!

Right up there with the start of the season and the start of free agency, the trade deadline is one of the most anticipated days of the year. Some years it's exciting, other years it's a bit dull, but you never know until it's all over. This year a few of the big names were dealt way before the deadline, like Ilya Kovalchuk and Dion Phaneuf, but there's still plenty that can happen.

Check back here for updates and analysis on whatever happens (starting as soon as I wake up in the morning!).

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TRADE: Oilers deal Visnovsky

-The Edmonton Oilers have acquired defenseman Ryan Whitney and a sixth round pick from the Anaheim Ducks for defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky.

Personally, I’m sad to see Visnovsky go because I think he’s been one of the team’s best, most consistent players. He hasn’t put up less than 31 points since before the lockout and he’s got 10 goals in 57 games this season. On the other hand, things didn’t work out for Whitney in Anaheim after a couple of very strong seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins. If Edmonton is a good fit for Whitney, perhaps he can get back to the form that saw him put up 59 points in 2006-07.

TRADE: Oilers trade Staios to Calgary

-The Edmonton Oilers have traded veteran defenseman Steve Staios for Aaron Johnson and a conditional third round pick.

This deal has a lot to do with the Oilers dumping salary and the team looking to shake things up by getting rid of some of its veterans. Staios has been with the Oilers since 2001, but has just seven points and a minus-19 rating in 40 games this season. Again though, this move has a lot to do with the team dumping salary, which was an issue that lots of people have said was making it tough for Edmonton to make many deals today.

TRADE: Boyd joins Preds

-The Calgary Flames have sent forward Dustin Boyd to the Nashville Predators for a fourth round pick.

Boyd has 19 points in 60 games this season with the Flames, his third full season with the Flames. I think he’s developing into a strong young forward and will be a good fit with a Predators team that I think has made itself a tough club to beat in the last few years.
TRADE: Eriksson goes to Broadway
-The NY Rangers have acquired defenseman Anders Eriksson for goalie Miika Wiikman and a seventh rounder in 2011.
TRADE: Nokelainen to the 'Yotes
-The Anaheim Ducks have traded forward Petteri Nokelainen to the Phoenix Coyotes for a sixth round pick in this year's draft.
TRADE: Picard to Phoenix

-The Phoenix Coyotes have swapped minor league forwards with the Columbus Blue Jackets, sending Chad Kolarik to Ohio for Alexandre Picard.

TRADE: Yelle back to Colorado

-The Colorado Avalanche have brought Stephane Yelle back to Denver, along with forward Harrison Reed, for Cedric Lalonde-McNicoll and a conditional sixth round pick.

Late in his career, Yelle returns to the team he started with in a deal involving a couple of minor-leaguers. Not much else to say, really.

TRADE: Peluso joins Leafs

-The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired a sixth round pick for defenseman Chris Peluso.

TRADE: Panthers get Roy

-The Florida Panthers have traded college prospect Matt Rust to the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenseman Mathieu Roy.

TRADE: Alberts to Vancouver

-The Vancouver Canucks have acquired defenseman Andrew Alberts for a third round pick.

Alberts is a depth guy for the Canucks to maybe fill some holes with guys like Willie Mitchell injured.

TRADE: Ducks acquire another goalie

-Joey Macdonald is the newest member of the Anaheim Ducks, with a seventh round pick in 2011 going the other way.

Macdonald is a minor-league goalie with fairly limited NHL experience. This season with the Toronto Marlies, he has an 11-17-3 record with one shutout – not great stats, but the Ducks didn’t give up much for him.

TRADE: Kings get Modin

-The LA Kings have acquired defenseman Fredrik Modin for future considerations from the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Once again, the Kings pick up a veteran defenseman, albeit one who has seen limited action in the past few seasons. Since the lockout, his offensive production has dropped off significantly, however the Kings may be doing what a lot of other teams did today – looking to a veteran guy to maybe play a leadership role down the stretch.

TRADE: Caps add veteran d-man

-The Washington Capitals have brought defenseman Joe Corvo into the mix, with Brian Pothier and prospect Oskar Osala going to Carolina.

Corvo had 38 points last season with the ‘Canes, which is two off of his career high of 40, set in 2005-06. He’s a solid defensive player but has only played 34 games so far this season. It’s clear the Caps are trying to get a strong veteran presence in their lineup on the road to the playoffs.

TRADE: Stempniak to the ‘Yotes

-The Toronto Maple Leafs have dealt Lee Stempniak to the Phoenix Coyotes for fourth and seventh round draft picks.

Stempniak was brought to Toronto to be a goal scorer and he has failed to live up to the bill with just 25 goals in 123 games with the Leafs. With this deal Toronto continues to stockpile draft picks.

Side Note: Reports say Oilers defenseman Sheldon Souray, who the team may have hoped to trade despite a broken hand keeping him out of the lineup, is done for the season because of an infection in his hand. ALSO - the Nashville Predators say Dan Hamhuis will not be traded.

TRADE: Jurcina goes home

-After being dealt to Columbus earlier this season, Milan Jurcina has been traded BACK to the Washington Capitals for a sixth round draft pick.

Jurcina is an average d-man; strange that he would end up back in Washington after playing 17 games for the Blue Jackets. I hope he didn’t sell his house!

TRADE: Sabres deal MacArthur

-Moments after picking up Raffi Torres, the Buffalo Sabres have sent forward Clarke MacArthur to the Atlanta Thrashers for third and fourth round picks.

MacArthur is in his fourth NHL season with the Buffalo Sabres and is starting to become a reliable secondary scorer, which is always a valuable asset (especially on a team like Atlanta, who just lost its star forward). The Lloydminster native had 17 goals last year in his first full season with the big club and has 13 goals and 26 points in 60 games this season. I can see MacArthur complimenting what the Thrashers currently have offensively (Afinogenov, who he played with in Buffalo, for example).

TRADE: Sabres add grit, occasional scoring

-The Columbus Blue Jackets have traded former Oilers forward Raffi Torres to the Buffalo Sabres for defenseman Nathan Paetsch and a second round draft pick.

Torres has good hands and a good touch around the net but doesn’t necessarily put it to good use consistently enough. He has 19 goals and 31 assists in 60 games this season and 310 points in 418 career games, which makes him a pretty solid second line player. One thing that sets him apart at times is that he can be a vicious hitter when he’s playing physical. The Sabres are an on-again, off-again good team and I like this addition. Nathan Paetsch hasn’t played much in Buffalo this season, so he’ll probably look forward to the chance to get some ice time in Columbus.

TRADE: Flames send backup to Anaheim

-The Anaheim Ducks have acquired Calgary Flames backup goalie Curtis McElhinney in exchange for former Maple Leafs starting goalie Vesa Toskala.

The Flames were a team that had a solid starter that plays most of hs team’s games and a weaker backup that barely ever starts. Adding former Leaf Vesa Toskala gives them a big name and a bit of a one-two punch in goal. Toskala and Miikka Kiprusoff are apparently friends, which is probably good for team chemistry. Toskala had a rough season in Toronto, but pretty much everyone has had a rough season there. This could be a very good fit for the Flames.

TRADE: Caps continue to stock up on depth forwards

-The Washington Capitals have acquired forward Eric Belanger from the Minnesota Wild for a second round pick.

Belanger is a great depth guy for the Capitals – a consistent 30+ point player in the last seven seasons. He has 13 goals and 35 points in 60 games this season so far with the Wild…but the Caps have started to become known for taking average players to the next level.

TRADE: Bolts send d-man to Kings

-The Tampa Bay Lightning are sending defenseman Jeff Halpern to the LA Kings for Ted Purcell and a third rounder.

The Kings add a veteran blue liner who has represented his country at a few World Championships and could possibly help mentor a young player like Drew Doughty. On seven occasions during his career, Halpern has scored at least 10 goals and is sitting on nine right now.

TRADE: Schneider to the Coyotes

-The Vancouver Canucks have dealt disgruntled defenseman Mathieu Schneider to the Phoenix Coyotes for Sean Zimmerman and 6th round pick.

Schneider hasn’t played for the Canucks since December 16th after getting in a fight with the organization. Since then he’s played eight games with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL. The one-time 21-goal scorer (2005-06) isn’t the player he was, but is still able to contribute. This gives the Coyotes another veteran defenseman and if they can get him to up his game a bit, he could help the team out. The Canucks have also sent d-men Brad Lukowich to the minors, clearing some more cap space.

TRADE: Minor trade between Wings, Rangers

-The Red Wings send centre Kris Newbury to the Rangers for winger Jordan Owens.

Not a big move, but I’ll write a sentence or two on it! Neither of these guys has any real NHL experience, but Newbury is having a decent year with Grand Rapids of the AHL (33pts, 52 games). Owens has 19 points in 50 games for the Hartford Wolf Pack.

TRADE: Mueller on the Move

-The Phoenix Coyotes have dealt forwards Peter Mueller and Kevin Porter to the Colorado Avalanche for Wojtek Wolski.

Mueller had a great rookie season, but hasn’t really had the same spark since, going from 22 to 13 to just four goals this season. On the other side of things, Wolski has scored as many as 22 goals and as few as 14 so far in his four-ish seasons in the NHL. Both players are former first round picks that could probably benefit from the change of scenery. Kevin Porter won the Hobey Baker award in 2008 and has had two pretty decent seasons in the American Hockey League – a good addition for the Avs.

TRADE: Canucks add Stastny

-Not that Stastny though – Vancouver has traded forward Pierre-Cedric Labrie to St. Louis for Yan Stastny.

Stastny has spent most of this season with the Peoria Rivermen of the AHL, putting up 27 points in 49 games; Labrie has just six points in 45 games with the Manitoba Moose. It appears as though this is a win for the Canucks, but Labrie is still developing.

TRADE: Walker to Washington

-The Carolina Hurricanes have traded winger Scott Walker to the Washington Capitals for a seventh round pick.

Walker adds some grit to an extremely talented Capitals offense, which they addressed earlier with the acquisition of Jason Chimera from Columbus. Walker won’t score you big points, but by all accounts he’s a great character guy that could be more valuable for his off-ice contributions than what he does on the ice.

Waiver News: Oilers claim forward Ryan Jones off of waivers from the Nashville Predators. Jones had seven goals and 11 points in 41 games this season, his second in the NHL. In other waiver wire news, Chris Chelios has cleared waivers, paving the way for his NHL return with the Atlanta Thrashers.

Could the Oilers be adding a forward because they're hoping to unload another? I think Oil fans are hoping that is the case. Jones looks like he's got potential and seems like the type of player that could fit in with some of the team's other young forwards (Brule, Pouliot, etc.) As for Chelios, I think it's great that he's headed back to the NHL potentially. I think playing in his hometown in the AHL has probably recharged him and his passion for playing pro hockey.

Side Note: So far nothing HUGE has happened...things to watch for in the final two hours are what the Oilers are doing (apparently they are working hard to ship at least two players...a deal with the Rangers could be in play). Also, there are tons of players that have been rumored to be on the move in the past few days like Carolina's Ray Whitney - but will anything materialize? This is the last chance for teams to make adjustments before the playoffs...

TRADE: Ducks get Ward

-The Anaheim Ducks send goaltending prospect Justin Pogge and a fourth round pick to Carolina for defenseman Aaron Ward.

Ward is an experienced defender who has three Stanley Cup rings, adding a solid presence on the blue line and another leader in their dressing room. We’re seeing a lot of teams adding experienced depth players a lot so far today.

TRADE: Seidenberg to the Bruins

-The Florida Panthers have dealt Dennis Seidenberg and Matthew Bartkowski for Craig Weller, Byron Bitz and a second round pick.

The Bruins were thin on the blue line, so adding Seidenberg makes sense. Right now, Weller is a minor league player, while Bitz is a 25-year-old who hasn’t scored more than four goals in either of his two NHL seasons.

TRADE: Don’t get comfortable - Skoula to NJ

-Less than 24 hours after being dealt from Pittsburgh to Toronto in the Alex Ponikarovsky deal, Martin Skoula has been traded to the NJ Devils for a fifth round draft pick.

Skoula is a depth defenseman and is a good fit on a defensive team like New Jersey. Toronto seems to be stockpiling draft picks as they try to rebuild the franchise.

TRADE: Morris back to Phoenix

-The Phoenix Coyotes have acquired defenseman Derek Morris to Boston for a conditional pick in 2011.

Morris is a consistent defenseman who has only missed 10 games in the past four seasons. The Coyotes are a great team this year, and bring back a familiar face in this deal.

TRADE: Pens Pony up

-The Pittsburgh Penguins have dealt prospect Luca Caputi and defenseman Martin Skoula to the Toronto Maple Leafs for winger Alex Ponikarovsky.

This is a good move for the Penguins - Ponikarovsky is an imposing figure (listed at 6'4, 220lbs) with a good touch around the net - with one more goal this season, he'll have his fourth 20-goal campaign in the five years since the lockout. If he was able to put up pretty good numbers on a struggling team like the Leafs, you'd think he'll be even better with Pittsburgh. Going the other way, Caputi is a good prospect - a one-time 50 goal scorer in the OHL who has 23 goals and 47 points in 54 games in the AHL this season as a 21-year-old. Don't forget, the Leafs have some good prospects in the system already, with another high draft pick likely coming this year. Skoula is a depth defenseman that can probably help the Leafs in that respect.

TRADE: Habs and Blues swap youngsters

-The Montreal Canadiens have traded forward Matt D'Agostini to the St. Louis Blues for forward Aaron Palushaj.

D'Agostini has a huge upside but hasn't had very good numbers for the Habs this season (2g,2a in 40 games). Palushaj has 22 points in 44 games with the Peoria Rivermen after putting up 94 points in 82 games with the University of Michigan from 2007 to 2009.

TRADE: Boynton to the Hawks

-The Chicago Blackhawks have acquired defenseman Nick Boynton from the Anaheim Ducks for future considerations.

First up – I’d hate to be traded for ‘future considerations’ but this is a good move for the Hawks to add some experience and depth to their blue line. During a long run into the playoffs (which Chicago is hoping to have), depth and experience are key.

TRADE: Sens add Sutton

-The Ottawa Senators traded a second round draft pick to the New York Islanders in exchange for defenseman Andy Sutton

This is clearly a move to add some experience to Ottawa’s blue line, which is always a good move when it gets to this point in the season. Sutton is more known for his grittiness than his offense – leading the Isles in hits and blocked shots.

TRADE: Thrashers land Artyukhin

-The Atlanta Thrashers acquired forward Evgeny Artyukhin from the Anaheim Ducks for defenseman Nathan Oystrick and a conditional pick in 2011.

In this deal, the Thrashers get a big, strong forward and the Ducks get a young blue liner that could become a bigger part of their team with the right guidance.

TRADE: Oilers deal Denis

-The Edmonton Oilers sent defenseman Denis Grebeshkov to the Nashville Predators for a second round pick.

This could be the first of many deals for the Oilers ahead of the 1pm deadline – or it could be the only move they are able to make. The Predators reaped the benefits of having Grebeshkov right away; he had a goal and an assist in a 4-3 win over the Oilers on Tuesday night.

TRADE: Leopold changes teams…again

-The Pittsburgh Penguins added defenseman Jordan Leopold on Monday, sending a second round pick to the Florida Panthers the other way.

Leopold joins his fourth team in two seasons – he’s a former Hobey Barker award winner that was part of the deal that sent Jay Bouwmeester to the Flames. He’s a pretty good defenseman that can definitely add to what the Pens have on the blue line.

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