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Few trades made before market closes for a while

Friday, 02.12.2010 / 10:24 AM / 2010 Trade Deadline

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

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Few trades made before market closes for a while
As the NHL prepares for the 2010 Winter Olympics, a roster freeze goes into effect at 3 p.m., and lasts until 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 28.
In the final hours of shopping prior to the NHL's Olympic roster freeze, three deals were made, while it's almost certain seeds for countless others were planted.

The NHL went into general shut-down mode at 3 p.m. ET on Friday, and the roster freeze lasts until 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 28.

The biggest of the three trades Friday involved the Chicago Blackhawks acquiring veteran defenseman Kim Johnsson from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for defenseman Cam Barker. The Blackhawks also acquired the rights to Nick Leddy, the Wild's 2009 first-round pick currently in his first season at the University of Minnesota.

Earlier Friday, the Ottawa Senators added depth to their forward unit by getting center Matt Cullen from the Carolina Hurricanes. The 'Canes received defenseman Alexandre Picard and the Sens' 2010 second-round draft pick.

Also, the New York Rangers picked up rugged forward Jody Shelley from the San Jose Sharks for a 2011 sixth-round pick that could become a fifth-round pick if the Rangers sign Shelley to a contract extension.

Those moves, however, don't answer any of the questions surrounding the future of a number of big-name players, as the rumor mill continues its near-uncontrollable spin.

Carolina's Ray Whitney, Columbus' Raffi Torres, Montreal's Jaroslav Halak, Boston's Michael Ryder and Tim Thomas, Dallas' Marty Turco and Edmonton's Sheldon Souray have been some of the bigger names mentioned to be on the move.

Some teams could be more active than others. Toronto GM Brian Burke, after dealing away six players recently to acquire defenseman Dion Phaneuf from Calgary and goalie Jean-Sebastian Giguere from Anaheim, declared he still was "open for business," with forward Alexei Ponikarovsky the most-talked about name on the move.

Florida GM Randy Sexton, with his team losing five straight, sounds like he'll be selling.

"There's no player off limits," Sexton said. "There are players we'd like to keep, but at the end of the day Wayne Gretzky was traded. We have to get better and get our team to the point where we want it to be. Sometimes you have to make hard decisions.

"We have too many guys who don't compete. You can't win in this game unless you're ready to show up and go to war every night. We don't have enough of them. This is not the type of team we want. We're going to keep making changes until we get that. It takes time. It's like turning around the Titanic and not a rowboat." -- Florida Panthers GM Randy Sexton

"We have too many guys who don't compete. You can't win in this game unless you're ready to show up and go to war every night. We don't have enough of them. This is not the type of team we want. We're going to keep making changes until we get that. It takes time. It's like turning around the Titanic and not a rowboat."

He started the process by moving center Dominic Moore to Montreal Thursday, and other players that could be packing their bags -- either sometime today or prior to the March 3 trade deadline -- include goalie Tomas Vokoun, and forwards Steven Reinprecht and Rostislav Olesz. Power forward Nathan Horton, out with a broken leg but expected back after the Olympics, also could be on the move.

The Oilers also could be very active, as owner Darryl Katz called his team's play this season "completely unacceptable," and empowered GM Steve Tambellini to do whatever he needed to do to improve the situation of the last-place club.

"'Tamby' has the absolute green light to do whatever he needs to do to rebuild the hockey club," Katz told Edmonton radio station 630 CHED. "Notwithstanding the injuries, what we have to date is not working. That's clear. I expect, and we should all expect, to see some changes."

Among the teams that could be buying are the Philadelphia Flyers, especially if Vokoun becomes available. Goaltender Ray Emery is out for at least three weeks with a hip problem, leaving the starting duty to Michael Leighton. Leighton has played well, but he has no NHL playoff experience. Vokoun doesn't have much himself (11 games), but he leads the League with a .930 save percentage and seven shutouts.

The New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins all could use scoring help, which a player like Whitney or maybe St. Louis' Keith Tkachuk would supply.

Teams looking for help on the back end would love to write Souray's name in their lineup, but the broken hand he suffered in a fight with Calgary's Jarome Iginla will keep him sidelined until after the Olympics. He also has a no-trade clause in his contract, so any team that wants him might have to do a bit of convincing.

Washington, which has allowed six goals in each of its last two games, could be looking to add some muscle to its defense corps. Possibilities include Edmonton's Steve Staios or Jason Strudwick, Carolina's Andrew Alberts or Aaron Ward or the Islanders' Brendan Witt.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com
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