CALGARY -- After promising Thursday not to be fooled again by his team's on-ice product after their bid for a Stanley Cup Playoff berth fell short a year ago, Calgary Flames general manager Jay Feaster painted a much calmer picture Friday.
Prompted by his team's poor on-ice performance while pushing for one of the final playoff berths in a tight Western Conference race, Feaster vowed Thursday to be busy if he didn't see a dramatic improvement out of his club before Monday's trade deadline.
But after a good night's sleep, those comments were adjusted Friday.
In a professional sport with a salary cap, there are few commodities more prized than prospects with impact potential. The ability to develop and deploy young, cheap players in roles that usually cost a significant amount of money is the biggest advantage a team can have outside of just having the best player at a certain position.
That is a big reason why elite-level prospects are rarely traded at any time of the year, and why draft picks are often the cost of doing business at the trade deadline -- unless the return is a standout player who isn't a rental.
That being said, there are quality prospects traded at the deadline. A year ago it was Joe Colborne going from Boston to Toronto and Colton Teubert going from Los Angeles to Edmonton.
The Trade Deadline is just days away. There have already been a few intriguing moves, but some of the biggest names that have been reported to be available are still out there. Here's a look at NHL.com's NHL's "Most Wanted" list in the final weekend leading up the Monday afternoon deadline.
6-foot-4, 219 pounds
2011-12: 20 goals, 42 points in 60 games
Career: 279 goals, 530 points in 652 games
Nash is a legitimate star, one of the top 10-15 players in the League when he is on top of his game. He is one of the top power forwards in the NHL and has six 30-goal seasons despite rarely playing with a bona fide No. 1 center during his time in Columbus.
He has yet to pass the physical upon which Thursday night's trade from Los Angeles is contingent, so he will have to wait until Sunday, in Pittsburgh against the Penguins, to begin the newest chapter of his career.
But it is clear from his comments that Sunday can't come soon enough for Johnson, who was sent to Columbus along with a conditional first-round pick by the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forward Jeff Carter.
We are now less than a week away from the NHL's trade deadline, and hockey’s swapping season could get crazy in the coming days. Here at NHL.com, we will bring you a daily roundup of reported rumors about who might be available and which teams might be looking to make a move for your lunchtime consumption in Deadline Diner.
LOS ANGELES: The Kings made the first major trade leading up to the 2012 trade deadline, and reports are they may not be done. After landing Jeff Carter from Columbus for defenseman Jack Johnson and a first-round pick, TSN's Bob McKenzie reported GM Dean Lombardi will consider trading captain Dustin Brown.
McKenzie reported Thursday morning that eight teams -- Boston, Buffalo, Edmonton, New Jersey, the N.Y. Rangers, Philadelphia, Toronto and Vancouver -- have expressed "high interest" in Brown. He has two years and $3.175 million left in his contract.
Future draft picks are a huge part of the NHL Trade Deadline.
By the time the trade window closes at 3 p.m. ET Monday it's likely that quite a few draft picks in the 2012 and 2013 NHL Drafts will change hands as GMs position themselves for the June selection process.
Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman was certainly busy this past week, making five trades in six days while stockpiling his cupboard with extra 2012 draft picks. Yzerman currently has two first-round picks and a minimum of three second-round choices -- which could turn out to be four if the conditions of one of the deals is met.
"I'm trading players and popular players for draft picks," Yzerman said. "These moves are made for the future. My only message is I'm going to do what I feel is necessary to be a Stanley Cup contender, and I think these moves help us get going in that direction."
Columbus general manager Scott Howson is not done remaking his team after Thursday night's blockbuster that netted him defenseman Jack Johnson and a first-round pick.
That means he would like to make a few more deals before Monday's Trade Deadline arrives at 3 p.m. ET
"I’ve been pretty clear about what I’m saying," Howson said minutes after announcing Thursday that he had traded center Jeff Carter to the Los Angeles Kings. "We’re looking at every and all opportunities to improve this hockey team; but I’m not going to comment on any specific situation or specific player."
More than eight years later, now as general manager of the Los Angeles Kings, Lombardi consulted former Flyers assistant coach and current L.A. assistant John Stevens when he needed to know more about Carter.
The verdict from everything he's known and heard about Carter told him that the risk he took Thursday night in swinging a blockbuster deal to acquire Carter from Columbus was worth it.
The trade is contingent on both players passing physicals.
Unlike most deals made around the Trade Deadline, which is Monday at 3 p.m., this is a deal that sees top-end talent going each way, as opposed to the more common deals that see an established player facing free agency moved in exchange for prospects of draft picks.
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