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Big names remain, but many GMs made deals early

by Dan Rosen
The term Trade Deadline Day is outdated. From now on, this part of the regular season should be referred to as Trade Deadline Week.

It's fairly obvious that general managers across the NHL don't want to wait until the last possible moment to pull off a deal, however big or small it is. 

Deadline Day isn't even here yet but starting with the Jarome Iginla blockbuster last Thursday morning (or Wednesday night, depending on where you live), 25 players and 16 draft picks have been exchanged in 15 trades involving 21 teams.


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You can tack on three more players, including Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray, plus four more draft picks, if you go back to March 24.

Even the media is struggling to keep up. There is barely enough time to write a story or publish a video about who could be on the move before one of those players is, in fact, moved.

For example,'s original story on the top 13 players that could be dealt before the deadline wasn't even published yet before two players on the list were traded -- Jay Bouwmeester went from the Calgary Flames to the St. Louis Blues and Robyn Regehr from the Buffalo Sabres to the Los Angeles Kings. Both deals were announced Monday night.

Three more players listed in that story, Jaromir Jagr, Derek Roy and Ryane Clowe were traded Tuesday.

All the movement so far suggests that perhaps there won't be that big of a flurry on deadline day, but that's nothing new if you consider what has happened since 31 trades were made on deadline day in 2010.

There were 16 trades on deadline day in 2011 and 2012, the lowest amount since the 12 deadline-day deals that were made in 2000.

It makes sense for general managers of contending teams to strike early. The whole goal is to acquire the player and get him to your team as quickly as possible to make sure he has enough time to build chemistry with his new teammates.

Penguins general manager Ray Shero went with that philosophy last week and found three counterparts willing to deal. Morrow will be playing his fourth game as a Penguin on Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN), while Murray will be in his third and Iginla his second.

The Penguins are ahead of the game in that sense.

For a GM like Joe Nieuwendyk of the Dallas Stars, it wasn't as easy to identify what to do with his roster after dealing Morrow to Pittsburgh.

However, Nieuwendyk watched his team lose 4-0 to the Anaheim Ducks on Monday and promptly pulled the trigger on the two blockbusters Tuesday.

He sent Roy to the Vancouver Canucks and Jagr to the Boston Bruins, reeling in top defensive prospect Kevin Connauton and two second-round draft picks in the 2013 NHL Draft, plus 23-year-old Lane MacDermid and 19-year-old Cody Payne.

Jaromir Jagr
Right Wing - BOS
GOALS: 14 | ASST: 12 | PTS: 26
SOG: 87 | +/-: -5
The second-round pick Dallas got from Boston in the Jagr deal will turn into a first-round pick in this year's draft if the Bruins reach the Eastern Conference Finals.

However, even with so many big names already changing addresses, some still remain in play (at least as of when this story was submitted).

Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff and San Jose Sharks forward Ryane Clowe have generated the most buzz of late. According to various reports, the general feeling is both players could be on the move, perhaps before the night is over.

TSN's Darren Dreger reported that the Flames gave the Toronto Maple Leafs permission to speak with Kiprusoff's agents about signing an extension if he were to be traded to Toronto. Dreger reported that Leafs general manager Dave Nonis spoke to Kiprusoff's agent, Larry Kelly, on Monday and was going to attempt to speak directly with Kiprusoff on Tuesday.

Kiprusoff has one season left on his contract. He carries a $5.8 million salary-cap hit, but is owed only $1.5 million in actual dollars next season.

Kiprusoff reportedly told the Flames that because of family reasons he would not report to a team if he was traded, but if that trade includes a contract extension, it may entice him to go.

Rangers forward Marian Gaborik has been on the fringe of the rumor mill, but he admitted Tuesday that he knows his name is out there and he's trying not to think about it. Gaborik has one year left on a contract that pays him $7.5 million annually.

Islanders defenseman Mark Streit is another interesting name to follow with the deadline nearing.

Dreger reported early Tuesday that the Islanders' attempts at re-signing their captain have stalled, and despite the fact that they are in the thick of the race in the Eastern Conference playoff chase, the team may look to deal Streit, who is set to be an unrestricted free agent after the season.

The Islanders also could keep Streit for a playoff push, but the downside is they risk losing him for nothing in the summer.

Roberto Luongo is still out there and Canucks GM Mike Gillis said Monday that he was in contact with four teams interested in the veteran goalie, who is signed through 2021. However, Gillis still wasn't sure if trading Luongo before the deadline is in the best interest of the Canucks, or if it would be better to wait until the summer.

Then again, it's possible that he will be traded before this story sees the light of day.


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