Deadline frenzy sees Gaborik, Pominville, Erat moved
The Columbus Blue Jackets are all in on their pursuit of the second Stanley Cup Playoffs berth in franchise history. The New York Rangers dealt a three-time 40-goal scorer. The Buffalo Sabres continued their shakeup by dealing their captain, the Nashville Predators traded one of their franchise fixtures, and a lot of other teams went for added depth.
Such was the activity at this year's NHL Trade Deadline, which saw most of the major deals crammed into the last 45 minutes before the 3 p.m. ET end of the trade period.
Gaborik hit the 40-goal mark in two of his first three seasons with the Rangers, but he's struggled badly this season (nine goals and 19 points in 35 games, just two goals in his past 22) and had his ups and downs with New York coach John Tortorella, including a 10-minute on-ice session last week. If he can regain his scoring touch, he'll give a major boost to a team that's one point out of eighth place in the Western Conference despite being 29th in scoring. He has one more season on his contract at a cap hit of $7.5 million.
Brassard (seven goals, 18 points) should slot in as a third-line center; the Rangers have gotten almost nothing offensively from their bottom-six forwards. He was the sixth player chosen in the 2006 NHL Draft. Moore, 22, was the 21st player taken in the 2009 draft; he has two goals and eight points in 86 NHL games, including one assist in 17 games this season. Dorsett, a feisty forward, is out for the season after shoulder surgery.
The Wild, battling Vancouver for first in the Northeast Division, should get an offensive boost from Pominville, who has 10 goals and 25 assists this season for the struggling Sabres, who drafted him in 2001. He had 30 goals and 73 points in 2011-12. Pominville has 456 points in 578 NHL games and is signed through 2013-14 with a cap hit of $5.3 million.
Larsson is a 20-year-old defenseman who was taken in the second round (No. 56) of the 2010 NHL Draft and has 15 goals and 37 points with Minnesota's AHL team in Houston. Hackett has had a couple of short stints with the Wild and gives the Sabres some flexibility to make other moves in the future.
Erat, 31, was tied for the team scoring lead (4-17-21) and has put up 49 to 58 points in each of the past eight seasons -- all with Nashville, the only team he's ever played for. He has reached the 20-goal mark three times and adds useful scoring depth as the Capitals try to overcome a slow start to make the playoffs. Erat has two seasons left on a seven-year deal with a cap hit of $4.5 million. Latta was second on Nashville's AHL affiliate in Milwaukee with 34 points -- and tops in penalty minutes with 185. He'll move from Milwaukee to Hershey, the Capitals' AHL farm team.
But the new additions may have come at a big price. Forsberg, the Capitals' first-round pick (No. 11) last June, is a highly-regarded 18-year-old forward who was voted the best 20-and-under player in Sweden's second-tier league and was voted to the All-Star team at the World Junior Championship in January. He is playing for Leksands -- and helped the team move up to the Swedish Elite League for 2013-14, but has signed an entry-level NHL contract and would be eligible to come to North America when his season ends on Friday.
The Flyers hope they've found a reliable backup for starter Ilya Bryzgalov; the Blue Jackets finally cut bait on Mason, the 2009 Calder Trophy winner who's never been able to match his rookie performance. Leighton will back up ex-Flyer Sergei Bobrovsky, who has grabbed the No. 1 goaltending job in Columbus.
Bishop was the odd man out in Ottawa's crease, but he'll get the chance to grab the starting job in Tampa Bay, which has been hamstrung by poor goaltending for much of the season. Conacher is second among rookies with 24 points, including nine goals -- though he's slowed markedly after a fast start. The Senators need an offensive boost.
Carolina trades C Jussi Jokinen to Pittsburgh for a conditional 2013 draft pick
The Hurricanes waived Jokinen last week and he went unclaimed, so they turned him into a draft pick by sending him to the Penguins, who can use another center with Sidney Crosby sidelined by a broken jaw.
Coyotes GM Don Maloney dealt away three 30-something players to add assets down the road. The only player coming back to Phoenix is MacMillan, a third-round pick by the Ducks in 2008 who had eight goals and 13 points in 41 games for Anaheim's AHL affiliate in Norfolk and one assist in six games with the parent club this season.
Sullivan, Lombardi and Torres all provide their new teams with depth up front -- while helping the Coyotes trim payroll and get younger. Sullivan returns to the team he played for his first two NHL seasons; Lombardi gives the Ducks another center as they try to fill a hole in the middle; and Torres brings the physicality the Sharks lost by dealing Ryane Clowe to the Rangers on Tuesday.
Florida trades C Jerred Smithson to Edmonton for a fourth-round pick in 2013
Smithson has struggled all season to find a role with Florida. He brings one notable skill to his new team -- success in the faceoff circle. He won 54.8 percent of his draws in Florida, which should give a boost to the NHL's worst faceoff team (45.0 percent).
Colorado trades D Ryan O'Byrne to Toronto for a fourth-round pick in 2014
O'Byrne gives the Maple Leafs a little more muscle on the blue line as they battle for their first playoff berth since 2004.
Calgary trades F Blake Comeau to Columbus for a fifth-round pick in 2013
The Blue Jackets hope Comeau can provide some bottom-six offense; he's had just nine goals in 91 games after joining Calgary on waivers in 2011, but scored 24 times for the Islanders in '10-11.
Nashville trades D Scott Hannan to San Jose for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2013
Hannan goes back to the Sharks, with whom he spent most of his career, and provides depth on defense. The Predators open a spot for some of their young defensemen.
St. Louis trades D Wade Redden to Boston for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2014
Redden, claimed on waivers by St. Louis after the Rangers bought him out, was playing 15 minutes a game with the Blues but figured to be the odd man out after St. Louis brought in Jay Bouwmeester from Calgary and Jordan Leopold from Buffalo. He'll provide depth on the blue line in Boston, which has been hit with injuries.