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Unsuccessful rental deals are legacy of 2007 deadline

by Adam Schwartz
The 2007 trade deadline was the year of the rental player.

Peter Forsberg, Ryan Smyth, Keith Tkachuk and Bill Guerin were all sought-after commodities that the Predators, Islanders, Thrashers and Sharks, respectively, paid handsomely for only to have the star player leave their organization that summer as free agents.

While none of these players raised a Stanley Cup or had a long-term impact for the acquiring teams; there were other deals which provided stability down the road for other franchises.

Here are some trades of note:

JAN. 8:

Carolina traded Kevyn Adams to Phoenix for Dennis Seidenberg.

Phoenix knew what they were getting in Adams, who had been an energy forward with limited offensive abilities for six-and-a-half seasons in the NHL. Seidenberg, on the other hand, was in the middle of his third season in the League and had yet to find the niche that he later found in Carolina. After suffering injuries that limited him to just 67 games in his first two seasons with the Hurricanes, Seidenberg has set a career-high in points this season and is seeing significant power-play time.

JAN. 29:

Los Angeles traded Craig Conroy to Calgary for Jamie Lundmark, Calgary's fourth-round pick in 2007 and their second-round pick in 2008.

Conroy didn't come cheap, but Calgary was familiar with Conroy since he played for the Flames from 2001 to 2004. Conroy had 21 points in 28 games the rest of the 2006-07 season and has had at least 30 points in each of the past two seasons. Lundmark played just 29 games with the Kings, but then opted to hone his game in Russia during the 2007-08 season and is now back with the Flames organization playing for their American Hockey League affiliate, the Quad City Flames.

FEB. 15:

Philadelphia traded Peter Forsberg for Scottie Upshall, Ryan Parent and Nashville's first-round pick in 2007, which was later traded back to Nashville (Jonathon Blum) and a third-round pick in 2007 (Phil Desimone), which was traded to Washington.

The oft-injured Forsberg was the very definition of a rental player in 2007 as Nashville had its best team in recent memory and had the most points in franchise history with 110. Despite Forsberg's best efforts -- 2 goals and 4 points -- the Predators lost in five games in the opening round to the Sharks. Upshall has found a home in Philadelphia and the rugged right wing contributes in both ends. Parent is an up-and-coming mobile defenseman, which remain a sought-after commodity in the NHL. 

FEB. 25:
Atlanta traded Glen Metropolit, its first-round pick, which was later traded to Calgary (Mikael Backlund), a third-round pick (Brett Sonne) in 2007 and a second-round pick in 2008 to St. Louis for Keith Tkachuk.

Even though they traded him, the Blues liked Tkachuk, which was obvious when they traded back for him in the summer and signed him to a new deal. Tkachuk, who played for the Western Conference at the 2009 All-Star Game in Montreal, had 3 points as the Thrashers got swept by the Rangers in the first round in the franchise's first playoff appearance. The team that made out best on this deal, however, could very well be the Flames, who got Mikael Backlund with their first-round pick in 2007. Backlund was playing in Sweden, but has come to North America and after a one-game stint with the Flames, he was assigned to the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League where fellow first-round picks Luke Schenn and Tyler Myers played.

FEB. 27:

Edmonton traded Ryan Smyth to the Islanders for Ryan O'Marra, Robert Nilsson and the Islanders first-round pick in 2007 (Alex Plante).

Smyth wasn't in Long Island for very long, but he did enough to help propel the Islanders to their fourth first-round defeat in five seasons -- this time in five games to the Sabres. Smyth bolted for Colorado during the summer. O'Marra was playing in the ECHL last season and has yet to crack the Oilers roster. Nilsson, however, had 40 points playing alongside Andrew Cogliano and Sam Gagner on Edmonton's "Kid Line." Plante is still a promising offensive defenseman prospect, playing for the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL. 

St. Louis traded Bill Guerin to San Jose for Ville Nieminen, Jay Barriball and a first-round pick in 2007 (David Perron) that was previously acquired from New Jersey.

Guerin had just 9 points in 16 regular-season games for the Sharks and was disappointing in the playoffs, as well, totaling just 2 assists in 9 games as San Jose was eliminated in the second round for the second consecutive season -- this time in six games by the Red Wings. Perron, a speedy and skilled left wing, is a centerpiece in the Blues' rebuilding project and earned a spot on the Sophomores team at the YoungStars Game during the 2009 All-Star Weekend in Montreal. Niemenen finished the season in St. Louis before playing in Sweden last season and Finland this season and Barriball is still a solid prospect playing at the University of Minnesota. 
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