With the dust all settled on the 2010 NHL Trade Deadline, I will take a couple minutes to address how each of the top four teams in the Eastern Conference did bolstering their squads. Teams are assessed in order of their conference rank heading into Wednesday's action and all trades include all moves from Jan. 31 forward:
F Eric Belanger, F Scott Walker, D Milan Jurcina and D Joe Corvo.
D Brian Pothier, F Oskar Osala, 2010 second-round pick, 2010 seventh-round pick, 2011 second-round pick and a conditional draft pick.
Washington was able to secure a couple of solid veterans in Eric Belanger and Scott Walker who will add grit, leadership and secondary scoring (as if they need any more) to the bottom two lines. I really love Belanger, who scored in both games he faced the Penguins this season for Minnesota. Corvo is a wild card for the Capitals. He can man the point on the power play and makes a great outlet pass five-on-five. His problem this season has been injuries. If Corvo stays healthy, he is a great addition for Washington. However, if I were to assign a grade to the Capitals, they would have to be docked at least one full letter for not addressing their goaltending.
F Ilya Kovalchuk, D Anssi Salmela, D Martin Skoula.
F Nicklas Bergfors, D Johnny Oduya, F Patrice Cormier, 2010 first-round pick and 2010 fifth-round pick.
There is little argument from anybody who covers the game that the Devils got the biggest offensive talent available at the deadline in Kovalchuk. The former Rocket Richard Trophy winner is beginning to become comfortable with his new surroundings and has picked up goals in back-to-back games. One issue with Kovalchuk, he has only four career postseason games on his resume. New Jersey lost a key defender when Oduya went the other way to help bring in Kovalchuk. Everyone expected them to make another substantial trade to replace Oduya, but they instead elected to go the depth route picking up former Penguin Martin Skoula from Toronto.
F Matt Cullen and D Andy Sutton.
D Alexandre Picard, 2010 second-round pick and a future second-round pick.
A team that has gotten stronger with each passing month in 2009-10 has to be considered among the winners at the deadline with the additions of Cullen and Sutton prior to Wednesday. Cullen is a former Stanley Cup champion with the Carolina Hurricanes. He is a solid two-way center also capable of playing the point on the power play. Sutton is a crease-clearing defender who doesn't lose too many battles in the corner. Adding him to a defensive corps which includes Anton Volchenkov and Chris Phillips makes for an imposing top-three. Both players fit perfectly into the personality of the Senators.
F Alexei Ponikarovsky, D Jordan Leopold and 2010 sixth-round pick.
F Luca Caputi, D Martin Skoula, D Chris Peluso and 2010 second-round pick.
Another perfect trade deadline for Penguins general manager Ray Shero. He is a buyer for the fourth-straight season and he is a winner for the fourth time. Ponikarovsky instantly becomes the Penguins No. 3 leading scorer. Expected to play on a line with Evgeni Malkin
, Ponikarovsky has a large frame which will help open space for Malkin. Leopold is an all-around blueliner whose skills should help him flourish in Pittsburgh. Leopold has the skating ability to match up against opposing teams' top players in addition to having offensive talent. These two additions also give the Penguins an extra body at both forward and defense, creating a healthy internal competition.
Make sure to check back a little later as we recap all of the days' comings and goings and break down how all the moves affected the balance of power in the Eastern Conference.
If you feel like it seems the Phoenix Coyotes replaced half of their organization you aren't the only one. A VERY late deal has Phoenix sending defenseman Anders Eriksson to the New York Rangers in exchange for prospect Niika Wiikman and a 2011 seventh round draft pick. I don't think this move changes the balance of power in either conference much.
With all of the trades now in, we can report the final three trades of the afternoon and update you on what the Washington Capitals gave up in a couple of their late deals. We mentioned that the Capitals sent Brian Pothier and Oskar Osala to Carolina for Joe Corvo, but we have now found out they sent a second-round draft pick to the Hurricanes as well. Washington's price to re-acquire Milan Jurcina from the Columbus Blue Jackets was a sixth-round draft pick.
In a trio of late trades the Calgary Flames bolstered their D-core by packaging Aaron Johnson and a third-round draft pick to the Edmonton Oilers for veteran Steve Staios, one of the better leaders in the game. A classic defensive-defender, Staios has picked up seven assists in 40 games. He averages 18:50 minutes of ice time per game. The Colorado Avalanche also added a veteran presence to their young locker room by acquiring Stephane Yelle and Harrison Reed from the Carolina Hurricanes for Cedric Lalonde-McNicoll and a sixth-round draft pick. Finally, Phoenix made their fifth trade of the afternoon, picking up bottom-line center Petteri Nokelainen from Anaheim for a sixth-round draft pick.
All these trades we are reporting and no mention of our team. Well that changes as we can announce the Penguins have dealt prospect Chris Peluso, who is playing collegiately at Bemidji State, to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 2010 sixth-round draft pick. It is the second trade between the two teams in less than 24 hours. Click here
to read more about the trade.
Nashville has added some secondary scoring by acquiring Dustin Boyd from the Calgary Flames in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick. Boyd has picked up eight goals and 11 assists in 60 games. Calgary had a glut of forwards after the Dion Phaneuf trade so this helps clear that up a bit.
Vancouver, which is battling injuries on the blue line to Kevin Bieksa and Willie Mitchell, added some depth by sending a third-round draft pick to the Carolina Hurricanes for big Andrew Alberts.
Here is a late-breaking trade which should be of interest to Penguins fans. Just one year after acquiring Ryan Whitney from the Penguins for Chris Kunitz
and Eric Tangradi
, the Anaheim Ducks have shipped Whitney to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for fellow offensive-minded defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky. Whitney, who represented Team USA at the 2010 Olympics, has 28 points (4G-24A) in 62 games. He was second on the Ducks in average ice time at 24:33 minutes per game. Visnovsky ranks third on the Oilers with 32 points (10G-22) in 57 games.
Another minor deal has sneaked through the cracks. Columbus ships defenseman Mathieu Roy to the Florida Panthers in exchange for prospect Matt Rust.
A minor deal - the Toronto Maple Leafs have shipped No. 3 netminder Joey MacDonald to the Anaheim Ducks for a 2011 seventh-round draft pick. Anaheim adds goaltending depth after sending Justin Pogge to Carolina earlier in the day as part of a package to bring Aaron Ward aboard.
Two more trades have broken after the 3 p.m. deadline. The Washington Capitals pull off their fourth trade of the afternoon as they send solid blueliner Brian Pothier and prospect Oskar Osala to the Carolina Hurricanes for Joe Corvo. This move comes minutes after the Caps brought defenseman Milan Jurcina back into the fold as well. Corvo has battled injuries this season but has picked up 12 points (4G-8A) in 35 games. He ranked second on the Hurricanes with an average ice time of 25:13 minutes per game.
Los Angeles sends future considerations to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Fredrik Modin. The oft-injured Modin has just two goals and six points in 24 games for the Jackets.
Stempniak is on his way to Phoenix. He has been dealt for fourth and seventh round draft picks. This is the fourth move pulled today by the Coyotes, who previously acquired defensemen Derek Morris and Mathieu Schnieder and forward Wojtek Wolski. The Coyotes are currently in fifth place in the Western Conference. Stempniak has 14 goals and 30 points in 62 games.
TSN Sportscentre is reporting that a trade is on the table for Lee Stempniak. We will get you the details as soon as we have them.
Washington pulls off their third trade of the day and this one is kind of interesting. They have re-acquired defenseman Milan Jurcina from the Columbus Blue Jackets. We are still awaiting the return. Washington dealt Jurcina and Chris Clark to the Jackets back on Dec. 28.
Earlier in the day the Capitals acquired forwards Eric Belanger and Scott Walker in separate deals.
Buffalo strikes for the second time in 13 minutes as they send forward Clarke MacArthur to the Atlanta Thrashers for a third and fourth round draft pick. This is sort of surprising that the Sabres would subtract from their offense. In 60 games MacArthur has 13 goals and 13 assists.
I said earlier in the day that the Buffalo Sabres needed to add some help on the wing and they have answered that call by acquiring Raffi Torres from the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenseman Nathan Paetsch and a second-round draft pick. A physical winger, Torres ranked third on the Blue Jackets with 19 goals in 60 games. Paetsch, who was a healthy scratch against the Penguins on Tuesday, has a goal and an assist in 11 games with Buffalo.
A couple more backup goaltenders are on the move as the Calgary Flames have shipped Curtis McElhinney to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Vesa Toskala. This is the second time Toskala has been traded in the past month. He was earlier acquired by Anaheim with Jason Blake for Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Toskala is the more well-known of the two. In 26 games with the Maple Leafs and Ducks he has a 7-12-3 record, 3.66 goals-against average and .874 save percentage. McElhinney is 3-4 with a 3.23 goals-against average and .885 save percentage.
Three trades to catch you up on here. The Washington Capitals have sent a second-round draft pick to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for center Eric Belanger. This is another depth move for the Capitals, as Belanger is capable of playing all three positions up front. He has 13 goals and 22 assists in 60 games.
The Los Angeles Kings have added a veteran presence for the stretch run by acquiring Jeff Halpern from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for young forward Ted Purcell and a third-round pick. Los Angeles has been one of the surprise teams this season, and this move will help show their young kids the ropes in the postseason.
Finally, the Phoenix Coyotes have pulled off their third move of the day by bringing Mathieu Schnieder on board in exchange for an undisclosed draft pick. Schnieder had been playing for the Manitoba Moose of the AHL after a disappointing start to the season.
The final scorecard on the earlier Vancouver-St. Louis trade: Yan Stastny heads to Vancouver in exchange for Pierre-Cedric Labrie. I'm not even going to pretend I know something about Labrie.
In their quest to acquire every tough guy in the NHL, the Rangers get Kris Newbury from the Detroit Red Wings for minor-leaguer Jordan Owens. Newbury is the third enforcer acquired by the Rangers over the past month following Brandon Prust and Jody Shelley. Penguins fans might remember Newbury's 2007 encounter with then-Penguin Ronald Petrovicky:
We have our first "major" trade of the day. The Phoenix Coyotes swing their second deal of the day by sending 2006 first-round draft pick Peter Mueller and Kevin Porter to the Colorado Avalanche for Wojtek Wolski. Only 24-years-old, Wolski was Colorado's second-leading scorer with 47 points (17G-30A) in 62 games. Mueller is even younger at 21. He is having a down season with just 17 points (4G-13A) in 54 games, but he did notch 22 goals and 54 points two seasons ago as a 19-year-old rookie. This is a move where both teams hope a change of scenery will help both players.
In a minor move of sorts the Vancouver Canucks have acquired Yan Stastny from the St. Louis Blues. Stastny was currently playing in Peoria of the American Hockey League. We have yet to hear what the Canucks gave up.
Washington enters the trade derby by sending a seventh-round draft pick to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Scott Walker. This is a good move for the Capitals to add more grit into their lineup. Walker has a Stanley Cup ring and was a key member last season when the Hurricanes advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.
However, still no goaltender for the Capitals, and I believe that is there most pressing need prior to the 3 p.m. deadline.
The trades are coming in a little faster now as the Carolina Hurricanes continue to clean house. They have shipped defenseman Aaron Ward, a member of their 2006 Stanley Cup championship squad, to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for goaltender Justin Pogge and a fourth-round draft pick. Could this be a precursor to the Ducks shipping out one of either Ryan Whitney or James Wisniewski as heavily rumored?
Boston has filled the void they created about an hour ago by acquiring defenseman Dennis Seidenberg from the Florida Panthers. In addition to Seidenberg the Bruins also received Mark Bartowki in exchange for Byron Bitz and Craig Weller, and a second-round draft pick.
A good move by the Bruins to acquire a solid shot blocker and puck mover after trading Derek Morris earlier in the day.
The Devils gave up a 2010 fifth-round draft pick in exchange for Skoula. The 30-year-old blueliner has picked up eight points (3G-5A) in 33 games this season with the Penguins. He will have two chances to face his former team when the Penguins visit New Jersey on Mar. 12 and Mar. 17.
TSN Tradecentre says the Toronto Maple Leafs have flipped Martin Skoula, acquired yesterday from the Penguins in the Alexei Ponikarovsky trade, to the New Jersey Devils. No word yet on what the Devils gave up to get Skoula.
We finally have some movement on the trade front. TSN Tradecentre is reporting that the Phoenix Coyotes have acquired Derek Morris from the Boston Bruins for a 2011 fourth-round draft pick. It's good to see a team like Phoenix, which currently sits in fifth place in the Western Conference, going out and making a move to strengthen their team now rather than in the future. I think this is a great move by the Coyotes, especially since they only gave up a mid-round pick in return.
Still no finalized trades this morning as we are now five hours away from the 3 p.m. deadline. We've already covered how the Penguins have improved themselves as a team with the acquisitions of Alexei Ponikarovsky and Jordan Leopold. Now it's time to look at what I believe some of the other top contenders around the Eastern Conference need to do to keep pace with the Penguins:
Yes, they pretty much have the top seed in the conference all but locked up at this point, but they are not without their warts. They can outscore anybody in the league on any given night, but when the games become tighter in the postseason, their goaltending might be an issue. Jose Theodore has had somewhat of a bounce-back season, but don't forget he was pulled from the crease after one game last postseason. The Penguins exposed Semyon Varlamov over the course of their seven-game series last spring, and the Russian backstop has battled injury for much of this season. Washington could also use another defensive-minded blueliner to replace Milan Jurcina, whom they traded to Columbus earlier in the season.
These guys are in the same boat as the Capitals - they could really use some help between the pipes. Ray Emery, who was great against the Penguins in the first round of the 2007 playoffs, is out for the season with a groin injury. Currently, Michael Leighton and Brian Boucher would lead the Flyers into the postseason. Leighton has a 14-7-1 record on the season, and has been a huge revelation for the Flyers, but has been a career backup. Boucher has struggled in his return to Philadelphia with a 4-11-1 record in 17 games.
Ryan Miller proved during the 2010 Olympics that he is more than capable of carrying a team. However, his squad is just 1-3 this season against the Penguins, and Miller has struggled mightily against Pittsburgh. If the playoffs were to start today, it would be the Penguins and Sabres meeting in the first round. Buffalo might want to add a goal scorer of some sort to the lineup to help improve a mediocre offensive attack. The Sabres have two underrated playmakers in Tim Connolly and Derek Roy, and adding a winger for them would diversify the Sabres attack.
The Devils already addressed their biggest need - adding a goal scorer - when they won the Ilya Kovalchuk derby prior to the break. Kovalchuk instantly becomes the most dynamic forward in the history of the Devils franchise. After a slow start Kovalchuk has scored in back-to-back games. One area the Devils might be looking to add depth is on defense after having to ship Johnny Oduya to the Thrashers to get Kovalchuk.
We probably shouldn't expect too much activity today from the Penguins, who based upon the moves they have already made, have to be considered among the early winners at the trade deadline. The Penguins strengthened their defensive corps on Monday when they acquired Jordan Leopold from the Florida Panthers in exchange for a second-round draft pick. His acquisition gives the Penguins a puck-moving, two-way blueliner capable of playing in all situations. Leopold also gives the Penguins the luxury of having nine NHL-caliber defensemen in their system heading into the postseason, including seven veterans at the NHL level. Such depth will keep everybody competing hard for ice time and will allow head coach Dan Bylsma to rest some of his veterans down the stretch as he sees fit. If the Penguins somehow run into a rash of injuries defensively, Ben Lovejoy
and Deryk Engelland
proved earlier this season they can perform on the NHL stage. Neither would hinder the Penguins if they were pressed into duty down the stretch or during the postseason.
Offensively, the addition of Alexei Ponikarovsky adds scoring depth to a group of forwards who already rank among the best in the league. Ponikarovsky brings size (6-foot-4), physicality and a deft touch around the cage. The speculation is that he will play the left side on a line with Evgeni Malkin
. Ponikarovsky will also help on the second power-play unit as a potential net-front presence. Only Sidney Crosby
(42) and Malkin (21) have more goals this season than Ponikarovsky's 19.
Not much activity early this morning as we sit six hours from the 3 p.m. deadline. In case you somehow haven't heard, the Penguins made the biggest splash yesterday, acquiring left winger Alexei Ponikarovsky from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exachange for blueliner Martin Skoula and minor-league forward Luca Caputi
. We expect to be chatting with Ponikarovsky later today so make sure to keep checking the site for that.