Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Top 10 Moves of the NHL Trade Deadline
If you woke up this morning thinking that it might be a quiet one, you aren't the only hockey fan who's nighttime sediment is complete shock. As much as we expected a few big names to move, I'm not alone feeling a bit overwhelmed with the magnitude of todays trade-dealine player transactions. I will take a more in-depth look on these topics and others in my podcast tomorrow, but for now here is a summary of the Top 10 trades made on deadline day.
10. Hal Gill – he is worth two picks? Questionable value aside, the Penguins are now a lot bigger on the blue line, something that will go a long way in wearing down teams with an aggressive forecheck or a down-low puck possession game.
Winner: Toronto by a sliver. They need young bodies, so acquiring two picks for an average blue-liner with no place on the current Leafs roster was a win for Cliff Fletcher.
9. Vinnie Prospal – not a blockbuster by any standards, but a good acquisition for a struggling Flyers team who were able to add an offensive contributor without losing any significant roster players.
Winner: Flyers. They gave up a defenseman in need of a few years maturation and a conditional pick to help replace a host of valuable missing pieces up front. Philly is praying this shake up leads to wins – and so is GM Paul Holmgren.
8. Stuart – vital addition to the Red Wings banged up blue line. He'll help the cause in a roll more suited to his skill level on a wining team like Detroit, where he won't be relied upon in the same overreaching capacity asked of him in LA.
Winner: LA. I know the Kings are awful, but a healthy Detroit roster places Stuart around 4-5 on the defensive depth chart making 2nd and 4th rounders a hefty sum for the Wings.
7. Federov – good character veteran to a young team with enhanced playoff aspirations. Gets paid a bundle, but will help if placed in the right frame of mind.
Winner: Washington. Their management made a huge commitment to the organization by making all these moves, notably bringing in a guy like Fedorov with 163 career playoff points.
6. Foote – I'm not convinced his impact will blow us out of the water. A solid defensive addition to a club with a bundle of returning players (from injuries and acquisitions alike). Their new identity will be proliferated through the new faces and hopefully trickles down unto the younger talent.
Winner: Push. His pending contract likely forced the hand of Columbus GM Scott Howson, but ultimately the Blue Jackets fans feel this the most as they secure their title of the only NHL franchise without a playoff birth.
5. Forsberg – gave up nothing to get him. Nice play Colorado. Whether or not he'll offer a significant contribution, not as likely as you might think, I fear.
Winner: The Avalanche, even if he plays at 80%.
4. Campbell – Over-achiever or real deal? His puck movement will provide the necessary help to boost the weak San Jose Sharks powerplay.
Winner: Yet another big name bounces from Buffalo, but they seemingly get good value in return. I give this one to the Sharks by a slim margin -- but much like Hossa -- this is contract-dependent and can only be judged accurately in a years time.
3. Huet – an odd move for Montreal on the surface. However a good move all things considered. Bob Gainey is willing to roll the dice on Price, who notably took over the AHL playoffs last year en route to a championship in under very similar conditions.
Winner: Washington wins short term, but Montreal knows that. They took an hit to get a solid draft pick. So much for Montreals' dreams of winning it all this year.
2. Richards – They gave up less than Pittsburgh (for Hossa) to get a player with a proven playoff record (Conn Smyth winner, 1 Cup ring) and a comparable contractual situation
Winner: Dallas steals a superstar. All things considered this was a great hockey deal that works in the favour of the Stars having Richards locked up for seasons to come.
1. Hossa – he commanded a Kings ransom. This will be the most highly scrutinized trade of the bunch this season and for good reason. Alarm bells ring anytime an organization gets rattled to this degree and their young core might react apprehensively. With solid goaltending this years Penguins squad might be able to ride their three offensive superstars (Malkin, Crosby and, Hossa) to a Stanley Cup appearance.
Winner: As much as I like Hossa on the ice, the Penguins overbid in this auction and face losing Hossa at years end. This deal can only be evaluated once Hossa's signature is placed on his forthcoming contract, but I'd be thrilled if I was GM Don Waddell of the Atlanta Thrashers.
What a ride it was today. Best sure to check out the all-NHL podcast tomorrow. Thanks for reading, Derek.