A different look on trade rumours- March 21 Edition
This week: a wrap-up of the trade deadline with an analysis of who won and who lost the major deals of the National Hockey League trade deadline on Tuesday.
Lowdown: Colorado acquires the bruising defenceman they desperately need, while Pittsburgh gains some payroll room and some valuable youngsters to boot.
THE WINNER: Well, I predicted this EXACT trade in my St. Patrick’s Day Edition, but I won’t gloat. I will say why this trade works for both: Pittsburgh needed the youth and got more from the Avalanche, who seem to have discovered the foutain, while the Avs get that sixth defenceman to complete their defensive force. “Kaspar” would give them another “Big Three” and, with Kasparitus’ demands not too high, the Avalanche will probably keep him. The Penguins, shooting for next year, wanted a group who will develop together and hopefully bring them back to Stanley Cup contention: Berry and Nieminem are not too young and will blossom sooner than later. Next season, when Mario Lemieux, Martin Straka and Alexei Kovalev return for a full year (hopefully), the Penguins can think play-offs: this year is definitely over so they looked for the future.
Trade: Washington Capitals trade C Adam Oates to Philadelphia Flyers for G Maxime Ouellet and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round picks.
Lowdown: Capitals rid themselves of a contract problem (Oates) and gain picks and a prime goaltender prospect in Ouellet, while the Flyers get insurance and depth for the play-offs by adding the NHL’s assist leader this season.
THE WINNER: Philadelphia. Yeah, you read that right: Philadelphia. I keep reading what the Capitals got and it just doesn’t make any sense to me: they already have goaltending (Craig Billington and Olaf Kolzig, NIETHER are free agents), and the picks are theirs to blow, though they’ve been pretty good at drafting. Yet they acquire Ouellet. However, Ouellet does give the Capitals’ goaltending a future but Kolzig has a few more years left…he’s not running out of gas and doesn’t seem like he’ll do that soon, so why make a pitch? The Flyers get something that they need (though I would have traded the struggling Brian Boucher over Ouellet, but I doubt anyone would take him for a player like Oates with his current swoon), though that glut at centre doesn’t look too good but it provides assurance. I’ll give this one to the Flyers, but barely: they paid a hefty price for Oates, who may not return (he’s an UFA), but they have the money to get him back, while the Capitals acquired a player, though excellent, that they’ll have a hard time fitting into their depth chart.
Trade: Edmonton Oilers trade D Tom Poti and LW Rem Murray to New York Rangers for C Mike York.
Lowdown: The Oilers rid themselves of dead wood and get a great depth player in York, while the Rangers add an offensive (?)defenceman and another forward to their depth chart.
THE WINNER: Edmonton, by a landslide. Kevin Lowe has shown up his former boss Glen Sather in a big way with this steal, and Sather RARELY ever gets stolen from. York, who was FLYing in Manhattan (on the right side of Thereon Fleury and Eric Lindros on the first line) now gives the Oilers another bona fide star and a new threat for their power play, and, if Edmonton doesn’t qualify for the play-offs this year, they will next year when York plays a full year. The Rangers get two bit players, one of which is “Pouting Poti”, who earned his title by complaining about the boos (please…you’re a HOCKEY player. Can’t you take criticism?), something he’s better at than the actual hockey. The Florida Panthers got fleeced with the Pavel Bure trade…now it’s Sather’s turn here. Never thought he’d ever help his former team, but he does here and all of Edmonton thanks him for it.
Trade: Dallas Stars trade C/RW Jamie Langenbrunner and C Joe Nieuwendyk to New Jersey Devils for C Jason Arnott, RW Randy McKay and a 1st round pick.
Lowdown: Dallas rids themselves of their glut of offensive centres with Nieuwendyk and acquires a true checking centre in Arnott and a true checking winger in McKay. Langenbrunner and Nieuwendyk were added for their offence and will add the Devils’ second line greatly.
THE WINNER: Everyone calls this fair…but the Devils clearly get this one. The old, plodding Stars get even slower and older with the additions of Arnott and McKay, while the Devils add two players- Nieuwendyk and Langenbrunner- who can still produce, and Langenbrunner is still relatively young (27) so he can continue helping the Devils past this year. The bottom line is the Devils’ new players can still play while the Stars’ new players had reputations as good players…who haven’t lived up to their billing. Clearly, it has to be the Devils. So much for Dallas’ revenge.
Well, that’s this week’s edition of “A different look on trade rumours”, and will be the last one this season. I’ll write a “Draft Day” edition and a “Free Agent” edition during the summer then start the season next year in September. It’s been fun and I hope you’ve enjoyed this season of trades, as I certainly did. Feel free to comment on these and other trades.