I'm Glad To Have Missed It

Wow. Just wow. I was on my cell phone all day long and I must say that the word “disappointing” is the best way to describe the trade deadline of 2009. Was it the economy? The salary cap? What?

My thoughts on the trades and other related issues.I do not think that there’s even a winner today. It was messy and average. Many may say that the struggling world economy has made a negative impact. I say no. These guys are high end millionaires, or billionaires. Was it the cap? Partly. Last year was a tad bit more interesting, but the expensive contracts limited a lot of possible movements today. GMs should wisen up from now on. I blame it all on lack of creativity!

Columbus acquired Antoine Vermette for Pascal LeClaire and a 2nd round draft pick. I like this trade on both sides. Columbus have Steve Mason, but even Dan LaCosta looks promising already. LeClaire was no longer needed. While still a young goalie that has yet to reach his potential, Ottawa finally gets a chance to have a solid goalie tandem in the future with Elliot and LeCalire. Vermette should be a good fit in Columbus, although not exactly the ideal center much sought after for Rick Nash. Both win this trade, regardless.

Calgary sent waiver pick-up Lawrence Nycholat, a 2nd rounder, and prospect d-man Ryan Wilson for Avs d-man Jordan Leopold. I think Colorado will soon find a new GM since Mr. Giguere has been nothing but a mess for this hockey club. No sense of direction. No identity. This guy Wilson is an average prospect, Nycholat is nothing, and the 2nd rounder is a crapshoot. Not like Leopold is a stud, but a solid d-man nonetheless. Calgary wins this one, they gave up squatto.

Phoenix traded Mik Tellqvist to Buffalo for a 4th rounder. Good move by both teams. For Phoenix, they were clearly selling as they quickly slid from 5th to 14th in a little over a month. The Jokinen trade did not help them one bit, and their defense became an issue. Buffalo gets a solid goalie in Tellqvist. I think he could be able to pull some magic out of a hat and give them hope for a playoff run. Phoenix can start looking from within the organization and see what Montoya is able to do, finally. Both win the trade.

Toronto claimed Marty Gerber from re-entry waivers. Just a way to keep the team competitive with Toskala out for the season. Still, why not play Pogge-Cujo? Pogge needs NHL experience and now would have been a good time. Good move from Ottawa to save some money. A meaningless move by the Leafs.

Dallas claimed Brandon Morrison from waivers; solid move to add depth, MUCH needed depth at center. He appears to be the kind to thrive in Dallas too.

Boston dealt Petteri Nokelainen to Anaheim for Steve Montador. Poor Nokelainen getting moved frequently in such short period of time. From Long Island, to Boston, to Anaheim. He is a fine player and has the tools to be a regular NHL’er. Not sure why the Ducks gave Montador up so easily either, but if he gets you such a return it was a good investment. Boston gets a solid, heart and soul depth d-man. Anaheim gets a prospect, an expandable one. Both win.

Calgary deals Brandon Prust, a 1st rounder, and Matt Lombardi to Phoenix for the much desired Olli Jokinen. At last Olli will play in the playoffs. Good for him! I think that this was a lame trade, to be honest. Yotes acquired Jokinen for nothing. Wasted over $4M for nothing this season. In the end it’s a fair trade for them, Boynton and Ballard for the afformentioned deal. Thing is, I don’t believe Lombardi is a top six forward. Occasionally he may be, but not consistently. Prust is a hard working youngster fit for the bottom six spots. And a 1st rounder is always valuable, especially with the way the Yotes have been drafting. Calgary on the other hand finally gets its wish in Olli Jokinen since last year. Gee, I wonder who pushed to make such a deal. Keenan, anyone? Olli will thrive in Calgary, and opponents should fear such a line-up. Calgary wins this trade.

Boston traded for aging Mark Recchi, and a 2nd rounder, for Matt Lashoff and Marty Karsums. Boston needed veteran experience going into the playoffs and Recchi provides it wonderfully for them. Tampa screwed up a lot, and they get two good young players. I think both got what they wanted, so…no one lost or won this trade.

Pittsburgh acquired aging Billy Guerin for a conditional draft pick. What could that darft pick be? We’ll find out in June. Penguins did an odd move here, though. Satan and Guerin have similar numbers. Both are different players, I know, but I don’t see the big need to have Guerin. He adds scoring depth, which is good, but will it ensure a playoff spot? No. I thought they both got below average deals.

Philadelphia traded Scottie Upshall, plus a 2nd rounder, for Dan Carcillo of the Coyotes. Umm…..why so much for a 3rd line agitator and average fighter who could score 10 goals a year? I didn’t get it. Yotes ripped Philly off for this one.

New York Rangers acquire towering forward Nik Antropov for a 2nd rounder and a conditional pick, which at this point could be a 1st rounder depending how the Rangers do from here on out and in the playoffs. I did not think Antropov was going to get much, but so many Leafs fans thought a 1st rounder and solid youngster would be the return. Toronto got something for a player they did not want. I have been saying for quite some time that the Rangers were too small a team. As much as I like Prucha, Dawes, Callahan, Gomez, and Drury, they are quite small. I never expected the Rangers to get Antropov thinking he’d be too expensive to acquire, but for such a deal he was well worth it. Now Antropov joins a quick team that needs some space to skate around. Rangers win the trade.

Rangers hit the newswire minutes later when the Coyotes sent Derek Morris to the Rangers for youngsters Nigel Dawes, Petr Prucha, and much disliked Dmitri Kalinin. Rangers get the defensive d-man that can do a lot of things and is steady. Personally I am not surprised the Rangers managed to acquire him since they were onto him for many years, since that famous rumor of Nedved to Calgary for Morris to make room for Amonte. Still, I am not big fan of tihs trade. The Coyotes added two skilled players that should fit right in with the rest of the youth in Phoenix. Finally the Yotes are consistent with their planning. I never quite understood their acquisition of Jokinen in the first place. Why get the guy from a Panthers team that was filled with youth only to have him again playing with a younger youth. Dawes may break out and have 40 point seasons. Prucha could find his scoring touch again and put 30 pucks over the crease’s red line. Thus, I am in no way liking such a deal when giving up two good young players for a UFA d-man that I do not see re-signing with the Rangers; though, anything can happen. Phoenix wins this trade.

Buffalo made a solid attempt to acquire Dominic Moore for a 2nd round draft pick. Honestly, what will Moore do for this team to make them much better I don’t know. Moore was a very solid Rangers draft pick, well schooled in the Rangers system, but his only problem was that he had a snotty Harvard attitude and filed for arbitration when he deserved 4th line salary. Rangers showed him the door. Again, Moore thinks he is so smart that one productive season would result in a multi-million dollar contract. I….don’t…think….so. GM Burke probably laughed and gladly traded him. Sabres got a solid center, and probably insurence depth in case Connolly (ridiculous contract renewal by the way) gets injured. I don’t think Moore will continue to be as good on Buffalo. Yet, I’ve been wrong so many times that all is possible. Still, a 2nd rounder for him? That’s a good deal for the Leafs, but not such a loss for the Sabres; especially considering they got a 2nd rounder for Ales Kotalik. Now wait a minute, I say. Would you trade Ales Kotalik for Dominic Moore? I wouldn’t. Leafs win.

Anaheim made a very good move in acquiring Eric Christensen from the mismanaged Thrashers. Atlanta gets a prospect (and dear God they’re good at developing them!), and the Ducks get a young winger that to me has the potential to be a 25 goal scorer. I love Eric’s shot. His release is uncanny and I was surprised he couldn’t pull it off in snowy Atlanta (yes it snowed there recently). Eric with the skilled youngsters in Anaheim? I’d say he can do it. Anaheim wins this trade. Atlanta failed to develop the Hossa players.

Florida got everybody in a frenzy. While rumor mongers in the media bet their money on Jay Bouwmeester getting traded, and Eklund even stressing it many times he would and should, I, along with a number of Panthers fans, felt strongly that he was not going to get traded. Think about it. The only blockbuster deal, per se, was Olli Jokinen to the Flames. The better defenseman trade was Morris to the Rangers. Would any team have given up a bit more than that? No. If the Flyers were truly talking to the Cats, then GM Martin held his ground and set a non-negotiable price tag. Why not? Why give up Jay Bo now with a playoff push for the first time in years, and get a return that without a doubt would not equate to Jay Bo’s on-ice value? If you remember, my last article speculated that Jay Bo would not be traded until later in June. I think I will be right. Thing is DeBoer has been an impact coach and one that has his players following him. You never know what can happen in the playoffs, but if good things happen for the Panthers, Jay Bo could stay. Now, getting back to the original message of this segment. The Panthers acquired Steve Eminger by giving up a very unused Noah Welch and a 3rd rounder. Eminger is without a doubt a solid defenseman. Providing a bit of offense, and plays with a bit of an edge, Eminger is a good pick up for the Panthers future; adding depth in case Nick Boynton leaves, and/or Jay Bo. Tampa gets a project in Welch and a solid 3rd rounder. Yet, what was the purpose of this trade for Tampa when Eminger was doing fine for them? Beats me. Panthers win.

San Jose sent Kyle McLaren to Philly for a 6th round draft pick. Why would the Flyers be interested in a d-man that marginally plays in the NHL? I don’t know. Can’t say the Sharks won this trade with a late rounder, I guess no one did, but it made no sense to me.

Chicago made themselves ready in acquiring Sammy Pahlsson for James Wisniewsky. The Ducks were in desperate need of d-men, and are in need of d-men for next season as well. Solid move by both sides. Pahlsson makes the Hawks THAT much better for playoffs hockey. Both teams win.

The three-way deal was confusing. Is Justin Williams much better than Pat O’Sullivan in LA? I don’t think so. Why on earth would the Canes pass up on a young talented player and acquire an upcoming UFA player in Erik Cole? Beats me. One last question. What did the Oilers give to these two teams as a drug to make such a stupid trade?

Edmonton furthered improved the team by acquiring Kotalik by spending a 2nd rounder to Buffalo. Consider it that they got Kotalik for free since they acquired a 2nd rounder along with O’Sully. The Oilers made some slick moves….excellent moves. Thumbs up.

Toronto finally makes a trade that is completely meaningless. The rights to Kolzig and some other dudes in the deal. I understand Toskala is out. I understand Kolzig is also done for the year if I am correct? What….ev. No one wins this stupid trade.

I have to say that this was definitely the WORST trade deadline in recent history. The general managers got shy and did not want to be creative. Rangers made some interesting moves, and although I am not fond of the Morris deal, this trade opens a new direction for the Rangers by bringing in Sean Avery and Mark Bell on the ice. Morris, Antropov, Avery, and Bell for Kalinin, Dawes, Prucha, and two draft picks? Looks promising. The Oilers made the slickest moves I think. Kotalik and O’Sullivan on the Oilers? Awsome. Edmonton just got THAT much better. I like the Panthers NOT trading Jay Bo and actually strengthening the defense. A lot of people forget about Bryan Allen too. At least these guys had some creativity. As for the rest…..shamefull.

Enjoy the rest of the seasons folks! Thanks for reading as always,

Micki Peroni