The NHL’s Trade Deadline Day often splits fans into factions.
First off, Canadians tend to either watch TSN or Sportsnet. Well, the majority tend to watch TSN – ESPN North’s quality is just so much higher, but Sportsnet goes big and brings in more outside talent to compete. Using an applicable metaphor, TSN is the Cup favourite – like the Penguins, the Hawks, or the Bruins – and Sportsnet is the contender on the bubble, like an Ottawa, a Tampa Bay, or the Kings.
Then, you have the ones who care and the ones who don’t care. And even the ones who care will slam the idea of ‘Deadline Day’ and scoff at the insanely incessant media coverage, but they’ll watch every minute.
You have fans who cheer for their team and their team only, which splits NHL viewers into 30 different camps. But you also have fans who are enjoying their Deadline Day from a pedestrian’s perspective, because their team isn’t in the running for a championship, and you have fans who are anxious and second-guessing everything, because their team is in the running for a championship.
It’s a fun day. Here’s what’s happened so far, from newest to oldest…
As of the end of the Trade Deadline – with confirmation from several reputable, trusted sources – the Vancouver Canucks did not trade Ryan Kesler.
Kesler remains a Canuck, meaning Vancouver either couldn’t get what they wanted for him or that they’re ramping up for some sort of playoff push.
Any potential Kesler trades were shutdown before Noon, PST.
NYI have traded Tomas Vanek. VAN did not trade Ryan Kesler. #Tradecentre
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 5, 2014
— Chris Nichols (@NicholsOnHockey) March 5, 2014
It took Luongo two years to get out of Van after waiving his NTC. Can’t wait for the 2016 trade of Ryan Kesler!
— Green Men (@TheGreenMen) March 5, 2014
Minnesota Wild receive F Matt Moulson, F Cody McCormick
Buffalo Sabres receive F Torrey Mitchell, Draft Pick (TBA)
So, this is good for Minnesota.
Mitchell was turning into a fine two-way guy in Minny, a development he had been doing through since he was in San Jose just recently.
But Matt Moulson gives Minny another boost of offence to go along with Zach Parise and the returning Mikko Koivu.
Minnesota was already good enough to scare Chicago, L.A., San Jose, or St. Louis (but probably not Anaheim). This only makes them better.
And Buffalo just shed a guy they would never re-sign this summer, and they got something in return (including TBA!).
Kudos to all involved.
— Samuel Preiner (@spreiner10) March 5, 2014
Montreal Canadiens receive F Thomas Vanek
New York Islanders receive 2nd Round Pick (Year TBA), F Sebastien Collberg
The Habs gave up a pick, but they got a high-end, consistently scoring winger with size and skill. Montreal is a darn good team, and Vanek is a terrific pickup for them with a cost that bears little risk, unless something changed and Garth Snow will actually get good at the draft and turn that 2nd Round Pick into something useful.
The Isles also got Collberg, a 20-year-old. (And his Wikipedia page has already been updated. That’s amazing.)
The only thing about this, again, is whether Carey Price is healthy. There’s nothing wrong with his backup Budaj, but he’s not Carey Price, and neither is Thomas Vanek.
Montreal be rentin’ Thomas Vanek, and the price wasn’t high.
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) March 5, 2014
Detroit Red Wings receive F David Legwand
Nashville Predators receive TBA
A good grab for Detroit, but it probably only matters if they make the playoffs. The Wings are currently one point behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for eighth in the East, and the Blue Jackets got better today.
A little surprising, since Legwand had essentially crushed any thought that he wanted to be traded out of Nashville, but I guess it wasn’t up to him.
Colorado Avalanche receive G Reto Berra
Calgary Flames receive Draft Pick
Looks like Calgary is going with Karri Ramo in net.
They must have tossed a coin.
New York Rangers receive D Raphael Diaz
Vancouver Canucks receive 5th Round Pick
A head-scratcher. Not sure why Vancouver felt they needed to make this deal, or why they felt Diaz hadn’t earned more ice time. He was playing just fine, as far as I could see.
Really, I’m just upset I had to spent a minute writing about this.
With roughly 10 minutes to go until Noon, a fake Twitter account reported that the Vancouver Canucks had traded Ryan Kesler to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Province/Sun writer Ben Kuzma then retweeted it, realized it was fake, deleted the Tweet, and then apologized.
Twitter went crazy.
As of yet, Kesler has not been traded out of Vancouver.
Welcome to The Show. Looks like I may be the latest scribe to bite on a fake account regarding Kesler folks. Nice. We wait. Sigh.
— Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) March 5, 2014
Zero confirmation on Kesler trade. Love those fake accounts.
— Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) March 5, 2014
Automatic one-week revokation of internet priveleges to anyone who falls for a fake Twitter account today.
— Gord Miller (@GMillerTSN) March 5, 2014
False alarm, people. Kuzma apparently fell for a fake Bob McKenzie account.
— Pass it to Bulis (@passittobulis) March 5, 2014
#BREAKING – Fake twitter account convinces all of Vancouver that Kesler has been traded.
— Ryan MacLeod (@RyanMacouver) March 5, 2014
Dallas Stars receive G Tim Thomas
Florida Panthers receive TBA
Okay, umm… Thomas really must not like Roberto Luongo.
Lui seemed perfectly fine to play the backup role for the rest of the year in Florida, telling reporters yesterday that he knew he wouldn’t get a lot of playing time this season.
And then the Panthers ship Tiny Tim off to Dallas, where he won’t get a lick of playing time in front of Kari Lehtonen?
Well, he certainly shouldn’t get any time over Lehtonen. The Finnish netminder has been tremendous for the Stars this season, and he deserves to lead them to the playoffs and then further.
But this is disappointing. Could we really not see Luongo and Thomas on the same bench for one game, at least?
And Thomas has been pretty good for Florida this season.
And Strombone1 is choked…
— Strombone (@strombone1) March 5, 2014
Columbus Blue Jackets receive D Nick Schultz
Edmonton Oilers receive TBA
Cool. I guess.
Columbus gets a little better. The Oilers get TBA. What’s TBA? Is that new?
New Jersey Devils receive F Tuomo Ruuto
Carolina Hurricanes receive F Andrei Loktionov, Conditional 3rd Round Pick (2017)
The pick won’t matter for a while, or at all. It’s conditional, it’s in the 3rd round, and it’s in 2017. Both teams will be drastically different by that point, and even TSN will struggle to remember why the Hurricanes are getting the Devils’ position when they’re overdoing the coverage of that year’s draft.
This is a good move for the Hurricanes, though. Sure, Ruutu is a pretty good player and the Devils have added a piece, but they’ve also added a lot of salary.
I never understood the Ruutu signing by Carolina when they first made it. It seemed like a lot of money for a guy who had already mentally checked out of Raleigh. It was a signing that delayed the inevitable, and the inevitable was this trade.
So, I dunno… I guess this matters, somehow.
Loktionov is a decent player, or could be.
Pittsburgh Penguins receive F Marcel Goc
Florida Panthers receive 5th Round Pick (2014), 3rd Round Pick (2015)
You’d better hope Dale Tallon’s good at drafting, because the Panthers are stockpiling are ton of seeds right now.
Goc is a very good player, very underrated, and Pittsburgh got a depth player they sorely needed – their depth was exposed greatly by the Boston Bruins in last year’s Eastern Conference final.
And for Florida, it’s all a win right now. They need to built a team around Roberto Luongo, which they should have done eight years ago when they instead decided to take a flyer on Todd Bertuzzi, and their youngsters like Nick Bjukstad, Aleksander Barkov, Erik Gudbranson, and Jonathan Huberdeau.
This is a team on the rise, as long as it keeps its cool. And Tallon’s pretty good at that.
Los Angeles Kings receive F Marian Gaborik
Columbus Blue Jackets receive F Matt Frattin, 2nd Round Pick, Conditional 3rd Round Pick
Details haven’t been flushed in yet, but it appears to be an amiable deal for each team. The Kings get a sometime-sniper in Gaborik to help out the offensively challenged core of Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Mike Richards, and Jeff Carter.
The Blue Jackets shed a player who wasn’t going to do anything for them long term, and GM Jarmo Kekalainen continues to Moneyball the NHL.
But word is Columbus will also eat a “significant” portion of Gabo’s contract.
That might not matter, or it could be terrible. Depends of what “significant” means, and Bob McKenzie has already admitted he knows that’s kind of an annoying word to use…
Montreal Canadiens receive G Devan Dubnyk
Nashville Predators receive Future Considerations
Ahhh, the ol’ Future Considerations deal. It rarely results in anything, but Nashville doesn’t care… their crease was crowded by established Nashvillians (how about Nashvillains?) Pekka Rinne and Carter Hutton, so Dubnyk was bound to be either a minor leaguer or somebody else’s problem.
But I really like Devan Dubnyk.
I think he’s a great goalie, a big guy with plenty of potential, and I also think he never got a fair shake in Edmonton, which is where he started this year and struggled. But the Oilers have struggled since 2006, and they have – at times – been atrociously bad, goaltending not included.
Blaming Dubnyk for any of the Oilers’ woes would be like blaming a supporting actor for sinking a Garry Marshall film.
So, I think this is a cool deal for Montreal. But I also think it’s a bad omen.
Because if the Canadiens brought in Dubnyk – to backup Petr Budaj, we’ll assume – then it probably means Carey Price isn’t close to returning, and that’s something Deadline Day can’t possible fix.
Ottawa Senators receive F Ales Hemsky
Edmonton Oilers receive 5th Round Pick (2014), 3rd Round Pick (2015)
This is a terrific trade for Ottawa. Hemsky is a gamer and he’s only 30 years old. He’s one of the most talented players in the NHL and, while he’s undersized, he has never been a whiner, never complained, and never acted like anything other than a willing teammate.
(We Canadians tend to think of all players from the former Iron Curtain as wussy little Europeans, but Hemsky shatters that stereotype.)
Again, I repeat: Ales Hemsky is only 30 years old. It seems like he’s been around forever, but he’s got at least five years of high-quality hockey left in him, and the Senators badly need scorers to backup Kyle Turris, Milan Michalek, Jason Spezza, and Bobby Ryan.
And as for Spezza… grabbing Hemsky probably cools any interest to ship out their captain, if the rumours of Spezza’s impending departure were ever true.
As for Edmonton, well, I dunno. I guess it’s all good news right now, right?
New York Rangers receive F Martin St. Louis
Tampa Bay Lightning receive F Ryan Callahan, 1st Round Pick (2015), Conditional 2nd Round Pick (2014)
This is a beautiful move by Steve Yzerman.
The Lightning get Callahan, a two-way guy who will probably give them some oomph for the playoffs, and they’re about to get Stamkos back, so hopefully losing St. Louis won’t crush their scoring like you’d think it could.
But Yzerman also stole two draft picks right out of the Rangers’ room. And if Callahan chooses to sing elsewhere this offseason, well, who cares? The Lightning were probably going to have to move St. Louis anyway, so why not grab something for him and why not grab a guy like Callahan for the playoffs?
For New York, they’re getting a Hall of Famer and a consistent scorer who’s still putting up points at age 38. Alain Vigneault will love him, as will Rick Nash et al.
The only thing the Rangers lost are those draft picks. A first-rounder in 2015 and a second-round this year are nothing to poop on.
March 4, 4:57 p.m.
Phoenix Coyotes receive F Martin Erat, F John Mitchell
Washington Capitals receive F Chris Brown, D Rostislav Klesla, 4th Round Pick (2015)
This is a whatever move, the only result being Erat potentially reviving an incredibly brutal 2014 in the desert. Klesla’s a good player, but this was more about Washington clearing out clutter than anything else.
The shame of this is the same shame of the Luongo deal yesterday…
Last year, the Capitals gave up all-world prospect Filip Forsberg for Erat, thinking the former Predators forward could be their different maker in that season’s playoff run. He wasn’t, and Washington was snuffed out by a harder working John Tortorella team in round one.
Now, Nashville has Forsberg and – it seems – only lost a depth guy.
March 4, 1:38 p.m.
Florida Panthers receive G Roberto Luongo, F Steven Anthony
Vancouver Canucks receive G Jacob Markstrom, F Shawn Matthias
The deal that crushed Canucks fans looks… marginally better now.
Again, it’s a shame that Vancouver dealt both Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo in one calendar year, and it seems to make little sense. The Canucks went from the best goaltending tandem in the NHL to a Walkabout.
On the other hand, it clears cap room and it gives them free agent freedom – all kinds of freedom – they last had in 2008, and Mike Gillis built a pretty good team that year.
It’s not what Canucks fans want to hear, especially all the ones who want Gillis fired for his last three major moves (the Cody Hodgson trade included), but it happened. It’s over. Luongo and Schneider were traded, and Ryan Kesler probably will be, too.
Now they move on and hope they can compete with Chicago again one day soon.
March 4, 1:09 p.m.
Philadelphia Flyers receive D Andrew MacDonald
New York Islander receive 3rd Round Pick (2014), 2nd Round Pick (2015), C Matt Mangene
What does this mean for anyone out West?
Basically, the Flyers won’t need Alex Edler’s services anymore, so you can start looking for a new dance partner.
March 4, 11:16 a.m.
Anaheim Ducks receive D Stephane Robidas
Dallas Stars receive Conditional 4th Round Pick (2014)
Why would Dallas trade a guy like a Robidas – a longtime, productive Star – in the middle of a playoff push?
Well, he’s been injured for a while, and they’re not missing a beat without him.
It would have been nice to see Dallas get for him, though. His services are worth much more than a (Conditional) 4th Round Pick.
Anaheim gets a good puck-mover and a gritty blueliner. Robidas has never looked out of place in any situation, and the Ducks just made their league-best team a teensy bit stronger.