NHL Trading Deadline thoughts

February 28, 2007

smyth.jpgHere’s my analysis of some of the trades during yesterday’s NHL trading deadline:

Gary Roberts (Pittsburgh) for Noah Welch (Florida)
Georges Laraque (Pittsburgh) for Dan Carcillo and a 3rd round pick (Phoenix)
– Pittsburgh wasn’t supposed to be in the playoff hunt this early in their rebuilding stage, but because they are, they needed to make a few veteran upgrades, and they did just that. They added an enforcer to protect Crosby and Malkin, and Laraque is the perfect man to do just that. He wanted to go to Pittsburgh, and he got his wish. Roberts will be a great veteran presence in the dressing room, and he’s still quite capable of being a valuable member on the ice as well. The Pens have a lot of good prospects, and could afford to give up Welch and Carcillo without harming their future.

Nolan Schaefer (Pittsburgh) for 7th round pick (San Jose)
– Schaefer is a top goaltending prospect, and I’m shocked that San Jose could only get a 7th round pick for him. They are very deep in goaltending prospects, but a 7th round pick is the lowest return you can get. A great move by Pittsburgh, as I’d expect Schaefer to back-up Marc-Andre Fleury next year once Jocelyn Thibault leaves via free agency this summer.

Martin Biron (Philidelphia) for 2nd round pick (Buffalo)
– At this point last year, teams were offering 1st round picks and high-end prospects for Biron, but this year, none of the playoff-bound teams needed a goaltender. The Sabres needed to clear salary space to make other acquisitions, so Biron had to be traded. Philidelphia were hoping to sign Biron as a free agent next season, so to get the inside track they traded for Biron, in hopes of finding chemistry with him and get him signed before he becomes a UFA on July 1st. A good move by Philly.

Ty Conklin (Buffalo) for 5th round pick (Columbus)
– After trading Martin Biron, Buffalo was in need of a backup. Conklin was obviously not their first, second or even tenth choice, but he should fill in as a decent bench-warmer. However, if Ryan Miller gets injured, Buffalo is finished.

Bill Guerin (San Jose) for Ville Nieminen, Jay Barriball and a 2007 1st round pick (St. Louis)
– San Jose matched Detroit and Nashville’s pickups (Bertuzzi and Forsberg, respectively) by picking up Guerin. Guerin is having a rebound season after his horrible 05-06 campaign. Guerin should be a great addition to San Jose’s already strong group of forwards, and they didn’t give up a whole lot in the process. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Guerin return to St. Louis next season as a free agent.

Aaron Ward (Boston) for Paul Mara (NY Rangers)
– After a lockerroom dispute/fight with star Jaromir Jagr, Ward had to go. Boston won this trade, but Mara should help The Rangers’ weak powerplay.

Brad May (Anaheim) for Michael Wall (Colorado)
– Brian Burke adds even more toughness to his lineup, and gives up Wall who is probably at best, an AHL-starter. A good trade, but not the forward upgrade most Ducks fans were probably looking for.

Todd Bertuzzi (Detroit) for Shawn Matthias and a conditional draft pick
– If Bertuzzi returns from injury, this will be a great pickup by Detroit. If not, there’s little risk as they didn’t give up much. “Big Bert” could be the power forward Detroit has desperately needed since Brendan Shanahan left for New York.

Pascal Dupuis and a 3rd round pick (Atlanta) for Alex Bourret (NY Rangers)
– An excellent trade for the Rangers. They give up a 3rd line checker that is a free agent at the end of the season in exchange for a top-end prospect in Alex Bourret.

Keith Tkachuk (Atlanta) for Glen Metropolit, a first and third-round draft pick in 2007 and a second-round draft pick in 2008, and if Atlanta re-signs Tkachuk, another 1st round pick in 2008 (St. Louis)
– An excellent trade by St. Louis, and a gross overpayment by Atlanta. Obviously, Atlanta is going all out to make the playoffs this season. If they do well, and make it to the semi-finals or better, this will be seen as a good move, but if they are eliminated in the first round, or happen to miss the playoffs entirely, GM Don Waddell will no longer have a job.

Dainus Zubrus and Timo Helbling (Buffalo) for Jiri Novotny, and a 1st round pick (Washington)
– A huge overpayment on Buffalo’s part. Jiri Novotny is a young, potential top-six forward, and the 1st round pick is just an added punch to the gut. I would have figured Novotny would have been enough, as Zubrus is nothing more than an average second-liner. But after all their injuries, Buffalo was desperate to add some offensive punch, and unfortunately had to overpay for a marginal player such as Zubrus.

Mattias Norstrom, Konstantin Pushkarev, 2007 3rd round pick and 4th round pick (Dallas) for Jaroslav Modry, Johann Fransson, 2008 1st round pick, 2007 2nd round pick and 3rd round pick (Los Angeles)
– Wow, what a large trade this one is. A good trade for Dallas, as Norstrom is a veteran leader, who will provide excellent defense for an already strong Dallas team. LA picks up some good draft picks, as well as a replacement for Norstrom in Modry, who is an under-rated offensive defenseman. Dallas was also able to acquire a good prospect in Pushkarev. Good trade for both teams, especially Dallas.

Brad Boyes (St. Louis) for Dennis Wiseman (Boston)
– I’m quite suprised Boston is giving up on Boyes after one poor season. A great trade for the rebuilding Blues, but Boston was still able to pick up a potential powerplay quarterback in prospect Wiseman.

Ryan Smyth (NY Islanders) for Ryan O’Marra, Robert Nilsson and 1st round pick (Edmonton)
– The biggest trade of the deadline. I know most Edmonton fans are probably quite unhappy with this trade, but I think it was a great move by Kevin Lowe. As much as they may not want to admit it, the Oilers will not make the playoffs this year, whether Smyth plays the final 20 games or not. Might as well trade him and get something, then potentially lose him for nothing at the end of the year. And get something they did. O’Marra and Nilsson are very good prospects, and the 1st round pick could be anywhere from the 13th-20th range in this year’s draft. If Smyth helps the Islanders have a lengthy playoff run, this will be a good trade for them, but I wouldn’t be suprised in the least to see Smyth return to the Oilers in the off-season. And when/if he does, this will prove to be an excellent move for the Oilers.


  1. The trade that shocked me was obviously the Ryan Smyth deal, especially because it was initially reported by TSN that the deal was with Detroit (although that was probably a graphics error). How Garth Snow of all people got the inside track wtih Kevin Lowe I have no idea but to his credit he has strengthened an already good team with one of the best grinders and goalie torturers in the NHL.

    The thing I like the best about the deadline is what Vancouver did, especially as a Canuck fan. I will have to admit that this time last year I was impressed with the acquisition of Carney and especailly of Noronen. This year I am just as optimistic that Smolinski and Sopel will have a positive effect on the team.

    There were some dumb moves – Boyes going to St. Louis; some hard moves – Zubrus costing Buffalo as much as he did but that was the price and Buffalo needed something; and some smart moves – Norstrom going to Dallas.

    It was a great day to be a hockey fan, especially after it was reported by Sportsnet that the day might be a quiet one with most of the trades taking place in the days leading up to the deadline.

    The Bertuzzi deal might actualy end up being the deal of the deadline. Detroit knows that most of their points have come from feeding off the weaker teams in their division and the acquisition of Bertuzzi finally gives someone for Robert Lang to play with and a potent second line with Cleary. One thing people forget is that Bertuzzi is a better passer then he is a finisher and both Cleary and especially Lang have hands around the net. That could be two of the best lines in the NHL if Bert is healthy.

    The West is ridiculous right now. The Canucks have been worldbeaters against the East and the playoffs of 2007 look to be the best since the crazyness of 2003.

  2. Hey….who traded for Richie Park!!!!!

  3. Haha, good ol’ Richie plays for The Islanders in New York now. He’s having an alright season, I think.

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