Islanders Acquire Ryan Smyth
The Edmonton Oilers failed in their attempt to re-sign heart-and-soul forward Ryan Smyth, and instead dealt him to the New York Islanders in exchange for talented prospects Ryan O’Marra and Markus Nilsson and a 2007 first round pick. Smyth should give the Isles’ offense a huge boost, and this acquisition may well prove to be the tipping point in their ongoing playoff push. For Edmonton, this is a very strong return for their UFA-to-be, especially given the difficulty they were having getting him locked into a long-term deal.
Kings Captain Heads to “Big D”
Mattias Norstrom is one of the steadiest blueliners in the game, and now he’ll be lining up in front of Marty Turco on the Dallas Stars. The Stars were already one of the league’s stingiest teams, and with the former Kings’ captain patroling their blue line, they’ll only be tougher to score upon. Los Angeles’ return in this trade is not yet known.
Bruins Trade Boyes to Blues
The Boston Bruins have traded forward Brad Boyes to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for offensive defenseman Dennis Wideman. Though Boyes was in the midst of a disappointing sophomore season, there were strong signs that he was starting to break out of his funk, and it is quite surprising that GM Peter Chiarelli chose to give up on him. In Wideman, the Bruins added a rearguard with substantial offensive upside, and he should get a long look as a prospective future power play quarterback in Boston.
“Big Bert” Heads to Motown
The Detroit Red Wings have pulled off a huge trade, acquiring power forward Todd Bertuzzi from the Florida Panthers in exchange for 6’4″ forward prospect Shawn Matthias and a conditional draft pick. Bertuzzi is currently recovering from back surgery, but should be ready to return to action relatively soon. And when he does, he will provide the Wings with a much-needed physical presence up front.
Parker Returns to Mile High City
Enforcer Scott Parker began his career with the Colorado Avalanche, and on Tuesday the San Jose Sharks traded him back to the Avs in exchange for a sixth round pick.
Sabres Acquire Dainius Zubrus
With eight regulars out of the lineup with injuries, it was clear that the Sabres desperately needed some reinforcements. And GM Darcy Regier pulled off a nice move as the deadline approached, acquiring Dainius Zubrus and prospect Timo Helbling from the Capitals in exchange for Jiri Novotny and a first round pick. Zubrus has scored 52 points in 60 games this season, and should be a good addition to the speedy Sabres’ lineup.
Leafs Add Yannic Perreault
The Maple Leafs acquired faceoff specialist Yannic Perreault and a 2008 fifth round pick from the Coyotes in exchange for young defenseman Brendan Bell and a 2008 second round pick. Perreault should be a nice fit in his third stint in Toronto, especially while the Leafs await the return of Michael Peca and Kyle Wellwood from injuries. Meanwhile, the Coyotes have clearly initiated an all-out fire sale.
Rangers Trade Dupuis to Atlanta
Pascal Dupuis didn’t last very long on Broadway. Acquired just two weeks ago from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Adam Hall, Dupuis was flipped to the Atlanta Thrashers on deadline day in exchange for a prospect to be named.
Saprykin a Senator
The Ottawa Senators added some forward depth, acquiring Oleg Saprykin and a seventh round pick from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for a second round pick. Saprykin isn’t expected to get much time on the Sens’ top lines, but should provide some valuable depth for the stretch run.
Ducks Land Brad May from Avalanche
The Anaheim Ducks, already by far the NHL’s leader in fighting majors, added tough power forward Brad May to their lineup, acquiring him from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for goaltending prospect Michael Wall. May formerly played for Ducks GM Brian Burke when both were with the Canucks, and should fit in quite well in Anaheim’s rough-and-tumble lineup.
Rangers Swap Ward for Mara
The Rangers have sent blueliner Aaron Ward to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Paul Mara, in a deal that provides both players with a much-needed change of scenery. Ward’s first season in New York was a disaster, and he rarely resembled the top-four blueliner he was for Carolina during their Cup run. And the same is true for Mara, a perennial minus player who thus far hasn’t managed to leverage his high-level offensive skills at the NHL level.
Sharks Acquire Bill Guerin
The San Jose Sharks have acquired Bill Guerin from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a 2007 first round pick, agitator Ville Nieminen, and diminutive forward prospect Jay Barriball. Guerin enjoyed great chemistry playing alongside Joe Thornton with the Bruins, and should get a shot on the top line with “Jumbo Joe” in San Jose. Following this deal, and the acquisition of Craig Rivet from Montreal, the Sharks are looking like a very serious Cup contender.
Moore Heads North to Minnesota
Speedy center Dominic Moore didn’t fit into the Penguins’ short-term plans, and so they dealt him to the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday in exchange for a 2007 3rd round pick. Look for Moore to fit in well in Minnesota; his penalty-killing ability will immediately endear him to Wild head coach Jacques Lemaire.
Pens Add Muscle, Land Laraque
Forward Georges Laraque has waived his no-trade clause with the Phoenix Coyotes for the purpose of being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for forward Daniel Carcillo and an eighth-round pick. The Pens clearly made protecting Sidney Crosby a top priority, and Laraque will give Pittsburgh some much-needed muscle for the stretch run.
Flyers Acquire Biron
The Buffalo Sabres have parted ways with netminder Martin Biron, dealing him to the Philadelphia Flyers for an undisclosed draft pick. And in a separate deal, Buffalo GM Darcy Regier acquired netminder Ty Conklin from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Biron makes $2.2 million this season and will be a UFA on July 1st, while Conklin earns only $525,000. Needless to say, there are more deals to come for the injury-riddled Sabres, who need reinforcements both up front and on the blue line.
Jagr on the Block?
The New York Post is reporting that Rangers GM Glen Sather is shopping Jaromir Jagr, a scenario that I strongly recommended in today’s New York Sun. Jagr is one of the NHL’s great bargains at a cap cost of just $4.5 million (the Capitals pick up another $3.8 million), but that deal expires at the end of the 2007-08 season. Judging from the Rangers’ play of late, a playoff appearance—much less a run at the Cup—is not in the cards, and Sather would be wise to see what offers might be available for one of the NHL’s most dynamic forwards. If Sather can add a couple of top-notch young players (as the Flyers did when trading Peter Forsberg), it would do the foundering Rangers a world of good.
Penguins Add Gary Roberts
Gary Roberts has agreed to waive his no-trade clause, and so the Florida Panthers will be headed to Pittsburgh to play alongside Sidney Crosby with the Penguins. It is believed that the Panthers will receive talented young defenseman Noah Welch in return for Roberts, but Florida’s compensation has not yet been confirmed.
Red Wings Land Calder in Three-Way Trade
After only 59 games, Kyle Calder’s stay in Philadelphia is over. Acquired during the offseason from the Blackhawks in exchange for Michal Handzus, Calder never fit in with the Flyers, and he was dealt to the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night as part of a three-way trade.
The Flyers first sent Calder, a UFA-to-be, to Chicago for a 2007 third-round draft pick and Lasse Kukkonen. The Hawks then flipped Calder to the Wings for winger Jason Williams.
Over the past week-and-a-half, the Flyers have added three talented young defensemen to their roster: Kukkonen, Braydon Coburn, and Ryan Parent — and it’s safe to say that they’ll be much improved in 2007-08 as a result.
Canucks Acquire Sopel, Smolinski In Separate Deals
The Canucks landed centre Bryan Smolinski from the Chicago Blackhawks for a conditional second-round draft pick, then re-acquired defenseman Brent Sopel from the Los Angeles Kings for conditional second- and fourth-round draft picks.
Sopel played for Vancouver from 1998-99 to 2003-04; his best season with the Canucks was the final one of his first stint there, when he tallied 42 points and earned a plus-11 rating in 80 games. Look for him to slot on the third defense pair this time around, easing some of the burden on Mattias Ohlund, Willie Mitchell, Kevin Bieksa, and Sami Salo.
In Smolinski, the Canucks get some much-needed depth at forward. The 35-year-old playmaking center enjoyed his finest season in 1995-96, when he tallied 64 points for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Though he’s no longer an impact player at this stage in his career, Smolinski should help provide goaltender Roberto Luongo with some essential goal-scoring support.
Senators Add Nycholat to Blue Line
The Senators have acquired defenseman Lawrence Nycholat from the Washington Capitals in exchange for minor-league defenseman Andy Hedlund and a sixth-round pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Nycholat has demonstrated decent offensive skills with Washington, tallying eight points in 18 games, and should be a nice addition to the Sens’ blue line for the stretch run.
Isles Acquire Zednik From Capitals
The Islanders have acquired chronic underachiever Richard Zednik from the Washington Capitals in exchange for a second round pick. Zednik was at his best with Montreal in 2002-03 and 2003-04; he scored 50 points each season. The talented left-winger hasn’t yet figured out how to take full advantage of his seemingly boundless potential, but it’s a good bet that head coach Ted Nolan — a master motivator — will get Zednik going on Long Island.