The NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone, and there were very few moves of significance to talk about. Probably the best deal was the one which saw right wing tough guy Daniel Carcillo go to the Philadelphia Flyers from the Phoenix Coyotes for left wing checker/pest Scottie Upshall and a second-round pick.
In Carcillo, the Flyers get a player who is capable of netting 20 goals in a future season and a guy who can straight up fight and hit, both of which are very valuable in the tough Eastern Conference.
In Upshall, the Coyotes get a younger player who is a pain to play against. He should fit in well with the Coyotes other youngsters.
A good trade for both clubs, really.
The two additions by the New York Rangers also caught my eye.
First, GM Glen Sather picked up forward Nik Antropov from the Toronto Maple Leafs for a second-rounder and a "conditional pick” (God knows what that means in this situation). I guess Leafs GM Brian Burke overvalued this mule, as he originally asked for a first-rounder in return for Antropov.
The second deal was for Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris. He should fit in nicely with the team, but the price was steep, as the N.Y. gave up defenseman Dmitri Kalinin, forward Nigel Dawes and forward Petr Prucha.
On the surface, it may seem like the Coyotes got a lot for Morris, but in the end, when you look at the stats, Kalinin, Dawes, and Prucha amount to naught but spare parts. Prucha netted a total of 52 goals from 2005-06 through 2006-07 but has struggled in 2007-08 and 2008-09, netting just 11 goals in 90 games. Shoulder, knee, and wrist injuries plague this player; he is kinda like the forward version of Carlo Colaiacovo.
The biggest deal of the day involved the Calgary Flames. They acquired center Olli Jokinen from the Coyotes for forward Matt Lombardi, forward prospect Brandon Prust, and a conditional first-round draft pick. The Flames get a legit first-line center, the Coyotes get spare parts and hope.
Jokinen has one year left on his deal; if he gels with his new team, one can assume the Flames will step up and try to sign him long-term.
When everything was said and done, the deadline didn’t disappoint, but it certainly could have been busier.
My advice? The NHL needs to find a way to allow teams to trade money or cap space for prospects, players, or draft picks. It is the only way we can ever dream of seeing the “big deal” again, otherwise it will be status quo: lots of names, but very few of substance.
The steal of the day? After watching the Minnesota Wild sign goalie Nik Backstrom to a long-term deal, I thought the Ottawa Senators were pooched. Turns out they had another option in mind and were able to get Columbus Blue Jackets 'tender Pascal LeClaire. Not bad, and certainly an improvement for the Sens.
LeClaire looked to be a money netminder last season, but injuries and the arrival of rookie phenom goalie Steve Mason made him expendable. Sure, the Sens gave up a decent talent in Antoine Vermette, but players like him are a dime a dozen; he's a third-liner. This will be a great deal for Ottawa; they addressed exactly what they had been missing, and hopefully this goalie works out.
The Leafs' Burke also managed to send Domenic Moore packing to the Buffalo Sabres for, wait for it...
A second-round draft pick! In Moore, Buffalo gets a gritty player who will go all out for 60 minutes. It’s too bad the Leafs were unable to sign this guy, as he brings energy and a great presence in the locker room.