The clock has officially hit 3 p.m which means that the 2009 NHL trade deadline has ended. Some late deals may still take place and be announced shortly.
It's an exciting day that you wish could occur more than once a year in hockey. Every year we have our teams that made big splashes and the ones that simply sold to improve for the future.
May as well start out with a bang. Calgary acquired Olli Jokinen from Phoenix and Jordan Leopold from Colorado. These are two moves that will ensure the Flames will be considered a contender in the Western Conference when the playoffs arrive.
First, Jokinen will no longer be the longest active NHLer without a game of experience in the postseason. Calgary will most likely place him on the second line because you don't want to jeopardize the chemistry between Jarome Iginla and Mike Cammalleri.
This gives Mike Keanan another scoring threat, especially on the power play where Jokinen can unload from the blue line. Leopold will begin his second stint with the Flames, and he adds to a defense that already has offensive capabilities.
With his previous experience in Calgary, the 28-year-old should have no problem fitting in and perhaps surpassing the 33 points he produced there in 2003-2004.
There's no substitute for experience come April. The Penguins picked up Bill Guerin who will serve as Miroslav Satan's replacement should he be dealt. Pittsburgh has looked like a new squad under Dan Bylsma even without Sidney Crosby—again.
Chris Kunitz has already made a mark in a Penguins uniform, registering five points (three goals, two assists) in his first three games.
Ryan Whitney was a good puck-moving defender, but Sergei Gonchar has already shown he's capable of leading the way even after a lengthy absence. It appears as though the Pittsburgh Penguins are back to their old ways.
Calling the Sabres a winner after today may be a bit of a gamble. After all, they re-signed Tim Connolly to a two-year, $9 million contract. A healthy Connolly would definitely be worth this value as he is a play making genius.
An 82-game healthy? It's a nice dream. Reality may have other thoughts.
Also, Buffalo addressed its goaltending needs and grabbed Mikael Tellqvist out of Phoenix. The veteran has been a dependable back-up throughout his career, and will assist Patrick Lalime between the pipes.
Anything is possible. Wade Dubielewicz leading the Islanders to a playoff berth two years ago is living proof.
Finally, Dominic Moore was added to give the team some energy. He has already set personal bests offensively with the Maple Leafs, and will give the Sabres a capable center who can hopefully continue his great year.
This latest losing streak must have gotten the Bruins to think. Mark Recchi has been added for the playoff drive, and he has shown that he can be the man to get them to the promised land like he did with Carolina in 2005/2006.
Steve Montador was shipped from Anaheim, and he gives Boston a rough defender who can chip in with offense from time-to-time. The native of British Columbia also brings experience to the table being part of the Calgary group that reached game seven of the 2003-2004 Stanley Cup Finals.
Boston is certainly ready and waiting for their first round opponent.
New York Rangers
Here's a team that's in dire need of offense. Nik Antropov should be able to help in the goal-scoring department, and his size will be valued on a Rangers team boasting plenty of smaller players.
Derek Morris resembles the style of Montador, and will give the opposition second thoughts about running over Henrik Lundqvist in goal. The defense is struggling to put pucks into the net as well.
Morris did produce some great statistics in Colorado and Calgary. Dmitri Kalinin, Nigel Dawes, and Peter Prucha were sent to Phoenix in exchange.
Ultimately, they are winners for hanging on to Jay Bouwmeester. In the long run, they will be made to suffer when the defender is signed elsewhere as a free agent in July. However, the fact is, this city needs to make the playoffs for their fans and owners.
Florida has been one of those questionable markets for an NHL team, and a postseason appearance would take off some of the heat for the time being. Steve Eminger will play for his third team just this season.
He has shown decent offensive flair with Tampa Bay, and Florida's defense is that much stronger. Bouwmeester, Bryan McCabe, Keith Ballard, and Eminger. Not bad at all.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Pascal Leclaire wasn't expecting to see much action with Steve Mason now becoming the team's saviour. Leclaire is now an Ottawa Senator and Antoine Vermette joins a Columbus group that, like Florida, needs to establish themselves in the playoff picture.
Vermette has struggled for the better part of the year, but has come to life recently. The 26-year-old can easily become a 20 goal, 20 assist guy in Columbus.
There's also his speed, and penalty-killing abilities that make him perhaps the last piece of the puzzle for the Blue Jackets.
Toronto Maple Leafs
It was no secret that Toronto would be a seller this year. Brian Burke is re-modeling this team and released Antropov, and Moore, who had become a favourite within the Maple Leafs organization.
Another blow for this team is losing Vesa Toskala for the year just when he was playing his best hockey of the season. Martin Gerber looked shaky from day one in October when Tyler Kennedy beat him with a routine shot less than a minute in.
In a more bizarre move, Olaf Kolzig has also joined Toronto. Leafs fan have something to look forward to for a change—the future.
Kunitz, Samuel Pahlsson, Travis Moen, and Kent Huskins are all heading elsewhere, except for Kunitz who obviously already went to Pittsburgh before today. They picked up defenders and young prospects in return.
Obviously, this team doesn't look bound for another Cup, and some major re-shaping is taking place. The main components are still here though. Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne, Chris Pronger, and Scott Niedermayer are going nowhere.
With Jokinen gone, Shane Doan is once again the lone offensive stud Wayne Gretzky has. Scottie Upshall, Nigel Dawes, Matthew Lombardi, and Nigel Dawes will add to the team's young bunch.
Morris' exit also leaves the defense even more vulnerable to conceding goals if it's possible. For five months, this team had its second superstar next to Doan, and already Jokinen has found a new home.
What else can you say? The Coyotes are in a real tough position.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Considering the playoffs are out of reach, the Lightning did make some moves that will pay off in the future. Recchi and Eminger parted ways, and Tampa Bay brought in some youngsters who can help build the team eventually.
Kolzig's absence means Mike Smith won't have a mentor so to speak during the rough patches. Led by Lecavalier, and St. Louis, they are building for the future. Out with old, in with the new.
Losers for the fact that they traded Leopold for a guy they could have picked up on waivers. Lawrence Nycholat was grabbed by Calgary and eventually shipped to Colorado in the Leopold deal.
Smart work by the Flames owners. Absolutely stupid thinking by the Avalanche.
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