With the last of the trades trickling into the NHL office, it is time to talk about the winners and losers on deadline day.
Getting Olli Jokinen and Jordan Leopold was a huge coupe for Darryl Sutter and the team in Calgary.
They get a good, if not great, two-way center in Jokinen, and a defenseman in Leopold, who you can drop into the lineup and play big minutes. I believe in the 2004 season it was Regehr and Leopold who played together then. Look for that again this time around.
But beware, Calgary, if Mike Keenan does not take this team deep into the playoffs, he will be found in the unemployment line too.
Their performance since the all-star break dictated changes be made in the make-up of the team. So, they got younger, faster, and I would almost argue better, and right away.
Matthew Lombardi is starting to play to his potential, and Brandon Prust will play a role for the team too. He is a good team guy who sticks up for his teammates.
Also, getting Prucha Kalinin and Dawes from the Rangers for Morris is a monster move. Look for Phoenix to live up to its name and rise from the ashes in 2009-2010.
New York Rangers
They have continued their recent history of overpaying for players, only this time it is not so much in salaries, but in talent.
Giving up youngsters Dawes and Prucha for a rental in Morris seems a little steep. Did the Rangers do enough to get out of the first round?
I think for Mr. Sather to have any chance of being around for the entry draft they had better have. I just don’t know if they did.
It is not so much that they are losers in all this. But for this season, I think they decided it best to sell than to buy.
And the Brendan Morrison experiment is officially over.
They have acquired some nice pieces and got a little younger in the process. But for the fans, it is time to start thinking about next year.
There were some very interesting little deals that may have some impact leading up to the playoffs.
The Blue Jackets picking up Vermette is a good deal for them, and for Ottawa next year. Ottawa gets the best goalie they have had since—okay, maybe the best goalie they have ever had.
Florida picking up Steve Eminger could help them secure a playoff spot. They have a relatively unknown—outside of Jay Bo—group of defensemen. Adding Steve Eminger could be a good pickup to help them get into the dance in the East.
With all that happened today, the Flames made the moves to improve their team the most, and did not completely mortgage the future to do so.
They still have Mikael Backlund, Greg Nemisz, and Leland Irving, and have upped their chances in the ultra competitive Western Conference.