Eastern Conference Shakeup: Trade Deadline Recap

xx yySenior Writer IMarch 5, 2009

Twenty-two trades. Forty-five players. Twenty-one draft picks.

Those are the numbers coming out of the recent NHL trade deadline. Up until roughly 1 p.m. EST, it seemed to be a fairly uneventful day. The faithful sat tight, waiting on their favorite teams.

Eventually, something happened...for some teams at least.

Many people dub the Calgary Flames as the big winner of the deadline day, but 29 other teams spread out between two conferences taking part in the action today, so let's look at who went where with regard to the Eastern Conference.

1. Boston Bruins—93 points

Players Added
F-Mark Recchi and 2010 Second Round Pick (From Tampa Bay), D-Steve Montador (From Anaheim)

Players Subtracted

D-Matt Lashoff and F-Martins Karsums (To Tampa Bay), F-Petteri Nokelainen (To Anaheim)

The Boston Bruins have been struggling as of late, with their latest loss coming to the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night. Many assumed the B's would be big players in the Chris Pronger market, but when Pronger was taken off the table early Wednesday, many were curious to see how it impacted the Bruins' spending.

The best news for Bruins fans is they had to part with no major young talent off their roster. They kept Patrice Bergeron, Blake Wheeler, and Phil Kessel, and added some defensive depth and experience to their forward ranks.

Boston would have been better off targeting another solid three or four defenseman, but Montador will help shore up the lower pairings. Whether they had got Pronger, Boston's current slump needs to be solved from within, not from a quick-fix trade.

2. New Jersey Devils—87 points

Players Added

D-Niclas Havelid and F-Myles Stoesz (From Atlanta)

Players Subtracted

D-Anssi Salmela (To Atlanta)

The New Jersey Devils didn't need to make another acquisition, as their biggest piece came off IR just a few games ago.

When you have Martin Brodeur coming back into your lineup, and you were already leading the Atlantic Division, you don't need to add much.

The Devils added a solid veteran presence in Havelid, and it didn't cost them much when you look at some of the other deals, and what they cost other teams.

The Devils' silence speaks volumes about how prepared they were coming into the deadline, and they're rightfully one of the favorites now to win the East.

3. Washington Capitals—85 points

Players Added


Players Subtracted


The Capitals did nothing to push them over the top at the trade deadline.

The roster is solid both up front with Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, and Tomas Fleischmann, but the Caps could've done well to add another number two or three defenseman behind Mike Green for some added depth.

You also look between the pipes, and this is a team that's going to need a solid goaltender moving forward. Jose Theodore is a good option, but will his second round collapse from last year going to haunt him?

I wouldn't have mind seeing Washington add some defensive depth and a goalie since Brent Johnson is hurt until April.

4. Philadelphia Flyers—78 points

Players Added

F-Daniel Carcillo (From Phoenix), D-Kyle McLaren (From San Jose)

Players Subtracted

F-Scottie Upshall and 2nd Round Pick (To Phoenix), 6th Round Pick (To San Jose)

Breath a sigh of relief, Flyers fans, James van Riemsdyk remains a Flyer, at least.

Daniel Carcillo is a much more complete player than a guy like Riley Cote or Aaron Asham. Not only does he have the attitude to stand up for his teammates, but as we saw late last season, Carcillo's got a ton of offensive potential if he can find a healthy balance between enforcer and scorer.

Instead of selling the farm for a guy like Jay Bouwmeester, the Flyers were able to augment what they have with the big body of Kyle McLaren for a reasonable price.

McLaren hasn't played a game for the Sharks this year, but experience-wise McLaren has over 70 games of NHL playoff experience and over 700 games of regular season experience.

While it remains to be seen what his role is going to be, McLaren will turn out to be a good addition to the Flyers; and Carcillo will pay dividends for years to come.

5. Montreal Canadiens—75 points

Players Added


Players Subtracted


The Montreal Canadiens did most of their improving prior to the deadline.

Mathieu Schneider has been a big contributor since coming to Montreal mid-February. He's infused some life into the Canadiens' power play (he's been a point-a-game player since the trade), and the experience he brought with him has been huge.

As far as what the Canadiens could have added? I think many are still under the impression that the scoring that was lost when Robert Lang went down still needs to be replaced.

They're playing hot right now with four straight wins, but they'll be an interesting team to watch offensively down the stretch.

6. Florida Panthers—74 points

Players Added

D-Steve Eminger (From Tampa Bay)

Players Subtracted

D-Noah Welch and a 3rd Round Pick (To Tampa Bay)

I think this is a move that's going to pay big dividends in the end to the Florida Panthers, but will go overlooked by many.

Eminger has been the best defenseman in Tampa Bay this season (and that's saying a lot), coming in second on the team in ice-time amongst defensemen, and first in points. He'll bring another strong offensive presence to the Florida back end, and the idea of him finding chemistry with either Bryan McCabe or Jay Bouwmeester (whom the Panthers were wise not to trade) is a positive going toward the playoffs.

Why were the Panthers wise not to trade Bouwmeester? Well, because he's the undisputed leader of the Panthers, and if they're going to go somewhere in the playoffs, they need him.

Besides, if he says he doesn't want to stay in Florida, even after a playoff run, they can always trade his rights (or a sign and trade) at the draft this June.

7. New York Rangers—72 points

Players Added

D-Derek Morris (From Phoenix), F-Nik Antropov (From Toronto), F-Sean Avery (From Dallas)

Players Subtracted

D-Dmitri Kalinin, F-Nigel Dawes, F-Petr Prucha (To Phoenix), 2nd Round pick and a conditional pick (To Toronto)

If you listen to some of the opinions floating around post-deadline, then many feel the New York Rangers made too many changes in the past few weeks.

A new coach and three new players may be too much to try to integrate at this point in the season, but Nik Antropov is going to bring this team a big-body presence down the middle with some scoring touch. Avery obviously brings the sandpaper to this equation, and Derek Morris brings scoring from the back end.

If you look at the trades, they basically were able to upgrade over Prucha, Dawes, and Kalinin today. Remember, Prucha once scored 30 goals (although he has a long way to go to get back there), and Dawes is just 24. Depending on how this goes, the Rangers may be kicking themselves in a few years, but I certainly can't blame them for trying.

Whether this works or not is a different story.

8. Pittsburgh Penguins—72 points

Players Added

F-Bill Guerin (From New York Islanders), D-Andy Wozniewski (From St Louis)

Players Subtracted

Conditional Pick (To NYI), D-Dany Richmond (To St Louis)

The Penguins needed something to turn their season around. Chris Kunitz has been a goal machine since his trade from the Anaheim Ducks, and while the Penguins couldn't reacquire some grit and leadership in the form of Chuck Norris' cousin Gary Roberts, Guerin certainly brings some valuable leadership and experience to an underachieving Penguins team.

While Chris Kunitz will ultimately have the larger impact on this team (as he already has) the Penguins did a good job of adding depth at both ends of the ice at the trade deadline.

The biggest thing this team may acquire to finish out the season though, is a healthy Sidney Crosby.

9. Carolina Hurricanes—71 points

Players Added

F-Erik Cole (From Edmonton)

Players Subtracted

F-Justin Williams (To Los Angeles)

Three-way trades are glorious, aren't they? Trying to keep every player straight and who's going where is always fun, plus they're kind of a novelty when you hear about them.

The Carolina Hurricanes really got it right. They brought back Erik Cole, who's had a tumultuous season in Edmonton, and really found his stride alongside Erik Staal in the Hurricanes' heyday. They also didn't lose much in trading the much-maligned Justin Williams (a man who's spent a saddening amount of time on the IR this season).

Jussi Jokinen (although added a bit before the deadline) is another interesting addition who's done fairly well since his trade from Tampa Bay.

If Erik Cole can rediscover his 60-point form in Carolina, then maybe the 'Canes have found that scoring depth they so desperately need.

Maybe next up they can get a purely defensive defenseman.

10. Buffalo Sabres—69 points

Players Added

F-Dominic Moore (From Toronto), 2nd Round Pick (From Edmonton), G-Mikael Telqvist (From Phoenix)

Players Subtracted

2nd Round Pick (To Toronto), F-Ales Kotalik (To Edmonton), 2010 4th round pick (To Phoenix)

The Sabres were one of the biggest, but quietest, winners on deadline day.

Dominic Moore gives them some depth at centre, another player who can score as much as those around him allow him to, and some solid two-way play, while Mikael Telqvist provides a cheap, effective solution as another option in place of the injured Ryan Miller, and someone with NHL experience if Patrick Lalime suffers a meltdown.

It's not often that a team that's buying for a playoff run, though, buys draft picks as well, but the Sabres were able to replace the second round pick they sent to Toronto for Moore.

Overall, the Sabres were one of the best teams at addressing their needs, and if the Rangers or Penguins (or both) slip up, the Sabres will be right there waiting.

11. Toronto Maple Leafs—63 points

Players Added

2nd Round Pick (From Buffalo), 2nd Round Pick and a Conditional Pick (From New York Rangers), G-Olaf Kolzig (From Tampa Bay), D-Jamie Heward (From Tampa), D-Andy Rogers (From Tampa), 4th Round Pick (From Tampa), G-Martin Gerber (Waivers-Ottawa), F-Erik Reitz (Waivers-New York Rangers)

Players Subtracted

F-Dominic Moore (To Buffalo), F-Nik Antropov (To NYR), D-Richard Petiot (To Tampa)

Toronto was a weird place to be on trade deadline day. Nik Antropov was acknowledged to be gone, Dominic Moore's departure became imminent after a contract couldn't be reached, while that fairly big trade with Tampa caught a lot of people off guard.

Eventually, it becomes a salary dump. Olaf Kolzig won't play for the Leafs due to injury, but the same goes for Vesa Toskala (who'll be undergoing season-ending surgery finally). Hence the Martin Gerber pickup (although why Curtis Joseph wouldn't start the remainder of the year being backed up by Justin Pogge is confounding).

Richard Petiot's real potential in Toronto was only as a player who's buried behind a plethora of young Leafs defenders, so a better opportunity for him comes in Tampa Bay. Jamie Heward is an upcoming free agent, while in return for taking on some extra salary the Leafs get Andy Rogers (a big, tall, young defenseman) and a fourth round pick.

Basically the Leafs did what they needed to do: Dump some unnecessary parts in exchange for any draft picks they could get.

If you ask Derek Harmsworth, though, he's still pretty sad Alex Ponikarovsky is still here.

12. Ottawa Senators—56 points

Players Added

G-Pascal Leclaire, 2009 2nd Round Pick (From Columbus)

Players Subtracted

F-Antoine Vermette (To Columbus), G-Martin Gerber (To Toronto-Waivers)

The Senators' trade deadline closely resembles that of the Maple Leafs' last year: They were able to get rid of a few players, but may not have accomplished all that they wanted to do.

Although it cost them one of their biggest sources of secondary scoring, Antoine Vermette was the most marketable piece the Senators had to sell. Then again, it's not saying much when your next highest scoring forward is a full 22 points behind third-leading scorer Jason Spezza.

The Sens were able to re-up with one of their brightest stars this season, inking Filip Kuba to a three-year extension, while they were also fortunate enough to see the Maple Leafs open up some of their cap room by taking Martin Gerber off of their hands.

Go figure. The Leafs doing the Sens a favor.

Ottawa wasn't able to get trade away Chris Neil, but that also offers them an opportunity to continue negotiating an extension with their sandpaper man.

As far as Pascal Leclaire goes, it may very well be next season before we see what kind of shape he's in, but the Sens made a smart move in acquiring a young goalie who still has some potential for improvement.

13. Tampa Bay Lightning—54 points

Players Added: D-Richard Petiot (From Toronto), D-Matt Lashoff, F-Martins Karsums (From Boston), D-Noah Welch, 3rd Round Pick (From Florida)

Players Subtracted

G-Olaf Kolzig, D-Jamie Heward, D-Andy Rogers, 4th Round Pick (To Toronto), F-Mark Recchi, 2010 Second Round Pick (To Boston), D-Steve Eminger (To Florida)

You can really tell where the Tampa Bay Lightning put the emphasis this trade deadline: Dumping salary, and acquiring some youth on the blue line.

In trading away Steve Eminger, they're lifting themselves out from under the cloud of a player who may be due a bit of a raise come restricted free agency, while they were also able to clear out the lockers of Olaf Kolzig and Jamie Heward as well, while only paying two draft picks to do it.

In return, the Lightning got three young defensemen, two of which have seen NHL time this season. Matt Lashoff played in 16 games for the Bruins, notching an assist and a plus-one rating in this season's time, while he had five points in 16 games last year.

While Noah Welch hasn't performed offensively as he has at other levels in his career, he brings Tampa another big-bodied presence on the blue line with a handful of NHL experience.

Richard Petiot is the real wild card here: He's only got two games in the NHL to his credit at age 26, so it'll be interesting to see what kind of an opportunity he gets with Tampa Bay.

14. Atlanta Thrashers—52 points

Players Added

F-Eric O'Dell (From Anaheim), D-Anssi Salmela (From New Jersey)

Players Subtracted

F-Erik Christensen (To Anaheim), D-Niclas Havelid (To New Jersey)

Aside from those who continued to fabricate rumors about Ilya Kovalchuk being dealt this season, it was hard to pinpoint who the Thrashers would be trading at the deadline after Havelid and Schneider were already dealt.

Consensus choice was that if anyone were to be dealt it'd be a depth player, with the popular idea being Colby Armstrong heading back to Pittsburgh

However, another piece acquired from last year's trade with Pittsburgh, Erik Christensen, was sent out to Anaheim for Eric O'Dell, a point-a-game player with the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL.

Depending how quickly the 18-year-old gets to the NHL, he'll provide them with an energetic presence on any line who loves to shoot the puck, while Salmela gives the back end a Finnish defender who loves to move the puck around.

15. New York Islanders—47 points

Players Added

Conditional Pick (From Penguins)

Players Subtracted

F-Bill Guerin (To Penguins)

The New York Islanders, the worst team in the NHL, were kind of stuck in a rut come trade deadline.

Bill Guerin was in limbo thanks to a "mystery team." If this mystery team were Pittsburgh and the mystery package was a conditional pick, I'd classify that under "ludicrous." Brendan Witt got suspended before the deadline, limiting his trade value, and with seven players on IR and three others out injured, the Isles were at a shortage of veterans to trade away for other team's goods.

Then again, Doug Weight and Mike Sillinger are free agents come July, so they could solve their problems that way, too.

With the rotten hand this team had to deal though, a conditional pick for Bill Guerin isn't terrible.

I guess.

Bryan Thiel is a Senior Writer and an NHL Community Leader for Bleacher Report. If you want to get in contact with Bryan, you can do so via his profile, and you can also check out all of his previous work in his archives.


    Caps Down Jackets, Advance to 2nd Round vs. Pens

    NHL logo

    Caps Down Jackets, Advance to 2nd Round vs. Pens

    The Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com
    via The Washington Times

    Maple Leafs Down Bruins 3-1 to Force Game 7

    NHL logo

    Maple Leafs Down Bruins 3-1 to Force Game 7

    via NHL.com

    Flames Hire Bill Peters as New Head Coach

    NHL logo

    Flames Hire Bill Peters as New Head Coach

    Sportsnet Staff
    via Sportsnet.ca

    Can Bill Peters find NHL success with Flames?

    NHL logo

    Can Bill Peters find NHL success with Flames?

    Sean Leahy
    via ProHockeyTalk