A Trade Deadline Special: Erik Cole Hot, Patrick O'Sullivan Not

R LSenior Analyst IMarch 10, 2009

A total of 22 trades took place during the NHL’s 2009 deadline day.

While some players were moved as expected, others surprisingly stayed put and laid our thoughts to rest.

Marian Gaborik and Jay Bouwmeester are two examples of that.

Unfortunately, this year's deadline didn't bring quite as many blockbuster trades as we anticipated it would.

I thought it would be interesting to focus this week's hot or not episode on the player's that suited up in different jerseys for the first time. We will still take a look at some of the names that didn't go anywhere and still had a great week.

The primary aim will be at the newly acquired talent that teams grabbed.


There's no place like home and for Erik Cole that has to be in Carolina where he began his career. Reunited with head coach Paul Maurice, he has five points in two games since returning to Raleigh. He never truly found himself in Edmonton and he's back where he belongs after just a few months with the Oilers.

Benefitting from Cole's presence is Eric Staal who is now matched with the Oswego, N.Y. native on the top line. Staal had a nine-point week, eights points which came alongside Cole, and a ridiculous six-point (four goals, two assist) outing against Tampa Bay. Having played decent hockey all year, we may have the real Eric Staal back on our hands.

Size is what the New York Rangers were ultimately lacking. Nik Antropov has brought it with him to Broadway and hasn't disappointed in the early stages. The 29-year-old has three points in two games since arriving. It's still early, but this is certainly a promising sign.

Rick Nash is deserving of postseason action after all he's gone through in Columbus. The Blue Jackets are eyeing a berth this year and their captain has been providing the bulk of the offense. The 2002 first overall pick had six-points in three games, including a hat trick against the Detroit Red Wings. At last, the wait may be over for Nash.

In Pittsburgh, the Penguins have turned their playoff hopes around in a hurry. Joining this group is Bill Guerin who will be required to bring his experience to the table come April. Three-points in two games thus far and the Penguins are looking phenomenal.

New youth in Phoenix has provided some offensive support. Scottie Upshall, Peter Prucha and Matthew Lombardi have each contributed a few points for the Coyotes in their first three games. All three possess great potential and maybe Wayne Gretzky will bring the best out of them.

Goaltending doesn't appear to be an issue in Pittsburgh anymore as Marc-Andre Fleury has won his last six starts. He has allowed 10 goals during that span and may be preparing to take the team for another playoff run.

Dallas has their fair share of injuries and Mike Ribeiro hasn't forgotten how much his production is needed. Ribeiro had six-points in four games this week, but the Stars only managed to win two games.

With or without Olli Jokinen, Jarome Iginla is going to do his job in Calgary. The Flames captain has nine goals in his last eight contests and 17-points total. You'd like to see this guy win a Stanley Cup eventually, as he is the ultimate leader.

Only once has Ilya Kovalchuk been held off the score sheet in the last baker’s dozen games for Atlanta. The Russian has averaged two points per game during that span and Don Waddell would be a fool to let him leave the organization at any point in his career, however, the choice may not be his.


In return for Cole, the Oilers received Patrick O'Sullivan. Unlike his predecessor, he hasn't shined just yet with his new squad. The potential is there for O'Sullivan, who scored 22 goals last season, but the setting may not be his preference.

Ales Hemsky's passing abilities and Ales Kotalik's big shot. It seemed like a great match when the Czech native was brought to Edmonton. The fact is that Kotalik lacks jump often and that may be why he hasn't come close to matching the 63-points he put up in 2005-2006.

Where has the offense gone in Anaheim? Teemu Selanne and Ryan Getzlaf each only had one point to show that they were in fact on the roster for the Ducks. This group has lost three straight and may miss the postseason just two years after capturing the Stanley Cup.

Even when not competing at 100 percent, Dan Boyle is still a danger for to strike against the opposition. Boyle has been having some wrist problems this year and his one goal in 16 contests indicates just that. What he lacks in shooting at the moment, he may make up for with his speed because he his as fluent as skater as they come.

Brian Boucher's second tour of duty as Evgeni Nabokov's replacement hasn't been nearly as successful as the first. San Jose has lost three straight and Boucher has conceded 11 goals. Teams may be eager to play the Sharks for a change.

Another goaltender with recent struggles is Cristobal Huet who has lost four of his past five decisions. The 35-year-old has been shaky following a four-game winning streak. Is Nikolai Khabibulin going to be activated any time soon?

Boston may not have its reliable goaltending duo any longer. Manny Fernandez has dropped five straight and hasn't seen victory since early January. Some of the goals he allowed in New York yesterday were brutal and Tim Thomas will see more and more action if this continues.

The Buffalo Sabres haven't seen much from Dominic Moore since his arrival. This team has lacked consistency the entire season and the former Maple Leaf may have to get used to his new home very quickly.

Out in the cold is Dion Phaneuf in Calgary and we're not talking about the weather. The powerful defender has gone four straight without a point, and may see his worst offensive year since joining the league after the lockout.


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