NHL Trade Deadline Acquisitions Shine with Phoenix Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche

Matthew Hogan@MattNHLHoganAnalyst IMarch 29, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 20:  Lee Stempniak #22 of the Phoenix Coyotes celebrates with teammates on the bench after scoring a third period goal against the Chicago Blackhawks during the NHL game at Jobing.com Arena on March 20, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Coyotes defeated the Blackhawks 5-4 in an overtime shootout.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It’s been almost one month since the NHL trade deadline.

The 2010 deadline day, back on March 3, featured the most trades and players moved in NHL history. However, the day was definitely one of the more boring trade deadlines in recent memory due to a lack of big names.

Despite the deficiency of major players being shipped around, a number of teams have benefited from their deadline deals.

However, certain players have benefited even more and have adapted well to a change of scenery—like Lee Stempniak.

Stempniak’s season had been nothing short of a disappointment with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He had just 14 goals and 16 assists in 62 games while in Toronto.

The 27-year-old Stempniak has 15 points in just 12 games since joining the Phoenix Coyotes on March 4; 12 of those 15 points have been goals. He is also a plus-nine.

“It’s one of those things where I'm just getting chances, and fortunately they’re going in,” Stempniak told the Associated Press after Saturday’s 6-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche. “I’m just trying to go to the right areas and shoot the puck and keep riding the momentum.”

Stempniak did not have one multi-goal game with Toronto—he has had four so far with Phoenix.

Another player joining Stempniak in Phoenix was former Avalanche forward, Wojtek Wolski.

Unlike Stempniak, Wolski was having a very productive season in Colorado before being traded. He came to Phoenix with 47 points and four game-winning goals.

So far with the Coyotes, Wolski has played even better than he did with the Avs. The 24-year-old native of Poland has five goals and seven assists, and is a plus-six in his 12 games with Phoenix.

Not to mention that the Coyotes are 10-1-1 since Stempniak and Wolski joined the team.

Any argument against Phoenix being the big winner on deadline day?

Didn’t think so.

But Stempniak wasn’t the only player that has been affected by a change in scenery.

When the Coyotes traded Peter Mueller to the Avalanche back on March 3, they were trading a former first-round draft pick that had been playing like he shouldn’t have been drafted at all.

In 53 games with Phoenix, Mueller had an abysmal four goals and just 17 points in total. But his totals in Colorado are absolutely mind-blowing when compared with his totals in Phoenix.

In just 12 games with the Avalanche, Mueller has doubled his season point production. He has 10 assists with Colorado, to go along with seven goals—three more than he had all season with the Coyotes.

Mueller currently has three consecutive games of over 20 minutes of ice-time with Colorado. He hadn’t played over 20 minutes in a game all season with Phoenix.

“It’s amazing what happens when you get a chance,” Mueller told the Associated Press after a 5-3 win over the St. Louis Blues on March 16. “It’s one of those things where I wanted to come in here and show that I can contribute.”

“I do belong playing in this league, and I’m trying to make people eat their words of what they’ve said in the past.”

While the Avs are just 6-5-1 since Mueller joined the team, they are still in prime position to make the playoffs and Mueller’s resurgence shines a bright light on Colorado’s future.


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