If there was a trophy for the best deal at the trade deadline, Don Waddell would hold it for this season.
Marian Hossa is now a Detroit Red Wing.
This comes at no surprise to anyone who knows how the trade deadline works. In Toronto we watched the trade deadline drain the Leafs dry of youth for a decade.
This year the Pittsburg Penguins will be the team looking down and shaking their collective head come February 09'. Angelo Esposito will be Don Waddell's gem prospect this season and Atlanta's future replacement for Hossa/Heatley.
For those who remember, Hossa was a swap off for Danny Heatley when things went bad in both Ottawa and Atlanta. The trade looked good at the time, but now, Atlanta sits with two 15-20 goal scorers (Christensen and Armstrong), and Angelo Esposito.
I believe, as does Waddell, Angelo will be a fine replacement, considering his domination in the QMJHL. Esposito, originally selected by the Pens in the first round of the 2007 Entry Draft, received the Mike Bossy Trophy as the best professional prospect in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2006-07. A season in which he centred the top line of the Memorial Cup winner. And, as expected, a multi-year contract offered this week after the Atlanta prospect's camp.
Not only will he add the scoring touch, but he has a "Danny" type shot, and a gifted playmaker instinct, the perfect compliments for Mr. Kovalchuk.
Hats off to Don Waddell, the trade deadline winner of 2008.