NHL Trade Deadline: The Top 10 Players We're Amazed Didn't Get Dealt
As the NHL Trade Deadline came to a grinding halt today at 3 PM Eastern, one thing can be said about it. Well, that was a huge waste of time!
The largest impact deal came around 2:00 today, one hour short of the deadline, when the Edmonton Oilers completed a deal with the Los Angeles Kings sending hulking 6'4", 245-pound Dustin Penner to Hollywood in exchange for defensive prospect Colton Teubert, a 2011 first-round pick, and a conditional third-round draft pick in 2012.
But other than that, the most hyped up hockey event since the Olympics in Canada flew by without very much recognition whatsoever.
Why the lack of trades? Are there too many big time stars in the NHL with no trade clauses? Is the salary cap still wreaking havoc on GM's?
In my opinion, there is way too many teams right now in the NHL with a good chance to still make the playoffs. Around eight teams or so do not have a shot at seeing hockey in mid-April, but most of the league still has that chance. Could they just not want to mortgage the future for a shot at the cup? Do they want to mess with chemistry?
Who really knows, but here is a list of the top 10 players who we didn't see dealt this trade deadline.
10. Marty Reasoner
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If you watched the trade deadline special in Canada on TSN, Marty Reasoner was the rock star of trade deadline day. Amid speculation that he was getting dealt, Reasoner ended up sticking around Florida, not taking his talents elsewhere in a trade.
In a day filled with pretty much random bottom six and bottom two players switching sides, it was only fitting that this man led my list.
Is he a serviceable player in the league? Absolutely! But the buzz surrounding him today on TSN almost made him look like the second coming of Mike Richards. Yes, Pierre McGuire, this guy plays his role properly and he's a great player to have, but does he deserve all this attention? I don't think so.
The Canucks, who were rumored to be interested in him, opted to go after Maxim Lapierre and Chris Higgins instead to help strengthen their bottom six instead.
9. Matt Moulson
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In the midst of a career year, you wouldn't believe the Islanders would be interested in trading Moulson, but they were.
As many GM's believe, the best time to trade a player is while their value is at an all-time high.
At 27 years old, Moulson is coming off a 30-goal campaign, and he is picking up where he left off, with 27 goals through 63 games, looking as if he'll break his career high in goals.
Were the Isles really baiting teams with him even after they signed him to an extension? Probably unlikely, but given their situation right now, I was surprised to not see him go elsewhere.
8. Clarke MacArthur
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With Clarke MacArthur's contract status up in the air, the Leafs were exploring a possible trade to get some value for MacArthur.
MacArthur, who is on pace for roughly 65 points, has been playing his best hockey of his NHL career. This 25-year-old winger was signed by Toronto after the Thrashers walked away from an arbitrator's ruling last summer, signed with the Leafs for a measly $1.1 million.
Because of that, MacArthur has quietly been one of the best free agent pickups of the offseason by any club in the NHL.
The asking price was likely a top nine winger and a prospect for MacArthur. According to some reports, the Leafs had a trade in the works with the Nashville Predators where the club would ship MacArthur in exchange for J.P. Dumont and defensive prospect, and World Junior Defenceman scoring leader Ryan Ellis.
That trade, as it turned out, was washed out to sea, and the Leafs decided to stand pat at this deadline.
Was it a good move doing practically nothing? Only time will tell. At least Leaf fans don't have to deal with John Mitchell no more.
7. Zack Bogosian
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The third overall draft pick of the Atlanta Thrashers in 2008 was supposedly made available by GM Rick Dudley. Bogosian, who is struggling defensively this year at -14, has only scored 13 points in 52 games.
Bogosian's high skill level and age made him a hot commodity at the deadline, but again the asking price was too high for many teams to swallow.
He has really disappointed many in Atlanta with his play recently and became potentially expendable if the right deal came along.
But after the smoke cleared, Bogosian remained a Thrasher for the time being. If he continues his disappointing play, don't be surprised to see him moved in the offseason or by next trading deadline, unless his play becomes better and more consistent.
Steven Stamkos, Drew Doughty, Alex Pietrangelo and Luke Schenn, the other four taken in the top five of the 2008 draft are enjoying way more success than Bogosian is currently in his NHL career. Will he ever see that level of success? Only time will tell that one.
6. Tim Connolly
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As the de facto No. 1 center on the Sabres right now, Tim Connolly was drawing significant interest from many teams looking for a top two line center. Among the teams interested were of course the Los Angeles Kings, who could roughly take on $22 million in contracts.
The asking price for Connolly would of likely have been a top end prospect and a second-round pick. Connolly, who is an unrestricted free agent one July 1, may be out of Buffalo regardless.
With an injury filled past, is he really worth keeping around the HSBC Arena? I highly doubt they'll ever give him the cash he's getting paid now, but some team may be desperate for a top two line center that they'll overpay for him.
5. David Booth
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A former 30-goal scorer, David Booth you would believe could be a highly sought after player. But apparently, he wasn't, as the Panthers failed to trade this sniper.
Booth, who is coming off a serious concussion off of a blind-side hit by Mike Richards, has seen only limited games since the incident. To add to that, with a cap hit over $4 million dollars for the next four seasons after this one, nobody was willing to take a chance on him given his concussion-filled past.
The asking price obviously would likely be a top 10 prospect and a second-round pick, which as it stands, look like it was not met.
Booth stays as a Panther despite the club's attempts to deal him.
4. Ales Hemsky
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The fire sale appeared to be in full swing in Edmonton around Noon Mountain as the club traded Dustin Penner to the Los Angeles Kings for Colton Teubert, a first-round pick in 2011 and a conditional third-round pick in 2012.
But that was the only major news out of Edmonton as the club opted to keep Ales Hemsky around.
Why is he still around?
My best guess is clubs were offering too little and the Oilers had a price they were sticking to. The price was likely too high for a player who has struggled staying healthy in recent years. He hasn't played a full year of hockey since he played 81 games in 2005-06 when he enjoyed a career year, posting 19 goals and 58 assists for 77 points.
The Los Angeles Kings were probably the most interested in Hemsky's services, but opted for the more durable and larger Penner instead.
3. Stephen Weiss
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The Panthers No. 1 center Stephen Weiss went along his business today without getting dealt by the re-tooling Panthers.
According to Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos, only the Toronto Maple Leafs appeared to be in Weiss' sight lines, as he allegedly notified the Panthers management led by Dale Tallon, that he would only waive his no-trade clause to go to the Leafs.
The supposed asking price for Weiss appeared to be a top prospect and a first-round pick, a price the Leafs were unwilling to pay for honestly, only a slight upgrade to Tyler Bozak.
Since this price was not going to be met by any club, Weiss went untouched when the clock struck 3:00 PM today.
2. John Michael Liles
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Rumors were spreading like wildfire with John Michael Liles in the days leading up to the trading deadline, but it turned out all those rumors turned out to just be that--rumors.
Liles, a prolific power-play quarterback, was pursued by a number of teams, most notably the Toronto Maple Leafs, who were in search of a new power-play defender. However, the asking price was again too high for those Leafs who decided to pass.
The Buffalo Sabres were also reportedly in on Liles, who turned 30 this past November.
1. Brad Richards
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Easily the most recognizable name to see here in the slideshow, Brad Richards, who is the Stars' leading scorer and a veteran leader, is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
The Stars, who face ownership issues, still may or may not have the cash to afford Richards this summer. There are rumblings he wants to re-sign with the team, but can they afford him.
Currently in the top 15 in scoring in the NHL, he'll likely see a contract in that neighbourhood of $8 million to $8.5 million a season. Is that price a bit too steep for Richards?
Personally, I think he would be worth every penny. Leadership, skill, speed and a solid mentor for any young hockey player, Richards is easily one of the teams' most valuable players they have.
Did the Stars make a mistake though and not deal him, given the price tag they were asking for?
We can't speculate on what was offered, but if there were some great deals available, the Stars may be kicking themselves come July 1 when or if Richards decides to sign elsewhere.