2010 NHL Trade Deadline: How the Western Conference Was Won

xx yySenior Writer IMarch 3, 2010

DETROIT - MAY 27:  Cristobal Huet #38 of the Chicago Blackhawks looks back behind the net against the Detroit Red Wings during Game Five of the Western Conference Championship Round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 27, 2009 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Needless to say, the story for the NHL trade deadline is a fairly timid one.

We weren't expecting a lot to happen or a lot of big names to be dealt, and they weren't.

So going all the way back to Monday, here's how things have shaken out over the past three days:

1. San Jose Sharks, 89 points

Arrivals: None

Departures: None

What does it mean for them?

The Sharks have made a deadline deal ranging in significance every year for the past three. Whether it was Travis Moen and Kent Huskins or Brian Campbell, someone was always going to San Jose to infuse some new blood. And it hasn’t gotten them anywhere.

This year they could have used another good (young, if available) puck-moving defenseman, but maybe keeping the nucleus of the team intact will work out better for them this year.

It’s worth a shot, especially because they've now got Niclas Wallin, who just seems to score at the most opportune times.


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2. Chicago Blackhawks, 87 points

Arrivals: Hannu Toivonen—G, Danny Richmond—D, Nick Boynton—D

Departures: Joe Fallon—G, Future considerations

What does it mean for them?

Many wanted to see an improvement between the pipes for the Blackhawks.

Cristobal Huet is making some serious cash, but not performing like it, and Antti Niemi is severely untested in the long-haul of an NHL season.

Chicago made a great move in adding Boynton for blueline depth (and Kim Johnsson as well), but if it’s goaltending that costs this favorite in the playoffs, they’re going to hear about it.


3. Vancouver Canucks, 78 points

Arrivals: Yan Stastny—F, Sean Zimmerman—D, Sixth round pick (2010)—PHX/conditional, Andrew Alberts—D

Departures: Pierre-Cedric Labrie—F, Mathieu Schneider—D, Third round pick  

What does it mean for them?

The Canucks seem to be content with the roster they’ve got right now and didn’t do any heavy lifting at the deadline. Andrew Alberts will provide some depth to the defense (as well as youth at 28) and Yan Stastny won’t turn any heads.

Chances are Vancouver didn’t feel much heat from the division, as the Avalanche didn’t do much to strengthen their case, and those above the Canucks in the conference seemed confident in their standing as well.


4. Los Angeles Kings, 80 points

Arrivals : Jeff Halpern—F, Fredrik Modin—F

Departures: Teddy Purcell—F, Third round pick (2010), Future Considerations

What does it mean for them?

The Kings, looking at the playoffs for the first time since 2001-02, made a pair of quality moves.

While Jeff Halpern brings great leadership and penalty-killing ability to the team, they also took a flyer on a guy (Modin) who could rediscover his scoring touch (and health) for a low cost (future considerations).

Modin isn’t the front-line player that the Kings envisioned (a la Ray Whitney), but the Kings had a strong showing at the deadline, losing only a third-liner, a third round pick, and future considerations.


5. Phoenix Coyotes, 79 points

Arrivals: Derek Morris—D, Wojtek Wolski—F, Mathieu Schneider—D, Lee Stempniak—F, Alexandre Picard—F, Miika Wiikman—G, Seventh round pick (2011)—NYR, Petteri Nokelainen—F

Departures: Fourth round pick (2011), Kevin Porter—D, Peter Mueller—F, Sean Zimmerman—D, Sixth round pick (2010), Fourth round pick (2010), Seventh round pick (2010), Chad Kolarik—F, Anders Eriksson—D, Matt Jones—D

What does it mean for them?

Was there anyone more intriguing than Phoenix at this trade deadline?

They not only re-acquired Derek Morris (a very underrated defenseman with some good offensive upside), but they were also able to strengthen the blueline with playoff-depth and leadership in Mathieu Schneider.

Getting Wojtek Wolski is a big boost for this club, as he suddenly ties Shane Doan for the team lead in points and is developing into a 20-25 goal guy.

As far as Stempniak goes, he’ll get a fresh start in Phoenix and a shot at the playoffs, along with the opportunity the boost his worth come free agency.

One question though: Where did they find the time for all of these moves? They had four deals become official following the 3:00 PM deadline.


6. Colorado Avalanche, 76 points

Arrivals: Peter Mueller—F, Kevin Porter—D, Stephane Yelle—F, Harrison Reed—F

Departures: Wojtek Wolski—F, Cedric Lalone-McNicoll—F, Sixth round pick (2010)

What does it mean for them?

The Avalanche came into the deadline in a tough position.

They’re in a season where they’re building around youth, they want to get their young players ice time, and they don’t want to burden the roster with vets.

So where did the strategy lie?

They dealt for a guy in Mueller that could play well if he can rediscover his goal-scoring touch alongside one of their young, playmaking centers.

Because of the youth and inexperience on this team the Avs could slide deeper into the playoff picture, but today was looking more towards the future—especially with the addition of Porter to the blueline.


Proving that the deadline is never truly over, this update has to do with the Yelle deal.

Great acquisition.

Yelle is one of the most underrated playoff performers, adding that veteran presence that we talked about earlier. He’s not a player people will get excited about, but Yelle will help the dressing room above all else.

7. Nashville Predators, 73 points

Arrivals: Dennis Grebeshkov—D, Dustin Boyd—F

Departures: Second round pick (2010), Ryan Jones—F (WAIVERS), Fourth Round pick (2010)

What does it mean for them?

The talk was around the Predators moving Dan Hamhuis, but they actually added to their blueline, instituting Grebeshkov.

In his first game with the team, Grebeshkov notched a goal and an assist and gave Nashville one of the most dangerous bluelines, offensively, with Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Hamhuis, and Cody Franson.

Boyd adds a little more depth to the forward lines and could play more of a Joel Ward-type role: a hard-working guy who catches the opposition offguard with some strong offensive showings.


8. Detroit Red Wings, 70 points

Arrivals: Jordan Owens—F

Departures: Kris Newbury—F  

What does it mean for them?

Ken Holland went on record today saying that he’s gotten his trade deadline acquisitions already in getting guys like Johan Franzen back from injury.

Fair enough.

If that’s the case, Franzen was the best “deadline” acquisition (not counting Kovalchuk).

They also added some depth before the Olympics with Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, while Andreas Lilja is coming back as well.


9. Calgary Flames, 69 points

Arrivals: Vesa Toskala—G, Steve Staois—D

Departures: Curtis McElhinney—G, Aaron Johnson—D, Third round pick (2010)

What does it mean for them?

I refuse to make a “Calgary” + “Maple Leafs” joke. It won't happen.

But this move signifies that Calgary is still looking for a reliable option behind Miikka Kiprusoff, so maybe a friendly face in Vesa Toskala can do it.

Staios will help offer stability to the Calgary blueline, but they’re still lacking something offensively—a downfall which could cost them the playoffs.


10. Dallas Stars, 68 points

Arrivals: None

Departures: None

What does it mean for them?

Not every team needs to make a move to declare themselves an entrant for the playoffs, but the Dallas Stars’ silence is puzzling.

For a team that’s used to playing hockey in April and May, you’d think Dallas would want to at least tinker with the roster to put them over the top.

They’re currently deploying Marty Turco and Kari Lehtonen between the pipes, and you have to wonder what that dynamic is.

They also could’ve used a puck-moving defenseman with guys like Ryan Whitney and Lubomir Visnovsky available.

11. Anaheim Ducks, 67 points

Arrivals: Nathan Oystrick—D, Conditional pick (2011), Conditional Pick, Future considerations, Aaron Ward—D, Curtis McElhinney—G, Joey MacDonald—G, Lubomir Visnovsky—D

Departures: Evgeny Artyukhin—F, Steve Kampfer—D, Nick Boynton—D, Justin Pogge—G, Fourth round pick (2010/11), Vesa Toskala—G, Seventh round pick (2011), Ryan Whitney—D

What does it mean for them?

Speaking of Whitney and Visnovsky, they were dealt for each other today.

A lot of people are saying Anaheim won the trade, getting a veteran offensive defenseman with a history of shooting (buoying that sixth-ranked power play). While Visnovsky is attractive, selling out on Whitney may still be a mistake (we’ll get to that more in Edmonton).

Then the Ducks did, well, something to their goaltending situation.

Gone is the recently acquired (and visa problem-burdened) Vesa Toskala, along with another former Leaf, Justin Pogge.

McElhinney gets another shot to strut his stuff as a backup, while the Ducks weren’t done, acquiring (now) former-Leaf Joey MacDonald.

These moves may not push the Ducks into the playoffs, but that’s only because they already had the nucleus to sneak in.

12. St Louis Blues, 67 points

Arrivals: Joe Fallon—G, Matt D’Agostini—F, Pierre-Cedric Labrie—F

Departures: Hannu Toivonen—G, Danny Richmond—D, Aaron Palushaj—F, Yan Stastny—F

What does it mean for them?

Not much exciting going on for the Blues.

They shipped out a few players from the AHL, got some grit back in D’Agostini, and can cross their fingers that Fallon will develop into a guy who can at least contribute in some manner between the pipes.


13. Minnesota Wild, 64 points

Arrivals: Second round pick (2010)—WASH

Departures: Eric Belanger—F

What does it mean for them?

The Wild get a late second round pick for Eric Belanger but win out in freeing up the roster room. Not really much you can do when there’s still that handful of teams to jump over to get to the playoffs.

14. Columbus Blue Jackets, 61 points

Arrivals: Greg Moore—C, Nathan Paetsch—D, Second round pick (2010)—BUF, Sixth round pick (2010)—WASH, Future considerations (LA), Mathieu Roy—F, Chad Kolarik—F

Departures: Dylan Reese—D, Raffi Torres—F, Milan Jurcina—D, Fredrik Modin—F, Matt Rust—F, Alexandre Picard—F

What does it mean for them?

The Blue Jackets really just got rid of some unnecessary pieces.

Milan Jurcina didn’t work out following his trade from Washington so they sent him back. Fredrik Modin has been a disappointment, and Raffi Torres got them a draft pick to build around.

Columbus didn’t necessarily get a big-time return for any of these guys, but then again, they’re just another team with their younger pieces already in place.


15. Edmonton Oilers, 44 points

Arrivals: Second round pick (2010)—NASH, Matt Marquardt—F, Ryan Jones—F (WAIVERS), Ryan Whitney—D, Aaron Johnson—D, Third round pick (2010)—CAL

Departures: Dennis Grebeshkov—D, Cody Wild—D, Lubomir Visnovsky—D, Steve Staios

What does it mean for them?

The Oilers cut a lot of salary, acquired some size, and started to position themselves towards a true rebuild by freeing up some room for the promising youngsters in the pipeline.

Ryan Whitney can still turn into a top-end defenseman, and he may be able to revitalize some of the pieces on that blueline. Jones and Marquardt will add some bruisers to the Oilers’ lineup.

Bryan Thiel is a Senior Writer and NHL Community Leader for Bleacher Report. Want more? Check BT out on Twitter at BT_88 , take a look at his archives , or go over to Hockey54.com—The Face of the Game! to see more.

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