Pro Hockey Talk's Trade Deadline Extravaganza

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The deadline has come and passed, and overall it was a relatively quiet day. Here’s a rundown of all of the news and rumors from the day. We’ll be bringing you comprehensive opinion and analysis of all these moves throughout the afternoon.

4:07 p.m. – Here’s another that’s just gone down. The Hurricanes have traded Stephane Yelle and Harrison Reed to Colorado, in exchange for Cedric Lalonde-McNicoll and a 6th round pick.

3:45 p.m. – Here’s the rundown of the trades that have come across the past 30 minutes:

Dustin Boyd to Nashville; 4th round pick to Calgary
Chris Peluso to Toronto; 6th round pick to Pittsburgh
Ryan Whitney to Edmonton; Lubomir Visnovsky to Anaheim (!!!!)
Joey MacDonald to Anaheim; 7th round pick (2011) to Toronto

We’ll have more on these trades and more throughout the afternoon. Stay with us.

3:10 p.m. – The LA Kings continue to bolster their team for a playoff run by acquiring Fredrik Modin from the Columbus Blue Jackets.

3:08 p.m. – Washington receives Joe Corvo from Carolina for Brian Pothier and Oskar Osala. OK, now that’s a pretty big trade (thankfully).

3:00 p.m. – The deadline is upon us! Of course, that doesn’t mean there won’t be more deals announced, though. Stay tuned.

Earlier news and original post after the jump…


We’re still settling into our new digs here at PHT; in fact the boxes
aren’t even unpacked yet and I’ve been sleeping on a mattress on the
floor. But trade deadline day is here and we’ll be giving you all the
news and semi-grounded rumors we can find.

Here’s the plan: all
throughout the day this thread will update with any trades or major
rumors that come across the wire. We’ll link to our more in depth
analysis and takes on the rumors below, but this thread will stick to
the top of the page and will be constantly updated.

So if you’re
at work: open up another window with a spreadsheet or work email in it,
and be sure to keep checking back here throughout the day. We’re
certainly not encouraging anyone not to work….but we all know that
hockey fans will not be very productive today anyway.

We’ll also
be keeping up with all the news on Twitter. You can follow Pro Hockey Talk by
going here
, and I’ll guarantee it’s going to be a busy feed today.
At least I hope. I’m still getting the whole “tweeting” thing down.

Let’s
have some fun.

2:56 p.m. – TSN is claiming that Dan Hamhuis will remain
a member of the Nashville Predators. Fair enough.

2:54 p.m. – Word is that
Sheldon Souray will miss the rest of the season with an infected hand.
(Resists making tasteless jokes about his messy divorce.)

2:53
p.m.
 No word on the team “lucky” enough to receive him, but
the Toronto Maple Leafs have unloaded Lee Stempniak. Update: apparently
that team is the Phoenix Coyotes. Toronto receives a fourth and seventh
round pick for Stempniak.

2:52 p.m. – TSN reports that
Milan Jurcina has been traded back to the Washington Capitals.
Update:
Bob McKenzie reports that Jurcina was diagnosed with a sports
hernia. Hmmm.

2:41 p.m.Bob
McKenzie just Tweeted that the Atlanta Thrashers sent their third and
fourth round picks to Buffalo for Clarke McArthur? Huh? Where’s the
second rounder?

2:32 p.m. – The Buffalo Sabres
added some grit in Raffi Torres. They sent a (clicks “paste”) second
round pick and D Nathan Paetsch. Is it even a heavy price to pay when
everyone but Scott Walker is basically going for a second round pick?
GMs sure are a
bunch of conformists
.

(Apparently,
Torres is going to be Toronto bound next off-season. Read
more about that strange situation
.)

2: 20 p.m. – I
know that Curtis McElhinney and Vesa Toskala have traded places, but we
have yet to see a major trade involving a major goaltender. More on
that here.

2:00 p.m. – With the Kaberle talks
heating up (ugh, so tired of it already)
I opine on the topic here.

1:47
p.m.
 –
The Washington Capitals acquired Eric Belanger from the
Minnesota Wild for (wait for it) a second round draft pick. This ads to
what’s becoming a sizable pool of character guys for the Caps.

1:38
p.m. –
Remember how I was talking how it seemed that Tomas
Kaberle was not interested in waiving his NTC. Well, now it seems that
he and Brian Burke have a ‘deal’ where he’ll  consider deals that come
across. I have this strange sense of deja vu.

1:34
p.m.- The Tampa Bay
Lightning sent Jeff Halpern to the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings have
sent Teddy Purcell and a third-round draft pick to Tampa Bay.

1:22
p.m.-
Well, it was quiet for a bit but we have another trade.
The Canucks have sent defenseman Mathieu Schneider to the Phoenix
Coyotes. Boy…I’m writing Phoenix a lot today. Details to come.

12:50
p.m. –
We
wonder what exactly the point was
regarding the Aaron Ward trade.
Obviously salary and the need for depth….but Ward to Anaheim was a bit
anticlimactic.


12:43
p.m. – It’s
official. 
Peter
Mueller has been traded with Kevin Porter from the Phoenix Coyotes to
the Colorado Avalanche for Wojtek Wolski.
That’s a nice find for the
Coyotes, since both players seem to register a lot of the same
attitude-type complaints while Wolski has actually made good on some of
his promise.

12:35 p.m. – Now we’re
talking…Vancover has aqcuired Yan Statsny from St. Louis in exchange
for Cedric Labrie. Things are starting to heat up.

12:30
p.m. –
Mueller to Colorado or Mueller to Atlanta. RDS is reporting that Peter Mueller has
been traded to the Atlanta Thrashers, while TSN is saying a deal is in
the works for Phoenix to send him to Colorado in exchange for Wojtek
Wolski. We’ll keep you updated.

12:28 p.m. –
TSN just announced that Scott Walker was traded from Carolina to
Washington for a seventh round pick. No word on a three-team trade in
which Walker’s fist is sent to Aaron Ward’s face. Further analysis here.

12:06
p.m. –
Breaking into all the trade talk here, but you can catch
a replay of the Gold Medal Game between Canada and USA on Universal
Sports. Details
here
.
12:00 p.m. – Florida dealt Dennis
Seidenberg and Matthew Bartkowski to Boston for a second round draft
pick, Byron Bitz and Craig Weller. So, essentially, the Bruins swapped
Derek Morris and a second round pick for Dennis Seidenberg. Solid
move in Beantown.

11:44 a.m. – Aaron Ward
has been traded to the Anaheim Ducks, in exchange for goaltender Justin
Pogge and a draft pick, could be a fourth or so. We’ll see.

11:36
a.m. –
Just as I was publishing a post on how quiet today has
been, Seidenberg gets traded to the Bruins. Not a HUGE move, mind you,
but at least there was more to it than draft picks. Well sort of; Byron
Blitz is part of the trade as well.

11:30 a.m. –
Looks like the Morris trade to Phoenix was certainly with another move
already in the works. TSN reporting that Florida has traded Dennis
Seidenberg to Boston.

11:14 a.m. – Just saw a tweet
by someone who is very serious about what they do, confirming that
Florida wants Jeff Carter. Thanks for the info…see my update from an
hour ago.
10:54 a.m. – NHL.com guru Mike Dilorenzo is saying that
Martin Skoula is headed to the New Jersey Devils.  He was just traded
yesterday to Toronto as part of the Alexei Ponikarovsky deal. Hope he
didn’t unpack.

10: 51 a.m. –
Morris traded to
Phoenix, Boston
set up for another move later today.

10:35 a.m. – Details
on the trade – Derek Morris is traded to the Phoenix Coyotes, Boston
gets 2011 fourth round draft pick. Yep, can you say “salary dump for
another trade today?”

10:30 a.m.It
appears that
the asking price for Raffi Torres of the Blue Jackets
is a first round pick, or at least a top prospect. That’s a steep, steep
price for a 30 point scorer, who’s just a rental.

10:25
a.m. –
We may have our first trade of the day. Derek Morris may
be headed back to Phoenix; he was going to be a UFA this summer for
Boston. Waiting on details.

10: 17 a.m. – Well
now….Washington interested in Ray Whitney? Interesting, since I just
heard Carolina might not trade him, since no one would accept their
price.

10:10 a.m. – According
to Darren Dreger
, Sheldon Souray has ‘softened’ a bit on the team’s
he’d be willing to accept a trade to.

10:03 a.m. – It
looks like Tomas Vokoun to Philadelphia is in the works, and that Jeff
Carter  is the target for Florida. Not exactly a salary dump for
Panthers; Carter is owed $5 million next season.

9:58 a.m. –
Tomas Vokoun has apparently agreed to waive his NTC for small
number of teams.

9:41 a.m. – Florida
Panthers are definitely sellers
. Dennis Seidenberg will be first to
go, Tomas Vokoun is almost certainly on the trading block as well.

9:22
a.m. –
Well, this is a bit surprising. Scotty
Bowman tells FAN that Chicago
is not in the market for a
goaltender.

9:15 a.m. – Tomas
Kaberle rumors are still out there
, but he’s not budging on his
wish to stay with Toronto. We wonder….why?

Report: Avalanche will soon have AHL affiliate in Colorado

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There are upgrades that improve teams in dramatic ways, and then there are moves that improve quality of life.

Mike Chambers of The Denver Post reports that the Colorado Avalanche will make a tweak that would likely be a big plus in the quality of life category: starting in 2018-19, the Colorado Eagles will be their AHL affiliate. The Eagles will be bumped from an ECHL team to the AHL.

At the moment, the Avs’ affiliate is the San Antonio Rampage (pictured). So, yeah, there will be a nice advantage in a) calling players up and b) management having more opportunities to keep an eye on prospects.

The Budweiser Events Center is about a one-hour drive to the Pepsi Center according to Google Maps, depending upon traffic. So yeah, that’s an easier situation than traveling from Texas.

The Avalanche haven’t made this news official; Chambers cites two anonymous sources. With the change coming for 2018-19, it’s possible that confirmation might not come for a while. More from Chambers:

The Avs, citing their contract with the Rampage, declined comment, but vice president Jean Martineau confirmed the team’s contract with San Antonio ends after the 2017-18 season. Eagles general manager Chris Stewart could not be reached for comment.

Will Rangers fans warm up to Vigneault this season?

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This post is part of Rangers Day on PHT…

From the way many New York Rangers fans discuss Alain Vigneault, you’d think he was presiding over the era of 1997-98 to 2003-04, when the Rangers missed the playoffs for seven straight seasons.

Impressive results

From a sheer win-loss standpoint, Vigneault’s been a success, even if the Rangers haven’t been able to win it all. The Rangers’ points percentage has been at .628, almost as strong as his .632 mark with the Canucks, when AV took Vancouver within one win of that elusive Stanley Cup title.

(Breaking: things haven’t gone so smoothly for Vancouver since he left town.)

The Rangers are 192-108-28 under Vigneault. They made an unexpected run to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final and also brought them to the 2015 Eastern Conference Final.

Plenty of critics

Of course, Vigneault wasn’t on the ice winning those games, and many would (understandably) attribute the Rangers’ successes to the players, most notably Henrik Lundqvist. In the eyes of many, this team’s successes come despite Vigneault.

Again, the criticisms are often as harsh as they are widespread.

Sometimes people find his defensive pairing decisions maddening. If you want to make some Rangers fans wince, just utter the name Tanner Glass. SBNation Rangers blog Blueshirt Banter provides a portal into such angst, with headlines like “Rangers demise started at the top” and failing grades for his playoff maneuvering.

Twitter can honestly get a little weird with the AV vitriol, although … maybe that’s to be expected? Consider this a random example that’s on the more, well, SFW spectrum:

Not everyone is bashing Vigneault, mind you, but his critics can sometimes resemble a chorus.

Glass floor

Of course, any passionate fan base will have its qualms with coaches. People have been discussing “the pros and cons of Alain Vigneault” for ages.

It’s easy to get caught up in your favorite team and ignore the notion that virtually every coach has “their guys.”

In this case, “their guys” means marginal players whose elevated roles leaves fans shaking their heads. Jon Cooper seemingly favored Andrej Sustr and arguably never really trusted Jonathan Drouin. Maple Leafs fans weren’t always thrilled to see, say, Roman Polak getting serious minutes. The list goes on and on.

A turning point?

With that in mind, the 2017-18 season could be an especially fascinating chapter in the love-hate affair between Rangers fans and Vigneault.

Frankly, Rangers GM Jeff Gorton took measures to protect Vigneault from himself, and those changes might just leave fans begrudgingly agreeing with more AV moves than usual … or it might send some over the edge if old habits die hard.

As much as people criticize individual moves, Vigneault made a strong argument that he’s a versatile coach in 2016-17, taking a more modern approach with the Rangers. It mostly worked, and now this team has better tools to improve their transition game.

To an extent, it’s addition by subtraction, as Dan Girardi‘s time mercifully ends, and with it the motivation for AV to give him big minutes. This opens the door for more mobile defenders to get time, such as promising young blueliner Brady Skjei.

The actual additions are most important. Kevin Shattenkirk stands, on paper, as a massive upgrade, especially if he slides into a pairing with Ryan McDonagh (who some believe has been dragged down by Girardi for years).

Another key will be how Marc Staal is used. If the emphasis shifts from Staal to Shattenkirk, McDonagh, Skjei, Brendan Smith and maybe even Anthony DeAngelo, stats-minded Rangers fans might be pleased.

Maybe most importantly for the mental health of some fans, that lure to put Glass in the lineup is also gone.

***

To some extent, criticisms are just the nature of the beast for coaches in professional sports. Vigneault’s been around long enough to realize that.

Even so, the highs and lows of Vigneault can sometimes be quite dramatic, making him a polarizing subject for fans. This season should be especially interesting to watch from the perspective of Rangers fans, whether AV makes changes or continues to frustrate them in familiar ways.

Rick Nash at career crossroads in contract year

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This post is part of Rangers Day on PHT…

New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton has indeed done a great job managing the team’s salary structure. In that context, it might be tough to justify the idea of extending an aging power forward who will be 34 when his current deal expires next summer.

There are more than a few people who believe that the Rangers would be wise to bring Rick Nash back, however. Just recently, Josh Lipman made such an argument for Fansided and a similar thought surfaced from Jackson Heil of The Hockey Writers.

Of course, wherever Nash goes, he figures to see a decrease in pay – maybe a drastic drop – from the $7.8 million cap hit that expires after 2017-18.

For Nash, it’s a fork in the road during what’s been a somewhat odd career.

Nash is closing in on 500 career goals, as the winger already produced 416 in 989 regular-season games. He’s become quite the specialist in New York, scoring 127 goals vs. 97 assists in 315 contests with the Rangers.

On those playoff questions

As Rangers fans likely know too well, there have been some playoff headaches.

It’s wrong to say that Nash has never enjoyed postseason success. In 19 games during their 2015 run, he managed 14 points. He also had four points in what was otherwise a miserable five-game series for the Rangers against the Penguins in 2016.

His strange run of bad luck resurfaced this past postseason, so for all we know, Nash might not ever fully silence critics regarding his supposed lack of “clutch play.”

Best option available?

When people picture Nash’s future, many envision him hitting the free agent market in 2018.

The Rangers might not be so wise to outright dismiss bringing Nash back, though. New York boasts some nice forwards, but it’s plausible that Nash could remain one of their most reliable snipers, even at an advanced age. Lipman points out that Nash easily outclasses other Rangers during his time with the team from a sniping perspective; while he generated 127 goals during that time, the second-most prolific scorer was Derek Stepan, who only managed 90.

It’s worth noting that, despite being limited to 67 regular-season games in 2016-17, Nash still scored 23 goals. Nash generated 42 goals as recently as 2014-15, which was one of his only healthy campaigns with the Rangers.

Now, it’s rarely safe to assume that a player will become more durable as he ages, so that’s another concern to consider.

Still, if the price is reasonable, Nash brings a lot to the table.

The 2017-18 season stands as a year that could have a huge impact on Nash’s future. The Rangers should at least keep an open mind about being a part of his future beyond this next season.

Butcher not seeking guaranteed NHL roster spot

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Even with numerous suitors lining up to try and sign him, Will Butcher isn’t making any unreasonable demands as a free agent.

Case in point, the 22-year-old defensemen — the same guy who just won the Hobey Baker Award after a terrific senior year at the University of Denver — isn’t saying he needs to play in the NHL next season.

“What ends up winning the day, I’m not sure,” Butcher’s agent, Brain Bartlett, told the Tampa Bay Times. “But we have not told teams that if you don’t have an NHL spot for him in training camp, don’t bother even calling. It’s quite the opposite.”

Perhaps Butcher is using Justin Schultz‘s experience in Edmonton as a guide. Schultz, a highly sought-after college free agent in the summer of 2012, was thrown right into the deep end with the Oilers, and only the Pittsburgh Penguins could save him from drowning.

Not to suggest Schultz made unreasonable demands of the Oilers — he insisted he wasn’t guaranteed ice time — but Edmonton’s blue line was so bereft of talent that he got it all the same.

Given what Bartlett had to say, it may be that Butcher is looking for a team that, above all else, can guarantee his proper development.

The NHL ice time can come when he’s ready for it.

Related: Devils, Sabres, Vegas reportedly in on Butcher