We have a trade to announce: Yzerman orchestrates three-team deal

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Steve Yzerman is emerging as the star of this year’s trade deadline.

The Tampa Bay GM has pulled off his third and fourth trades over the last five days by sending forward Steve Downie to Colorado in exchange for defenseman Kyle Quincey, then trading Quincey to Detroit in exchange for the Red Wings’ first-round pick in 2012 and defenseman Sebastien Piche.

Tampa now has two first-round and three second-round picks (possibly four) at the 2012 draft.

As for the remaining details…

— Quincey, 26, was arguably Colorado’s top blueliner this season. He was tied for the team lead in defenseman scoring (23 points, with Erik Johnson) but led in goals (five), power play goals (three) and time on ice per game (22:21).

It’s not surprising Detroit wanted Quincey after losing him on waivers in 2008:

The Wings placed Quincey on waivers because they needed some salary cap space in case they needed to recall a goaltender from Grand Rapids in the event of a short-term injury or illness to one of their goalies.

Wings general manager Ken Holland said he talked to about five or six teams that were interested in Quincey and at one point were close to a deal that fell through. Teams were reluctant to part with a draft pick for a player who hadn’t established himself in the NHL.

“I’m happy for Kyle. He’s been patient,” Holland said. “With us acquiring Brad Stuart and the development of Brett Lebda and Jonathan Ericsson. We like Derek Meech. We can’t keep everybody.”

— Somewhat surprising to see Downie get shipped out. The 24-year-old had been a solid contributor for the Bolts since coming over from Philadelphia three seasons ago, scoring a career-high 22 goals in 2009-10. He was also Tampa’s fourth-leading scorer in last year’s playoffs (2G-12A-14PTS in 17 games), finishing ahead of Steve Stamkos.

Downie’s reputation as one of the league’s most renowned — and reckless — agitators gives the Avs more bite, something they’ve been lacking this season outside of Cody McLeod and Shane O’Brien. That said, Downie has a penchant for taking bad penalties and has been a repeat visitor to the NHL’s disciplinary department.

— Downie and Quincey are both impending RFAs. Downie’s in the final year of a deal with an annual cap hit of $1.85 million while Quincey’s is $3.13 million.

— Piche is an undrafted free agent currently playing with AHL Grand Rapids.

— Projecting: Detroit’s top six defensemen are now Nicklas Lidstrom, Ian White, Niklas Kronwall, Stuart, Ericsson and Quincey.

B’s ink prospects Fitzgerald, Johansson to entry-level deals

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Boston has brought a pair of talented youngsters into the fold.

Forward Ryan Fitzgerald, who just wrapped his senior season at Boston College, and defenseman Emil Johansson — who spent this year playing in the Swedish Hockey League — have signed their entry-level deals and will begin playing with the club’s AHL affiliate in Providence.

Fitzgerald — who’s father, Tom, is the assistant GM in New Jersey — scored 31 points in 34 games for BC this year, serving as an alternate captain. He was originally taken by Boston in the fourth round (120th overall) of the ’13 draft.

Johansson, 20, was a seventh-round pick in ’14 that’s panned out pretty well. He scored a career-high seven goals and 17 points in 49 games for Djugardens this year, appearing in three playoff contests.

 

 

Ducks send Stoner to AHL on conditioning loan

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Clayton Stoner is going to play some hockey again.

The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the 32-year-old defenseman has been assigned to AHL San Diego on a long-term injury conditioning loan.

Stoner has not played since Nov. 15. He had abdominal surgery in December, at which point the Ducks said he’d miss an additional 4-6 weeks. But a setback in his recovery extended the time frame.

“The setback was kind of just me trying to get back maybe a little bit quicker than I should,” Stoner told the O.C. Register recently. “And I wasn’t ready. Things have been good here for a little while so hopefully I’m just trying to string some days together and earn a spot back and kind of prove that I can be healthy and stay healthy.”

Panthers didn’t want to trade Crouse, but Bolland contract was ‘strangling’ them

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Interesting note here from Florida head coach Tom Rowe who, last night, watched former Panther prospect Lawson Crouse play in Florida for the first time since being traded to Arizona.

Crouse was the price the Panthers had to pay to unload Dave Bolland‘s contract on the Coyotes last summer. Rowe wasn’t involved with the Bolland signing, but was involved in dumping the contract — he was Florida’s assistant GM at the time the deal went down.

His take, from the Miami Herald:

Florida traded Crouse to the Coyotes last summer as part of a salary cap dump; Arizona took on the final three years and $16.5-million of Dave Bolland’s contract in exchange for a top prospect — in this case, Crouse.

“We got criticized for giving up on a great young prospect but we had to,” Rowe said. “That contract was strangling us, cap-wise. …

“When we traded him, our scouts were furious. I’m not going to lie. But we had to do something and that was trade Lawson. I’m sure, to this day, he’s still sour about it.”

Crouse, who Florida took 11th overall at the 2015 draft, has five goals and 11 points through 64 games this year, averaging 11:50 TOI per night. Those numbers don’t jump off the page, but they do need to be taken in context — Crouse is only 19 years old, and the 10th-youngest player to play in the NHL this season.

Bolland, meanwhile, hasn’t played since December of 2015, due to a variety of back and ankle injuries. His time in Florida was largely forgettable — after scoring the $27.5 million pact, he played just 78 games in a Panthers uniform, scoring 28 points.  It’s widely regarded as the worst deal GM Dale Tallon has made during his time with the organization.

Shortly after taking on his contract, Coyotes GM John Chayka said Bolland wouldn’t be healthy for the “foreseeable future.” The 30-year-old has two years remaining on his deal, at $5.5 million annually.

 

Arizona lawmaker suggests Coyotes pledge more money for new arena

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Arizona Senate President Steve Yarbrough does not expect a piece of legislation to pass that would give the Coyotes millions of dollars in public financing to build a new arena.

That being said, Yarbrough thinks the Coyotes may be able to gain some “traction” if they offer to put in more of their own money.

Under the current plan, the team has pledged $170 million of the arena’s total cost, which is estimated at almost $400 million. The difference would be made up by new sales taxes, plus $55 million from the still-to-be-determined host city.

“If you are getting no traction the way the bill is designed, you could see if the hockey team paid a greater portion,” Yarbrough told the Arizona Republic yesterday. “I have been around this business long enough to know that if it’s not working in this format, you change the format to make it more attractive.”

For their part, the Coyotes have not said whether they’d be willing to pay a greater portion of the project, only that they’ll continue to “work hard to find a viable arena solution in the greater Phoenix area, a market that both the club and the NHL believe is a strong hockey market capable of supporting a successful NHL franchise.”

Related: Bettman says Coyotes “cannot and will not remain in Glendale”