You've heard the expression "let's get busy?" Well, Mike Halford is a blogger who gets "biz-zay!" Consistently and thoroughly.
The Bruins, rumored to be seeking some depth up front ahead of the trade deadline, added exactly that by getting veteran Jets winger Drew Stafford just prior to the 3 p.m. ET cutoff.
In exchange, Winnipeg receives a conditional sixth-round pick (per ESPN).
Stafford, 31, has had an injury-plagued campaign, limited to just 40 games due to upper- and lower-body ailments, yet still managed to rack up 13 points while averaging just over 13 minutes per night.
He also has history as a productive goalscoring winger.
The former Sabre found the back of the net 21 times last season (and scored a career-high 31 with Buffalo back in ’10-11). He’s got enough ability to play up and down the lineup and, what’s more, he’s about as pure a rental as they come — Stafford’s a pending UFA, in the last of a two-year deal that pays $4.35 million annually.
Toronto wanted to “reward” its young players by bringing in a veteran presence like Brian Boyle ahead of today’s deadline.
And now they’re getting rewarded again.
Eric Fehr, waived by the Penguins earlier this week, has been acquired by the Leafs along with d-man Steve Oleksy and a fourth-round pick at this year’s draft, per TSN.
Pittsburgh receives d-man Frank Corrado, and the cap/roster space to orchestrate a deal that will bring Mark Streit into the fold (more on that in a subsequent post).
Fehr, 31, is in the second of a three-year, $6 million deal with a $2M cap hit. He’s appeared in 52 games this season, scoring six goals and 11 points while averaging just under 11 minutes a night.
He was also a regular in last year’s Stanley Cup run, scoring three times in 23 games.
Though his role decreased, Fehr was still frequently used by head coach Mike Sullivan — albeit in a more limited capacity. He is a good PK contributor, and can play both center and wing.
New Jersey and Nashville got together on a trade for the second time this month, with the Preds acquiring veteran winger P.A. Parenteau in exchange for a sixth-round pick, per TSN.
Earlier, the Devils sent veteran center Vernon Fiddler to the Preds for a fourth-rounder.
Parenteau, 33, joined the Devils after getting scooped off waivers from the Isles at the start of the campaign. He’s produced well, with 14 goals and 33 points in 55 games, but there have been ups and downs in New Jersey, including a healthy scratch in mid-December.
Parenteau carries a modest $1.3 million cap hit, so it’s a minimal financial commitment for the Preds. He’s also got a bit of playoff experience — 15 games, split between Montreal and Colorado — which will help a Nashville club currently sitting third in the Central Division.
Philadelphia has re-upped with checking forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare on a two-year extension, per Sportsnet.
It’s believed to be a $2.9 million pact, one that carries a $1.45M average annual cap hit. That’s a nice raise for the 31-year-old, who’s in the last of a two-year pact at $712,500 per.
Bellemare joined the Flyers for the ’14-15 campaign, following a lengthy career in Europe that included stops in his native France, and a lengthy spell in Sweden. He’s emerged as a good energy guy in the bottom-six forward group, one that can kill penalties and chip in with a bit of offense.
Today’s news might come as a bit of a surprise for Flyers fans, however. Bellemare was a pending UFA and, given he’s on the wrong side of 30, there was speculation he’d be sold at the deadline in the hopes of recouping some assets.
Florida has added the goalscoring winger it wanted for a playoff push.
Thomas Vanek, who leads the Red Wings with 15 goals this season, has been acquired in exchange for defenseman Dylan McIlrath and a third-round pick, per TSN.
Vanek, 33, is on a one-year, $2.6 million deal. Detroit’s retaining 50 percent of his salary in this trade, so it’s an affordable pickup for the Panthers.
The Austrian winger should fit nicely into an offensively gifted group that includes Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Jaromir Jagr, Vincent Trocheck, Reilly Smith and Jussi Jokinen. Vanek should also help out on the power play, where he has five markers this season.
“Thomas is a proven scorer in this league who will add some offensive savvy and experience to our young group of forwards,” Panthers GM Dale Tallon said in a release. “We believe strongly in our group and we’re confident that he will help our power play and supplement our core effectively.”
As for the other side of things…
The Red Wings, who will see their 25-year playoff streak snapped, began selling off assets yesterday by flipping Brendan Smith to the Rangers, and Steve Ott to the Habs.
Early analysis has panned GM Ken Holland for his sub-par return for Vanek who — while somewhat flawed — has enjoyed a bounce-back season in Detroit, and has a history for finding the back of the net.