To better prepare you for the trade deadline on Monday, we have to show you that not every trade made is a blockbuster filled with huge names and even bigger implications for everyone involved. Nashville sent defenseman Alexander Sulzer to Florida for a conditional seventh round pick in 2012.
Sulzer this season has played in 31 games this year and has a goal and three assists and with the call up of Jonathon Blum he was made expendable. At 26 years-old Sulzer’s still young but not quite a prospect which makes him a perfect fit for the Florida Panthers. The Panthers have been cycling a host of guys in and out of their sixth defense spot this year and Sulzer will be able to step right in and play over the likes of Joe Callahan and Keaton Ellerby.
In other Predators news, they’ve put forward Steve Sullivan on injured reserve with “recurring groin problems.” That sounds rather unpleasant. The Preds have been dealing without Sullivan more often than not this year so having to go without him again is something that, while it stinks, is something they’re used to.
After two years of speculation about Tomas Kaberle being traded, it has finally happened. This time around, it’s a pair of dubious partners getting together once again to complete the deal as the Leafs have sent the blue line offensive specialist to Boston for prospect forward Joe Colborne, Boston’s first round pick in the 2011 draft, and a conditional pick.
The Bruins adding Kaberle to their blue line corps gives them the offensive-minded defenseman they severely lack. Kaberle will jump in instantly as their power play quarterback and become their top offensive threat from the point. This season, Kaberle has three goals and 35 assists and was Toronto’s fifth leading scorer.
That kind of production from the blue line in Boston would make him the Bruins fifth leading scorer as well and top point producer on defense. His 35 assists would also be tops on Boston’s roster as well. All told, Kaberle would be the missing piece they’re looking for on their defense and the freedom he’d give to Zdeno Chara to unleash hell from the other point with his slap shot. If other teams were worried about the Bruins before, they should be terrified now because Kaberle makes them a much more well-rounded team.
For Toronto, the package they’re getting from Boston is solid and manages to find a way to hurt the Bruins in another way. Joe Colborne comes to them as a former Denver University standout and former teammate of Tyler Bozak. Colborne was buried in Providence in the AHL because of the Bruins’ depth at center. He’s a big guy at 6’5″ 190 pounds and still just 21 years-old. He can play center, he can play wing and he’s got talent to burn. His stats in Providence aren’t anything stellar but part of that is due to the Bruins’ farm team being so poor this year. Through 55 games he’s got 12 goals and 14 assists but at Denver in his final year there he put up 22 goals and 19 assists in 39 games as a sophomore.
Getting Colborne also weakens an already soft Bruins system that’s mostly devoid of high-end prospects. While GM Brian Burke was being tempted with taking Blake Wheeler, he instead gets one of the very few top prospects left in the Bruins system and he’ll get a chance to flourish with Toronto. Getting Boston’s first round pick in the 2011 Entry Draft helps out as well since the Leafs gave their pick up to the Bruins in the Phil Kessel deal. It’ll be a much lower pick than what they’d ideally want but after the Kris Versteeg trade, Toronto now has what will be two late first round picks.
Burke getting as much as he did from Peter Chiarelli considering Kaberle is a free agent after this season is outstanding work by him. For Chiarelli, his next move will be to get Kaberle signed to an extension before July 1, otherwise they’ll have given up a lot for a minimal return. That is unless the Bruins win the Stanley Cup, then all bets are off. Those conditions also play into the conditional pick going to Toronto. TSN’s Bob McKenzie says that it’s a 2012 second round pick that goes to Toronto if Kaberle re-signs with Boston or the Bruins reach the Stanley Cup final.
Update: Deal is officially done as reported on the Leafs website.
Things are shaking up in Toronto today as the Maple Leafs have traded Francois Beauchemin to Anaheim for forward Joffrey Lupul, prospect defenseman Jake Gardiner, and a conditional fourth round pick in 2013.
For Anaheim, they get a defenseman to help solidify their defensive corps and they get a guy who is both familiar with playing in Anaheim and familiar with coach Randy Carlyle and what he wants to do. Beauchemin is an immediate upgrade on the blue line for the Ducks and considering that they’ve allowed the most shots on goal this season, tightening up defensively is a sound decision and one that Jonas Hiller can appreciate when he returns to the lineup.
For Toronto, they take on a bit more cash with Lupul as he’s got two years left on his contract at $4.5 million a year on the cap. That’s a tough bite to take all things considered but he’ll help out the Leafs thin forward unit, especially on the wings. The Ducks needed some salary relief and the Leafs were able to help them out with that.
Getting University of Wisconsin defensive prospect Jake Gardiner in the deal is the youth piece that GM Brian Burke was hoping to land. Burke drafted him while he was Ducks GM back in 2008 in the first round of the NHL draft. Gardiner has a lot of speed and is one of the top players in the WCHA this year with seven goals and 23 assists for the Badgers this year. Gardiner is currently a junior at Wisconsin.
The conditional pick the Leafs got is one with some wild stipulations hinging on what happens with Lupul that can make it either a fourth round pick or a sixth round pick in 2013.
Overalll, this deal appears to be a winner in the short term for Anaheim because they get better immediately on defense while losing a forward that wasn’t scoring. For Toronto, they add a forward who has 20-goal potential and is finally healthy after missing most of the season with a blood infection and get a top prospect out of the deal. You can see this trade turning out well for both sides down the road.
Disgruntled Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner is going back to the place he began his career. The New Jersey Devils are trading Langenbrunner to the Dallas Stars for a conditional draft pick in the 2011 entry draft. The pick will be a third round pick unless the Stars win in the first round of the playoffs or if Langenbrunner re-signs with the Stars before July 1. In those situations it will be a second round pick that goes to New Jersey.
For the Stars, landing Langenbrunner means getting a tried and true right wing to play for them. The Stars have been running out a host of guys that play off-wing or out of position from center on the right side. It’s a natural fit for them and helps strengthen their Pacific Division-leading team. As it is, their only true right wingers are Adam Burish, Brandon Segal, and Krys Barch. It’s a position that’s been a glaring weakness for them and being able to get a guy that’s played in Dallas before helps make it easier for Langenbrunner to blend in.
This also provides Langenbrunner to get out of a situation that’s been mostly toxic for him the last year and a half. From the Devils failures this year to his famous conflicts with Jacques Lemaire, it’s clear that he hasn’t been the same kind of player. This season in particular has been bad for him scoring just four goals and adding ten assists through 31 games.
For the Devils getting Langenbrunner and his recently sour demeanor out of the locker room may be what they need to move along and help the host of younger players that have come up this year to develop on the fly in Newark. With things being as bad as they have been this year in New Jersey, having that extra distraction does no one any favors.
Langenbrunner began his career in Dallas back in 1994 and became a full-time player for the Stars during the 1996-1997 season. Langenbrunner was a key member of the Stars team that won the Stanley Cup in 1999. In 2002, he was traded to New Jersey as part of the deal that sent Joe Nieuwendyk to the Devils in exchange for Jason Arnott and Randy McKay. Langenbrunner then helped the Devils win the Stanley Cup in 2003. Moving back to Dallas might just be the best thing for both sides in this deal.