Tag: draft pick

James Wisniewski

Montreal trades rights to James Wisniewski to Columbus for 2012 draft pick


With the free agent market for top players getting thinner by the day, trading for a players rights ahead of July 1 is the new rage. We saw the Islanders do it yesterday for Christian Ehrhoff and the Flyers did it earlier in the summer for Ilya Bryzgalov, a deal that worked in their favor locking up the goalie for nine years.

With top defensemen being a tough find, the Columbus Blue Jackets got involved today acquiring the rights to James Wisniewski from Montreal in exchange for a seventh round pick in 2012. If the Blue Jackets sign Wisniewski that pick turns into a fifth round choice in 2012.

In Wisniewski you get a physical defenseman with some offensive game. Often known for his rough style of play, Wisniewski also offers a good shot form the point and a valuable guy to have on the power play. His issues come from his ability to take bad penalties and for the occasional turnover at the blue line. That said, he proved to be a good, tough player for Montreal and New York Islanders last season and is set up to become one of the better targets on July 1 for those in need of defense help.

Should Wisniewski stay in Columbus he’ll be a huge help to their power play which was beyond miserable last season clicking at a 14% rate, good for 29th in the league just ahead of Florida. With the addition of Jeff Carter and now the potential addition of Wisniewski along with Rick Nash, things are looking up in a big way for the Jackets.

GM Scott Howson will have to show Wisniewski the money, however, as he was set to cash in on July 1 no matter what. Howson said earlier this offseason that big things were coming for the Jackets. Perhaps this time around it wasn’t just marketing gone wrong in Columbus. Jackets fans sure hope so as the team has made the playoffs just once in franchise history back in 2009.  So far this offseason has given the fans a lot to be hopeful for, now they’ll have to hope there’s more to come and that coach Scott Arniel can make it all work.

Helping the enemy? Florida trades Cory Stillman to Carolina for Ryan Carter and 5th round pick

Florida Panthers v New York Rangers

The NHL trade deadline helps create some strange partnerships in deals. Today Southeast Division rivals Florida and Carolina came together on a deal that sends Cory Stillman from the Panthers back to the Hurricanes in exchange for Ryan Carter and a fifth round pick in 2011.

Stillman is a power forward that used to play for the Hurricanes, winning a Stanley Cup with the team in 2006. Through his career he was a steady 20-goal, 50-point per season player. Lately, his health has gotten the better of him reducing the number of games he’s gotten to play. He hasn’t played more than 70 games in a season since 2007-2008 when he split time with Carolina and Ottawa. This season, he’s played 44 games and has seven goals and 16 assists.

It’s also not the first time that GM Jim Rutherford dipped into the Hurricanes past to bring back a guy that’s helped them out in the past. Joni Pitkanen, Erik Cole, and Anton Babchuk were all reclamation acquisitions for Carolina in their recent history. It’s just all proof that once you’ve been in Carolina, you can always go home again. I guess you can always go home again.

What he’ll provide the Hurricanes with is a veteran presence familiar with how things are done in Raleigh. With the lack of wing depth they’ve got in Carolina, he’ll help them out. He’ll also give them a veteran leader should the Hurricanes make the playoffs. Stillman won Stanley Cups in consecutive seasons with Tampa Bay in 2004 and Carolina in 2006.

For Florida, GM Dale Tallon clears out a veteran forward in order to give more of the Panthers young guys ice time and brings in a checking forward in Ryan Carter who now joins his third team this season. He started the season in Anaheim and was then moved to Carolina in exchange for two minor league players. Now he heads to Florida where he’ll figure to get a better shot at ice time there.

While rumors swirl in Sunrise, Florida about what may or may not happen with the likes of Stephen Weiss, David Booth, and Tomas Vokoun, it’s Stillman who is the next to go. Florida recently dealt Michal Frolik to Chicago for Jack Skille and as the Panthers fall back further in the Eastern Conference playoff race, teams are circling hoping to pick off useful players for their own playoff pushes. Dale Tallon is a guy with a plan, but for now things appear to be down in the dumps for Panthers players and fans as the deadline approaches.

The next few days might be trying ones for fans in South Florida, they’ll just have to hope that Tallon’s plan pays off the same way his plan in Chicago paid off for the Blackhawks last season. The fifth round pick acquired gives the Panthers nine choices in the 2011 draft. With other players still potentially set to be traded, that number figures to go up before the end of business on Monday.

St. Louis trades captain Eric Brewer to Tampa Bay for third round pick and prospect


The trades keep rolling through and after Atlanta decided to improve themselves making a deal with Boston, it only makes sense that Tampa Bay reacted accordingly on their own. The Lightning acquired St. Louis Blues captain Eric Brewer in exchange for a third round pick and the rights to 2010 draft pick Brock Beukeboom.

Tampa Bay was in the hunt for a new defenseman as they’ve been rolling with four solid and consistent guys in Brett Clark, Pavel Kubina, Mattias Ohlund, and Victor Hedman. With a cycle of names from the third pairing that included Mike Lundin, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Randy Jones, and Matt Smaby getting another defenseman that could provide steadier and better play was almost necessary for the Lightning.

With Brewer they add a guy who is a leader on and off the ice, as evidenced by his captaincy in St. Louis, and a stern defensive presence with a touch of offense. This season through 54 games, Brewer has eight goals and six assists and getting him out of St. Louis will help them out immensely. The Blues were sad to part ways with him as GM Doug Armstrong made clear.

“Eric has been tremendous to the St. Louis Blues organization and the St. Louis community,” said Armstrong.  “He and his wife Rebecca are first class people and we wish them nothing but the very best.”

For St. Louis, if Jaroslav Halak’s hand injury wasn’t enough of a warning sign that their playoff hopes were in trouble, dealing their captain away to a contender should just about do it for the Blues and their fans as far as getting excited the rest of the way goes. With the team in last place in the Central Division and 13th in the conference, cleaning house like this should essentially put the Blues out of the race the rest of the way. Acquiring a pick and a prospect from Tampa Bay for Brewer was about as well as they were going to do as Brewer is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

For Tampa Bay, it’s clear that Steve Yzerman is committed at pushing for the Stanley Cup finals now. What began this season as a chance to rebuild the organization has morphed into something much bigger and with the pieces in place now and with Philadelphia and Boston having already made their moves to get better, the time was now for the Lightning to act.