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?

Avalanche douse Flames as Calgary fanned from playoffs

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It’s taken just nine games for both No. 1 seeds from their respective conferences to be ousted from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Nine. And the team that tied an NHL record for wins in a regular season went out in four. The 107-point Calgary Flames resisted for an addition game as the eighth-place Colorado Avalanche dispatched them in five games after a 5-1 win on Friday.

In the NHL’s storied history, over 100 years of existence, never have the top seeds from each conference from the regular season been put out in the first round.

After the Columbus Blue Jackets shocked the hockey world earlier this week, the Avalanche sent similar tremors when they fanned the Flames, Colorado’s first series win in 11 years

It’s hard to imagine.

Maybe Colorado was burned out a bit after clinching the final playoff spot just a few days earlier. Maybe it was Smith’s solid outing after he was given the vote of confidence heading in as the starter despite his struggles down the stretch

Maybe it was all a facade.

Game 1 seemed more like what many thought this series would resemble as Mike Smith and the Flames shutout the Avs 4-0.

Colorado made a third-period comeback in Game 2 and then won the game in overtime. The momentum carried into Game 3, where Colorado scored six to take the series lead. Finding themselves down once again in the third, the Avs erased a 2-0 deficit to tie the game and then one once again, emphatically, in overtime.

Game 5 was just a continuation of Colorado playing better and finding a way.

The Avs built a 2-0 lead, allowed a goal with six seconds left in the first, and then took over in the second and third.

Colin Wilson scored a brace in the middle frame and Mikko Rantanen scored this fourth and fifth of the series just 57 seconds into the third to really put this series to bed.

Perhaps there’s something to be said for teams playing meaningful games down the stretch. The Avalanche did so every night until Game 82. An off-night could have spelled disaster, so there was that heightened sense of urgency and ability to play at a high level right out of the gate, even if Game 1 didn’t suggest that.

Calgary, better rested, took advantage in Game 1, but Colorado’s pace was just too much after that.

Smith, who had all sorts of question marks dragging in the tin cans behind him. But he put a lot of that to rest in Game 1, and then was solid the rest of the series. His problem was lack of run support.

Johnny Gaudreau? One assist.

Sean Monahan? One goal, one assist.

Elias Lindholm? One goal, one assist.

Matthew Tkachuk? Two goals, one assist

The Flames found just seven goals in the final four games. That won’t do it in the playoffs, even with Smith playing well. .

Calgary led the lead with a league-low 28.1 shots allowed per game in the regular season. They entered Friday’s game allowing a league-high 43.3, over 15 more per game (and eight more than the next most-peppered team in the playoffs this year.

And, most importantly, they couldn’t stop Mikko Rantanen (five goals, four assists) or Nathan MacKinnon (three goals, five assists.

Colorado’s top line came as advertised. In fact, they combined (along with Gabriel Landeskog) for 21 points in the series, more than all of the Flames’ 12 forward combine.

Calgary’s regular-season offense proved more false advertising.

“Calgary didn’t _____” will be a popular fill-in-the-blank question in southern Alberta for the days and weeks to come as try to figure out what went wrong in the postseason.

Aside from Tampa’s epic exit, Calgary’s is not far behind in terms of unlikelihood. If nothing else, both series show that all a team needs to do is get into the playoffs. From there, the sky’s the limit.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Maple Leafs turn it on late, take 3-2 series lead against Bruins

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Heading into Friday’s Game 5 between the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs, it was the latter that needed to make a few tweaks to their game after a 6-4 loss in Game 4 that evened their best-of-seven series.

Stopping the Bruins from scoring six goals would be a big start. Quelling their solid power play would also be wise.

So a 2-1 win where Boston’s only goal came with an empty net with 43 seconds left in the third was a pretty good improvement.

So, too, was a power play that was stifled. The Bruins came into the game 5-for-11 (45.5 percent) but was held at bay in each of their three man-advantage opportunities.

The first two periods of the game resembled hockey that’s played in overtime. It was hesitant, a byproduct, surely of two teams know what was at stake. Nearly 80 percent of the teams that take Game 5 in a series that is tied 2-2 go on to progress to the next round. It was a tight game.

Both teams seemed reluctant to take any risks, and it wasn’t until Auston Matthews broke the ice at 11:33 of the final frame that some urgency seemed to set in. Kasperi Kapanen took advantage of a Bruins team now in chase mode, giving the Leafs a 2-0 lead 2:12 later.

Matthews’ goal came with some controversy. Zach Hyman appeared to impede Tuukka Rask from getting across the net. He wasn’t in a position to make a save when Matthews one-timed the puck past him.

The NHL Situation Room said the play wasn’t conclusive in terms of overturning the call of a good goal on the ice.

“After reviewing all available replays and consulting with the Referees, the Situation Room confirmed the Referee’s call on the ice,” an email from the league said. “The decision was made in accordance to Rule 78.7 that states in part, ‘If a review is not conclusive and/or there is any doubt whatsoever as to whether the call on the ice was correct, the original call on the ice will be confirmed.’ “

Bruins fans aren’t going to like that one, and they certainly have an argument. Rask was clearly impeded on the play.

Frederik Andersen was solid in the game, stopping 28 shots in a bounce-back effort after allowing five on 30 in Game 4.

Toronto can now take the series at home on Sunday, which would exorcize their demons against the Bruins, who beat them in Game 7 of Round 1 last year (and in 2013).

Game 6 of this series goes on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on NBC


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

WATCH LIVE: Bruins-Leafs deadlocked; Avs try to finish off Flames

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Game 5: Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. ET (Series tied 2-2)
NBCSN
Call: Mike Emrick, Brian Boucher, Mike Milbury
Series preview
Stream here

Game 5: Calgary Flames at Colorado Avalanche, 10 p.m. ET (Avalanche lead 3-1)
NBCSN
Call: Gord Miller, Ray Ferraro
Series preview 
Stream here

NHL Live, hosted by Mike Tirico, Jeremy Roenick and Keith Jones begins at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

PHT’s 2019 Stanley Cup playoff previews
Capitals vs Hurricanes
Bruins vs. Maple Leafs
Predators vs. Stars
Blues vs. Jets
Flames vs. Avalanche
Sharks vs. Golden Knights

Power Rankings: Why your team won’t win the Stanley Cup
NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Round 1 schedule, TV info

Red Wings rebuild won’t be easy, but Yzerman is right GM choice

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Detroit Red Wings fans are right to rejoice. While the move’s been telegraphed for a while, this is indeed a good Friday for the Red Wings, as Steve Yzerman was officially named as their next GM.

Whether it was convincing Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and Victor Hedman to sign team-friendly deals, or identifying the league’s general prejudice against smaller players to unearth draft day bargains, Yzerman* did such a great job with the Tampa Bay Lightning, that I’ve called him a magician and/or wizard on multiple occasions.

Even if you’re a vociferous defender of Ken Holland’s latter, sometimes-rebuild-resistant years, chances are, you’re probably very excited about Yzerman’s hiring. The team announced official titles for both Yzerman and Holland, if you like your updates especially granular.

So, to me and plenty others – not just Red Wings fans – this is a shrewd hire.

Still, if there’s one talking point that stands out as especially valid, it’s this: when Yzerman took over the Lightning, he already had an elite center in Steven Stamkos, and a future Norris-winning defenseman in Victor Hedman.

All due respect to Dylan Larkin (who had a strong season, and is only 22) and some other nice players, but the Red Wings don’t have foundational players at quite that superstar level. They do, however, have a pretty interesting setup. If Yzerman is as bright as he seemed to be in Tampa Bay, the Red Wings could really turn things around. All they need is some luck and patience.

Let’s get an idea of the path ahead for Yzerman.

On a Larkin

Look, there’s no shame in Larkin not being quite what Stamkos was in 2010, when Stevie Y took over in Tampa Bay. It’s easy to forget just how potent Stamkos was (the NHL’s most goals [156] and second-most points [283] from 2009-10 to 2010-11), possibly because a few catastrophic injuries briefly derailed his career.

Larkin is fantastic, and stands as the sort of contract you’d build around: a 22-year-old star with a bargain $6.1 million cap hit running through 2022-23.

Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi showed great chemistry with Larkin late in the season, with Mantha in particular boasting the sort of pedigree that points to continued success. One of Yzerman’s early challenges will be to strike affordable deals with Mantha, Bertuzzi, and Andreas Athanasiou, three useful forwards whose contracts expire after 2019-20. Would the best deals come in earlier extensions, or would the Red Wings be wiser to wait? It’s up to Yzerman & Co. to decide, and getting good deals could be key if they want to build a winning core.

Early fruits of rebuild

While I’d argue that Holland dragged his feet multiple times when it came to the rebuilding process, the good news is that when Holland did act, he landed some nice building blocks. In trading away Gustav Nyquist, Nick Jensen, and especially Tomas Tatar, the Red Wings have really loaded up on draft picks, most of which land in the top three rounds.

The development processes are already underway for a few interesting prospects, particularly 2018 first-rounders Filip Zadina (sixth overall) and Joe Veleno (30th). The Red Wings once again pick sixth overall in the 2019 NHL Draft, so it’s up to Yzerman to land another blue-chipper, even if Detroit doesn’t get the luxury of a more obvious choice like Jack Hughes or Kappo Kakko.

Almost as important is that the Red Wings have loaded up on picks like they’re at Prospect Costco:

  • Last year, they had those two first-rounders, plus: two second-rounders, and three third-rounders to go with their normal set of choices (minus a fifth-rounder).
  • Via Cap Friendly’s handy chart, the Red Wings have two extra second-round picks and one additional fifth-rounder in 2019.
  • In 2020, they have an extra second and third-round pick. (The third-rounder could turn into a second-rounder depending upon the San Jose Sharks’ actions.)
  • They already have an extra third-rounder in 2021.

That’s a fantastic start, eh? Even the best drafting teams would admit that there’s a lot of “dart throwing” involved in drafting, so it makes sense to load up on those darts, especially when you get the added precision of picks in earlier rounds.

The Lightning were adept at finding quality talent off-the-beaten-path under Yzerman,* most notably identifying Brayden Point as a third-rounder (79th in 2014) and Nikita Kucherov in a second round (58th in 2011). If Yzerman can carry that success over to Detroit, even partially, the Red Wings could really make some exciting leaps.

Cleanup duty

Which brings us to the messier part.

For all of Holland’s accomplishments, he left behind a shaggy salary structure. There’s dead money (Stephen Weiss’ buyout lingers through 2020-21), scary contracts (Frans Nielsen, Justin Abdelkader, Danny DeKeyser), and, erm, maybe too much of a “veteran presence.”

By that I mean this team is old, at least beyond the core. Niklas Kronwall is 38 with a (mercifully) expiring contract, both Jonathan Ericsson and Trevor Daley are 35, and Mike Green is a very banged-up 33. DeKeyser is oft-criticized and not really a spring chicken, either, at 29.

The goalie duo is also creaky. Jimmy Howard was fantastic in 2018-19, but at 35, it’s still surprising that the Red Wings didn’t trade him, even with the understanding that they’d come calling during free agency time in July. Jonathan Bernier is 30 and his $3M cap hit doesn’t expire until after the 2020-21 season.

Most of those trends are disturbing, and while the Red Wings need more talent basically everywhere, the defense and goaltending likely need the most strenuous surgery.

The good news is that a significant chunk of those contracts aren’t lingering too long after Yzerman takes the reins. Kronwall is headed to free agency (or retirement?), while Ericsson, Green, and Daley come off the books after 2019-20. Howard’s extension only lasts through 2019-20, so maybe Yzerman will get trade value out of the veteran where Holland could or would not.

In the short term, and in the case of a few lengthier deals, there’s a significant mess to clean up. The light at the end of the tunnel isn’t too dim, however.

Some pain for future gains

I’ve seen at least mild arguments to try to win now, with at least a portion of The Athletic’s Craig Custance piece (sub required) mentioning certain surprise stories in the NHL. And, sure, if the goal were only to make it back to the playoffs (and maybe even win a series), then speeding up the rebuild would make sense.

My guess is that mega-winner Stevie Y wants his best chance at a Stanley Cup, not merely getting the Red Wings to the playoff bubble.

The free agent market dries up pretty quickly when you realize that Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky likely wouldn’t find much of a lure to join a rebuilding team in a cold weather city (heck, “Detroiters” even got canceled).

So, instead of chasing mid-tier free agents and settling for mid-tier expectations, Yzerman should use his clout to absorb another rebuild year or two. Doing so would raise the ceiling on this rebuild, for a few reasons:

  • Most directly and obviously, tanking for an even better pick in 2020. If you look at the teams who regularly contend, virtually all of them required high-end talent found early in drafts.
  • Rather than giving valuable playing time to long-in-the-tooth veterans, why not let younger players learn on the job? You might just get an idea of what you have in, say, Michael Rasmussen. Difference-making players are hitting the NHL earlier and earlier, so why not find out which players can actually make a difference?
  • Allow the Red Wings to be a short-term receptacle to clear cap space, with Detroit taking a bribe, whether that means quality draft picks or useful players. See: the Coyotes landing an important scorer in Vinnie Hinostroza in exchange for keeping Marian Hossa‘s contract warm. Yzerman could even call up his buddies in Tampa Bay and offer to absorb the final year of Ryan Callahan‘s contract ($5.8M cap hit). Boy, Anthony Cirelli and/or Mathieu Joseph would look nice with a winged wheel …
  • Going further, getting more cap space means that the Red Wings could position themselves to land better players in trades than they’d likely entice in free agency. Perhaps teams would ready for the expansion draft by sending good, would-be-exposed players to Detroit for something? Maybe the Hurricanes would sour on Dougie Hamilton, or something similar would happen with P.K. Subban, considering his hefty $9M price tag? Could the Red Wings echo former exec Jim Nill in being the next team to say “Why, yes, we’d love to take Tyler Seguin for 25 cents on the dollar, thank you.”

***

This isn’t an easy job, and again, some of this comes down to luck. Still, it’s easy to see why Red Wings fans are excited.

Make no mistake about it, though: Yzerman has his work cut out for him. It could be the fun sort of work that you’d get from tinkering with a car in the garage, and it should be fascinating for those of us who are dorks when it comes to studying how teams are put together.

* – And his staff, including current GM Julien BriseBois. We could have a lengthy, basically impossible-to-resolve discussion about who was most responsible for the great building in Tampa Bay, but it would be pretty fruitless. And, really, wouldn’t all smart GMs want to surround themselves with other smart people?

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.