We have a (real) trade to announce: Flyers acquire Grossman from Dallas


All apologies to Ryan O’Marra and Bryan Rodney, but the first major trade of the day just went down: Philadelphia has sent a second-round pick in 2012 and a third-round pick in 2013 to Dallas in exchange for defenseman Nicklas Grossman.

Grossman — 6-foot-4, 226-pounds — has been with the Stars organization since the lockout and emerged as one of Dallas’ most physical players. He was third among all defensemen with 96 hits this season and led the team in blocked shots, with 100.  He was averaging just under 19 minutes of ice time per game.

The 27-year-old rearguard has represented Sweden in various international tournaments and captained the national team at the 2005 World Junior Hockey Championships.

Some might see the move as Dallas waiving a white towel on the season and kickstarting a fire sale, but that’s not necessarily the case. The Stars still have a solid top-six in Trevor Daley, Stephane Robidas, Sheldon Souray, Alex Goligoski, Mark Fistric and Philip Larsen with Adam Pardy and Jordie Benn in reserve.

Anaheim acquires former first-round pick O’Marra

The Anaheim Ducks continue to be active in the “trading minor-leaguers” market.

Today, the Ducks flipped defenseman Bryan Rodney to Edmonton in exchange for center Ryan O’Marra. Rodney’s played exclusively with AHL Syracuse since coming over from Carolina in the offseason (he did play 33 games for the ‘Canes) while O’Marra has spent the majority of his season in AHL Oklahoma City, appearing in just seven NHL contests with the Oilers.

This is the third minor-league swap Anaheim’s pulled off recently. In January, the Ducks sent Nicolas Deschamps to Toronto in exchange for Luca Caputi and on Monday, sent forward Maxime Macenauer to Winnipeg for Riley Holzapfel.

It’ll be interesting to see what the Ducks do with 24-year-old O’Marra. He was taken 15th overall by the Islanders at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and part of the blockbuster deal (along with 2003 first-round pick Robert Nilsson) that saw Ryan Smyth go from Edmonton to Long Island.

O’Marra was once thought to be part of the Oilers’ rebuilding project, but only appeared in 31 games over three seasons with the club.

Edmonton sends Paajarvi back to minors…again


The Edmonton Oilers announced they’ve sent three players — Teemu Hartikainen, Taylor Chorney and Magnus Paajarvi — to their AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City.

None of these demotions were surprising given the upcoming All-Star break and the need for these youngsters to get some playing time. But of the three, Paajarvi’s demotion is the most compelling.

The 10th overall selection at the 2009 Entry Draft (taken ahead of Ryan Ellis, Nick Leddy and Marcus Johansson, among others), Paajarvi’s already logged a 10-game AHL stint this season and, based on what David Staples of the Edmonton Journal writes, his second could be even longer.

Paajarvi, 20, flashes tremendous speed and skill with the puck, but he’s yet to figure out a way to get close enough to the net to score. He’s no shooter, so he’s going to have to get his goals near the blue paint, but he’s yet to camp out there or barge in on a regular basis.

In his last four games with the Oilers, Paajarvi contributed to just two scoring chances, terrible offensive production for a winger. He’s a smart, responsible defensive player, but he’s got to start using his size and reach to protect and win the puck. Otherwise he’s a plus-sized Robert Nilsson, a tantalizing player, but one who can’t consistently get the job done in the NHL.

“Nilsson” is a borderline profanity in Edmonton and someone you don’t want to be linked to. He, along with Ryan O’Marra and a first-round pick used to draft Alex Plante, were the key components acquired when Ryan Smyth was traded to the Islanders in 2007 — a trade that’s been a disaster for the Oil. Nilsson was a bust (he’s now playing in Russia) while O’Marra and Plante are still mired in Oklahoma. Bottom line, it’s a trade Edmontonians would like to forget.

For a team that’s prided itself on rebuilding through the draft, Edmonton’s first-round record is decidedly mediocre. The Oilers have had seven first-round picks since 2007 — Plante, Paajarvi, Sam Gagner, Riley Nash, Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Oscar Klefbom — and depending on what you think of Gagner (and how Klefbom progresses) it could be said the organization is batting below .500.

Something else to consider: Only two of those seven picks are defensemen (Plante and Klefbom). Given how bad Edmonton’s back-end has been recently and hindsight being 20/20, perhaps a few more of those picks should’ve focused on the blueline.