Thursday, March 01, 2007

More on the deadline deals


Tired of hearing trade deadline deal talk?

Well, I really didn't get to much meaty analysis of a lot of the deals given how many there were on Tuesday, so consider this a roundup of a few things I missed:
  • The Anaheim Ducks apparently had a deal for the New York Islanders' Jason Blake that was nixed when the trade was filed after the deadline

  • The fact that Rob Blake didn't want to waive his no-trade clause left Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi looking to move his other veteran defender Mattias Norstrom, who ended up being a nice pickup for Dallas in exchange for former King Jaroslav Modry. Norstrom has slowed down a little bit, and combined with Blake's salary, the last-place Kings were paying two over-the-hill defencemen more than $10-million. Lombardi wanted to have at least one mentor for the soon-to-be arriving Jack Johnson, and by default now, Blake will fill that role if the youngster comes in next season. Strangely, pending UFA Aaron Miller stayed put.

  • With all the talk of salary comparables for Ryan Smyth, the one thing I haven't seen referenced is the fact he's on a 48-goal pace this season. Only five players have scored at a better goals per game ratio than Smyth this season (Gaborik, Lecavalier, Havlat, Selanne, Heatley) and all but Heatley make north of $6-million. And can anyone argue Smyth's intangible contributions aren't greater than the individuals in that group?

  • How about the Buffalo Sabres' deals? I'd guessed the Sabres would move out Marty Biron in order to free up cap room to beef up their depth on defence, but their big acquisition was a forward in Dainius Zubrus, who has had a terrific year this season riding shotgun with Alex Ovechkin. The thing I wonder, however, is where does yet another offensive centreman fit into the Sabres' line-up? And why acquire a player who has almost zero playoff experience for a team with big-time aspirations? (Buffalo did manage to add some blueline depth in Mikko Lehtonen and Timo Helbling, although they fall somewhere in the Rory Fitzpatrick camp in terms of quality injury replacements.)

  • As for the Biron deal itself, Tyler Dellow and I talked about this a bit via email and disagreed over the significance of the compensation offered by the Philadelphia Flyers. To me, a second-round pick isn't a big deal given this could potentially be your team's No. 1 goalie going forward, especially when you have as much need for said netminder as the Flyers do. Granted, Biron's a pending UFA, but he's made no bones about the fact he wants to be a No. 1 somewhere, and given the paucity of available spots, will, I believe, opt to see what he can do as the main guy in Philadelphia. He's been waiting a long time for that opportunity, and isn't going to sign anywhere where he's not going to get it.

  • Some interesting moves by the Boston Bruins. Brad Boyes looked like a star on the rise on the team's first line last season, but was shuttled out for the underrated Dennis Wideman, and then Paul Mara is dealt for the disgruntled Aaron Ward. This seems a little bit like shuffling deck chairs, although there's no question Boston needs more from its defence than it got this year — especially on the power play. My guess is Wideman helps lessen Zdeno Chara's role with the man advantage, where Big Z really shouldn't be the go-to blueliner.

  • The Minnesota Wild were apparently quite close to getting Yanic Perreault until the Maple Leafs fell out of the Roberts business and came running with their Brendan Bell and picks offer. The Wild ended up only getting Dominic Moore, who probably came at the request of coach Jacques Lemaire, the only guy in the league who dreams of third-line checkers while standing in line at the supermarket.

  • Everyone's piling on the Ottawa Senators for not making a move, but honestly, with the way they've played the past few months, what move did they have to make given their available cap space? (Although even I'll admit adding Oleg Saprykin is a head-scratcher.)

  • Bill Guerin has played 98 career postseason games and has just a 0.50 points per game average. He should fit in well on a line with Joe Thornton come playoff time for the San Jose Sharks.

  • I'm not sure what the Toronto Maple Leafs were thinking given Perreault could have been had for nothing a few months ago

  • One more for the curious file: Why did the Montreal Canadiens hold onto Sheldon Souray and Andrei Markov, both pending UFAs, and pickup Michael Leighton? Chalk it up to cosmic mystery.

  • The New York Islanders are being heralded by winners everywhere for acquiring Smyth, but given the number of pending UFAs on that team, GM Garth Snow will look mighty foolish if they miss the playoffs (more so than usual, I mean). Islanders set to walk out the door in the summer: Smyth, Jason Blake, Viktor Kozlov, Tom Poti, Chris Simon, Arron Asham, Richard Zednik, Randy Robitaille, Sean Hill, Joel Bouchard, Mike Dunham. I think, after a first-round exit at the hands of the Buffalo Devils, they're back to the Yashin and DiPietro tandem next season.

  • The Pittsburgh Penguins aren't in any position to go deep in the playoffs, and shouldn't have been giving up any of their future, least of all for Georges Laraque — who is due another $1.2-million next season.

  • Sure, Brent Sopel is a defensive liability, but when paired with Vancouver Canucks veteran Mattias Ohlund, they were the team's top defensive unit in 2003-04. If nothing else, at least this move will mean less ice time for Lukas Krajicek and Rory Fitzpatrick.

  • For Keith Tkachuk, Bill Guerin and Dennis Wideman, the St. Louis Blues received Boyes, Glen Metropolit, Ville Nieminen, someone named Jay Barriball and a bunch of draft picks. Metropolit and Nieminen are pending UFAs, meaning only Boyes will be in the line-up for John Davidson next season. Well done, JD.
That's all I've got.

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30 Comments:

At 7:00 AM, March 01, 2007, Anonymous David Johnson said...

I am surprised the Avalanche didn't do anything. They have a lot of unrestricted free agents and are pretty much out of the western conference playoff race I'd have thought they would have unloaded a few of them.

 
At 8:45 AM, March 01, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

someone named Jay Bariball? Thats all you got Mirtle?

OK i know your up in America Junior(Canadia) and probably don't follow US college hockey, but Jay Barriball is putting up huge numbers for the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

35 gp, 16 goals, 20 assists. Did I mention he was a freshman? Did I mention he was scoring better then Blake Wheeler, Kyle Okposo, and Erik Johnson?

I think its safe to say he could be pretty good down the road for the Blues.

 
At 9:09 AM, March 01, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

I agree that Barriball could be good down the road, but it should be noticed that his production has tailed off dramatically over the second half of the season. Just like Okposo, who he was playing on a line with, he seems to have hit a wall. Combined with the dismissal of playmaker Tyler Hirsch from the team, who was the third linemate, the two of them have looked a bit lost at times.

 
At 9:13 AM, March 01, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

Since everyone is mentioning that Perreault was unsigned at the beginning of the year does that mean no team should have traded for him because of that?

Good coverage of deadline day over at the Globe.

 
At 9:18 AM, March 01, 2007, Blogger Matt said...

I'd guess Saprykin was the only player available who has scored an OT game-winner in the Stanley Cup Finals.

 
At 9:20 AM, March 01, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gainey added a goalie for depth in the minors, given injuries to two goalies. He didn't trade Markov or Souray because Montreal ranks at the bottom of the league in attracting quality free agents. Gainey's best shot at maintaining a competitive team is to overpay his few remaining skill players.

Gainey might have made a move a month ago to attact a scoring center but the delay caused Montreal's performance to revert to the mean. Short of Smyth, there was no one available who could impact the sloth and lethargy that is Montreal's play at even strength.

 
At 10:14 AM, March 01, 2007, Blogger BlackCapricorn said...

Agree completely with the Sabres/Pens take. I can't believe that the Pens 2 acquisitions will make them a ECF finalist. The Sabres not getting a top 4 dman for Biron and beefing up an already potent offense seems to me like a mistake. And they only got weaker in goal because of it.

 
At 10:14 AM, March 01, 2007, Anonymous Lammy said...

Kevin Lowe is an idiot for missing the opportunity - twice! - to lock up Ryan Smyth. If there is a player around whom you can build a hockey team, it is Ryan Smyth. And if the rumours are true - that there was an "unbridgeable" gap of 300 000$ between the two camps - well, then Lowe should fire himself.

This is not coming from a bitter - and boy, are they a bitter bunch! - Oilers fan, by the way.

As for my Habs... If Rivet is not in Gainey's plans, does it mean he'll try to sign Markov and Souray this summer? To be honest, I'd been expecting a Souray-for-a-playmaking-centre deal, but perhaps that's just wishful thinking. I hope Samsonov stinks it up at training camp next year, if you know what I mean...

 
At 10:15 AM, March 01, 2007, Anonymous pete said...

The fact that Long Island wanted to dump Blake while picking up Smyth shows how crackpot and disjointed that organization still is.

I mean, what the hell kind of a plan is that? "You know what, let's burn off two prospects, trade our firt round pick for Anaheim's which will be lower, and substitute point-a-game UFA Jason Blake for point-a-game UFA Ryan Smyth. That'll help us win a Cup at some point in the enxt decade..."

 
At 10:18 AM, March 01, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what the penguins gave up was dan carcillo and a 3rd round pick to get george laraque. carcillo is a younger version of jarko rutuu and a 3rd round pick in a weak draft. the pens already have an abundance iof guys like carcillo who are nhl ready now and alos in there 20s. i dont see that as really selling off the fuure.
the terrible move was trading noah welch for gary roberts. welch widely considered a potential top 4 defense man was moved to aquire a 40 year old former power forward who might not play beyond another year or 2. i also find it hard to believe a 40 yr old winger was the best that a prospect like welch could bring. the penguins are not going to win the cup this year so bringing in roberts was a waste of a prospect
nolan schaeffer may end up a decent back up but kwaitkowski at 29 was brought in to replace welch and will likely finish out whatever contract he has in wilkes barre not pittsburgh.

 
At 10:32 AM, March 01, 2007, Blogger Paul said...

I find it interesting that Boyes is on his 4th organization in 5 years. Rather odd for a young kid who looks (or looked) like a legit top-sixer. Toronto to San Jose was a hockey deal, but is it possible he wore out his welcome in both San Jose and Boston?

 
At 11:08 AM, March 01, 2007, Anonymous Ryan said...

You're criticizing JD? He's doinga great job of re-stocking that farm system. He acquired at least 1 1st round pick for Tkachuk and Guerin, 2 guys who would of served little purpose with the Blues for the last 20 games and 2 guys he can re-sign on July 1 like he did with Doug Weight last year. As a non-playoff team, why keep UFA's when you can get mutplie draft picks and young prospects for them?

Toronto traded a defencemen they'd lose to waivers in September and a 2nd rounder next year for Perrault and a 5th next year. Drop down 3 round to bring in the best faceoff man in the league is a good move. yeah they could of had him for free but they could not afford the cap hit in Ocober that they can afford now.

You criticze Montreal for not trading UFA's yet criticize St. louis for only acquiring draft picks and prospects for their UFA's. Montreal is in a playoff race, why give up on the season because some players MIGHT leave on July 1? St. Louis has been out of it all year, the Habs, as of today, are a playoff team.

As for Laraque, look out for Crosby now. He's finally got a bodyguard. Georges Laraque and Gary Roberts are exactly what Pittsburgh needed, veterans who will stick up for the young stars. Throwing Phoenix a draft pick and marginal prospect to protect the leagues leading scored seems pretty smart to me.

 
At 12:30 PM, March 01, 2007, Anonymous Teddy said...

I agree with Ryan's points on Pittsburgh, St Louis, and Montreal. Don't really care much for the Leafs deal (he could have gone somewhere else and have been more useful). The Blues will have money in the free agent off season, plus they have 986249636 draft picks now.

 
At 1:09 PM, March 01, 2007, Blogger Tom L said...

to BlackCapricorn,

Just where did you think Regier was going to move Biron to get a Top 4 D? As a matter of fact, was one Top 4 Defenseman moved other than Matty Norstrom, who we couldn't afford?

Jason Smith and Ossi Vaananen were really the only guys of that caliber 'available' and you'll notice no one paid the price asked for them. While I would have wanted either guy, I wasn't willing to part with Drew Stafford for them. Last month I might have been, but not today.

In the end, 7 Top 4 Defensemen will just have to be enough for us.

Ta,

 
At 1:14 PM, March 01, 2007, Anonymous dave in Rocha said...

Re: Sabres
"(Buffalo did manage to add some blueline depth in Mikko Lehtonen and Timo Helbling, although they fall somewhere in the Rory Fitzpatrick camp in terms of quality injury replacements.)"

I think that was the idea. The only rental dman that moved was Norstrom, and he makes too much to fit under Buffalo's cap. Before adding Helbling and Lehtonen, the next reserves were Sekera, Card and Funk, all in their 1st year in the AHL. This gives the Sabres two more Fitzpatricks to use in an emergency.

 
At 1:14 PM, March 01, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

I simply think the Blues should have attempted to get more prospects and players who could play for them than late first rounders and inconsequential other picks.

 
At 1:16 PM, March 01, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Tom — what about Aaron Miller? I'd thought that's who the Sabres would target.

 
At 1:17 PM, March 01, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Norstrom's also not a rental, Dave.

 
At 1:41 PM, March 01, 2007, Blogger Tom L said...

James,

We wanted nothing to do with Miller for the price. Notice he didn't move. Regier did his homework on Lehtonen, I'll bet my lunch on it. Same thing with Ty Conklin. The word in Buffalo is that they had targetted him last summer when he was trying to trade Biron, b/c Jim Corsi really likes Conklin and thinks he can reclaim him.

I belived the rumors of our interest in Owen Nolan first, and if not for a very preganant wife, that might've happened.

Ta,

 
At 1:43 PM, March 01, 2007, Blogger Tom L said...

Dave,

You are absolutely right. Regier wanted guys he could stash in Rochester and knowing Regier he was looking more forward than getting an over-the-hill guy like Weinrich.

Ta,

 
At 1:45 PM, March 01, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Lehtonen's actually a pretty solid defencemen; the Predators had thought he would make the team in camp.

He was one of the top veteran defenders in Finland and was just stuck in a numbers game in Nashville — but should make a good No. 5 or 6 somewhere.

I like that deal, and I think the Sabres will be fine; I was just surprised the Biron cash was to free up room for another offensive centreman.

 
At 1:47 PM, March 01, 2007, Blogger Tom L said...

James,

See my post on SR about this.... I address it directly.

Regier had to move Biron just to get Connolly back, b/c of the call-ups, we were over the cap.

Ta,

 
At 1:59 PM, March 01, 2007, Blogger PJ Swenson said...

I have seen a lot of Saprykin this season. He may have been type cast in the past, but 3 times I have been on the glass watching him outwork almost every other player on the Coyotes.

Battling in front of the net, even throwing checks in the corners. Not the same Saprykin I remember watching in the past. Saprykin and Modin were two of the under the radar players I would have taken at the deadline, and Modin was locked up a few days prior.

And everyone mentioned George Laraque's fighting skills, at one point he was second on the Coyotes in scoring. When he plants himself in front of the crease, there is no moving him. Nice to see him add a whole new side to his game, but very few mentioned it after the trade.

I have not seen too much of Barriball, I can not even remember seeing him at a training camp or rookie tournament the last few years. Max has seen him play a lot, and profiled him yesterday on sharkspage.

On Gorges, Montreal fans have been bashing him to no end. He was arguably a top 3 or top 4 defensmean for San Jose last season. And Ron Wilson was confident enough to throw him out in key situations in the 2nd and 3rd overtime against Edmonton in the playoffs. He did that all year. Give him at least until 24 or 25 until you write him off, he is 22 now.

Last night the Nashville announcers said Bill Guerin was trying to impress his new team as Peter Forsberg did in his first game or two for Nashville. It was damn scary to see Forsberg with the puck on his stick a few feet from the crease in the waning seconds of regulation.

If there is one team who did better than San Jose before the deadline, better than Detroit or the Islanders, it is Nashville adding the biggest Shark killer in the NHL. They would more than welcome a playoff rematch with San Jose now that they have Forsberg, Arnott, and a healthy Vokoun.

 
At 2:57 PM, March 01, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anaheim Ducks apparently had a deal for the New York Islanders' Jason Blake that was nixed when the trade was filed after the deadline - wonder who leaked this info? Not a good way to do business if you're an NHL exec.

Contrary to an earlier post, this would have made sense. They could have re-stocked some draft picks for Blake and had a player they really would love to have for the playoff drive (Smyth). This would have been an equivalent of a Blake for Smyth deal.

As it stands now, not trading Blake leaves them open to losing both to UFA without the chance of getting anything in return.

 
At 3:52 PM, March 01, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a little something i heard on TSN a couple months back - "No-Panic" Yanic couldn't be had by anyone a few months ago, he wanted a 2 year deal, which no one was willing to give, in the end he settled for the one year deal because he has a home in Phoenix.

I still don't understand why this guy gets such little respect, he was a friggin all-star this year (the yotes but still) and is the best faceoff man in the league.

If he is used by Maurice correctly he should prove a valuable strech run addition.

 
At 11:15 PM, March 01, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"he was a friggin all-star this year"

Being selected (or voted) to play in the all-star game does not make one an all-star.
NHL All star selections are made at the end of the year.

 
At 2:18 PM, March 02, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lowe did what he had to do in trading Smytty. The sticking point was always the length of the contract, not the salary itself. Signing Smyth to a 5 year deal at 5.5 mil per season? No thanks, although 5.5 mil for three seasons is a bit more reasonable.

 
At 3:00 PM, March 02, 2007, Blogger Desdemona said...

The sticking point was always the length of the contract

Really? Because, although, I haven't any links to back me up at this moment (if you need them, I'll find them) Lowe was willing to give Smyth a 5 year deal at $5.4/Y.

 
At 5:39 PM, March 02, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those links would be incorrect. Yes, they offered 5.4M, but it was not for 5 years.

 
At 12:17 AM, March 03, 2007, Blogger Desdemona said...

Slander! Someone sue for slander! There are more than just these two, but I don't have the energy.

I seem to remember Lowe stating publicly that he had agreed to both 5 years and the no trade clause. I really don't understand why Smyth left. Not from Smyth's view, not from Lowe's view, not from EIG, not from Meehan's POV... I just don't see what the problem could have possibly been.

 

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