Cullen's Blog: Deadline Dealing Talent Blog
3/4/2009 8:21:33 PM
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I'll keep a running commentary on deadline day activities here, with the blog used to address the minor deals, Numbers Game and Fantasy Hockey Updates to address the more significant swaps.

While we wait for the rest of the deadline dealing, let's look at the minor deals that followed the Leclaire-Vermette trade that kicked off the day.

Jordan Leopold goes to Calgary for Lawrence Nycholat, Ryan Wilson and a second-round pick.

Leopold is a nice veteran addition who will replace injured Mark Giordano on the Flames blueline.  Leopold is a 28-year-old who can move the puck and, despite his minus-10 rating with the struggling Avalanche this season, he's generally pretty sound in his own end.  He'll be a free agent at the end of the season, but is a good short-term addition.

Nycholat hasn't been able to establish himself in the NHL, playing 45 career games with four teams (five if we include Calgary, who just claimed him on waivers).  The 30-year-old simply provides depth in Colorado for the rest of the season.

Wilson was an undrafted free agent who is in his first pro season with Quad City of the American Hockey League, putting up 20 points a minus-6 rating and 56 penalty minutes in 60 games.  The 22-year-old played with Toronto St. Mike's and Sarnia in the OHL.

The second-round pick comes from Calgary, but originally belonged to Montreal, so it will likely fall in the middle of the second round.  For more information on draft pick value, click here.

Pittsburgh acquires Andy Wozniewki from St. Louis for Danny Richmond.

Nothing to see here.  Wozniewski is bigger, Richmond more aggressive, but both tend to fall in at eight or nine in the organizational depth chart.

Buffalo gets G Mikael Tellqvist from Phoenix for a fourth-round pick.

Since Ryan Miller is hurt and Patrick Lalime hasn't been able to get the job done for the Sabres, going 2-9-2 on the season, Tellqvist is going to get a chance to play and help the Sabres try to make the playoffs.

The 30-year-old has been a solid backup over the last couple of seasons, going 16-13-3 in Phoenix, posting a 2.79 goals against average and .908 save percentage.  A nice cheap addition for Buffalo, Tellqvist is earning $800,000 this season and will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer.

Getting a fourth-round pick for Tellqvist is no big return for the Coyotes, but it's something and the opening in Phoenix could create room for 24-year-old Josh Tordjman to get his first taste of NHL action.  Tordjman is having a solid season with San Antonio in the AHL (21-21-2, 2.68 GAA, .909 SVPCT in 46 games) and if Tordjman moves up, it might give Al Montoya some consistent action in the AHL as he hopes to resurrect a career that has gone in the wrong direction this year.

Toronto scoops Martin Gerber and Erik Reitz off waivers.

Gerber was a disaster in Ottawa, with his 2.86 goals against average and .899 save percentage representing career-highs.  The 34-year-old has been decent at times in his career, but figures to be nothing more than a stopgap addition to help cover for Vesa Toskala, who is headed for season-ending surgery.  If Gerber and Curtis Joseph are goaltending down the stretch for the Leafs, that could very well improve their draft positioning.

Reitz, 27, has been productive enough in the minors, but his NHL career consists of 48 games, two points and 69 penalty minutes.  If nothing else, he plays with the kind of edge that GM Brian Burke likes in his depth players.

Dallas adds Brendan Morrison off waivers.

Morrison, 33, is having the worst season of his pro career (with 10 goals and 22 points in 62 games) as he has been trying to bounce back from knee surgery.  Dallas, however, is just desperate for some help up front as injuries have ravaged the roster.

In Dallas, Morrison may be a serviceable third-liner, but he's going to be a free agent again at season's end and could use a good finish to re-establish his value as an NHLer. 

Anaheim can afford to let Morrison go because of the development of rookie centre Andrew Ebbet, who has put up 22 points in 31 games.

Boston gets Steve Montador from Anaheim for Petteri Nokelainen.

Montador, a 30-year-old who will likely get a nice raise on his current $800,000 salary as a free agent in the summer, is in the midst of the best season of his pro career, putting up 20 points a plus-14 rating and 125 penalty minutes in 65 games with the Ducks.  He'll provide good depth and toughness on the Boston blueline, likely pushing Shane Hnidy for the sixth spot.

Anaheim's defence is definitely going to be top-heavy with Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer and Ryan Whitney, but they address this later in the day.

Nokelainen is a solid blue-collar player who can be pretty effective in a limited role and is under contract for $900,000 next season (cap hit $850,000) and will provide some needed depth for the Ducks, especially considering that Rob Niedermayer and Travis Moen are both headed for unrestricted free agency and they could use a centre now that Samuel Pahlsson has been moved to Chicago (more on that later).

Nokelainen was also made expendable by the development of Byron Bitz, who has proven he can take a regular turn in the lineup.

The Olli Jokinen trade is covered here.

Boston acquires Mark Recchi and a 2010 second-round pick for Matt Lashoff and Martins Karsums.

Recchi has shown that he still has some life in his 41-year-old legs, putting up 45 points and a minus-15 rating.  While he shouldn't play big minutes when the Bruins are completely healthy, Recchi is a good fill-in guy when players are injured.  Considering the Bruins have been playing Matt Hunwick on the top line with Milan Lucic injured, there could be some immediate dividends.

Lashoff was a first-round pick in 2005 and, while he's a capable puck-moving defenceman, there are valid questions about his play in his own end.  With 21 points, a minus-2 rating and 36 penalty minutes in 33 games with Providence (along with one point and a plus-1 rating in 16 games with Boston) this season, Lashoff is probably ready for a shot in Tampa Bay; a chance to sink or swim at the NHL level.

Karsums, the 23-year-old Latvian winger has made steady improvement in three pro seasons, earning a promotion to Boston after putting up 41 points and a plus-8 rating in 43 games in the AHL this year.  In Boston, Karsums has just one assist and a minus-3 rating but, like Lashoff, should get a chance to prove himself in Tampa Bay. 

Both Karsums and Lashoff will be restricted free agents this summer.

Strangely, the Lightning included a second-round pick in the deal; not exactly the kind of move that typifies a rebuilding team, but the Bolts must be confident either in the prospects they've received or that they'll be improved enough not to worry about mere second-round picks.  

Pittsburgh gets RW Bill Guerin from the N.Y. Islanders for a conditional draft pick.

Guerin is 38 and not quite the power forward that he was in his prime, but he's still a big body who can bang in the corners and battle in front of the net.  In Pittsburgh, he should end up on Sidney Crosby's wing (once Sid is healthy) and that gives Guerin a chance to salvage this season.  He only has 16 goals and 36 points (and a minus-15 rating) in 61 games with the Islanders, but Guerin will be more productive in Pittsburgh.

The best part of this deal for the Penguins, though, is that it comes at such a minimal cost.  A conditional pick, ranging from the fifth round up to the third round, isn't a big price to pay for a guy with more than 100 playoff games on his resume who will play on a scoring line.   Guerin, making $4.5-million this season, will be a free agent in the summer.

From the Isles' perspective, word was that the veterans weren't getting along with head coach Scott Gordon, so they might as well keep building around their young players.  It just seems like a relatively insignificant return.

Philadelphia acquires LW Daniel Carcillo from Phoenix for RW Scottie Upshall and a second-round pick.

Carcillo is an intriguing player who was expected to break out this season after a strong finish in 2007-2008, but he hasn't been able to find the net this season, scoring just three goals and 10 points in 54 games.  At the same time, he still has a fuse as short as any in the NHL.  Even with improved discipline this season, Carcillo has racked up 174 penalty minutes and his particular style of mayhem should endear him to Flyers fans.

Carcillo, 24, has one more year left on his contract and it will pay him $937,500 (cap hit of a little under $900,000), at which point he'll be a restricted free agent.  He's still young enough that he could emerge as a viable contributor, maybe even a 20-goal scorer at some point.  It probably doesn't hurt the Flyers' situation any that Carcillo comes a little cheaper than Scottie Upshall.

Upshall is a good third-line energy guy, who is very responsible defensively, plays with a bit of an edge and can chip in a little offensively, but with 21 points in 55 games this year, the 25-year-old isn't likely to climb into the top six forwards for anything more than spot duty.  Nevertheless, he's still a solid NHLer.  

Earning $1.25-million this season, Upshall will be a restricted free agent this summer and it's certainly not unreasonable for the Coyotes to keep him in the lineup next season.

Rangers get Nik Antropov from the Maple Leafs for a second-round pick and a conditional pick.

Antropov has started to come into his own over the last couple of seasons, but the 29-year-old's tenure in Toronto is marked by an inability to reach his potential.  Even so, this is his second straight season with at least 20 goals and his 21 goals for the Leafs would rank him first on the goal-hungry Rangers.

The 6-foot-6 Antropov can play a little centre, but his lack of foot speed makes him better suited to the wing.  When on his game, he can use his reach effectively in the front of the net and he could be a nice addition to the Rangers if he ends up with either a skilled puck carrier like Nikolai Zherdev or a setup man like Scott Gomez.

Antropov was going to be an unrestricted free agent in the summer and will be looking for a significant raise on the $2.15-million he's been earning this year.

With Antropov leaving Toronto, the Leafs will be able to provide more minutes to younger players like John Mitchell and Nikolai Kulemin to determine how ready they are to contribute in the NHL going forward.

A mid-second round pick (plus a conditional pick) is certainly a reasonable return for Antropov, particularly given the Leafs' need to rebuild the franchise.

Rangers get Derek Morris from Phoenix for Dmitri Kalinin, Nigel Dawes and Petr Prucha.

Morris is a 30-year-old veteran who has name recognition, but is still prone to defensive lapses and isn't the puck-mover that he'd been earlier in his career.   He'll be a free agent in the summer and is still a better option for the Rangers than Dmitri Kalinin, who has struggled this season.

The Coyotes shed themselves of Morris' $3.95-million salary, but took in a similar amount the other way, effectively picking up a couple of youngish guys with trouble reaching their potential.

Kalinin can play for the Coyotes, but should be a third-pair guy. 

Dawes hasn't built on his rookie season of 29 points in 61 games, scoring just 19 points in 52 games with the Rangers this season, but teh 24-year-old is a speedy winger who could still be a 20-goal scorer in the right situation.   He'll be a restricted free agent in the summer.

Prucha has to find a way to get back to the production he showed as a rookie in 2005-2006, when he scored 30 goals in 68 games.   It's been downhill ever since and he's managed just 11 goals in 90 games over the past two seasons.  Prucha is a hard-working guy, so a fresh start could be what he needs to re-establish his offensive credentials. 

Making $1.6-million this year, however, Prucha seems like a longshot to be retained with a qualifying offer in the summer.

Buffalo picks up Dominic Moore from Toronto for a second-round pick.

Moore, 28, is having easily the best season of his career, with 41 points in 63 games.  Moving to Buffalo, he may not see the same kind of quality ice time, but Moore's speed and defensive responsibility makes him a versatile player who should be a nice fit on the third line with a playoff contender.   Moore will be a free agent in the summer and will be looking for a big pay raise from the $900,000 he's making this season.

Moore's departure could negatively impact Jason Blake, with whom he developed some good on-ice chemistry this season.

Again, another second-round pick for the Leafs; this one from Carolina (Buffalo acquired it in the Ales Kotalik swap).  A good turnaround in value for a guy that the Leafs claimed on waivers from Minnesota midway through last season.

Anaheim acquires Erik Christensen from Atlanta for Eric O'Dell.

Christensen, a 25-year-old acquired from Pittsburgh in the Marian Hossa trade at last year's trade deadline, didn't fulfill expectations in Atlanta this year, managing just 19 points in 47 games.  He has fine puck skills and is very good in the shootout, so he may be able to provide some secondary scoring in Anaheim.  He's making $750,000 this season and will be a restricted free agent in the summer.

O'Dell was a second-round pick of the Ducks in 2008 and has scored 30 goals and 59 points in 59 games with Sudbury of the OHL.  He's certainly a few years away from being ready to compete for an NHL job.

Florida adds Steve Eminger from Tampa Bay for Noah Welch and third-round pick.

Eminger has been quite the suitcase player this year, as the Panthers are his fourth team (after Washington, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay), but he's been pretty good all things considered, totalling 25 points and a minus-4 rating in 62 games.  Re-united with his coach from junior, Peter DeBoer, Eminger is making $1.2-million this season, provides nice depth as a puck-mover and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

Welch is a big, stay-at-home defenceman who hasn't been able to get his career established.  The 27-year-old has played a career-high 23 NHL games this season and his minus-5 rating for a winning Panthers team isn't necessarily staking his claim to a regular role.  If he can't stick on Tampa Bay's defence, that should tell the Harvard grad something.

Columbus picks up Kevin Lalande from Calgary for a fourth-round pick.

With Pascal Leclaire getting moved out, the Jackets' organizational depth between the pipes was definitely thin, so they're taking a shot on the Flames' fifth-rounder from 2005.  Lalande has played 54 pro games over the last two seasons, 48 of them in the ECHL, but his numbers have been terrific -- 2.20 GAA and .928 SVPCT in the ECHL before getting called up to Quad City of the AHL, where he's been even better (though in only six games), posting a 1.94 GAA and .929 SVPCT.  Certainly worth the pick to see if he can develop further in Syracuse.

Philadelphia gets Kyle McLaren from San Jose for a sixth-round pick.

A 31-year-old veteran of 719 NHL games, McLaren has played 17 games with Worcester of the AHL this year.  He's certainly been slowed by knee injuries, but may give the Flyers some experienced depth for the postseason.  The pick isn't very significant and McLaren's impact isn't likely to be much either.

Chicago acquires Sami Pahlsson and Logan Stephenson from Anaheim for James Wisniewski, Petri Kontiola and a conditional draft pick.

Pahlsson, currently battling mono, is a terrific addition for the Blackhawks as he'll be a hard-nosed checking centre on Chicago's third line.   The 32-year-old veteran is going to be an unrestricted free agent at season's end, but will definitely fill a need in Chicago.  

Stephenson has good size but hasn't put up any numbers that would indicate he's going to reach the NHL for anything other than spot duty.

I love the Ducks' acquisition of 25-year-old Wisniewski, who can plays with an edge to his game, moves the puck well and (while a tad undersized at 6-feet tall) has all the qualities to be a top-four defenceman.  He's earning $900,000 this season and will be a restricted free agent in the summer.

Kontiola, 24, was leading the Blackhawks' farm team in Rockford with 53 points in 61 games.  He has five points in 12 career NHL games, so he could contribute some offence if given the chance in Anaheim.

The wild and woolly winger swap (O'Sullivan, Kotalik, Cole and Williams) is covered here.

San Jose adds Travis Moen and Kent Huskins from Anaheim for Nick Bonino, Timo Pielmeier and a conditional fourth-round pick.

Moen will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer, but the 26-year-old is a natural fill-in for an injured Mike Grier.  Moen was outstanding in Anaheim's Stanley Cup run in 2007, but his game his slipped in the past two seasons.  However, for a team needing toughness and physical play on the third and fourth line, Moen is a good fit.

Huskins, 29, has improved to the point that he's handled a regular role over the past couple of seasons, putting up a plus-29 rating in 109 games over the last two seasons.  Just coming back from a foot injury, Huskins will only be needed for depth on the Sharks blueline.

Since both guys are going to be free agents, the Ducks did a decent job getting some long-term value in return.

Pielmeier was a third-round pick in 2007 and has had two solid seasons in the QMJHL, including this year with Shawinigan (30-7-2, 2.65 GAA, .915 SVPCT).  The Sharks already have Tyson Sexsmith as a top junior goaltending prospect in the WHL, so they could afford to move Pielmeier.

Bonino was a sixth-round pick in 2007 and has been quite productive at Boston University, scoring 66 points in 72 games.

Toronto acquires Olaf Kolzig, Jamie Heward, Andy Rogers and a fourth-round pick from Tampa Bay for Richart Petiot.

The Leafs pay some salaries in order to acquire a fourth-round pick.  Rogers was a first-round pick in 2004, but hasn't played more than 48 games in a season since.  An interesting note, is that 38-year-old Jamie Heward is six games away from 400 career NHL games (and the pension that comes with it).

 Scott Cullen can be reached at


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