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Cullen's Trade Deadline Blog

Scott Cullen
2/28/2011 5:59:17 PM
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As each deal goes down on Trade Deadline Day, I'll have a look at the numbers here, with bigger deals getting full Numbers Game treatment and video analysis as well.

Some deals on the weekend qualified -- including McCabe to the Rangers and the Boyes to Buffalo.

BERGFORS
Atlanta hasn't been fond of the work of Bergfors this season, so the Panthers take a shot, hoping that he'll be able to put up 20 goals consistently. Numbers Game coverage here.

WIDEMAN
Florida continues selling off, dealing Dennis Wideman to the Capitals. Numbers Game here.

UPSHALL and LEPISTO for KLESLA
An interesting deal that should boost scoring for Columbus and add a strong defensive presence in Phoenix. Numbers Game evaluation here.

BELLE for MONTGOMERY
26-year-old Shawn Belle is joining his sixth franchise since he was drafted 30th overall in 2003, but hasn't shown anything to indicate that he's going to be a factor in the NHL.

Kevin Montgomery, 22, was a fourth-round pick in 2006 and has been a steady enough performer in the AHL this season (19 points, minus-2 in 51 GP with Lake Erie), but isn't a prime prospect by any means.

CAMPOLI for POTULNY and a second-round pick
Chris Campoli, 26, hasn't been what the Senators hoped when they acquired him from the Islanders in 2009, but has played better in February (six points, +6 in 10 GP). He's a nice addition for the Blackhawks' third pairing, with a little offensive upside to help the second power play unit.

A $1.4-million cap hit (per www.capgeek.com), Campoli is a restricted free agent in the summer. Given Chicago's financial commitments to their defencemen, there may not be a big raise in store, but if Campoli can contribute to a healthy playoff run, it should improve his leverage.

Ryan Potulny, a 26-year-old who will be a free agent in the summer, has some NHL experience, 49 points in 119 career games, but has spent most of this year in the AHL with Rockford (41 points, even in 58 GP). A second-round pick is a nice value for the Senators, a team that is obviously in dire need of re-stocking the shelves.

WINCHESTER for a third-round pick in 2012
Brad Winchester, 29, is a 6-foot-5, 230-pound banger on the wing who has 14 points, a minus-9 rating and 86 penalty minutes in 57 games. He's priced right ($700,000) for the fourth line and will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer.

He'll be useful in a grinding role for the Ducks and his departure will open up potentially more time for the likes of Cam Janssen or Stefan Della Rovere on the Blues' fourth line.

ALLEN for SAMSONOV
Bryan Allen, 30, is a big (6-foot-4, 226-pound) defenceman who adds a measure of stability for the Hurricanes. He's not a shutdown defender and injuries have robbed him of some of his effectiveness.

He's under contract at a $2.9-million cap hit for next season, so he fits as a fourth or fifth option for the 'Canes going forward.

Sergei Samsonov is a 32-year-old whose game has obviously declined in recent years. He's able to fill a spot on a thinned out Panthers lineup for the rest of the season, but he's sure to hit the open market as a free agent in the summer.

Getting Allen's contract off the books makes it worthwhile for a Florida team that is starting from scratch, and right now is left with a bare bones defence, having moved three veterans in the last couple days.

PENNER
In what was the biggest move of the day, the Los Angeles Kings added Dustin Penner from the Edmonton Oilers. My Numbers Game take on it is here.

MITCHELL
After scoring 12 goals and 29 points for the Maple Leafs in 2008-2009, 26-year-old John Mitchell has seen his production dip (down to three points and a minus-7 rating in 23 games this season) and was demoted to the AHL recently.

Mitchell, who is making $725,000 this season, is a restricted free agent in the summer, but figures to be a fixture in AHL Connecticut and the price of a seventh-round picks seems virtually a token price to pay.

MODIN
Fredrik Modin, 36, hasn't been able to stay healthy for years, though there's a chance that he could play more than 50 games this season and that would be the first time since 2006-2007.

Coming at a $1.2-million cap hit this season, Modin will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. He has good size and even if his game has slipped (10 points, minus-11 in 36 GP), he can be a serviceable depth player and still capable of chipping in offensively on occasion. Like the Mitchell deal, a seventh-round pick is a nominal price for the Flames to pay to improve their depth in hopes of reaching the postseason.

HIGGINS for OBERG and a third-round pick
Christopher Higgins, 27, has slipped offensively since scoring a career-high 27 goals and 52 points in 2007-2008, but he's put forth a solid two-way season in Florida this year, playing a prime checking role and contributing 23 points and a plus-5 rating, playing a more prominent role as the season has progressed. He's currently sidelined with a broken thumb, so it should be at least a few weeks before he's ready to join the Canucks' lineup.

An unrestricted free agent in the summer, Higgins could play a third or fourth-line left wing role in Vancouver, but if Mason Raymond continues to struggle offensively, it's entirely possible that Higgins could see some time there too.

Evan Oberg is a 23-year-old defenceman that has played four NHL games over the last couple of seasons and has put up 11 points and a minus-7 rating in 38 AHL games this season. He's not yet ready to fit into an NHL lineup, though the Panthers have decimated their defence to the point that Oberg could get a chance.

Again, though, the draft pick is again the prize for the Panthers, who are accumulating a boatload of picks.

SESTITO for MOORE and CHAPUT
Effectively a minor-league deal, but don't be surprised to see Tom Sestito make an appearance in Philadelphia. He had four points and 40 penalty minutes in nine games with Columbus earlier this season and has 32 points, a minus-14 rating and 192 penalty minutes in the AHL this year.

Greg Moore will fill Sestito's spot in the AHL, while Chaput is a prospect that the Flyers drafted in the third round last year and is scoring a point-per-game with Lewiston in the QMJHL this season.

LAPIERRE and SHARP for PERRAULT and a third-round pick
25-year-old agitator Maxim Lapierre hasn't been an ideal fit in Anaheim after coming over in a trade from Montreal earlier this season, scoring three points with a minus-6 rating in 21 games. He has been effective at times with Montreal, so he could be an asset on the Canucks' fourth line. He'll be a restricted free agent in the summer.

MacGregor Sharp is a 25-year-old minor-leaguer who has 13 points and a minus-14 rating in 50 games with Syracuse of the AHL, while 27-year-old Perrault is a minor leaguer with a little more upside, having put up 26 points in 96 career NHL games.

By taking a third-round pick in return, the Ducks effectively replace the third-rounder that they sent to St. Louis to get Winchester earlier in the day.

ARNOTT for STECKEL and a second-round pick.
In pretty much every other year, Jason Arnott being involved in a trade would warrant a Numbers Game column, but 24 points and a minus-9 rating through 62 games doesn't make him a major difference-maker.

To be fair, though, 36-year-old Arnott will at least have an opportunity to contribute on the Capitals' second line; the question is if he has enough left in the tank to make a difference. With no goals and one assist in the last ten games, it's not like he's been a major part of the Devils' recent resurgence.

Arnott's presence in Washington does figure to bump rookie Marcus Johansson and Mathieu Perreault down the depth chart and it's an opportunity for Arnott to change the mix on Washington's underachieving power play, which ranks 25th in the league with a 16.3% success rate.

David Steckel is a tremendous faceoff man, winning 63.7% of his draws this season and while the Devils are longshots to reach the postseason this year, Steckel is a more proven checker with good size (6-foot-5, 220 pounds)) for the Devils, signed for two more years at a cap hit of $1.1-million per season.

When combined with a second-round pick, it's a nice return for a pending free agent like Arnott who is a $4.5-million cap hit before hitting unrestricted free agency (or retirement) in the summer.

MACINTYRE for FESTERLING
27-year-old minor league goaltender Drew MacIntyre doesn't seem like much more than minor-league depth for the Canadiens, whereas D Brett Festerling is a 24-year-old who has shown that he can play, albeit in a limited role, at the NHL level. He'll be a restricted free agent in the summer, but the value of this deal makes it seem as though it's an additional piece of the previous Brent Sopel trade.

KHUDOBIN for LEHTONEN and PENNER
24-year-old G Anton Khudobin is a solid AHL goaltender (19-12-1, 2.58 GAA, .911 SV% in 34 GP this season) who fared well (.940 SV%) in four games with the Wild this season. Going to Boston, he appears to be set as the AHL starter, behind Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask on the organizational depth chart.

After a couple of AHL seasons in Providence, 23-year-old RW Mikko Lehtonen went to Sweden this season and he's been ripping it up, scoring a league-best 29 goals and 56 points (second in SEL scoring) in 52 games for Skelleftea. If the Wild can lure him back to North America, there's obviously the chance that he could be a productive scorer.

D Jeff Penner is a 23-year-old undersized blueliner who had 19 points and a plus-10 rating in 57 AHL games this season. He's organizational depth, but may be able to help the Wild in a pinch.

Minnesota could afford to move out Khudobin because their top goaltending prospect, Matt Hackett, is thriving (14-12-3, 2.32 GAA, .916 SV% in 31 GP) in his first pro season, so the 20-year-old is much more likely to be the Wild's goaltender of the future.

For what it's worth, Power Rankings will be updated Tuesday -- no sense updating today, only to ignore the impact of today's earth-shattering deals.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@ctv.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.




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