By Allan Muir
I’ll be constantly updating this post with the latest rumors and confirmed deals during the lead-up to the NHL’s trade deadline on 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 3. You can read my previous takes on the first major deals — Jaromir Jagr to the Bruins, Derek Roy to the Canucks and more — here.
Wednesday, April 3
6:10 p.m. That’s a wrap
Deadline Day 2013 was destined to be a low-wattage event until a flurry of bold deals at the buzzer set some teams up for a dramatic finish…and others for a much brighter future.
You have to be impressed by Jarmo Kekalainen’s willingness to go big to push his Blue Jackets toward a short-term reward, and Darcy Regier’s ability to maximize the return for Jason Pominville. If you need a snap judgement on the winners of the day, those top two the list.
As for losers, you have to consider Jim Rutherford and Kevin Cheveldayoff, who were unable to improve their sides with the Southeast division title up for grabs. Maybe their cautious approach pays off in the long-run, but in the short term they lost ground to their rival in Washington…and that may mean another spring on the playoff sidelines.
If you missed out on the action, here’s how it played out, warts and all.
5:05 p.m. TRADE: Jeff Deslauriers to Minnesota
And so deadline day goes out like a lamb as the Ducks send their fifth string netminder to the Wild for future considerations–the proverbial “bag of pucks.”
4:55 p.m. TRADE: Martin Erat to Washington
The day’s last deal paints a clear picture of the pressure Washington GM George McPhee is under to get his team into the playoffs. The Caps needed immediate scoring help and Erat, despite having just four goals this season for Nashville, has a resume that proves he can be much more productive. Moving to a new system might be what he needs to get his game back on track. The Caps also get Michael Latta, a physical forward who is developing into a decent playmaker. He’s close to being NHL-ready as a bottom-six center.
It’s a good haul for the Caps, but they paid a steep price in Forsberg, the 11th overall choice in last summer’s draft. Pretty unusual to see a top pick dealt so quickly, but the Caps have some depth in this part of their prospect pool. He’s a highly regarded kid, and while there are varying takes on his upside ranging from third-line power forward to first line sniper, he’s sure to be a player. Scouts rave about his heavy shot and his compete level. He’s a huge get for an organization that lacks blue-chippers up front.
4:21 p.m. TRADE: Jason Pominville to Minnesota
Full details are now in on this deal…and they are stunning.
In exchange for Pominville and a 2014 fourth rounder, Buffalo gets Matt Hackett, Johan Larsson, a 2013 first rounder and 2014 second rounder. Sabres fans? For all the grief you’ve given GM Darcy Regier–and heaven knows he’s earned every bit of it–he deserves flowers and cookies for this deal.
Good grief, what a fleecing this is! Hackett can play as a backup in the NHL now, and has the potential to become a No. 1. I talked to a scout about him last week before he played against the Stars and he was very enthusiastic about Hackett’s athleticism and skill set. Larsson is a big-bodied pivot who plays a defensively-minded game. There’s not a lot of flash to him, but he’ll be a solid No. 3 at worst, and possibly a decent No. 2. Add in the picks and it’s great haul for a player who would have been tough to re-sign.
The trick now will be convincing Thomas Vanek that dishing the captain is a re-tooling, not a rebuild, when they try to extend his contract after this season.
It was a heavy price to pay, but not too steep for a Minnesota team that has a deep system and hasn’t made the playoffs in four years. Pominville plays a gritty, 200-foot game and can be used in all situations, which makes him a significant upgrade to their top-six and makes the Wild a much more dangerous team.
3:31 p.m. TRADE: Steve Sullivan to New Jersey
Seventh-round pick goes to Phoenix. The Devils needed scoring help and the veteran forward has a little bit left in the tank. This feels like one of those small deals that could pay big dividends in the postseason.
3:31 p.m. TRADE: Matthew Lombardi to Anaheim
The Ducks have been scrambling all season to find a second-line center. After losing out on Derek Roy, they settle for Lombardi. A reasonable facsimile? Not quite. Still has decent wheels and gives an honest effort, but he doesn’t have top-six hands and he’s had a hard time staying healthy. That said, he seems like a better fit for Bruce Boudreau’s system than Dave Tippett’s, so he could surprise. Prospect Brandon McMillan goes to Phoenix in return. He’s failed to make an impression despite several call-ups to the Ducks, so a change of scenery is best-case for him. He might find a place as a checking winger and penalty killer with the Coyotes.
3:23 p.m. TRADE: Wade Redden to Boston
These last two deals make me think I should have skated a little harder during the lockout. Redden started fairly well for the Blues, but it didn’t take long before his lack of foot speed and poor decision-making led to pucks ending up in his net. Management brought in a pair of more reliable replacements in Jay Bouwmeester and Jordan Leopold this week, leaving no room for Redden. Obviously the B’s pick him up as cheap insurance ahead of the playoffs, but unless reuniting with Zdeno Chara resets his game to 2005, it’s hard to imagine him helping this team. The Blues get an unspecified draft pick in return, but don’t expect them to collect. They’re just happy to move his contract.
3:16 p.m. TRADE: Ryan O’Byrne to Toronto
The Leafs send a fourth rounder to Colorado for a player who spent much of this season playing like he was plotting a return to the minors. Slow, questionable hockey sense, mistake prone…these aren’t the qualities most teams are looking for in a defender, but the Leafs apparently like his toughness and see him as a useful depth add for the playoff run. Just hope that the opinion of one of the analysts on TSN (“He can take over some of those match-ups against top players”) isn’t shared by the Leafs or they will be gravely disappointed.
3:01 p.m. fact
Luongo is still a Canuck. Multiple sources have confirmed that the team was unable to deal their high-priced back-up despite talks with Toronto leading right up to the deadline. If you haven’t seen his press conference, it’s well worth checking out. It was as emotionally honest as you’ll ever see an athlete. Truly compelling stuff.
2:59 p.m. TRADE: Raffi Torres to San Jose
It looks the Sharks are hoping Torres can step in and replace the physicality they lost in dealing Ryane Clowe yesterday, while adding some much-needed speed on the wing. They ship a third rounder to Phoenix in return. It’ll be interesting to see how he’s received in San Jose, where he’s been reviled for years after nearly taking off Milan Michalek’s head during a 2006 playoff series.
2:55 p.m. gossip
TSN is reporting that Roberto Luongo was pulled from the ice minutes before the deadline by the team’s PR director, T.C. Carling. Maybe he just wants to tell Lu that he left his car lights on…
2:54 p.m. TRADE: Blake Comeau to Columbus
The Flames get a fifth-round pick in a deal that helps the Jackets fill in the roster spots vacated by the Gaborik trade. Comeau is quick and a solid checker. He’ll be useful in a bottom-six role.
2:36 p.m. TRADE: Jason Pominville to Minnesota
Details to come, but as Mike Russo speculated earlier, it’s likely that a young goalie (Matt Hackett) and a top prospect (Johan Larsson) are involved.
2:32 p.m. TRADE: Marian Gaborik to Columbus
Derick Brassard, John Moore and Derek Dorsett and a sixth-round pick are the reported return in this bold but curious move by new Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen. No doubt he gets the player who can make the biggest immediate impact, and for a team desperate to make the playoffs for just the second time in franchise history, that’s significant. Two issues, though. First, Gaborik is an older player (31) whose struggles this season may indicate a career in decline. Second, it seems odd that a young and building organization would deal away two recent first rounders in Brassard and Moore. Maybe Kekalainen, a fine judge of talent, has seen enough of the duo to know that they’re not part of the future he wants to build. We’ll know soon enough.
For the Rangers, this seems like the deal they needed remedy their obvious ills. It addresses the depth that was decimated by last summer’s Rick Nash trade, and adds some much-needed grit through Dorsett, who is hurt now (collarbone) but should be back before the end of the regular season. Nearly as important, they shed $7.5 million they would have owed Gaborik next season. With the cap dropping to $64.3 million, that’s a significant consideration in this deal.
2:28 p.m. TRADE: Steve Mason to Philadelphia
At some point, his friends will set up an intervention, right? Just tell Paul Holmgren to put down the phone, to stop asking about goalies. The guy needs help obviously. In a perfect world, he quits cold turkey and hires someone to specifically deal with netminders so he never has to again. Look at today. After falling short in his bid to acquire Ben Bishop, he deals for Mason, the former Calder winner who lost his job in Columbus to Sergei Bobrovsky, the goalie he shipped out of town last summer. Mason has been brutal for years now. Hard to imagine he’ll rediscover his game in the goaltending graveyard of Philly. The Blue Jackets picked up a third round pick in 2015 and depth goalie Michael Leighton, but mostly they turned the page on one of the most disappointing players in franchise history.
2:11 p.m. gossip
Mike Russo says the Wild are on the verge of trading one of their young goalies. Wonder if that was before or after Tampa decided on Bishop?
2:06 p.m. TRADE: Ben Bishop to Tampa Bay, Cory Conacher to Ottawa
The move comes a little late to save this season, but this was exactly the move Steve Yzerman needed to make for the Bolts moving forward. Bishop proved he could handle the load in Ottawa. He can step in immediately and give Anders Lindback and Andrei Vasilevski the time they need to develop their game.
Interesting note about Bishop and his new coach, Jon Cooper, courtesy of SI.com’s Stu Hackel: The two were rivals in the NAHL–Bishop with the Texas Tornado and Cooper with the Texarkana Bandits. Bishop’s father was an ownership partner in the Bandits when Texarkana moved to St. Louis.
Key for the Sens was getting a player who can step in and contribute right away, rather than a high draft pick. Conacher was a rookie of the year candidate early on, but has slowed down as the season wore on. That’s more a result of the long season–a typical college player malaise–than his undersized body taking a beating. He’ll slide into a top-six role and chip in on the power play for the Sens.
This is a good deal that sees both side addressing immediate needs.
2:01 p.m. signing
Not a trade, but a nice add for the Panthers. The kids, and better days, are on their way.
The Panthers announce they've signed Minnesota junior forward and 1st-round pick Nick Bjugstad. Have to imagine he'll see some NHL time soon—
Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) April 03, 2013
1:52 p.m. gossip
Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on TradeCentre: “Right now I don’t see us doing anything.”
1:50 p.m. gossip
Mike Ribeiro doesn’t expect to be signed or traded today.
1:46 p.m. insider insight
Reason for lack of trades today? Crosby's jaw is wired shut, meaning he can't reach out and speak to other players.—
Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) April 03, 2013
1:29 p.m. TRADE: Jussi Jokinen to Pittsburgh
The Pens send a conditional draft pick to Carolina for a guy they could have grabbed off of waivers last week. Of course, Sidney Crosby was still in the lineup then. Jokinen is a skill player who can slide in at center or wing, and can help on the power play. He’s not the quickest guy out there and he doesn’t have a lot of compete in his game, but used in a limited role, he might be able to chip in. Word is the Hurricanes are eating part of his salary.
1:22 p.m. gossip
FYI…for those asking about Drew Stafford. Word is Darcy Regier is looking for a #1 to start for Drew Stafford…—
Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) April 03, 2013
1:15 p.m. gossip
Multiple sources are reporting that Derek Morris has been asked to submit a list of eight teams to which he’s willing to be traded. Have to believe the Bruins would be first at the door if the Coyotes are serious about moving the veteran defender, who played 58 games with the B’s back in 2009-10.
1:14 p.m. gossip
Brian Lawton tweets that Columbus D Jack Johnson is in play. Anything possible with new management in place, but Johnson seems like a core piece. If they’re seriously dangling him, Joe Nieuwendyk needs to get on the phone immediately.
12:33 p.m. TRADE: Scott Hannan to San Jose
Wait…wasn’t he already playing there? Apparently Hannan was with Nashville this season, where the 34-year-old posted a minus-11 rating that was tied for the team’s worst. Amazing that the Preds were able to get a seventh-round pick from the Sharks for the one guy in the league who might be slower than the recently departed Douglas Murray.
12:33 p.m. TRADE: Jerred Smithson to Edmonton
The Panthers get a conditional draft pick in exchange for the depth center, reportedly a fourth rounder. The 34-year-old brings size and experience and a right-handed presence in the faceoff circle, but he doesn’t seem like much of an upgrade over current fourth liner Eric Belanger.
Sub-plot to the deal: Smithson was on his way to the hospital where his wife was having labor induced when he got the call informing him he’d been dealt. A veteran like Smithson should know better than to fraternize with his wife nine months ahead of the trade deadline, right?
Tradecentre: The Smithson baby … Future considerations?—
Michael Farber (@MichaelFarber3) April 03, 2013
12:49 p.m. gossip
The Lightning's interest in Senators G Ben Bishop is being described as "casual," especially if price gets high.—
Damian Cristodero (@LightningTimes) April 03, 2013
Seriously? This is exactly the guy they need to go after!
12:35 p.m. gossip
Mike Russo of the Star Tribune says the Wild have interest in Buffalo’s Jason Pominville.
12:23 p.m. TRADE: Max Sauve to Chicago, Rob Flick to Boston
Is that a massive buzz building in reaction to the day’s first swap? Nope. Probably just your tinnitus acting up. I mean, a trade to bolster the toughness of AHL powerhouse Providence is exactly what we all got up early for, right? Actually, probably shouldn’t completely blow this off. The B’s once sent a lightly regarded but highly skilled minor leaguer named Kris Versteeg to the Hawks at the deadline. Worked out pretty well for Chicago. Sauve (the son of former goalie Bob Sauve) has good hands, but lacks the strength to win battles down low. Flick is a big, physical forward who doesn’t mind dropping the gloves. Probably not picked up with an eye on filling in for the injured Patrice Bergeron, but a nice add for the Baby B’s.
12:17 p.m. gossip
Seeing two of the top seven selections from the 2004 draft (Cam Barker and Rusty Olesz) pass through waivers today is a reminder that being a top-10 pick is no guarantee of success. Still, hard to believe the Jets are willing to move Alex Burmistrov (8th, 2010) this early in his career. Listening to offers? Sure…but at this stage of his development, no one’s going to overpay for the skilled forward. That’s the only way Kevin Cheveldayoff moves him.
12:03 p.m. diversions
Only thing saving the TSN Tradecentre broadcast right now is the Blackberry Z10 commercial being in heavy rotation. You digging the Tame Impala song as much as I am?
11:59 a.m. diversions
The TSN Tradecentre show should require everyone to remove an article of clothing for every hour that passes without a deal. Actually, no.—
Dave Lozo (@DaveLozo) April 03, 2013
11:37 a.m. diversions
Need a break from the excitement of the trade deadline? The Marlies and Monsters are playing live now. Good chance to catch up with Korbinian Holzer.
11:25 a.m. gossip
Sounds like the Miikka Kiprusoff sweepstakes has come to an end. Darren Dreger on TSN just reported that the goaltender has cited family reasons in confirming that he would like to finish off the season in Calgary and then retire.
Well, that's a blow to any team that wanted to get a goalie with an .868 save percentage.—
Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) April 03, 2013
If the Leafs are determined to add a veteran to the mix, Edmonton’s Nikolai Khabibulin is a more sensible option than Roberto Luongo and the nine years remaining on his deal.
11:18 a.m. gossip
Unless the Isles are offering John Tavares (and they’re not), there is zero chance of this happening. Zero.
11:15 a.m. gossip
Will the Sens move Ben Bishop before Craig Anderson is back in uniform?
PHX one of 5 teams in on OTT G Ben Bishop. Better than 50-50 chance he's moved today.—
Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) April 03, 2013
I have to think Steve Yzerman will be in the mix here. He has young talent in the pipeline, but the Bolts require help now. They can afford the price (pick/prospect). They’re the front-runners in my book.
10:53 a.m. gossip
The Phoenix Coyotes are near their league-regulated spending limit, so any trade would likely require the other team to eat some salary.
10:45 a.m. gossip
Ron Hainsey has a 15-team no-trade clause and is an interesting option on defense today. Bruins could be a fit there.—
Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) April 03, 2013
Please, let this happen. NHLPA hardliner Hainsey and Boston owner Jeremy Jacobs made such a cute couple during the CBA negotiations…
10:34 a.m. gossip
Lots of chatter about the Blues needing to do something after learning that Jaroslav Halak will be out at least three weeks. Can they hold onto a spot in the top eight with Jake Allen and Brian Elliott manning the net? I think they stand pat, but if they add someone, it will have to be an expiring contract. Halak and Elliott both are signed through next season, and Allen needs to be re-upped.
10:24 a.m. gossip
The Leafs would love to move C Tim Connolly, but I’m guessing there aren’t many GMs who missed the news he’d been scratched from this morning’s game by the Marlies after going 13 games without a goal in the AHL.
10:17 a.m. gossip
Keith Yandle is said to be in play, but the asking price is a top center. Doing the math on that one, there aren’t any teams who need defensive help that have an extra 1 or 2 C lying around. Don’t expect Yandle to move.
10:13 a.m. player signing
The Blues have agreed to an EL deal with Dmitrij Jaskin, who had 46 goals and 99 points as a rookie with Moncton of the QMJHL this season.
9:40 a.m. gossip
Multiple sources have Columbus G Steve Mason in play. The Blue Jackets would like to move him today … but who is buying? He’s an affordable veteran add, but his lack of playoff experience and recent history of unreliable play makes him a hard sell.
9:21 a.m. gossip
The Winnipeg Jets need a right winger who can play in their top-six and score. UFA Nik Antropov and Chateau Bow-Wow resident Alex Burmistrov up for grabs.
9:03 a.m. gossip
Multiple sources saying that the Isles are focusing solely on re-signing Mark Streit and are not willing to trade the vet defenseman. With a playoff berth at hand, I can’t imagine any realistic scenario that sees him being dealt. Not sure the right player is available to fill their needs…and honestly, I can’t believe they’d give up on Burmistrov so quickly.
8:59 a.m. gossip
NHL assistant GM tells SI.com “There’s nobody out there that I’d [move a first-round pick] for. Not going to happen…unless someone totally unexpected becomes available.” Says that first rounders, especially this year, are too valuable.
8:53 a.m. gossip
NHL source tells SI.com Senators not in a rush to move Ben Bishop, but the right combination of pick (a second) and prospect (depending on positioning of that pick) could lead to a deal.
8:49 a.m. gossip
Mike Ribeiro has lowered his contract extension demands. That could impact Washington’s willingness to re-sign their leading scorer. My guess is that he doesn’t get traded, regardless of his contract situation. Caps are too close to playoffs to throw up the white flag.
8:31 a.m. gossip
The Rangers are hot in pursuit of a defenseman.
Intriguing name: teams are talking to Florida about Dmitry Kulikov. He's not untouchable but I think Florida would need to get a great offer—
Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) April 03, 2013
8:30 a.m. gossip
Florida D Dmitri Kulikov is in play. I have to think it would take a staggering offer for the Panthers to bit on this.
8:22 a.m. gossip
Swiss media speculates the Bruins could acquire Mark Streit.
8:20 a.m. gossip
Bruce Garriock of the Ottawa Sun says Miikka Kiprusoff will decide on his future later this morning.
8:15 a.m. gossip
Leafs/Canucks talks centering around forwards Nikolai Kulemin and Clarke MacArthur.
Canucks/Maple Leafs will resume Luongo trade talks today… Canucks asking about Kulemin or MacArthur to be part of a deal.—
David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) April 03, 2013
Prior news from Tuesday, April 2
9:00 p.m. gossip
The Fourth Period reports the Flames are close to trading defender Cory Sarich.
8:31 p.m. TRADE: Paradis to Tampa Bay
The deal: Tampa Bay acquires LW Philippe Paradis from Chicago in exchange for D Kirill Gotovets.
The skinny: The 27th overall pick in 2009, Paradis is already on to his fourth pro organization. Despite being a decent scorer with a bit of edge to his game in the QMJHL, he hasn’t been able to translate his game at the minor pro level. Gotovets is a smallish defensive defender who spent the past three seasons at Cornell, but also has some experience playing for the Belorussian national team at the senior level. At 21 he still has some upside, but he’s got the look of a guy unlikely to advance past the AHL.
7:55 p.m. TRADE: Vincour to Avs
The deal: Dallas sends F Tomas Vincour to Colorado for D Cameron Gaunce
The skinny: If you saw the Stars lose to the Kings on Sunday night, you saw Vincour punch his ticket out of town with a brain-dead backwards pass in the defensive zone that Brad Richardson picked off and promptly deposited behind Kari Lehtonen. A fifth round pick in 2009, Vincour is a tantalizingly toolsy player, but he’s yet to put it all together and earn a full-time job in Dallas despite numerous opportunities. A big part of the problem is the low-grade hockey sense that sabotages his best efforts.
Gaunce a 2008 second rounder, is a physical defender who can play on a team’s third pairing. His game has regressed this season after a promising 2011-12 campaign. The Stars probably see him as an option to replace struggling veteran Aaron Rome. Ultimately, it’s a swap of players whose ELCs expire at the end of this season and probably wouldn’t have been re-signed. A change of scenery may be the thing to jump start their careers.
7:15 p.m. gossip
Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun reports that the Carolina Hurricanes scratched Jamie McBain for tonight’s game against Washington. The young blueliner is thought to be on the block.
7:10 p.m. gossip
Dan Murphy of Sportnet quotes Vancouver GM Mike Gillis as saying the acquisition of Derek Roy gives him more flexibility in possible Roberto Luongo trade talks because he no longer needs to acquire a center in any deal.
6:30 p.m. TRADE: Clowe to Rangers
The deal: San Jose sends LW Ryane Clowe to the New York Rangers for a 2013 second-rounder, a 2013 third-rounder and a conditional 2014 pick (a second if he re-signs with Rangers or if they win two playoff rounds, otherwise a fifth).
The skinny: This would make little sense for the Rangers if Clowe was simply a rental, but word is the two sides already have the parameters of an extension worked out. Not that the Blueshirts and the league’s worst offense could use some immediate help, but a guy who hasn’t scored a goal all season would be an odd one to turn to, right? But the Rangers clearly need a little more sand in their mix and Clowe provides that by the bucketful. Look for him to be revived (if not this season, then next) by a change in scenery.
This is the third player the Sharks have moved out in the last week. The common denominator isn’t their impending free agency, it’s their lack of speed. San Jose’s inability to match the quickness of other teams, especially up front, has killed them for the past couple years. Doug Wilson may have trouble replacing the burly physicality of Clowe, but he knows his team has to pick up the pace. Moving out the deadwood creates roster and cap space to bring in some burners. And boy, does he have a nice cache of draft picks to play with. Look for him to make another move or do before the deadline.
4:00 p.m. TRADE: Drewiske to Montreal
The deal: Montreal acquires D Davis Drewiske from Los Angeles for a 2013 fifth-round pick.
The skinny: You can never have too many defensemen come playoff time…unless you’re the Kings who needed to move a body after acquiring Robyn Regehr Monday night. Drewiske plays a simple, low-risk game. Not a lot of flash, but he makes very few mistakes. He’s got a bit of physicality in his game, and he can help on the penalty kill. It might not seem like much now, but this is the sort of deal that has a way of gaining importance as the postseason wears on.