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Wednesday was another bad day in a long line of them for Garth Snow, a man who probably thought he might salvage a lost season on Long Island with a bravura performance at the trade deadline but instead cemented his reputation as the Charlie Brown of NHL general managers, the one whose clothes fly off in all directions when each pitch he throws is hit for a screaming comebacker.
While the deadline efforts of his peers will require the benefit of time and distance to adequately judge their success, the work of the Islanders GM needs no such perspective.
It was a disaster.
While Buffalo’s dynamic duo of Darcy Regier (since fired) and his replacement, Tim Murray, were ultimately able to turn impending free agent Thomas Vanek into a first-round pick, three second-rounders, and forward Torrey Mitchell for the Sabres, all Snow could muster was a conditional second rounder (it’s gone if Montreal fails to make the playoffs) and prospect forward Sebastien Collberg.
Get that? Buffalo walks away with four picks and an affordable depth forward for Vanek. Snow gets the football yanked away just as he leans into it and the endless rebuild on Long Island takes another step backwards.
Of all the Garth Snows in the world, he’s the Garth Snowiest.
By Nick Stoico
After losing 4-1 to the Bruins Tuesday night, Florida Panthers goaltender Tim Thomas was asked about his newest teammate, Roberto Luongo, who was dealt from the Vancouver Canucks earlier on Tuesday.
“It looked like [Panthers GM] Dale Tallon went kicking some tires and found one that needed pumping,” Thomas said.
Thomas said that he did not come up with the comment, but seemed rather proud of the little joke after telling it to the media.
By Nick Stoico
New York Islanders’ winger Thomas Vanek was a healthy scratch tonight against Winnipeg in what could potentially be his last evening with the team.
Vanek, who is third on the team in points with 44 since being traded to New York on Oct. 27, is undoubtedly the Islanders’ top trading asset and with the trade deadline rapidly approaching (Wednesday, 3 p.m. ET), and it is easy to speculate that GM Garth Snow and head coach Jack Capuano would prefer to keep him healthy. Vanek is an unrestricted free agent this summer and has verbally expressed interest in testing the market. He could be a top-six forward on any team willing to make a deal with Snow and it would seem that a deal is certainly on the horizon.
After an 18-month goaltending drama highlighted by trade demands, parody videos, emotionally charged press conferences and a rowdy, chanting crowd at the Heritage Classic, Canucks general manager Mike Gillis chose to hand his team’s net over to … Eddie Lack?
Somehow the unheralded Swedish prospect finds himself the undisputed No. 1 keeper in Vancouver after a stunning trade on Thursday that sent long-time starter Roberto Luongo to Florida, where, deliciously, he’ll be partnered with 2011 Stanley Cup rival Tim Thomas.
The Canucks also tossed minor league forward Steven Anthony into the package and will receive goaltending prospect Jacob Markstrom and forward Shawn Matthias in return. The Canucks will also pick up 15 percent of Luongo’s tab.
That’s not exactly the sort of bountiful haul that will push Vancouver’s much-needed rebuild forward — Markstrom is 24 and has failed multiple times to seize a job in Florida — but this wasn’t a hockey trade for Gillis. This was about ending a soap opera that had gone on too long, and which had threatened to erupt again after Luongo was benched by coach John Tortorella for last Sunday’s Heritage Classic game.
And it was about moving an unmovable contract that will count $5.333 million against the cap through the 2021-22 season.
In those ways Gillis can call himself a winner. Vancouver can move on with Lack — a respectable young netminder — and some cap space which can be put to other uses moving forward.
I am hearing that it is not likely that Ryan Miller will be traded by the Deadline and Sabres are turning attention towards re signing him.—
Brian Lawton (@brianlawton9) February 25, 2014
By Allan Muir
A well-known NHL agent says that the Sabres have decided not to trade goalie Ryan Miller and instead will focus on re-signing the pending free agent.
Brian Lawton, the former general manager of the Lightning, passed that rumor along early this morning via his Twitter account.
By Allan Muir
The NHL Network has its flaws — that’s a post for another day — but it deserves full marks for treating yesterday’s trade deadline like E! handles a Kardashian wedding. The wall-to-wall coverage (courtesy of TSN, mixed with its own cut-ins) fed our boundless fascination with an event that has no chance of living up to the hype, but keeps us transfixed anyway.
But one of the best views it offered came well after the event coverage had ended. Later in the evening, the league provided a video look at the behind-the-scenes trade call that finalized the deal that saw the Rangers send Marian Gaborik to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• It’s official: Glen Sather won the trade deadline. After watching his new guys light it up, guess we can go ahead and hand them the Cup, eh?
• The Blue Jackets also bid goodbye to Steve Mason, the author of the greatest moment in franchise history.
• Jim Matheson labels the Bruins, Penguins and Blue Jackets the winners of the trade sweepstakes.
By Allan Muir
A abbreviated trade deadline day guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• A big splash at the trade deadline is no guarantee of playoff success.
• Could Calgary GM Jay Feaster have another deal up his sleeve before the deadline?
• Who might be on the trade block in Edmonton?
• The Islanders are for real! With another impressive win on Tuesday night, they now own the seventh spot in the East.
• With that long-awaited chance at the postseason within their grasp, don’t look for the Isles to trade captain Mark Streit, even if they can’t get his contract extended before the deadline.
• History extended an invitation to the Penguins. The Pens chose to wash their hair. Or something. Clearly they weren’t interested in competing against the Sabres hard enough to extend their 15-game winning streak.
• The Dallas Stars are a mess right now. And that’s exactly what they need to be.
• They’re asking the same question in Vancouver about the acquisition of Derek Roy.