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Miller, Luongo among players making immediate impact with new teams

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David Legwand's start with the Detroit Red Wings has been a roller coaster ride. (Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

David Legwand’s start with the Detroit Red Wings has been a roller coaster ride. (Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

By Amy Lilek

The dust has settled from the NHL trade deadline and now it’s time for teams to get down to business as the playoffs approach. But first, let’s take a look at some of the more notable traded players in their fresh starts with their new teams.
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  • Published On Mar 09, 2014
  • Tim Thomas makes tire-pumping joke about new teammate Roberto Luongo

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    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.

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  • Published On Mar 04, 2014
  • Rangers finally deal Michael Del Zotto to Predators for Kevin Klein

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    Defenseman Michael Del Zotto was traded by the New York Rangers to the Nashvillle Predators.

    A change of scenery may be just what Michael Del Zotto needs to regain his confidence. (David Hahn/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    Well, now we know why it took so long for the Rangers to move disaffected defenseman Michael Del Zotto: There was no market for him.

    It’s hard to take away anything else from today’s deal that sent the former first rounder to the Predators for nothing more than a depth defender such as rapid-fire artist Kevin Klein.

    As much of a beauty as he was in that tilt, Klein hasn’t been particularly effective this season for Nashville. The 29-year old is a limited defensive player whose stats, both standard (one goal, three points) and fancy (44 percent Corsi, -4.4 percent relative Corsi), don’t paint a very pretty picture.

    What might have made Klein appealing to New York is that he is locked down. He’s signed through 2018 at a cap hit of $2.9 million per season, which gives GM Glen Sather some cost certainty moving forward. That’s not much value here, though, and Klein is clearly a significant downgrade from what Sather originally hoped to get in return.

    As for Del Zotto, he doesn’t have ideal size, but he’s a terrific skater whose bread and butter has always been his offensive skills. He’s a lefty, too, which has been a pressing blueline need for the Predators.

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  • Published On Jan 22, 2014
  • Predators add Devan Dubnyk in trade; Oilers obtain Ben Scrivens

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    Goaltender Ben Scrivens of the Los Angeles Kings was traded to the Edmonton Oilers.

    Early season star Ben Scrivens must now duplicate his performance behind the Oilers’ much weaker defense. (AP)

    By Allan Muir

    The update on the health of goaltender Pekka Rinne issued by the Predators last week may have sounded rosy on the surface, but anyone who read between the lines could have surmised that there is a very real chance the All-Star stopper won’t be back this season.

    The team finally handled up on that grim possibility today. Recognizing that their playoff chances were slipping away, and that they weren’t going to climb back into the race with a pair of rookies between the pipes, the Preds sent veteran forward Matt Hendricks to the Oilers in exchange for goaltender Devan Dubnyk.

    Dubnyk began the season as Edmonton’s No. 1 goalie, but lost whatever tenuous hold he had on the job when the team picked up Ilya Bryzgalov in November. That he hasn’t been able to reclaim it while Bryz has gone 3-7-2 with a 3.27 GAA and .902 save percentage illustrates how fully Dubnyk had lost the faith of the Oilers’ coaching staff. And it shows just how little it took to upgrade Nashville’s current situation, where Carter Hutton and Marek Mazanec weren’t getting it done.

    Getting out of Edmonton might be the best thing to happen to the former first rounder (14th overall, 2004). He won’t make anyone forget Rinne, but playing behind a more structured defense than he has during the past few years gives him a chance to create some impression of value before he heads to unrestricted free agency this summer.

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  • Published On Jan 15, 2014
  • Colorado Avalanche trade Steve Downie to Philadelphia Flyers for Max Talbot

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    Steve Downie has been traded from Colorado to Philadelphia

    Steve Downie’s rough and tumble style makes him a natural-born Flyer. (David Zalubowski/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    Shortly after the fiesty Colorado winger had his right ACL blown out on a hit from Los Angeles defenseman Davis Drewiske last January, a scout offered up this thought to the assembled press box wags: “The Avs aren’t the same team without Steve Downie in the lineup.”

    We’ll see now if that’s really true.

    Colorado today sent Downie back to the Philadelphia Flyers, the team that originally chose him in the first round of the 2005 draft, in exchange for veteran winger Max Talbot.

    Just 26, Downie is clearly the better player at this point, but it’s his born-to-be-a-Flyer approach to the game that the struggling Philly side desperately craves. Despite a reputation for mayhem earned earlier in his career, he’s matured into a solid performer who can make things happen with speed and creativity as easily as with a big hit. He had one goal and seven points for the Avs, an output that ties him with Vinnie Lecavalier for the Flyers’ team lead, and while he’s not a premium player himself, he has the tools to work well with guys who are — see his time in Tampa Bay alongside Steven Stamkos. Expect to see him line up alongside Claude Giroux in an effort to create some space for/light a fire under the struggling captain.

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  • Published On Oct 31, 2013
  • Buffalo Sabres trade Thomas Vanek to Islanders for Matt Moulson, draft picks

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    Thomas Vanek scored at least 20 goals in each of his eight NHL seasons, topping the 40-goal mark twice. (Mark LoMoglio/Icon SMI)

    Thomas Vanek scored at least 20 goals in each of his eight NHL seasons, topping 40 twice. (Mark LoMoglio/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    According to Newsday’s Arthur Staple, the Sabres have already turned into sellers this season, trading Thomas Vanek to the Islanders, getting back forward Matt Moulson, a 2014 first-round pick, and a 2015 second-rounder.

    First thoughts? I’m guessing the “Fire Darcy” chants have been silenced in Buffalo. A franchise that has been pilloried by its fans and the press since the start of the season for its utter ineptitude on the ice and in the front office just pulled off the sort of deal that will make the suffering yet to come so much more bearable.

    They may have sewn a C on his chest earlier this month, but Vanek wasn’t going to re-sign with the Sabres when he hit free agency this summer. Not a chance. It’s one of the worst-kept secrets in hockey that Vanek is pining for a return to Minnesota next season, the state where he played his college hockey and where his good buddy, and former teammate, Jason Pominville currently skates. So removing the distraction and swapping him out for multiple assets makes sense.

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  • Published On Oct 27, 2013
  • St. Louis Blues trade David Perron to Edmonton Oilers

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    David Perron

    David Perron’s speed makes him a natural fit for Edmonton’s high-flying top six. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    The cap-strapped St. Louis Blues have dealt David Perron to the Edmonton Oilers.

    In exchange, the Blues receive forward Magnus Paajarvi and a second-round pick in the 2014 draft.

    The Blues have been dangling Perron, a skilled but underachieving winger who scored 10 goals and 25 points last season, since the trade deadline. But while Perron’s speed makes him a natural fit for Edmonton’s high-flying top six, he doesn’t fit the team’s clear need for a power forward, grit and experience on the bottom six or a reliable, two-way defenseman.

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  • Published On Jul 10, 2013
  • Boston Bruins send Tyler Seguin to Dallas Stars in multiplayer trade

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    Tyler Seguin

    Boston is giving up the former No. 2 overall pick in Tyler Seguin, but may be getting even more in return. (Getty)

    By Allan Muir

    Talk about July 4th fireworks. TSN’s Darren Dreger is reporting that the Boston Bruins and Dallas Stars have completed a multiplayer swap centered around 2010 second-overall pick Tyler Seguin.

    Along with Seguin, versatile forward Rich Peverley and prospect Ryan Button would reportedly head to Dallas.

    Loui Eriksson would be the key get for Boston, with minor leaguers Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser and Joe Morrow also rumored to be part of the deal.

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  • Published On Jul 04, 2013
  • Flyers take a chance, deal for rights to Isles captain Mark Streit

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    Flyers acquire Mark Streit from Islanders

    Acquiring Isles captain Mark Streit could really help the Flyers on power plays. (Justin K. Aller/Getty)

    By Allan Muir

    Facing both a dearth of talent on their blueline and an historically weak free agent crop, the Philadelphia Flyers made a preemptive strike Wednesday. They acquired the rights to New York Islanders defenseman Mark Streit in exchange for a fourth round pick in 2014 and Adirondack Phantoms winger Shane Harper.

    It’s a low-risk/high-reward venture for Philly GM Paul Holmgren, a man with a lot of work ahead of him this summer to rebuild a team that came nowhere close to living up to expectations this season.

    He’s had luck fishing these waters before, paying for the chance to negotiate exclusively with a player before they hit free agency, picking up Kimmo Timonen from the Predators. He’s also come up short, acquiring and then redealing Dan Hamhuis when he could seal a deal before free agency.

    But at this point, it sounds like there’s a deal to be made with Streit, a 35-year-old with extremely low mileage on his tires after just seven years in the NHL.

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  • Published On Jun 13, 2013
  • Trade for goon proves Flames GM Feaster is living in the past

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    The Flames traded for Brian McGrattan when they could have had him for free.

    One dimensional enforcer Brian McGrattan is a relic who won’t fix the flickering Flames. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    At some point, hopefully soon, a good friend of Jay Feaster will pull him aside, show him a calendar and make sure that Calgary’s GM has a firm grasp on the year in which he’s living and working.

    Feaster’s dogged determination to wear Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff down to the wire for a team that has no real chance at the playoffs is enough to make you wonder.

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  • Published On Feb 28, 2013


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