February 28, 2011 :: 9:56pm ET
TFP Editor-in-Chief David Pagnotta recaps the deals that didn't happen
on Trade Deadline Day.
TORONTO, ON -- The NHL trade deadline,
circa 2011, has come and gone. There was plenty of talk (and tweeting), and more than
enough speculation (and tweeting), but at the end of the day,
Ales Hemsky went to...
Brad Richards ended up going to... Scott Gomez is now
a... Zach Bogosian was shipped to...
Dustin Penner is a King!!
What a bust, right? Well, not exactly.
A total of 16 deals were completed today -- the fewest since the
lockout -- and while that's a far cry from the 31 moves we saw last
year, we have to keep in mind that last season's Olympic roster freeze
kept teams from making deals in the days and weeks leading up the
No, Hemsky, Richards and Tomas Vokoun
weren't traded, but the deadline period was certainly an exciting one.
The Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Colorado Avalanche pulled
the trigger on their deals well before the deadline (how selfish of
them, not allowing fans to go bonkers by waiting a few extra days!).
Perhaps, if Tomas Kaberle, Francois Beauchemin, Joffrey Lupul, Chris
Stewart, Kevin Shattenkirk and Erik Johnson were dealt today, everyone
wouldn't be spazzing out. But how exciting was it to talk about those
moves as we inched closer to the actual deadline?
Over-hyped? Maybe. But after speaking with several team executives
during the day and shortly after the deadline had passed, most agreed
that the lack of activity was primarily due to so many teams still in
the playoff race.
Let's get one thing straight: teams tried to make moves. But with only
six or seven clear-cut sellers out there, it proved too difficult and
many clubs backed off. In fact, one GM, who ended up making a move,
said the rest of his day was "fairly quiet."
Before I dive into the deals that didn't happen -- or, more
accurately, the players that weren't traded (too tired to press
backspace) -- please allow me to discuss some of the deals that
actually went down.
First off, I really like the Penner trade... for both clubs. Los
Angeles would have loved to have added Hemsky, and Kings GM Dean
Lombardi started to inquire about both players over the last few days,
but the addition of Penner is a solid one.
The Kings needed a scorer, and with a lot of bodies on the right side,
the addition of an offensive left winger will really get their offense
going. Penner's expected to jump right in with Anze Kopitar on LA's
The price for Penner was high, but the fact that the Kings didn't part
with Brayden Schenn OR Wayne Simmonds gets Lombardi a few extra
brownie points. Granted, Penner's price tag wasn't as high as Hemsky's
(Simmonds would have certainly been going the other way), the Kings
still handed Edmonton a solid prospect in Colten Teubert (a strong,
reliable No.3-4 defenseman), a first-round pick and another draft
In Washington, the Capitals added some
much needed depth on the blueline by acquiring Dennis Wideman,
especially with Mike Green reportedly out for the next three weeks,
while the addition of veteran Jason Arnott should pay big dividends
going into the playoffs. Capitals GM George McPhee paid a high price
for Arnott, but he's hoping the Stanley Cup champion's experience will
rub off on some of the Caps' other stars.
The Phoenix Coyotes needed a reliable body in the backend and
Rostislav Klesla should return from his knee injury and make an
immediate impact. The Blue Jackets were shopping Klesla for some time,
with the Montreal Canadiens being one of the other teams in hot
Ok, enough of that. Now on to the fun stuff. Here's a look at what
didn't happen/who didn't move:
Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun attracted some interest from a
few teams, but I'm not not significant offers were presented to
Panthers GM Dale Tallon. Vokoun is in the final year of his contract
and it doesn't look like he'll be returning next season. One team made
a last minute offer, but wasn't nearly enough for Tallon to pull the
Vokoun wasn't the only Panther that wasn't traded to garner some
interest. Left wing David Booth also received plenty of
attention, but the asking price was too steep and his salary appeared
too high for most teams. Stephen Weiss, meanwhile, was never asked to
waive his no-trade clause.
asking price for John-Michael Liles, of the Colorado Avalanche, wasn't unreasonable, but several
teams balked, including the Columbus Blue Jackets and Buffalo Sabres.
The Maple Leafs jumped out of the equation over the weekend. Liles was
glad he wasn't dealt, but you've got to wonder how he can survive
another season of trade rumors. This guy has been the subject of more
"he'll be moved" reports around the trade deadline season than anyone
else in the NHL (sorry, Spezza, you lose). For now, and for the rest
of the season, he's still an Avalanche. And so is Paul Stastny.
While I bring up Jason Spezza, I might as well discuss some of
the chatter surrounding him. Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray admitted
to receiving "several inquiries" for Spezza, but wouldn't elaborate.
The Canadiens and Nashville Predators were two of the teams to have "inquired" over the last
few days, but that wasn't going to happen as long as Scott Gomez
was still on the roster.
Speaking of G-Money, despite numerous links to St. Louis, Phoenix and
Nashville, the Habs stopped exploring that possibility fairly early on. A source close to Gomez
dismissed the reports and told me "he loves the city
and wants to stay." For now, he got his wish... as did Andrei
Kostitsyn and Yannick Weber. Both players were reportedly
being dangled as trade bait as Canadiens GM Pierre
Gauthier tried to make a big move to obtain a top-line forward. The Habs lost out of Penner
(though, one of my highlights was the fake Nick Kypreos, of
Sportsnet, twitter accounts claiming a deal to Montreal was done...
whoever made that faked out a crap load of people. No word yet on
whether Kyper dropped the F-bomb after seeing that) and weren't going to pay the asking price on
Toronto Maple Leafs standout Clarke MacArthur wasn't close to
being moved, despite several calls and offers coming GM Brian Burke's
way. The two sides will work on a new contract throughout the rest of
the season and have plenty of time to iron out details. Teams also
called about center Mikhail Grabovski, but it did not appear as
if there was something worth considering for Toronto, who would have
liked to trade netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
Brad Richards. Okay, let me get this over with. Nothing
happened. Nothing came close. Same goes for Bogosian.
wildness news I came across revolved around the Capitals and sniper
Alexander Semin. I still don't understand why the Capitals would
consider moving him, and perhaps they really didn't, but two separate
league people, both very much in the know, told me if the right deal
presented itself, McPhee would consider pulling the trigger. Once this
got out, though, several bogus claims popped up. The Capitals weren't
close to moving Semin, nor did they receive or make any formal offers for
him. The additions of Wideman and Arnott pretty much cancelled out any
more activity from D.C.
In the coming days, we'll find out more and more over who could've
gone where and which team tried to trade what player. But, at the end
of the day, it really doesn't matter. It's over. This year's D-Day
might not have been the big, uber-sexy deadline we've witnessed in
back-to-back-to-back years, but that just means we'll have a lot more
to look forward to next year. Right?
David Pagnotta is the Editor-in-Chief of The Fourth Period Magazine.
His columns appear every weekly on TFP.