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February 28, 2011 :: 9:56pm ET
Deadline Disaster?
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 D-Day.

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 top line.

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 pick.

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 pursuit.

Ok, enough of that. Now on to the fun stuff. Here's a look at what didn't happen/who didn't move:

Florida 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 trigger.

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.

The 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 Hemsky.

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.

The 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.
Follow David Pagnotta on Twitter


 

 

 

Pagnotta Archives:
Feb. 21, 2011 The storm before the storm
Nov. 15, 2010 Light at the end of the tunnel
Nov. 14, 2010 Where there's smoke...
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