- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy21 mins ago
The NHL Trade Deadline can sometimes feel mechanical and cold. These are names on the transaction wire, additions to rosters. What gets lost is that these are moves that interrupt lives and affect families.
Thanks to Jordyn Leopold, we’ve all been reminded about the human side of the trade deadline.
Jordyn Leopold is the 11-year-old daughter of Jordan Leopold, a defenseman who played for the Columbus Blue Jackets this season. In January, she wrote a letter to the Minnesota Wild front office asking the team to trade for her father, a University of Minnesota product who was born in Golden Valley, Minnesota.
"My dad is very lonely without his family," the letter reads. "We are living in Minnesota right now and I am lost without my dad and so is my mom, my 2 sisters and my brother. My dad is on a team with young guys and is very lonely and is not playing because the Jackets got him because they needed a D-man. I has been since November and we can not take it anymore.
“Please, please, please ask the Jackets if you guys can get him.”
On Monday, they did: The Minnesota Wild traded defenseman Justin Falk and a fifth-round pick for Jordyn Leopold’s dad.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy44 mins ago
3:20 p.m. ET: Sven Baertschi goes from the Calgary Flames to the Vancouver Canucks for a second-round pick, according to TSN. The 22-year old Swiss forward has spent most of this season in the AHL where he's scored eight goals and recorded 21 points in 34 games. He'll reunited with Travis Green, who coached him in Portland. The move won't make Flames Nation happy, as Baertschi showed tremendous scoring ability in junior and is still young. It feels like Calgary is giving up on the forward, feeling he's moved in the wrong direction on their organizational depth chart.
3:10 p.m. ET: The deals keep trickling through: Torrey Mitchell and Joey MacDonald head to the Montreal Canadiens in separate deals. The Pittsburgh Penguins re-acquire Ben Lovejoy from the Anaheim Ducks for Simon Despres. Both players are signed through next season. You might remember Lovejoy from his grossly-swollen face on 24/7 :
3:05 p.m. ET: Willie Mitchell, your thoughts on Glenn Healy:
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy50 mins ago
Former NHL coach Ron Wilson was a panelist on TSN’s NHL Trade Deadline coverage, and dropped a bomb during a discussion of teams throwing their seasons for high draft picks: While coaching in the NHL, he was asked by a former general manager to tank.
Which team and general manager? Wilson left a trail of breadcrumbs that would make Hansel and Gretel blush. The clues:
- It was a team that was a former Stanley Cup finalist. The only time Wilson made the Cup Final was with the Washington Capitals.
- It was a season that had several high-profile injuries that caused the team to struggle, to the point where a tank was considered.
- The player the team drafted “didn’t play in the NHL.”
Our guess: The 1998-99 Washington Capitals.
The Caps made the 1998 Stanley Cup Final, losing four straight to the Detroit Red Wings. The following season, the Capitals saw significant man-games lost from Peter Bondra (limited to 66 games), Sergei Gonchar (a holdout plus an injury cost him 29 games), Adam Oates (59 games) and others. In total, the Capitals had 511 man-games lost to injury that season.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy54 mins ago
Olli Jokinen has played 1,223 games in his NHL career, but has only been involved in six playoff games. That number will increase this spring after the Toronto Maple Leafs dealt him to the St. Louis Blues for a conditional 2016 sixth-round pick 15 days after acquiring him from the Nashville Predators.
The condition, according to Pierre LeBrun, is that the pick becomes a fourth-rounder if the Blues reach the Stanley Cup Final and Jokinen plays.
Jokinen was not a happy camper to be traded to Toronto from the Cup-contending Predators last month.
“Years go by fast. Any year you go in, you always think any team’s got a chance. Maybe I will get lucky one of these days," he said last week.
Jokinen played six games with the Maple Leafs, recording one assist in 14:17 of ice time.Mon, Mar 27:00 PM ESTNashville at NY RangersPreview Game
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
2:57 p.m. ET: The Canadiens got forward Torrey Mitchell just under the deadline from Buffalo, who seems to have gotten rid of all tradeable NHL-ready parts -- except Chris Stewart. The Sabres have tanking down to a science, and they took the Coyotes' deals from a day before and raised the bar. TSN's Darren Dreger indicates it's a prospect and a pick going to Buffalo for Mitchell.
2:56 p.m. ET: Cam Atkinson has re-signed Cam Atkinson for a three-year $3.5 million per-year contract according to the Columbus Dispatch's Aaron Portzline. So four minutes before the deadline, he gets re-signed and goes off the market. To be honest, the Blue Jackets are set up quite nicely for next season, even if this year has been destroyed by injuries for them.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
The last time Michal Neuvirth had a game in which his save percentage was under .900 was Jan. 17, which is a heck of a feat for someone that had the Buffalo Sabres in front of him.
The Sabres clearly had to nip this in the bud if they were going to ensure themselves of either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel, so they traded Neuvirth to the New York Islanders for goalie Chad Johnson and a 2016 conditional third-round pick.
But please, do NOT accuse a team that just traded its second starting goalie this season of attempting to tank.
Neuvirth will play backup to the goalie for whom he was traded in March of last year, when he was dealt from the Washington Capitals to the Buffalo Sabres.
It’s good insurance for the Islanders should something happen to Halak. OK, it’s better insurance than what Chad Johnson was giving them.
Johnson will get a chance to play for the Sabres. "You know there's a possiblity to be traded anywhere," he told TSN. "There's opportunity there. For a guy like myself, that's what you want. You want to be a starter. It's a good situation."
And on the Tank?
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
Ian Cole is on his way to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Robert Bortuzzo and a seventh round pick in 2016.
The Blues are already quite deep on the blueline, while the Penguins are top heavy, but lack a more veteran presence further down on the defense depth chart. Cole could add that. In dealing Bortuzzo, Pittsburgh isn’t giving up a ton. He’s definitely more of the physical variety, who has played just 113 NHL games.
Cole has played 167 contests. So maybe the Blues are trying to get tougher while the Pens want to get more skilled? Seems this way.
On the Milbury scale we give this trade … ONE MILBURY. Seems like both squads got what they wanted.
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MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
The Detroit Red Wings had designs on Toronto Maple Leafs star defenseman Dion Phaneuf at the NHL trade deadline, but only if the Leafs were to assume at least $2 million annually for the next six years on his $49-million contract.
Thankfully for the Red Wings, because they seriously don’t need $5 million of Dion Phaneuf on their cap for six years, the teams couldn’t make the numbers work.
So the Red Wings turned to the New Jersey Devils and traded a conditional 2016 third-round pick for defenseman Marek Zidlicky, who had to waive his no-move for the trade. The Devils retain $1 million of his salary.
Zidlicky is a pending UFA with a $4 million cap hit. He’s a right-handed shot, which coach Mike Babcock coveted. He’s a veteran puck-mover who could find himself on the second pairing, supplanting either Kyle Quincey or Brendan Smith. His best asset might be as a power-play quarterback; his worst asset would be that he can make head-on-desk turnovers at times.
The third rounder becomes a second rounder for the Devils if Detroit makes the Stanley Cup Final.
So, checking the Milbury Scale:
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
The Blackhawks locker room is in disarray because of off-ice issues. Players are fighting for random reasons that have nothing to do with internal discord.
Whatever has caused these rumors or what they mean, Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith has decided to join the chorus of Chicago players spouting off on the issue.
From the twitter feed of Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times:
"There’s so much BS out there, I don’t know where it comes from. ... I don’t know who’s making that crap up."
It’s actually Dan Bernstein of WSCR in Chicago and David Diehl, a former NFL lineman, "making that crap up," Duncan.
From Patrick Sharp a day earlier:
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
1:55 p.m. ET: The Islanders stay active and upgrade their backup goalie spot by nabbing Michal Neuvirth from the Buffalo Sabres for Chad Johnson and a conditional third-round pick in 2016. Tim Murray sees your tank, Don Maloney, and just raised the game. Johnson has struggled in New York, and has posted an .904 even-strength save percentage in 17 starts this season, compared to the .932 ESVP he put up a year ago in Boston. Neuvirth, who was acquired for now-crease partner Jaroslav Halak at last year's deadline, has played well for a tanking Sabres club, recording a .934 ESVP in 27 starts.
1:40 p.m. ET: Another deal goes down with Ian Cole heading from the St. Louis Blues to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Robert Bortuzzo and a 2016 seventh-rounder. Both are set to become UFAs this summer. Bortuzzo will provide some insurance while Zbynek Michalek deals with a concussion. Cole has the better game and could fit in nicely for the Penguins, who were looking to add to their blueline.Mon, Mar 210:00 PM ESTMontreal at San JosePreview Game