Quick note: Brian Rosenbaum is running a trade deadline-related Rotoworld chat between 5-6 p.m. ET on Wednesday. It will be a great way to get instant analysis of that (hopefully?) crazy day’s events if you want to make moves on the fly. Don’t miss it.
If I had to summarize the feeling of the last week-or-so heading into today’s tradeline, it would be this: I hope you didn’t take off work today.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that the 2013 trade deadline has potential to swing a few playoff berths/fantasy titles/passing interests thanks to what happens today. It just so happens that some of the most obvious - if not biggest - movers have already shaken their way out of their respective towns. Which means you can probably settle for sneaking some covert refreshes of Rotoworld at work (and that’s kind of a fun game in itself isn’t it? /Gets you fired).
You probably know all about the departures/arrivals of Jarome Iginla, Jay Bouwmeester, Brenden Morrow and so on from earlier; if not, check out recent articles from the Daily Dose archives to catch up. Plenty happened between Tuesday’s DD and this one, though, so let’s get cracking on the bigger cases.
BOSTON AND JAGR
As I mentioned on Twitter yesterday, one can only imagine the staggering volume of people who made Boston accent jokes involving the Bruins acquiring Jaromir Jagr (Yahhhgahh or something obnoxious like that) ... not to mention all the people who pronounced Jagr in the exact way that inspired the humor, without any sense of irony or jest. However you pronounce the move, it could very well be the B’s remedy for missing out on Jarome Iginla (although I’d say they should eyeball an offensive defenseman like Mark Streit, too).
The big question - beyond the bigger picture issues that come with inserting something of an offensive artiste into a system that demands a lot of hard hat mentalities - is who ends up being the loser in the Bruins’ strong-on-paper top six?
Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand - Tyler Seguin - Patrice Bergeron
CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty believes that Horton will join Rich Peverley on the third line, patiently awaiting the hopeful return of should-be third-line center Chris Kelly (who’s progressing nicely in his injury rehab at the moment).
Of course, things could get much simpler if Bergeron’s mysterious (possible head) injury ends up being something serious. He left Tuesday’s game after a collision with Ottawa Senators player Colin Greening and didn’t come back, with no substantial update since. Hmm.
Either way, it’s hard to shake the feeling that Horton’s days with the Bruins are numbered. The team has a lot of guys locked up to lengthy deals (including some, like Tyler Seguin and Milan Lucic, who are receiving raises) and they also need to either extend Tuukka Rask/Anton Khudobin or find new guys in net.
That all points to the possibility that Horton’s Dr. Seuss pun-inducing antics might take place outside of Boston after this season. Is that enough to justify moving him at the deadline? Probably not, but one can only imagine that the Bruins’ management team has at least discussed it.
Again, I can’t help but wonder if Jagr might have found himself in the wrong environment after delighting in the Jagr-friendly ecosystems that existed with the Philadelphia Flyers and Dallas Stars. While it helps to have countryman David Krejci around* to smooth out the adjustment process, it’s tempting to chuckle at the Odd Couple setup between cerebral scorer Jagr and hard-driving head coach Claude Julien.
(The biggest ace up Jagr’s sleeve is that he’s a noted hard worker in the gym, which is probably a huge reason why people don’t snicker at the idea that he can make an impact at age 40+ like they would regarding just about anyone not named Jagr or Teemu Selanne.)
POWERING THE PLAY
Assuming that the team is able to iron out the wrinkles pretty well, Jagr’s lure is obvious: to improve the Bruins’ power play. The future Hall of Famer left Dallas tied for the team lead with 9 PPPs alongside Jamie Benn and Alex Goligoski. Meanwhile, in Boston, Krejci tops all Bruins skaters with six points on the man advantage.
That’s simply the easiest way of saying that Jagr should help boost what is likely the weakest part of a strong team in Boston. While I think he’ll see a decline in linemates - it’s pretty hard to top playing alongside Claude Giroux and Benn, honestly - he could very well be in a position to get solid +/- numbers and maybe a few GWG’s he might not have seen on a struggling Stars team.
Overall, I think it’s a fabulous move for the Bruins while Jagr takes a step back.
Jump for the impact on Dallas, some quick thoughts on other trades and some other bits from around the league.
* Plus Zdeno Chara’s from Slovakia, which may or may not make him a familiar/friendly face, depending upon how all that occasionally complicated political stuff shakes out.
DEBILITATED IN DALLAS
After a few instances of holding on too long - seriously, they let Brad Richards go for nothing but free cap space? - the Stars finally punted on a season during the trade deadline, dealing Jagr and Derek Roy for picks and prospects.
Honestly, I’m not blown away by the packages they received for that combo; aside from a defensive prospect and the fact that one of the second-round picks could turn into a first, they didn’t seem that much better than what the Buffalo Sabres received for Robyn Regehr. Really, this all comes down to how defensive prospects Kevin Connauton and Joe Morrow (from the Morrow deal) work out.
Right now, however, It’s pretty hard to look at the post-trade Dallas roster as anything less than desolated. They moved their leading scorer (Jagr), a guy who became their fourth-highest scorer (Roy) despite some setbacks and their captain Brenden Morrow for picks and prospects. With no real roster players coming back to the Stars, it’s all about the future, which means it’s time to divest in the team beyond obvious guys like Benn, Loui Eriksson and Ray Whitney.
Could Cody Eakin or Erik Cole get a bump? It’s quite possible, but things look even grimmer than their fading playoff hopes.
THE OTHER ROY
While some will quibble about what the Vancouver Canucks gave up for Derek Roy, I love the move, especially from a real-life standpoint. He’s a genuine second-line center with a lot to prove (and a lot of money to win or lose) in a contract year. I can’t help but wonder if his arrival will justify Roberto Luongo staying around until at least the offseason, since “second-line center” is exactly the type of player the Canucks were reportedly demanding for Bobby Lou. Overall, it might not be a home run for the scoring-needy bunch, but it’s a double that could turn into a triple.
SWINDLED BY SHARKS
Wow, the San Jose Sharks are running a nice course in having their rebuilding cake and eating their still-trying-to-contend cake, too. They turned a beyond-washed-up Michal Handzus into Chicago’s fourth-round pick and then moved enormously over-valued power forward Ryane Clowe to the New York Rangers for one second-round pick, one third-round pick and a conditional second-rounder in 2014. Oh yeah, they also received either two second-rounders or a second-rounder and a third-rounder from the Penguins (depending upon conditions) for Douglas Murray. That's amazing, and the best part is that none of those players seem genuinely important when it comes to their playoff hopes. Outstanding.
(Jon Wold does a better job of summarizing the Sharks’ bouquet of picks.)
As far as Clowe's fit with the Rangers? I'm honestly a little stumped. Do you dislodge speedy, useful winger Carl Hagelin from Derek Stepan's line with Ryan Callahan/Rick Nash? Clowe logically slides into the third line, but will that be OK after they spent so much to rent him? Confounding stuff.
GOOD NEWS/BAD NEWS FOR PENS
So, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ impressive streak came to an end at 15 games, ruining some of the fun from Jarome Iginla’s first goal. (Sidney Crosby’s selfish broken jaw upstaged Iggy’s debut with the team. Why does everyone keep stealing his limelight? Not nice.)
INJURY NOTES (full list) and QUICK HITS
Joni Pitkanen could be out about three months after a nasty icing-related spill. Why does the NHL take a few extras to install the most obvious rules like hybrid icing? Do they think people buy tickets to see a “thrilling” race to touch up every now and then? Sometimes, you guys, sometimes ... Ilya Kovalchuk will remain sidelined for the “near future” but not necessarily the rest of the regular season. So, apparently the end of April isn’t the near future? Hockey math confuses me every now and then ... While I think he still ranks as a diamond in the rough-type and not a fantasy keeper, it’s pretty cool that hockey nerd favorite Frans Nielsen has six points in his last seven games ... You know who’s sneaky good? Anton Khudobin. I wouldn’t be THAT thunderstruck if he ends up pulling a Cam Ward* in this year’s playoffs if Tuukka Rask has a rough go of things ... Sounds like I put the whammy on Matt Cullen. Word is he won’t travel on Minnesota’s next road trip - at least immediately - and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury ... Two guys I hope to see moved for pure entertainment reasons had strong Tuesdays; Keith Yandle scored two goals and Jason Pominville had two assists ... It sounds like Miikka Kiprusoff would be willing to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs if they pay him more money or something. Lovely ... In case I missed it, Ville Leino scored a couple goals during the weekend, so naturally he realized that wasn’t completing his secret job of angering Sabres fans and fantasy owners, so he got hurt again ... Dave Bolland’s day-to-day with a foot injury ... Dustin Penner is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. (Insert he must have dropped one flapjack on the floor-type joke here.) ... T.J. Oshie (foot) was placed on the IR ... Leading Predators goal-scorer Gabriel Bourque is out with an upper-body issue.
* - Take the hockey world by storm, not get hurt at a really inconvenient team for a fringe playoff contender.