In order for a trade-deadline deal to matter in fantasy leagues, you have to have an impact player going one way and nothing NHL-ready coming back. We saw very little of that Tuesday, so in that respect the deadline was a bit of a dud. Most of the deals involved depth players and backup goalies. There's a name for depth players in fantasy leagues. They're called "free agents." The Brad Richards and Marian Hossa deals were justifiable headline grabbers, but Jussi Jokinen replaces Richards as a top six forward in Tampa Bay and the Thrashers have Colby Armstrong and Erik Christensen to fill their gaps. We likely won't see any call-ups make a splash as a result of any of these deals, and that's where the real fun is. Anyway we'll run down the deals that did matter and a few other odds and ends in this week's Skinny …
MID-WEEK UPDATE: Need-to-know info from the past few days
Things to do ASAP: There's no arguing this fact: The trade deadline had the biggest impact – and we're talking fantasy here, people – on a pair of goalies who as of Sunday were fairly widely available in Yahoo! leagues. Carey Price (available in about 66 percent of leagues) is now the undisputed No. 1 in Montreal after Cristobal Huet was traded to Washington. The Canadiens have obviously had some success with rookie goalies over the years, and maybe it's a stroke of genius that in handing controls to the rookie, Montreal left him with a backup (Jaroslav Halak) who actually has less NHL experience. Price shouldn't have to look over his shoulder unless things go really south. The second substantial upgrade goes to Mike Smith, who is the new No. 1 in Tampa Bay. You'll find him available in about 82 percent of Yahoo! leagues (again, as of Sunday). He's in a slightly stickier spot in that Lightning coach John Tortorella has had his moments with goalies and Tampa likely still wants to see exactly what they've got in Kari Ramo. Still, Smith deserves a roster spot in all fantasy leagues.
Up front Buffalo's acquisition of Sharks forward Steve Bernier has some intrigue. The 16th overall pick in 2003 hasn't been much of a fantasy factor over the years, save his promising run as a member of San Jose's Heavyweight Line (Bernier-Patrick Marleau-Milan Michalek). Sounds like he'll get a shot with the Sabres. According to the Buffalo News, Bernier will start on the No. 1 line alongside Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek. He'll be inserted on the No. 2 power-play unit as well. Of course coach Lindy Ruff said, "We'll see how it goes," so consider this an audition. If Bernier can establish consistency, something that was lacking in California, he'll make a solid No. 2 right wing pickup for the stretch run.
Forget what I said about: Ryan Carter remains an exciting prospect, but last week's stock-rising center is now on injured reserve. A fractured wrist pretty much ends his fantasy relevance this season.
One-timers: Dallas left wing Loui Erickson has five goals in three games to almost double his season output. … Jaroslav Spacek has nine points in his last 10 games and is now Buffalo's top gun from the blueline. … Avs left wing Ryan Smyth had his first multi-point game since mid-December Tuesday. … Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa has six shots and six penalty minutes in two games since returning to action. … Peter Harrold scored his first NHL goal for the Kings Feb. 23. He had 43 points in 49 games in the AHL this season.
BARGAIN BIN: Top player available in 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues
Jeff Carter, C, Phi – The Flyers need more from Carter now that Mike Richards is sidelined for the better part of a month with a hamstring tear. Carter played 26 minutes and picked up a goal in six shots in the Flyers' much-needed 4-3 win Monday.
MARKET MOVERS: Charting player values
Peter Forsberg , C, Col – Had to love all the "Flip Floppa" headlines out there. The upside is that Forsberg signed and, according to the Denver Post, could play as early as Saturday. The downside is that nobody, Forsberg included, has any idea how his foot will respond to the rigors of an NHL stretch drive. Still, it's just too intriguing to not give him a shot, huh?
Jussi Jokinen , LW, TB – He'll start Wednesday on a line with Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis. If you're going to get traded, this is the type of situation you want to land in. Though maybe better known as a shootout specialist with the Stars, he also racked up 31 power-play points as a rookie.
Bryan Little, C, Atl – Recalled after the trade deadline, Little logged about 14 minutes of ice time and saw some power-play duty in a 5-1 loss to Montreal. Pieces are coming back from Pittsburgh, of course, but this might be the time for the Thrash to just plug Little in and see what they've got.
Tuomo Ruutu, LW, Car – In his debut with the Hurricanes, Ruutu saw about 15 minutes of second-line ice time and picked up an assist and two penalty minutes. That's about what you can expect here, a point every-other game and a little agitation mixed in. At the left wing position, that can be relevant.
Jason Williams, RW, Chi – In three games since returning from a sports hernia, Williams has a goal, an assist, two penalty minutes and is a plus-2. No movement at the trade deadline, so he'll have a shot at building on that solid start (19 points in 20 games).
Sergei Fedorov, C, Was – Much is being made of a Fedorov-Alexander Ovechkin pairing, but for now coach Bruce Boudreau, according to the Washington Post, is saying he won't break up Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. That could leave Fedorov centering Alexander Semin, which has promise. Then again, having Rick Nash on your roster is promising, too.
Patrick O'Sullivan, C, LA – He's a part of one of the league's hotter lines right now, and the results have been eye-opening: 10 points in seven games and clicking with Alexander Frolov and Michael Cammalleri.
Alexander Edler , D, Van – The last five games have seen Edler record four goals, an assist and six penalty minutes. He's a plus-4 in the span.
Darcy Tucker, RW, Tor – Last week's bargain bin player remains on the upswing. Tucker had two goals and an assist in that feel-good Maple Leafs win that followed Mats Sundin NTC announcement. Tucker now has eight goals in his last nine games.
Marc-Andre Bergeron, D, Ana – Debated giving him a short-term upgrade with Chris Pronger possibly missing two games with a jaw injury, but long-term he's now just a depth guy on an Anaheim team now loaded with responsible defensemen.
Yahoo! Friends and Family League
I lucked into Carey Price before the trade deadline, so my chances of making up the 3.5 points I need to catch leader Rotowire-Maingot just got a little better. No deadline transactions in this league, but recent moves involve Patrick Lalime, Brent Seabrook, Joe Sakic, Ryan Malone and Ryan Suter.