3:40 p.m. ET -- Jaroslav Halak to the Washington Capitals. Where does that leave Braden Holtby and Michal Neuvirth? Is one heading to Buffalo?
3:30 p.m. ET -- David Legwand, the first draft pick in Nashville Predators history, has finally moved on. After waiving his no-trade clause, Legwand will go home to Detroit and finish the year with the Red Wings. He grew up there and played junior hockey with Plymouth of the OHL, so you can imagine it was an easy decision to say yes to.
Nashville will receive Patrick Eaves, a prospect and and a third rounder, per TSN's Gord Miller.
The Red Wings were hoping for some center depth and they got it in Legwand. With Pavel Datsyuk banged up and Henrik Zetterberg out until the playoffs, this move should help. Nashville sends a respected veteran off to go attempt to win a Stanley Cup. One Milbury.
Two big deals just before the deadline: Matt Moulson heads to Minnesota and Thomas Vanek has been dealt to the Montreal Canadiens. More on those in a bit.
3:15 p.m. ET -- The Penguins are reportedly close to a move and it's not for Ryan Kesler or Thomas Vanek or Matt Moulson. According to Pierre LeBrun, Pittsburgh is close to landing forward Lee Stempniak from the Phoenix Coyotes. Stempniak has 8 goals and 23 points in 53 games with the Calgary Flames this season.
Speaking of Kesler, it appears he'll be a Canuck through at least this season. According to Elliotte Friedman , Vancouver GM Mike Gillis is done for the day. A Kesler deal will be explored in the off-season. Same goes for Mike Cammalleri, who could get and extension with the Flames.
3:05 p.m. ET -- The Rangers have added to their blue line bringing on pending UFA Raphael Diaz from the Canucks for a fifth rounder. Single Milbury here as the Blueshirts add defensive depth.
3:01 p.m. ET -- The deadline has officially passed, but there still may be some news coming out post 3 p.m. ET as deals could get tied up in the trade call process with Central Registry. Thomas Vanek, Matt Moulson, Ryan Kesler are still with their teams, as we know. Much could change any minute at this point.
One deal announced prior to the deadline was Andrej Meszaros heading to the Boston Bruins from Philadelphia for a third round pick . The Bruins have been looking to fill the void left by Dennis Seidenberg's injury.
Meszaros is a UFA this summer, so it's a low risk, high reward for the Bruins. One Milbury .
As CapGeek points ou t, moving Meszaros out means that the Flyers could add as much as a $6.4 million cap hit for a move. It was reported earlier that Philadelphia was out on Kesler, but could Paul Holmgren just have been waiting to clear some room to bring him on?
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[Author's note: Power rankings are usually three things: Bad, wrong, and boring. You typically know just as well as the authors which teams won what games against who and what it all means, so our moving the Red Wings up four spots or whatever really doesn't tell you anything you didn't know. Who's hot, who's not, who cares? For this reason, we're doing a power ranking of things that are usually not teams. You'll see what I mean.]
6. The Oilers' goaltenders
The Oilers upgraded their goaltending — maybe— by adding Viktor Fasth, making him likely the sixth goaltender Edmonton will use this year (if you remembered Richard Bachman got into three games for them this season, you win nothing).
What's interesting about this is that the Edmonton Oilers are now going to spend $5.2 million against the cap next season on their goaltenders, who carried a combined 81 games of NHL experience into last night's game. Fasth has been hurt all year, and was bad when he was healthy, but Scrivens has been very good in limited looks, and no one should be in any way worried I'm sure that he's on his third organization in like nine months.
Meanwhile, Justin Schultz is their No. 1 defenseman. What could possibly go wrong for these guys in the future?
The problem with this trade deadline, and how tightly packed the middle of each conference's standings are, is that a lot of teams are going to think they're in a position to contend for anything noteworthy when they are, in fact, not.
A good example of this would be the Washington Capitals, currently outside the Eastern Conference playoffs looking in, trading for Dustin Penner. Now, the idea of a fourth-round pick netting you a guy who's the first-line right wing on the team with the most points in the league is of course a very good one, and you can't fault George McPhee for trying to improve his position in this way if that's what he wants to do. The question, though, is why does he want to do it? The Caps have much more pressing concerns (i.e. their defense is atrocious, and their team save percentage could use some work even if Braden Holtby is a good netminder) than a right wing.
Other teams will find themselves in a similar situation: Doing something they don't need to do to maybe eke out six games in the postseason before getting their throats slit by the savages at the top of both conference tables. Imagine, for example, if the Senators make a big move in an attempt to close that three-point gap between themselves and Detroit. They'd play the Penguins and, Pittsburgh's depth issues aside, would find themselves gutted in a week.
At least it's refreshing to see the Canucks acknowledge the reality of things. They traded Luongo, they're probably going to dump Ryan Kesler for futures, and are letting everyone and their friends and family kick the tires on Alex Edler. A team that's on the cusp of the playoffs is running up the white flag, as they should.
4. Being Roberto Luongo
This was an abusive relationship if ever there was one. You have to wonder if Mike Gillis and John Tortorella are getting some kind of perverse joy out of doing this stuff to him. He really is a saint for putting up with all of this and not strangling someone. I guess the $6.7 million he's getting this season buys a lot of personal serenity.
He earned the trip to Florida, even if he has to be runnin' buddies with Tim Thomas. Godspeed, Lu.
3. Looking for something to blame
The Bruins haven't been spectacular in their own end over their last several games, dating back to a time even before the Olympic break. Many people have conjectured that this is due entirely to the fact that Dennis Seidenberg, a solid defensive defenseman if ever there was one, has been injured since late December.
Of course, the Bruins' goals-against average has ballooned during that time by a number far greater than the impact Seidenberg, playing 22 or 23 minutes a night, would have on the game. So what, really, is to blame?
Scott McLaughlin of WEEI.com broke it down and it turns out the answer is what anyone could have guessed: Regression. Tuukka Rask's save percentage from Oct. 3 to Dec. 27, when Seidenberg played his 34 games this season, was .938. Since then, it's .902.
This is obviously a huge drop-off, with the end result being a huge concern among Bruins fans that the team is dead in the water without Seidenberg. They certainly need a defenseman (or perhaps two) before today's deadline, that much is clear, and you might even be able to make the argument that the team is going to give up higher-quality chances without Seidenberg in the lineup. However, Rask's save percentage is still .927 for the season, about 14 points better than the league average.
And here's the interesting part: McLaughlin crunched the numbers and found out that if Rask stopped 92.7 percent of shots he faced for the entire season (which, by the way, is his career average), his GAA with Seidenberg in the lineup would have been 2.21. If it held steady at .927 after the Seidenberg injury, it balloons to... 2.24.
So yes, regression.
This is being written at 3:30 in the afternoon on Tuesday, which is to say that it comes after the flurry of trades that saw, among other things: Dustin Penner go to Washington for a fourth-round pick, that fourth-round pick then being flipped to Dallas for Stephane Robidas, all while the Ducks got two picks for Viktor Fasth and Edmonton flipped Ilya Bryzgalov to Minnesota for a pick of their own.
It was, for about 10 minutes, absolute chaos.
By the time you read this, this could have happened again. Extensions for some guys, like Ryan Callahan, maybe. Trades for others, like Thomas Vanek or everyone on the Sabres, perhaps. And thus anything that might have been written in this space about Ryan Kesler, for example, would almost certainly be null and void by the time it reaches your eyeballs.
Here's safe bet for me to make, though: The Leafs are going to do something stupid.
[Some time later]
I've now had to revisit things, as Roberto Luongo was just traded to Florida. I don't know what to do with any of this.
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The Vent is a column that hands the mic on Puck Daddy over to hockey fans to rant, rave and react to everything in the game. If you have a pitch for an editorial, or have one written, and want it featured on Sunday, email email@example.com with the subject “The Vent.”
by Tim Rosenthal of Bruins Daily
It's a question asked for teams who send their stars to represent their country every four years: will it come back to haunt them come playoff time when they resume their regular seasons.
That question is no different for the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings, both of whom sent 10 players to Sochi in a quest for the gold.
Hindsight suggests that those teams will have an uphill climb with their mindsets set for their chase of the Stanley Cup. But, as many hockey pundits well know, hindsight isn't always perfect.
Case in point: the 2002 Red Wings. The Original Six franchise sent 11 players to Salt Lake City - the most in the league. When the NHL season later resumed, they would later capture their third Cup in six years.
The case can be made against this, too. In 1998, the Colorado Avalanche sent nine players to Nagano - the first time the league sent players to represent their countries - only to come home and suffer a shocking first round exit to the Edmonton Oilers. Shockingly enough, the Red Wings, who won their second straight Cup that year, only sent three players to Nagano (Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan and Nicklas Lidstrom).
Only five members of the Carolina Hurricanes represented their countries in the 2006 games in Torino. Detroit and Colorado sent 10 players overseas that year only to suffer an early exit during the playoffs.
In 2010 Anaheim, Detroit and San Jose each sent eight players. The Sharks went the furthest among those three as they reached the Western Conference Finals - after defeating the Red Wings in five games - only to fall to the Blackhawks, who sent the second most players to Vancouver (six). Now, here we are in 2014 where the Blackahwks are looking to repeat as Cup champs for the first time since the 1997-98 Red Wings.
History aside, do the two teams think that the Olympics will affect them when play resumes? Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp, a two time Stanley Cup champion and a member of the Canadian gold medal winning team in Sochi, doesn’t think so.
Here’s what Sharp had to say in an interview with 670 The Score after the announcement of the Canadian Olympic team (via Nina Falcone of CSN Chicago ):
"I don't expect a burnout just because we have 10 guys going to the Olympics," Sharp said. "I think it's just gonna make us stronger.
"These are players that show up to training camp every season in great shape, we all care about our jobs and want to get better every season. That's all about being a pro. That's why I think the Hawks have been a good team for a long time. We're always trying to get better as an individual, as a team, and that filters through the team."
Unlike years past, the Red Wings are struggling to gain consistency during their first year in the Eastern Conference. But, before they sent their 10 stars, head coach Mike Babcock, who also was Team Canada’s bench boss in Sochi, felt that his Wings will be re-energized when play resumes in “HockeyTown”.
From Ansar Khan of MLive.com after the Red Wings’ last game before the Olympic break in Tampa:
“I think when you go to the Olympics you come back energized,” Babcock said. “I don’t buy into the theory you come back worn out. You get to play with the best players in the world in the most spectacular event that there is in sports.”
Much remains to be seen for the rest of the 2013-14 season, and whether or not the Blackhawks or Red Wings will feel burdened by the Olympics or overjoyed with a summer of Stanley at seasons end. One thing is certain, however, that this argument has both sides to the story covered already.
by Tim Rosenthal of Bruins Daily
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