Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Winners and Losers on Deadline Day

As usual, a slow deadline day picked up the pace in the waining minutes and almost hit the annual average of 25 trades with 22 moves. Nothing earth shattering, some bigger than others, the majority, meaningless. I'd like to go team by team and evaluate their activity or inactivity, and the success or failure of those moves. Was thinking about giving letter grades, but will just go collegiate style and go pass/fail.

Starting from back to front...

Washington Capitals - Fail. For not suring up the D, and the goaltending. Nylander must have drawn some interest, to pull in a top four D-man.

Vancouver Canucks - Pass. Again, no transactions. Again, a good move for the post. The team is really starting to gel, and Martin likely wanted too many solid roster players to make Bouwmeester worth it.

Toronto Maple Leafs - Pass. Burke picks up some picks, (mostly 2nd Round), too many goalies, and sheds some deadwood. Will be very active this summer in the draft and on the first of July.

Tampa Bay Lightning - Flunk. Flunkies couldn't peddle off any of their ridiculous contracts, but really are no worse, or better than they were yesterday.

St. Louis Blues - Fail, but essentially Pass. Didn't do anything to help their chances this season, and instead look to the future, smart move.

San Jose Sharks - Pass. Pick up Moen and Huskins from the Ducks and add some depth and grit to their lineup. Didn't tinker too much with what seems to be working.

Pittsburgh Penguins - Pass. Essentially for the pickup of Kunitz, the shedding of Whitney, and we'll see if Guerin adds anything. I'm thinking not so much. Think of Billy's time with the Sharks.

Phoenix Coyotes - Pass. In an attempt to shed payroll, they actually picked up some good assets in return. Upshall for Carcillo is lopsided favorably for the Dogs, as is Kalinin/Dawes/Prucha for Morris. The big move of the day was dropping underachieving Jokinen for two solid role players in Lombardi and Prust.

Philadelphia Flyers - Fail, in a way. I'm not really getting the Carcillo pickup, or rather the Upshall drop. Scottie hasn't been playing as well as he can, but he's still a better asset than Carcillo. No moves to shore up goaltending, but with the amount they're giving Biron, he should be the guy. Would have liked to see Bryzgalov in black and orange, but essentially the move to make was no moves.

Ottawa Senators - Pass, I guess. Well for blowing it up Murray didn't use much explosive. Picked up Leclaire but that's not going to do much to alleviate concerns between the pipes.

New York Rangers - Fail. The best thing Sather did was hire Tortorella. Avery's presence makes you hate a team, that was very vanilla, and hard to hate. Morris and Antropov do not make this team a contender, and neither does Avery.

New York Islanders - Pass. Just accumulate those picks. Would have rathered to see a 1st Rounder as opposed to all those 2nd's, but hey, lets rebuild with what we've got.

New Jersey Devils - Pass. Lou's only move was grabbing Havelid from Atlanta pre-deadline. Lou is all-knowing and omnipresent, I will not question him, and would not mess with that team.

Nashville Predators - Pass with no transactions. Probably figured they couldn't afford to bring anyone else in, and they're playing some good hockey with the roster they've got. A berth would be suprising, but definetely achievable, but if they miss, they've done so much with so little for years.

Montreal Canadiens - Fail. Schneider helps the PP, but depth at center is shallow, and that should have been addressed, especially with Lang out. You can blame either that or goaltending when the Centennials get knocked out.

Minnesota Wild - Fail. Gaborik is not coming back. You will lose him to FA in the summer. Someone had to be dumb enough to take him if he was offered. Best move was keeping Backstrom in the fold.

LA Kings - Pass. Didn't give up any of the future, and picked up Williams from Carolina. Well, at least he's got a ring.

Florida Panthers - Pass for their inactivity. Tried to shop Bouwmeester but couldn't get the ridiculous package Martin wanted to let him go. Keep him, make the playoffs, make a good showing, and try to intimidate his timid ass to re-sign before he knows what he could get after July.

Edmonton Oilers - Pass. Didn't give up any more than what they were willing to, and picked up Kotalik and O'Sullivan. Change of scenery is good sometimes.

Detroit Red Wings - Fail. Its as hard to question Holland as it is Lamoriello, but goaltending should have been remedied. Wasn't. Not that there was a lot out there to be had, but you know Holland could have swindled someone out of a #1. This will be the reason the Wings don't repeat.

Dallas Stars - Pass, I guess. When all else fails, blame Sean Avery. Picking up Morrison to replace Richards is like using a dummy to get in the carpool lane, it's not going to get you anywhere. But in the end, I don't know who you go after to make sure you get into the playoffs. Chalk it up to a bad start. Or having Assistant GM's named Brett Hull.

Columbus Blue Jackets - Pass for doing something by picking up Vermette. Fail for not getting a center for Nash. Playoffs, but no more than that.

Colorado Avalanche - Fail. Should have cut more payroll, but did get a 2nd Rounder in the upcoming draft. Rebuild time.

Chicago Blackhawks - Pass. Sami Pahlsson is a big defensive pickup for a team that is very much offense.

Calgary Flames - Pass. And probably the big winner in the sweepstakes, but that all depends on how these pickups perform. Olli Jokinen is the biggest name to be moved, and Keenan supposedly has a good relationship from Florida, if that's possible. Leopold returns for another tour.

Carolina Hurricanes - Fail. Got Erik Cole back, so this therefore makes Staal happy and play better. No postseason, again.

Buffalo Sabres - Pass. Dominic Moore deserves more credit that he's been getting, and will fit in nicely in Lindy's style. Lalime has sucked, so bring in Tellqvist because Miller's out until April (at the very least, I'm betting), and he's somehow you're only shot at making the post.

Boston Bruins - Pass. Did very well for themselves without blowing up the roster. Montador adds depth to the D, and will pair up with Hnidy who played together in Anaheim. Recchi always seems to help your chances, so why not.

Atlanta Thrashers - Fail. What could they do? Nothing. What did they do? Gave up Christensen for someone I've never heard of. Hossa who? If Waddell did nothing, he would have done better than what he's done the past two years. Somebody shitcan his ass, or close up shop in Atlanta, the rest of us can't even look at you anymore.

Anaheim Ducks - Sell! Sell! Sell! Fail! Fail! Fail! Did I miss something here? I mean I know Burke left but does that mean the sky is falling in? Kunitz gone, Pahlsson gone, Moen gone, Montador, Huskins, and Morrison too. Who's left? Oh the two carrots you were dangling in front of everyone, Pronger (almost certainly gone this summer), and Scott Niedermayer. I've never seen a team who's still in the mix for the postseason sell off their roster like this. That insider trading must be worse that the Federal Trade Commission figured.

Bottom line, big Winners... San Jose, Boston, Chicago, and Calgary.

Big Losers... Anaheim, Carolina, Minnesota, Montreal.

Inactivity will bite these teams in the ass... Washington, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Montreal, Detroit.

Anaheim, with its overactive bladder, will have this team wet in the front and missing the post.

We'll see how it all turns out in the next few weeks.

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