February 28, 2011

Trade Deadline Running Blog

1:07 - The Coyotes trade Scottie Upshall and Sami Lepisto to Columbus for Rostislav Klesla.

Klesla was the last member of the original Columbus Blue Jackets, who came about in 2000-01. He's been out for the last month with knee problems, and has 3 years left on his deal at slightly over $4 million.

Lepisto is a promising young defenseman, and Upshall is a quality checking line winger that Columbus has wanted. The Coyotes were looking for someone who can log minutes and provide a little offense from the blue line. A good hockey trade on both sides, and more importantly one that matches money - which is what the 'Yotes wanted to do.

12:49 - By the way, if rumors are true that Snow is looking for a 2nd round pick for Konopka, if he gets that he should take it and run. Ditto for a 3rd.

12:39 PM - The Atlanta Thrashers have claimed Rob Schremp off waivers from the Islanders. I'll have more on this later in a separate post as it relates to the Isles in a big way.

Washington acquires Dennis Wideman from Florida for a prospect, 3rd round pick: This is a very good deal for the Caps. Wideman has fallen out of favor rather quickly in Florida, and is signed next season for $3.9 million. The prospect is 23-year-old Jake Hauswirth, an undrafted ECHLer. Mike Green is out for now, and this gives the Caps a solid puck mover for their first unit until Green comes back, when they can either shift Wideman to the 2nd unit or have him QB next to Green.

In other waiver claims, Ottawa claimed Curtis McElhinney while Calgary got defenseman Brett Carson. The Carson claim may affect the Isles, as the Flames had been looking for a depth defenseman and were a potential destination for Martinek.

10:43 - FLA trades Radek Dvorak & 5th round pick to ATL for Nik Bergfors & Pat Rissmiller

Interesting return for Bergfors, who has fallen off considerably since his rookie year last season. He had been on the block virtually all year, and in the summer when the Thrashers had some issues in coming to terms on an extension. One would have thought the return for him would be better than a rental and a 5th, but Atlanta essentially had no space for him after getting Blake Wheeler and looking for other forwards all along.

There are a lot of rumors flying around now. with the Thrashers re-signing Mark Stuart for three years, the d-man market now has guys in it such as Ron Hainsey and Johnny Oduya. This affects the Isles' Martinek market a bit.

There were strong rumors about the Canucks being after Zenon Konopka, which is a rumor that has been out there since January, but a source in Vancouver has dispelled than. Daren Dreger of TSN notes that the Ducks may be interested as well.

Still have a hard time believing that Konopka will be dealt. But again, as this deadline has taught us, expect the unexpected.

8:20 AM - Good morning and happy deadline day! As promised, this will serve as the post for the day with thoughts on deals made all around the league. As hockey fans in general, we really love days like this as teams try and improve themselves, or move with an eye towards the future.

The first shot of the final 24 hours was fired by the Ottawa Senators, and NOT through a trade. The team announced they re-signed defenseman Chris Phillips for three years.

This opens up the market for defensive defenseman considerable, as Phillips was the best available when it comes to players like that. Now, guys like the Radek Martinek's of the world become a little more valuable.

Martinek, according to Katie Strang, is getting a lot of interest around the league. Look towards team like the Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks and the Montreal Canadiens as teams that may be making a push for him.

The first trade of the final day came from the Buffalo Sabres, who acquired winger Brad Boyes from the St. Louis Blues for a 2nd round pick.

Before discussing this a bit, for those of you who have listened to us the past two years, you may remember that Sean and I were big fans of Boyes, and despite the Isles recent standing, would have liked him on the roster, signed through next season at $4 million.

The Buffalo Sabres got a new owner in Terry Pegula last week, and although they aren't holding down a playoff spot, were looking to buy. Pegula went as far as to say there were "no financial constraints" (sound familiar?) and thus, gave the go ahead to add Boyes for the low price of a second.

The Isles need to improve up front next season if they are truly serious about making the playoffs. With not many great, realistic options in free agency this summer a guy like Boyes is the type of guy they should be looking to bring in - it's not about this season, but next season. Boyes has struggled with the Blues the past 2 seasons, but has been putting up relatively decent numbers this year on a team devoid at center. Playing with John Tavares could have been a good match.

Good solid move for the Sabres. Meanwhile, we now learned that the Blues are definitely in complete sell mode.



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