AROUND THE RINK is a new weekly hockey segment on the NHL and all of its teams. Every Wednesday we go over what’s new with your favorite teams, your favorite players, as well as the crazy things going on within the National Hockey League.
Boston Bruins: Picked up Brian Rolston and Mike Mottau during the Trade Deadline…..pffffttttt. They should have called Devils GM Lou Lamareillo before going 100 feet of deciding to trade for these guys. Should be interesting if they are in the lineup tomorrow when the Devils come to town.
Buffalo Sabres: Probably the biggest surprise moves of the day, picking up Cody Hodgson and turning Paul Gaustad into a first-round draft pick. Hodgson is going to be a serious asset, after having a pretty decent go in Vancouver. Overall good moves by Buffalo. I’m impressed.
Carolina Hurricanes: No real big activity out of the Hurricanes camp, although they made their moves weeks ago when the traded away Tomas Kaberle and Alex Ponikarovsky. The team is 5-1-4 in their last 10 games, though.
Florida Panthers: Big win last night against a conference foe, the Toronto Maple Leafs. They also picked up Wojtek Wolski, who has had a abismal few years bouncing from Colorado to Phoenix to New York and now to Florida. Wolski is an awesome player, just hasn’t found the right situation yet. Hopefully he can settle down in Florida and finally find his stride.
Montreal Canadiens: Traded away Andre Kostitsyn to the Nashville Predators for draft picks. Not a bad move by a team who needs to stock up on picks if they want to quickly rebuild and jump back into the playoff race next year.
New Jersey Devils: Picking up Marek Zidlicky was a solid move for many reasons. The Devils get another veteran presence on their blue-line and pick up a solid offensive defenseman who was desperate to leave Minnesota. Wouldn’t have given up Kurtis Foster, who I thought was a solid defensemen, but Zidlicky is definitely an upgrade.
New York Islanders: What seemed like a very optimistic situation has finally caught up to the Islanders, as they are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games and have fallen to 14th place in the Eastern Conference. Oh well, theres always next year right Islanders fans?
New York Rangers: Wait, so Rick Nash is not a member of the New York Rangers. Apparently the Rangers offered Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon, T.J. Miller and a pair of draft picks to bring Rick Nash to Madison Square Garden and Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson turned that down? Why? Cause he wanted more. Yes, really.
Ottawa Senators: Here is a fun fact: If Boston loses to the Devils tomorrow night and the Senators beat the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday, the Senators will move into third place in the Eastern Conference…who would have thought we’d be saying that a few months ago?
Philadelphia Flyers: Apparently Pavel Kubina and Nicklas Grossman still can’t fix the Flyers defensive problems. At some point, they’re going to have to look at the goalie and realize that together, Bryzgalov and Bobrovsky have given up the softest goals we have seen from any team all season.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Standing pat is never a bad thing and why would the Penguins do any differently? They have the best player in hockey coming back from injury either the end of this year or next year. How can you assess the team when Sidney Crosby is sitting on the bench?
Tampa Bay Lightning: The Lightning are six points out of a playoff spot…stranger things have happened.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Of all the teams that should have made moves during the Trade Deadline, it should have been the Toronto Maple Leafs. They need help, and are a bubble team for the playoffs this year. On top of that, they’ve been flirting with trading for James van Riemsdyk for weeks now. You’re such a tease, Brian Burke!
Washington Capitals: What an overtime goal by Alexander Ovechkin last night against the New York Islanders. You know, it’s plays like that that make you remember the good old days when Ovechkin would do things like that on a daily basis.
Winnipeg Jets: Only one win away from the 8th seed in the playoffs. Just imagining the noise in Winnipeg when the team makes the playoffs gives me a headache.
Anaheim Ducks- Anaheim chose to stay put. They’ve been charging hard lately with their current group, and didn’t want to rock the boat. With 20 games to go, Anaheim is eight points out of a playoff spot….
Calgary Flames- Calgary made no moves at the deadline, which isn’t surprising. They were unwilling to trade RW Jarome Iginla, C Olli Jokinen or G Miikka Kiprusoff, and there weren’t many other attractive options on the Flames’ roster. Calgary is only three points out of the eighth seed in the Western Conference, and may have not wanted to make any radical changes…
Chicago Blackhawks- They didn’t add a goaltender, but they brought in some blueline help by trading two draft picks, their second and third round picks in the 2013 draft, to Winnipeg in exchange for defenseman Johnny Oduya. Oduya’s not an enforcer type, but he’s got speed to go along with puck moving ability…much like the rest of Chicago’s blueline corps. It’s tough to see the benefits of this deal for the Blackhawks….
Colorado Avalanche- After dealing for Steve Downie (who’s been amazing since joining the Avs; two goals, five assists in four games in Colorado), the Avalanche made a big splash by dealing forwards Daniel Winnik and T.J. Gagliardi to San Jose in exchange for LW Jamie McGinn and prospects Michael Sgarbossa and Mike Connolly. McGinn isn’t an offensive threat, but he’s a good bottom-six power forward who brings grit to the team….
Columbus Blue Jackets- After weeks of speculation, Rick Nash was dealt to….no one. The Blue Jackets chose to hold on to their best player, but they did deal away centers Antoine Vermette and Sami Pahlsson in exchange for a slew of draft picks. They also dealt Jeff Carter to the Kings for D Jack Johnson and a 2012 first round pick. Columbus needs to hit on the next couple drafts, or they’ll be right back where they are now in a few years….
Dallas Stars- On the heels of a four-game winning streak, the Stars chose to maintain their current roster, despite rumors that power forward Steve Ott would be dealt. Speaking of that four-game win streak, check out how Dallas defeated league-leading Vancouver in dramatic fashion for their fourth straight win on Sunday afternoon:
Detroit Red Wings- Detroit, known for its veteran roster, chose to deal away eleven-year veteran Mike Commodore in order to make room for young defensive prospects Jakub Kindl and Brendan Smith. Commodore was dealt to Tampa Bay in exchange for a conditional seventh-round draft choice….
Edmonton Oilers- They dealt away defenseman Tom Gilbert in exchange for Minnesota Wild blueliner Nick Schultz. While they were also expected to deal away forward Ales Hemsky, Edmonton instead chose to sign him to a two-year, $10 million extension….
Los Angeles Kings- They plucked disappointing forward Jeff Carter from the Blue Jackets in exchange for D Jack Johnson and a 2012 first-round draft pick. The Kings are hoping Carter can jump-start their league-worst offense. Also, surprisingly, Los Angeles chose to hold on to backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier despite rumors that he would be dealt. Bernier rewarded the Kings’ retention of him with a 26-save shutout of the Minnesota Wild a day after the trade deadline passed…
Minnesota Wild- They dealt away defensemen Greg Zanon and Nick Schultz. Zanon was sent to the Boston Bruins who sent forward prospect Steve Kampfer to the Wild in return. Schultz was, as stated above, dealt to Edmonton for D Tom Gilbert…
Nashville Predators- They made couple of big moves at the trade deadline, adding power forwards Andrei Kostitsyn and Paul Gaustad. Kostitsyn was obtained from Montreal in exchange for two draft picks, and Gaustad was brought in from Buffalo along with a 2012 4th round choice in exchange for a 2012 first round pick. Both players add grit to the Predators’ lineup, and Kostitsyn will be reunited with his brother, Sergei, possibly igniting chemistry between the two (Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn played with alongside one another in Montreal for three years, from 2007-10)….
Phoenix Coyotes- They were relatively quiet, adding only Antoine Vermette from the Blue Jackets. Phoenix has quietly moved to the top of the Pacific Division standings, and probably didn’t want to do too much to their roster. One guy who Phoenix definitely wasn’t going to trade was goaltender Mike Smith,who absolutely robbed Vancouver LW Daniel Sedin here:
San Jose Sharks- Their biggest acquisition was bringing in defensive-minded forwards T.J. Gagliardi and Daniel Winnik from Colorado. They also shopped G Antti Niemi, but had no takers. San Jose has had trouble defending lately, and hope that Gagliardo and Winnik can provide solid backchecking in their lineup….
St. Louis Blues- As many expected, St. Louis dealt away their top prospect, goaltender and AHL All-Star Ben Bishop. The Blues sent Bishop to Ottawa in exchange for a second round pick in 2013, and that was the only move St. Louis made at the trade deadline….
Vancouver Canucks- Vancouver made the most surprising deal of the deadline, swapping former first round picks with Buffalo. The Canucks sent Cody Hodgson, the 10th overall pick in 2008, to Buffalo in exchange for Zack Kassian, the Sabres first round choice in 2009. Hodgson was a highly skilled offensive player, but Vancouver felt as though he was just another player on a Vancouver team that was brimming with scoring talent. So, they chose to add Kassian, who is less offensively skilled than Hodgson, but plays with a lot of grit and tenacity, an element that many considered missing from the Canucks lineup.