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PHT’s Top 10 trade deadline storylines

Feb 27, 2012, 7:01 PM EDT

Rick Nash AP

The 2011-12 NHL trade deadline has come and gone. Here are the top 10 storylines to emerge from it:

Columbus doesn’t deal Rick Nash (and Scott Howson steals the spotlight)

First, the Jackets GM reportedly turned down the Rangers’ offer of Brandon Dubinsky, three prospects and a first-round pick. Then — in an unprecedented move — Howson threw the Blue Jackets captain under the bus by saying it was Nash that asked Columbus for a trade, not the other way around. Good times in Ohio!

Vancouver, Buffalo swap first-round picks

On a deadline day that was defined by moderation, the Sabres and Canucks were two notable exceptions. Both teams rolled the dice by exchanging highly touted youngsters – F Cody Hodgson went to Buffalo (with Alexander Sulzer) in return for F Zack Kassian and D Marc-Andre Gragnani. The Sabres received the best NHL player today, which is odd considering it’s the Canucks that are the Cup contenders. However, it’s possible Vancouver ends up getting two impact players for the price of one.

No blockbusters

The biggest deal happened before the deadline, when L.A. acquired Jeff Carter for Jack Johnson and a 2012 first-round pick. After that, things got awfully quiet. Big names rumored to be in play (Nash, Dustin Brown, Tomas Plekanec and Derek Roy) stayed put and phrases like “the Johnny Oduya sweepstakes” started popping up, which is never a good sign.

Motor City silence

If Detroit falls short in the playoffs, Red Wings fans might look back at the deadline and wonder why GM Ken Holland wasn’t more aggressive. Here’s his explanation after doing nothing more than ship out Mike Commodore: “There wasn’t a fit. We tried to do a couple of moves, but either our (draft) picks weren’t high enough because our team is high in the standings, or we didn’t have the young players (other teams wanted).”

Nashville goes for broke

There was heat on GM David Poile to show his players — specifically Shea Weber and impeding UFA Ryan Suter — that Nashville was serious about contending for the Stanley Cup. Well, mission accomplished. Poile paid a big price to rent Paul Gaustad, Andrei Kostitsyn and Hal Gill for a couple of months.

A lack of action

Only 32 players were traded today, the fewest on a deadline since 2000 (23). When all was said and done, the glut of bubble teams meant a dearth of assets being sold for cheap. Of course, you could argue whether some of those bubble teams are actually on the bubble, but there’s something noble about never saying never.

Boston adds depth, experience

The Bruins needed bodies given injuries to Nathan Horton, Rich Peverley and Johnny Boychuk. But Peter Chiarelli wasn’t prepared to pay large, so he scored three veteran NHLers — Brian Rolston, Mike Mottau and Greg Zanon — without giving up any draft picks or full-time roster players. Not the deadline’s flashiest moves, but ones that could be crucial for Boston’s Stanley Cup defense.

Goalies problems go unsolved

Toronto, Philadelphia and Chicago each went into the trade deadline with goaltending concerns, yet neither did anything about it. In fact, no goalies were traded today. To be fair, there weren’t many temporary solutions available. The Islanders didn’t want to give up Nabokov and a general manager would have to be pretty desperate to go after Edmonton’s Nikolai Khabibulin. Josh Harding was a possibility, but he hasn’t been very good since Christmas.

Washington stands pat

GM George McPhee’s silence was deafening, especially with his team fighting for the playoffs. (Or in Roman Harmlik’s case, fighting with the coach.) Many expected McPhee to get some help at center to replace the injured Nicklas Backstrom, or to move one of his eight healthy defensemen…but neither move happened. In fact, no moves happened. A strange day all around.

Expiring assets

The pressure will be on for GMs like Jim Rutherford (Hurricanes) and Garth Snow (Islanders) to re-sign their pending UFAs that weren’t dealt at the deadline. Despite their teams’ slim playoff hopes, Rutherford didn’t trade defensemen Bryan Allen and Jaroslav Spacek while Snow held on to forward P.A. Parenteau and goalie Evgeni Nabokov. If those guys walk for nothing on July 1, it won’t look good.


PHT’s NHL Trade Deadline Tracker

  1. bcisleman - Feb 27, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    I am confident that Nabby, PA, & Montoya will be re-signed before July. Ironically, some Isles fans think Garth should have drafted Hodgson instead of Bailey in 2008 and some thought he should have selected Kassian in lieu of De Haan in 2009. Moving Rolston & Mottau out (Caveat Emptor, btw) and the two AHL prospects in gives Isles the roster spaces on the big team and the depth on the AHL affiliate to move De Haan and others onto the Islander roster.

  2. taytay099 - Feb 27, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Scott Howson is an idiot. Rick Nash has been the best player for his team for his whole career. Then his dumbass GM calls him out and says that Nash asked for a trade. No way to treat your players.. especially to a guy like Nash who is a fan favorite and been helping grow hockey in Columbus for his whole career.

    Don’t even get me started on that Hodgson trade. The Canucks rely on talent so why trade a supremely talented young rookie for a big unproven forward? I hate this trade. The Canucks were 1 game short of the cup playing their style so why try and trade for a large guy like Kassian? He doesn’t really fit the Canucks style. I hope I’m wrong about this trade.

  3. stakex - Feb 27, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    The biggest shock is absolutely no moves from Washington. They are still very much in the playoff hunt, so it would have made sense for them to at least try to patch some of their holes that have seemed quite large of late.

    • danphipps01 - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:15 PM

      Doubly so when you consider how Hunter’s relationship with several of the players is nothing short of poisonous. One sort of figures Hamrlik in particular would’ve been traded somewhere.

  4. crazemastercraze - Feb 27, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    as i said in a prior post, most anticlimactic deadline EVER!!!!!

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Feb 27, 2012 at 11:36 PM

      You can thank all the media-types for the hype. Every possible name and trade combination was tossed out there. Even the huge trades seem somewhat anti-climactic, unless it’s someone who made an even bigger splash than was expected, e.g. Roloson in Tampa last year.

  5. buffalomafia - Feb 27, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    Buffalo gives away there only fighter for another small player!

    Pegula doesn’t know crap about hockey!

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Feb 27, 2012 at 11:39 PM

      If there’s a downside to that trade, that is it. With both Gaustad and Kassian gone, who will defend poor Ryan Miller?…whoops, I forgot. No one did before either. Nevermind.

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