This year’s NHL trade deadline was notable for three factors: a lack of deals involving big-name talent, a decline in the number of trades for the second straight year and several deals which were actual “hockey trades” – the swap of NHL players – among the usual salary-dumping moves.
Despite the slow pace of deadline day and the low number of trades, GMs were busy trying to work out deals to help their respective clubs.
Details emerged following the deadline regarding a late offer from the New York Rangers to the Columbus Blue Jackets for right winger Rick Nash, reportedly adding prospect J.T. Miller to a package believed to contain left winger Brandon Dubinsky, prospects Tim Erixon and Christian Thomas, and a first round pick.
Jackets management, however, was rumored to be seeking a good young roster defenseman (either Ryan McDonagh or Michael Del Zotto), center Derek Stepan or left winger Carl Hagelin, left wing Brandon Dubinsky and highly touted prospect winger Chris Kreider.
Rangers GM Glen Sather likes Nash, but said he didn’t want to make a deal which would “dismantle the organization.”
Sharks try to catch JVR
ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun reported San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson made a late pitch for Nash, but balked at the Jackets’ request for sophomore center Logan Couture as part of the deal.
Wilson was also rumored to have offered up goaltender Antti Niemi for Philadelphia Flyers left winger James van Riemsdyk.
Niemi has struggled recently, incurring the post-game wrath of coach Todd McLellan for his poor performance in a 6-5 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning Feb. 16.
Still, it would’ve been an extreme move by Wilson to offer up his starting goalie for a young winger, thus leaving his goaltending in the hands of backup Thomas Greiss (who’s untested in playoff action) and third-stringer Antero Niittymaki.
Other Deadline Day Rumblings
LeBrun also reported the Vancouver Canucks were very interested in Dallas Stars gritty left winger Steve Ott, but an offer of left winger Mason Raymond wasn’t enough to convince Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk to part with the agitator.
The Maple Leafs were also reportedly offered first round picks for center Mikhail Grabovski, defenseman Luke Schenn, right wing Nikolai Kulemin and left wing Clarke MacArthur, but GM Brian Burke passed.
Burke also received calls about promising blueliner Jake Gardiner, but swiftly rejected those enquiries.
Several players thought to be available failed to attract interest at the deadline.
The Carolina Hurricanes received no calls for defenseman Bryan Allen, due to his unrestricted free agent status, no-trade clause and the Hurricanes’ desire to re-sign him.
No takers emerged for Edmonton Oilers netminder Nikolai Khabibulin, likely due to his nagging groin injury.
CSNPhilly.com reported of some interest in Flyers pending UFA defenseman Matt Carle leading up to deadline day, but his name never came up on Monday.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and Kukla’s Korner.