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Screen Shots: Grading each team at the deadline

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Well, trade deadline madness is finally over for another year. If that disappoints you, just remember there’s only 118 days until the start of unrestricted free agency!

For everybody else, here’s a breakdown of all 30 teams’ trade deadline activity (or absence thereof), and a grade for each team. Included as part of the grade are a few notable deals (and waiver wire pickups) that went down before March 4 as well.


Additions: Ryan Whitney, D (Pittsburgh); Petteri Nokelainen, C (Boston); Erik Christensen, LW (Atlanta); James Wisniewski, D (Chicago); Nick Bonino, RW (San Jose); Timo Pielmeier, G (San Jose); 2009 conditional draft pick (San Jose)

Deletions: Chris Kunitz, LW (Pittsburgh); Eric Tangradi, LW (Pittsburgh); Brendan Morrison, C (Dallas); Steve Montador, D (Boston); Eric O’Dell, C (Atlanta); Sami Pahlsson, C (Chicago); Kent Huskins, D (San Jose); Travis Moen, LW (San Jose)

Bottom Line: Ducks GM Bob Murray dismantled much of his roster in the name of fiscal prudence; all things considered, he didn’t do half bad when he got a few role players and prospects for guys off the NHL roster. I’d say the Whitney deal was a home run, but to hell with baseball analogies – let’s call it a shootout winner instead.



Additions: 2009 second round draft pick (Montreal); 2010 third round draft pick, (Montreal); Anssi Salmela, D (New Jersey); Eric O’Dell, C (Anaheim)

Deletions: Mathieu Schneider, D (Montreal); Niclas Havelid, D (New Jersey); Myles Stoesz, LW (New Jersey); Erik Christensen, LW (Anaheim)

Bottom Line: The Thrashers should’ve traded Ilya Kovalchuk while they could still surprise people. Now they’ll be looking at a Marian Gaborik type situation next season. A few prospects may help, but not as much as a clear ownership picture and a new philosopher to run the hockey operations side.



Additions: Steve Montador, D (Anaheim); Mark Recchi, RW (Tampa Bay); 2010 second round pick (Tampa Bay)

Deletions: Petteri Nokelainen, C (Anaheim); Matt Lashoff, D (Tampa Bay); Martins Karsums, RW (Tampa Bay)

Bottom Line: The Bruins added some veteran depth for their Cup run and didn’t pay an exorbitant price to do so. Both Recchi and Montador are free agents this summer, which will make life easier for GM Peter Chiarelli when he attempts to re-sign Boston’s plethora of free agents.



Additions: Mikael Tellqvist, G (Phoenix); Dominic Moore, C (Toronto); 2009 second round draft pick (Edmonton)

Deletions: 2009 fourth round draft pick (Phoenix); 2009 second round draft pick (Toronto); Ales Kotalik, RW (Edmonton)

Bottom Line: Sabres management knew it had to (a) acquire goaltending insurance for the playoff drive and (b) bulk up at the center position. That GM Darcy Regier was able to do essentially at the cost of the streaky Kotalik represents another feather in a cap that already houses many of them.



Additions: Jordan Leopold, D (Colorado); Olli Jokinen, C (Phoenix); 2009 fourth round draft pick (Columbus)

Deletions: Lawrence Nycholat, D (Colorado); 2009 second round draft pick (Colorado); Ryan Wilson, D, (Colorado); Matthew Lombardi, LW (Phoenix); Brandon Prust, LW, (Phoenix); 2009 first round pick (Phoenix); Kevin Lalande, G (Columbus)

Bottom Line: If there was one team that clearly was in carpe diem mode, it was the Flames. Calgary GM Darryl Sutter understands an early playoff exit is likely to put him squarely on the hot seat and consequently surrendered a good deal of potential and salary cap flexibility to guard against that scenario. Jokinen’s playoff output will dictate how Sutter is judged, but for now, you can’t fault a team for recognizing a small window in which to win and trying to dive through it.



Additions: Erik Cole, RW (Edmonton); second round pick (Los Angeles)

Deletions: Justin Williams, RW (Los Angeles); second round pick (Edmonton)

Bottom Line: Canes GM Jim Rutherford is on record as preferring to make his moves well before the deadline. He deviated from that view to repatriate Cole into the mix, but with Carolina needing more offense to stay in the dogfight for a low playoff seed in the Eastern Conference, is the acquisition of a fading goal-scorer enough?



Additions: Sami Pahlsson, C (Anaheim); conditional draft pick (Anaheim)

Deletions: Craig Adams, C (Pittsburgh); James Wisniewski, D (Anaheim); 2009 conditional draft pick (Anaheim)

Bottom Line: Chicago has all kinds of cap concerns to deal with, giving them virtually no wiggle room to make big-time additions. That said, I’ve got a hunch Pahlsson’s grit and playoff experience on a young Hawks team will make him one of the savviest acquisitions any team made on deadline day.

Grade: B+


Additions: Ryan Wilson, D (Calgary); 2009 second round draft pick (Calgary)

Deletions: Jordan Leopold, D (Calgary)

Bottom Line: Apparently, Avs GM Francois Giguere set his asking prices mighty high, because he wasn’t able to move the majority of a sizeable group of expendable veterans – most notably, feisty winger Ian Laperriere – other teams were interested in. Wilson may evolve into a front-line defender, but not before the Avs suffer through another miserable season like this one is proving to be for them.

Grade: C+


Additions: Antoine Vermette, LW (Ottawa); Kevin Lalande, G (Calgary)

Deletions: Pascal Leclaire, G (Ottawa); 2009 second round draft pick (Ottawa); 2009 fourth round draft pick (Calgary)

Bottom Line: Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson wisely didn’t throw caution to the wind in the hysteria surrounding Columbus’ first real playoff drive. Rather, he took an asset that, thanks to Steve Mason, became redundant, and used it to plug a hole in the organization’s spotty group of forwards. That’s what you call balancing your future needs with your present desires; now let’s see if it’s enough to get the Jackets over the hump.



Additions: Steve Begin, C (Anaheim); Brendan Morrison, C (Anaheim)

Deletions: Sean Avery, LW (Rangers); Doug Janik, D (Montreal)

Bottom Line: Brad Richards’ wrist injury added a sense of urgency to the Stars’ deadline needs and the organization did a commendable job of adding to their depth at center with the additions of Begin and Morrison. Now, once they reward Glen Sather for taking Avery off their hands – I’m thinking a phone-number retirement ceremony for the Rangers GM at center ice would be a start – they’ll be all paid up.



Additions: None.

Deletions: None.

Bottom Line: Ken Holland chose to stand pat at the deadline; that’s understandable considering his team is first overall in the league’s standings. However, if Detroit’s goaltending situation goes the way of GM Motors in the post-season, there’ll be no shortage of knives that come out to carve the Wings GM.



Additions: Patrick O’Sullivan, LW (Los Angeles); Ales Kotalik, RW (Buffalo); 2009 second round draft pick (Carolina)

Deletions: Erik Cole, RW (Carolina); 2009 second round draft pick (Buffalo)

Bottom Line: The Oilers are one of many teams on the bubble of a Western Conference playoff spot; as such, it’s not surprising to see them try and keep pace with the moves of their Northwest Division rivals. But forgive me if I’m a little underwhelmed by the deals for O’Sullivan and Kotalik, two players not exactly renowned for their performances this year. Of course, there will be many more moves for them in the summer if they miss out on the post-season for the third straight year.



Additions: Steve Eminger, D (Tampa Bay)

Deletions: Noah Welch, D (Tampa Bay); 2009 third round draft pick (Tampa Bay)

Bottom Line: Some believe the Panthers were winners on deadline day strictly for the fact they didn’t part with defenseman Jay Bouwmeester. I’d be more convinced of that if they added some veteran experience for their playoff run – a move that might also have convinced Bouwmeester to stick around after he becomes a free agent this summer.

Grade: B-


Additions: Justin Williams, RW (Carolina).

Deletions: Patrick O’Sullivan, LW (Edmonton via Carolina)

Bottom Line: The Kings caught fire after the all-star break, yet remain a long-shot for their first playoff appearance since 2002. Dumping O’Sullivan for Williams actually adds to their salary cap issues in the short-term, but one NHL agent speculated Wednesday that Williams – along with a number of other roster players – could and would be peddled again in the summer.



Additions: None.

Deletions: None.

Bottom Line: What, no deals for a gaggle of goons the way the Wild did last year? And no cents-on-the-dollar swap for soon-to-depart star Marian Gaborik? I realize the re-signing of goalie Niklas Backstrom was a relief for Minnesotans, but it still gives them the same middling roster that’s currently got the Wild on the outside of the playoff race looking in.



Additions: Mathieu Schneider, D (Atlanta); Glen Metropolit, C (Philadelphia); Doug Janik, D (Dallas)

Deletions: 2009 second round draft pick (Atlanta); 2010 third round draft pick, (Atlanta); Steve Begin, C (Dallas)

Bottom Line: Habs head honcho Bob Gainey was ahead of the pack when he struck early for Schneider, who has fit in quite nicely in Montreal. Unfortunately, his small-ish team still doesn’t seem to be built for the post-season.



Additions: None.

Deletions: None.

Bottom Line: Another in an increasing group of “budget” teams, the Predators did diddly on deadline day. It’s never smart to count out Nashville’s resilient management team, but the Preds’ lack of depth means that one major injury could be all it takes to end their playoff dreams.



Additions: Niclas Havelid, D (Atlanta); Myles Stoesz, LW (Atlanta)

Deletions: Anssi Salmela, D (Atlanta)

Bottom Line: Once again, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello identified a need (in this case, a veteran defenseman) and didn’t waste time in addressing it. On many teams, Salmela would be missed, but thanks to New Jersey’s time-tested prospect development program, the Devils aren’t one of them.

Grade: B+


Additions: Dean McAmmond, LW (Ottawa); 2009 first round draft pick (Ottawa); 2009 conditional draft pick (Pittsburgh)

Deletions: Mike Comrie, C (Ottawa); Chris Campoli, D (Ottawa); Bill Guerin, C (Pittsburgh)

Bottom Line: The Isles won the deal with Ottawa hands-down, and GM Garth Snow has done an admirable job the past couple years filling his coffers with draft picks. Still, it says something about the organization’s current state that so few players on their current NHL roster were attractive to other teams.



Additions: Mark Bell, C (Toronto); Sean Avery, C (Dallas); Nik Antropov, RW (Toronto); Derek Morris, D (Phoenix)

Deletions: Erik Reitz, D (Toronto); 2009 second round draft pick (Toronto); 2009 conditional draft pick (Toronto); Nigel Dawes, LW (Phoenix); Petr Prucha, RW (Phoenix); Dmitri Kalinin, D (Phoenix)

Bottom Line: Is there any rhyme or reason in any moves Glen Sather makes these days? He plucks Bell and Avery off waivers when no other organization would touch them; he deals for a defenseman in Morris who likely won’t be around next season and is a minus-13 this year; and he brings in a forward in Antropov who arguably is the most streaky scorer on that team (and that’s saying something). Sather truly is putting the “blue” in blueprint.



Additions: Mike Comrie, C (Islanders); Chris Campoli, D (Islanders); Pascal Leclaire, G (Columbus); 2009 second round draft pick (Columbus)

Deletions: Dean McAmmond, LW (Islanders); 2009 first round draft pick (Islanders); Antoine Vermette, LW (Columbus); Martin Gerber, G (Toronto)

Bottom Line: As noted earlier, the Senators got hosed in no small manner on the Comrie/Campoli transaction. Leclaire will get all the opportunities in the world to re-establish himself as a front-line goalie, but it’s no lock that he will.

Grade: C-


Additions: Daniel Carcillo, LW (Phoenix); Kyle McLaren, D (San Jose).

Deletions: Ossi Vaananen, D (Vancouver); Glen Metropolit, C (Montreal); Scottie Upshall, LW (Phoenix); 2009 second round draft pick (Phoenix); 2009 sixth round draft pick (San Jose).

Bottom Line: Salary cap constraints forced the Flyers to say farewell to a pair of well-liked veterans (Vaananen and Metropolit) prior to the deadline, but GM Paul Holmgren corrected that deficiency with the pickups of Carcillo and McLaren. Both should fit into John Stevens’ rugged style very well.



Additions: 2009 fourth round draft pick (Buffalo); 2009 first round draft pick (Calgary); Brandon Prust, LW (Calgary); Scottie Upshall, LW (Philadelphia); 2009 second round draft pick (Philadelphia); Nigel Dawes, LW (Rangers); Petr Prucha, RW (Rangers); Dmitri Kalinin, D (Rangers)

Deletions: Derek Morris, D (Rangers); Mikael Tellqvist, G (Buffalo); Olli Jokinen, C (Calgary); Daniel Carcillo, LW (Philadelphia)

Bottom Line: Given Phoenix’s dire financial picture and the post-all-star skid that put them out of playoff reach, GM Don Maloney is to be commended for coming away with talent he can either keep or flip in the off-season. If he can be as crafty this summer, there may yet be hope for the ’Yotes.



Additions: Chris Kunitz, LW (Anaheim); Eric Tangradi, LW (Anaheim); Andy Wozniewski, D (St. Louis); Craig Adams, C (Chicago); Bill Guerin, C (Islanders)

Deletions: Ryan Whitney, D (Anaheim); Danny Richmond, D (St. Louis); 2009 conditional draft pick (Islanders)

Bottom Line:
The Penguins attempted to reverse their collapsing season by going heavy on B-grade veteran forwards who don’t carry many contract commitments beyond this year. Their defense may still be their downfall – and if it is, expect GM Ray Shero to deal Jordan Staal at the draft for a front-line, stay-at-home defender.



Additions: Danny Richmond, D (Pittsburgh)

Deletions: Andy Wozniewski, D (Pittsburgh)

Bottom Line: The Blues’ late-season surge obviously caused them to re-think a massive roster purge that would’ve sent Keith Tkachuk and others out of Missouri. Something tells me they’ll regret that change of heart when they’re in 11th place in the West at the end of the regular season.



Additions: 2009 sixth round draft pick (Philadelphia); Kent Huskins, D (Anaheim); Travis Moen, LW (Anaheim)

Kyle McLaren, D (Philadelphia); Nick Bonino, RW (Anaheim); Timo Pielmeier, G (Anaheim); 2009 conditional draft pick (Anaheim)

Bottom Line:
The Sharks were stacked to begin with, but recent injuries to role players caused GM Doug Wilson to make a couple moves. As usual, he did a phenomenal job, landing two members of Anaheim’s championship team from 2007 for a pair of prospects from San Jose’s seemingly bottomless pit of young talent. There’ll be no excuses for Sharks playoff failures this time around.



Additions: Matt Lashoff, D (Boston); Martins Karsums, RW (Boston); Noah Welch, D (Florida); 2009 third round draft pick (Florida); Richard Petiot, D (Toronto)

Deletions: Mark Recchi, RW (Boston); 2010 second round pick (Boston); Steve Eminger, D (Florida); Olaf Kolzig, G (Toronto); Jamie Heward, D (Toronto); Andy Rogers, D (Toronto); fourth round draft pick (Toronto)

Bottom Line: The continual roster-reshuffling continued in Tampa Bay on deadline day. GM Brian Lawton did the best he could for the money-bleeding Bolts; nevertheless, the Lightning still has a long way to go before their awful defense corps becomes respectable.



Additions: Martin Gerber, G (Ottawa); Erik Reitz, D (Rangers); 2009 second round draft pick (Rangers); 2009 conditional draft pick (Rangers); 2009 second round draft pick (Buffalo via Carolina); Olaf Kolzig, G (Tampa Bay); Jamie Heward, D (Tampa Bay); Andy Rogers, D (Tampa Bay); fourth-round draft pick (Tampa Bay)

Nik Antropov, RW (Rangers); Dominic Moore, C (Buffalo); Richard Petiot, D (Tampa Bay)

Bottom Line:
As predicted, the Maple Leafs could only make a few changes to a roster that needs lots of turnover. Every little bit helps, though, and Toronto’s fan base should be increasingly pleased this summer as the transaction rate increases exponentially.



Additions: Ossi Vaananen, D (Philadelphia)

Deletions: Lawrence Nycholat, D (Calgary)

Bottom Line: The Canucks were rumored to be in the hunt for Bouwmeester and others, but came up empty-handed on Wednesday. It’s got to irk GM Mike Gillis to see the rival Flames do so much. But by the off-season Vancouver’s fans will be pleased he didn’t go on a trading spree. Speaking of which – can somebody tell me why Dave Nonis got fired again? For not doing anything at the trade deadline last year, right?



Additions: None.

Deletions: None.

Bottom Line: The Capitals surely could’ve used some additional goaltending depth, but cap constraints shut them out of the marketplace altogether. Pray the Good Jose Theodore shows up for the playoffs, Caps fans.

Grade: C-

Adam Proteau, co-author of the book The Top 60 Since 1967, is writer and columnist for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to His blog appears Mondays, his Ask Adam feature appears Fridays and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.

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