|Trade Recap (East 2012)|
New York Rangers – The Rangers acquired John Scott (for a 2012 5th round pick) Mike Vernace and a 2013 3rd round pick (for Wojtek Wolski). With John Scott in the lineup, the Rangers added a mean, intimidating presence on their blue line who they likely won’t play too often, but will have available if needed. The price tag was relatively small, making the depth pickup a no-brainer for the Rangers. They also added Vernace, another depth pickup (currently in Connecticut) and a third rounder in 2013 for Wolski. They weren’t using Wolski, so they essentially saved themselves cap space for the current season (not that they needed it since they didn’t acquire anyone with a big salary) and added a fairly nice draft pick down the road. Since Wolski had skated in only nine games for the Rangers this season, the offense was essentially unaffected by this move.
Ottawa Senators – The Senators acquired Matt Gilroy (for Brian Lee) and Ben Bishop (for a 2013 2nd round pick). Matt Gilroy is a gamble for the Senators, but the Senators patience with Brian Lee was running thin. Gilroy is a former Hobey Baker winner who should be working hard for a new contract, but his career-high 18 points in 55 games is still much lower than it could be. The good news is that in two games with Ottawa, Gilroy did manage an assist already. Hopefully the new home will spark similar performance to what he displayed at Boston University.
The other move the Sens made was to acquire Ben Bishop. Ottawa’s starting job is fairly secure in the hands of Craig Anderson, but there have been times where Anderson looks lost in the net and with his most recent kitchen accident, adding another goalie is definitely a good thing. He will have to fight Robin Lehner for starts, but Bishop has had a great attitude over the last two years and if given the opportunity, could post some great numbers.
Philadelphia Flyers – The Flyers acquired Pavel Kubina (for Jon Kalinski, a conditional 2nd round pick, and a 2013 4th round pick), Nicklas Grossman (for a 2012 2nd round pick and a 2013 3rd round pick). With the absence of Chris Pronger, the Flyers had been shopping for defensemen for quite some time. Although it took them four draft picks to get, they got their defensive defenseman in Grossman and an offensive defenseman in Kubina. Grossman has looked a little shaky at times, but he comes with a good reputation for being a reliable defensive player. As he adjusts to the move, his presence should help calm Bryzgalov. Kubina on the other hand has fit in a bit nicer early on, but still has Carle, Timonen, Coburn, and Meszaros to fight for power play time. There are only so many minutes to go around, but Kubina has made it clear that he would like to stay in Philadelphia if possible, and is playing for that next contract, giving him the potential to be a cheap late season addition who could pay dividends.
Tampa Bay Lightning – The Lightning acquired Brian Lee (for Matt Gilroy), Keith Aulie (for Carter Ashton), Mike Commodore (for a conditional 7th round pick), Brandon Segal (for Matt Fornataro), Stephane Piche and a 2012 1st round pick (for essentially Steve Downie). Steve Yzerman essentially went through his “keeper list,” found all of the pending free agents he was not planning on re-signing, and began to shop. In exchange for Gilroy, he received the once promising Brian Lee, who has posted two assists in his first three games for the Bolts. For Carter Ashton, who had a marvelous start to his season in the AHL, Yzerman received Keith Aulie, who has seen less than 10 minutes per game in his first two games in Tampa, but has been said to be a very coachable player willing to learn, which is never a bad thing to have in the locker room.
In the other moves, Yzerman brought in Commodore, who has been paired with Lee, a couple minor leaguers, and a first round pick in the coming draft. Tampa is pushing for a playoff spot, so the success of the Commodore-Lee combination could make or break the postseason hopes for this team.
On offense, Downie’s departure is huge. Purcell is now skating with Stamkos and St. Louis, while Connolly and Malone are staking with JT Wyman, filling in while Lecavalier is out. While the defense has been bolstered, the goaltending is average and the offense is almost entirely on the shoulders of one line in Tampa Bay now. Purcell might be the one player from the Lightning who you want and can actually acquire.
Toronto Maple Leafs – The Leafs acquired Mark Fraser (for Dale Mitchell), Carter Ashton (for Keith Aulie). Brian Burke typically doesn’t make a ton of moves at the trade deadline, but they are often effective moves. This year, both players acquired were minor leaguers, with Ashton being the closest to being NHL-ready. Ashton is a prototypical Burke player, as he adds an element of grit to his game. He showed a ton of offensive upside early in the season, but tapered off in the second half. If he can keep his game consistent, he could be a huge pickup for the Leafs.
Winnipeg Jets – The Jets acquired 2013 2nd and 2013 3rd round picks (for Johnny Oduya). With the Oduya departure, the Jets lose another piece of the Kovalchuk trade, but it was the right move. Although they won’t get to use the picks for another year, Oduya was easily replaceable. The Jets are in the playoff race in the East and with the extra assets from this deal, the future continues to look bright.
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