Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Draft Player News (Feb. 29)

The Detroit Red Wings didn't seem to be fussed that they were playing the Columbus Blue Jackets without both Nicklas Lidstrom and Kyle Quincey, who each sat out with an injury on Tuesday night. Lidstrom was dealing with a sore ankle, while Quincey was dealing with a sore groin, but the team through Joey MacDonald in net, Doug Janik on the blueline and still came away with a big 5-2 win.  Both defensemen are considered to be out day-to-day, but there was no official word on how much time they would actually miss, if any, past Tuesday night.

There was some money race impact here, as Niesa S., who has Lidstrom, missed out on a key scoring game for the Red Wings, as her team sits in 8th spot, now 21 points out of 5th place and the money.  There is a good chance that it would have been beneficial for her guy to be in on that one.  Quincey belongs to Chris M., who is well below the money and likely didn't miss him quite as much.

Another couple injuries to report on with another team on Tuesday night, as the Florida Panthers went into battle against the Toronto Maple Leafs without both Kris Versteeg and Tomas Kopecky, both out due to injury.  Versteeg is dealing with a lower-body injury, which has him listed as out day-to-day, but the team expect him to be out of the line-up through the weekend, but it wouldn't be surprising if he returned early.  Kopecky, on the other hand, is reportedly dealing with a minor undisclosed injury and he has already been deemed ready to go for Thursday night, when the team is in Winnipeg.

There's no real money impact out of Florida, but these two players belong to teams in their own race, between Ryan M., who has Versteeg, chasing down Brenda F., who has Kopecky.  Brenda is 12th and Ryan is 13th, separated by a point after Tuesday night's action, but that's about the only impact we see here.

The Maple Leafs were not very busy around the trade deadline, so trying to get out of the funk that they are in has to be more of an internal matter.  On Tuesday night, the Leafs decided to bring Mike Komisarek back into the line-up, after being a healthy scratch for a number of games and that saw Cody Franson come out to make room for him.  Franson, who was a healthy scratch on a regular basis in the early part of the season, was no stranger to the press box, but since the Leafs couldn't string a win together with the line-up change, I would imagine Franson will figure back into the line-up for their next game.

This was a game lost in defense of the lead for Clayton C., who now has a slight 3-point lead on Dale B. in the draft standings.  With the likelihood of Franson coming back for the team's next game, it will be another body in the line-up to help the defense going forward.

Sheet Player News (Feb. 29)

It has been made official, Johnny Boychuk of the Boston Bruins is indeed out with a concussion after the massive hit he had taken from Senators forward Chris Neil on Saturday. The early indication is that Boychuk may have suffered a minor concussion, which has him listed as out day-to-day, but he won't be eligible to return until Saturday or Sunday, a full week after the concussion occurred, as per the league protocol.  The Bruins were able to acquire some blueline depth at the deadline, so the team's need for Boychuk is reduced and they won't have to rush him back into the line-up..

The first game after the trade deadline for the Islanders and as much as they subtracted forwards from their roster, they were healthy scratches, so when Josh Bailey was given the green light to return to the line-up after missing a few games with back spasms, someone from the active roster had to come out and that was Nino Niederreiter, the Box 25 forward for the team.  Niederreiter hasn't quite been the offensive force that some poolies may have been hoping for, having only 1 goal in 39 games played this year on the Island, which justifies his healthy scratch on the evening.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sheet Player News (Feb. 28)

With new pieces from pre-trade deadline deals already in the line-up, it looks like Darryl Sutter was trying to find some new chemistry with players already on his roster.  Box 8 forward Brad Richardson was held out of the line-up on Monday night for their game against the Nashville Predators, likely as a healthy scratch, to try some new line combinations.  Richardson was a regular scratch earlier on in the season, but with some injuries to other forwards, he was able to feature in the line-up for quite a long stretch.  In 52 games, Richardson has scored 3 goals and 2 assists.

On Monday, the Predators, amidst all the trade deadline madness, had recalled Box 14 defenseman Ryan Ellis, likely to stay up with the club for the rest of the season.  Against the Kings, he was actually left up in the press box as a healthy scratch, but I would imagine, with all the changes that have happened to the Predators' line-up on Monday, there could be all kinds of weird and wonderful changes with their line-up, going forward.  I'm not exactly sure when Ellis might draw into the line-up, if at all, so I wouldn't be in a huge hurry to have him in your line-up.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Hodgson for Kassian, and More

2011/2012 Stats2012July 1st Details
To BuffaloPosAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Cody HodgsonF2263161733$1.7m1$1.7m
Alex SulzerD2712011$700k0UFA
To VancouverPosAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Zack KassianF2127347$900k1$900k
Marc-Andre GragnaniD244411112$550k0RFA

If you believe the folks at TSN, this is the headline deal of the 2012 trade deadline, as the Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres swapped high profile prospects/roster players and minor defensemen.  Scoring rookie Cody Hodgson goes to Buffalo for bruising winger Zack Kassian, plus a couple of defensemen, who have had some potential, but have yet to realize it in the NHL.

In Hodgson, the Sabres get an emerging top six centre, who has the ability to be a top centre for the Sabres down the road.  Hodgson has drastically improved his size and his play in the 2012 year, which makes this deal into a little bit of a shock.  This deal will give the Sabres a little bit more flexibility, if they are not going to be a playoff team, they'll be a team that can make some moves in the Summer and they can build around a kid like Hodgson.

Going the other way, Kassian will provide size, speed and some serious physical play to the Canucks, something the Canucks can certainly use in the playoffs.  If you throw Kassian on the 3rd line with newly-acquired Samuel Pahlsson, there is something brewing with this team, which should make them much more difficult to play against.  Kassian does have 2nd line upside, even as a banger and crasher, he could potentially see some time with the twins on the top line too.

ImplicationsTwo players involved in this deal feature in the pools, one is a draft player, that being Hodgson. Wes M., another one of his player dealt on the deadline.  Wes is in 20th in the standings and moving Hodgson to the Sabres, who are not a good scoring team, will likely only hurt his pool team going forward.

The other player in the pools is Gragnani, who is a Box 30 defenseman on the selection sheet and hasn't seen a great amount of time with the Sabres.

Rangers Add Size with Scott

2011/2012 Stats2012July 1st Details
To New YorkPosAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
John ScottD2929011$513k0UFA
To ChicagoPosAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
5th Round Draft Pick

The New York Rangers obviously found themselves in need of some muscle and size, which made them turn to Chicago and pick up John Scott from the Blackhawks.  Scott, known more for being a sluggish, yet physically punishing.  He doesn't have much of any offensive upside.

Zanon to the Bruins

2011/2012 Stats2012July 1st Details
To BostonPosAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Greg ZanonD3139246$1.9m0UFA
To MinnesotaPosAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Steve KampferD2310022$853k1$853k

The Boston Bruins found a bit more veteran help out of the Minnesota Wild, acquiring Greg Zanon in a deal that sent much-younger defenseman, Steve Kampfer, the other way.  Zanon will be employed to help the Bruins keep the puck out of their own net, more than putting the puck in the opposition net.  In return, the Wild get another building block in their stable in Kampfer, also someone who may actually be able to step into the line-up right away, if needed.

This is deal in no way a blockbuster, but for the Bruins, they just needed to shore up some depth, heading down the stretch.

Gaustad to Nashville

2011/2012 Stats2012July 1st Details
To NashvillePosAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Paul GaustadF305671017$2.3m0UFA
2013 4th Round Draft Pick
To BuffaloPosAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
2012 1st Round Draft Pick

Going into Monday's trade deadline festivities, the going rate for Paul Gaustad was a 1st round draft pick and as the day wore on, it turned out that the price wasn't too high for someone, the Nashville Predators.  The Predators got a little bit more out of the deal, like a mid-round pick coming back with Gaustad, but they spent the most expensive pick in their artillery to get a little bit tougher and a little bit grittier.

In Gaustad, the Predators gain a winger than can just as easily play on the 2nd or 3rd line for the Predators and play their system well.  With only 7 goals scored on the season, it does look like the Predators have paid a little too much, but he should be a good fit with the team, so there is reason to believe that Nashville spent their futures asset well.

For the Sabres, spending a boatload of money in the off-season did not get them very far in the 2012 season, so getting a second 1st round pick for their off-season shows that spending money isn't going to be everything and they are going to be willing to get young players and be patient with them, in theory.

As for the hockey pools, there is a slight chance that Gaustad may figure into the playoff pool, but he won't figure into any of the regular season action down the stretch.

Boston Adds Veteran Help

2011/2012 Stats2012July 1st Details
To BostonPosAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Brian RolstonF3949459$5.1m0UFA
Mike MottauD3329022$800k0UFA
To Long IslandPosAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Yannick RiendeauF230000$613k0UFA
Marc CantinD210000$617k2$617k

Generally speaking, this is one of the more generalized deals that you would see at the trade deadline, as the Boston Bruins acquired a load of veteran help for a pair of prospects.  The Bruins picked up veteran scoring forward Brian Rolston and stay-at-home defenseman Mike Mottau for a pair of prospect that haven't seen the light of day in the NHL, to date.

Rolston is a Stanley Cup winner with the 1995 New Jersey Devils, so the Bruins can really look forward to adding his knowledge and experience to the line-up, even if he doesn't have the same kind of wheels, shot or numbers that we were all used to seeing in his hay day.  Rolston is said to still have some of his wheels left, but I would imagine that he will be used in a support role, rather than a top six position, leaned upon for some scoring.

In Mottau, the defense gets a little bit more difficult to play against.  With only 2 assists in 29 games, you can see that he wasn't taken on to add much for offense.  Mottau comes as a fairly cheap option, especially considering that defensive defensemen were going for high-to-mid round picks in the entry draft, the Bruins are able to use a couple of prospects in this deal, who haven't panned out in their system.

Both Rolston and Mottau were listed in the selection sheet pool, but that was a sign of a lack of depth on the Islanders more than their talent.  Neither player have had an impact in the pool, with 11 points between them.

Oduya to Chicago

2011/2012 Stats2012July 1st Details
To ChicagoPosAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Johnny OduyaD306321113$3.5m0UFA
To WinnipegPosAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
2013 2nd Round Draft Pick
2013 3rd Round Draft Pick

With Grant Clitsome now in tow in Winnipeg, the next best thing the Jets could do was deal Johnny Oduya, who had some real trade deadline value and they did... to Chicago.  In return, the Jets cash in with a 2nd and a 3rd round pick in the 2013 draft, which isn't a bad deal at all, could be argued that the Blackhawks paid too much.

Oduya is not a lights-out scoring defenseman, but he will be able to provide some depth to a Blackhawks team that has been reeling on the blueline, thanks to injuries and other miscellaneous concerns.  He could plug the gap that Niklas Hjalmarsson leaves behind, but I don't think that is what has been causing the downfall of the Blackhawks in the standings, to a point.  When the team gets Jonathan Toews back from injury, then the Blackhawks should be prepared for a run to stay in the top eight, then we'll see what Oduya can bring the club.

Pahlsson to the Canucks

   2011/2012 Stats2012July 1st Details
To VancouverPosAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Samuel PahlssonF34612911$2.65m0UFA
To ColumbusPosAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Taylor EllingtonD230000$875k0RFA
4th Round Draft Pick
4th Round Draft Pick

The Vancouver Canucks added more depth down the middle with the acquisition of Samuel Pahlsson from the Columbus Blue Jackets, only for the cost of two 4th round draft picks, the second one being from the Islanders in the Christian Ehrhoff deal.

Shoring up their depth on defense and in the faceoff circle has been one of the keys for Canucks management over the last couple of years, with the addition of Max Lapierre last season being one of those deals, but Pahlsson should be able to bring some solid 3rd line responsibility, giving the team an insurance policy to Manny Malhotra, as a defensive end faceoff specialist.

The Blue Jackets get a couple of mid-round picks in their rebuilding future, a very easy cost to swallow for the Canucks, I'm sure.

Gilroy for Lee

2011/2012 Stats2012July 1st Details
To OttawaPosAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Matt GilroyD275321517$1m0UFA
To Tampa BayPosAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Brian LeeD2435178$875k0RFA

A quick defenseman deal between the Senators and the Lightning, which sees Matt Gilroy, a potential unrestricted free agent head to Ottawa for a slowly-developing Brian Lee, who has seen some time with the big club, but not enough.

The Senators get a little bit more touch offensively from Gilroy, they'll give him a try for the stretch run, possibly giving him some power play time, which could help the Sens win an extra playoff game.

The Lightning get another young defenseman in Lee, who has some offensive upside, but they have been revamping their blueline with more youth, possibly in a move to just get younger and not worry about the playoffs.

ImplicationsGilroy is the only one of the two who is involved the pools, in the selection sheet, and given his numbers and possibly some potential down the line, he might still have an outside shot at the playoff pool. Otherwise, not much going on in this deal either.

Winnik to San Jose

2011/2012 Stats2012July 1st Details
To San JosePosAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Daniel WinnikF266351318$950k0UFA
T.J. GaliardiF23558614$700k0RFA
7th Round Draft Pick
To ColoradoPosAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Jamie McGinnF2361121224$680k0RFA
Mike ConnollyF220000$690k1$690k
Michael SgarbossaF190000$555k2$555k

The San Jose Sharks have gotten a little bit tougher and a bit more gritty with a deal with Colorado Avalanche, acquiring forwards Daniel Winnik and T.J. Galiardi for Jamie McGinn and two prospects.  The Sharks have been a push over team in the last couple of weeks and the best way to rectify that is with a little bit of sandpaper.

The Sharks add a little bit more depth with Winnik and Galiardi, more of your 3rd and 4th line variety, but with some touch, which should take care of the lines with Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski, if they are not playing with Ryane Clowe.

For the Avalanche, they get a bit more scoring out of McGinn, who might be able to go top six for the club, not to mention adding a couple more young players to their prospect stables.  I don't think the Avalanche sacrificed much at all with McGinn coming back in return.  I wouldn't qualify this as a seller's move.

ImplicationsOnly one pool player in this deal and that is Galiardi, who wasn't a popular guy on the selection sheet. I would imagine that this deal wouldn't change that much and we all move on from here.

Aulie Dealt to Tampa

2011/2012 Stats2012July 1st Details
To Tampa BayPosAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Keith AulieD2217022$733k0RFA
To TorontoPosAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Carter AshtonF200000$1.04m2$1.04m

The Tampa Bay Lightning are working hard to improve their blueline on the deadline, picking up prospect defenseman Keith Aulie from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.  In return, the Maple Leafs get a strong forward prospect in Carter Ashton, who is having a pretty good year in the minors.

In Aulie, the Lightning get what is believed to be a blue-chip prospect defenseman, who has seen some time with the big club in Toronto this year, although his numbers do not reflect his status.  Aulie fell out of the depth chart due to some great play from Jake Gardiner, so he became a piece that generated a solid deal both ways.

Ashton is a fairly big kid, with some offensive upside, which is something the Maple Leafs were certainly looking for.  I would have guessed that the Leafs would have been after someone who is in the league now, if they were going to make one last gasp at the playoffs, but Ashton should be able to help them down the road, when they become a much more stable club.

ImplicationsBoth players are in the young player boxes on the selection sheet, but neither player has had much for playing time or impact on their NHL clubs, so they haven't been very popular.  This is definitely more of a deal for later, rather than now, but it could be good for both sides.