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Posted: Tuesday March 3, 2009 5:05PM; Updated: Thursday March 5, 2009 11:21AM
Allan Muir Allan Muir >
INSIDE THE NHL

Hardly a blockbuster day

Story Highlights

Overall a day of modest, helpful moves with no huge names changing teams

The Flames fortified themselves by acquiring Olli Jokinen and Jordan Leopold

Veterans Mark Recchi and Bill Guerin moved as buyers balked at steep prices

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A sign of the market: the Islanders could get only a conditional pick from the Penguins for valuable veteran Bill Guerin.
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The NHL trade deadline passed at 3 p.m. ET on Wed. March 4. SI.com's Allan Muir analyzes the notable moves.

Wed., 6:13 PM

Picking winners and losers moments after the deadline is a fool's errand...so who better than me to take a stab at it?

I'm not looking at every team here, just the ones that jump out at me as the day winds up.

Winners

FLORIDA: By keeping Jay Bouwmeester, they keep their eyes focused on the playoffs and send a strong message to their fans.

PHOENIX: They may wipe out a year's worth of financial losses just from selling lineup cards at the next few home games. Six men enter, four men leave.The new bodies are younger and faster, they added a first- and second-rounder to continue the rebuild, and they got rid of a problem in Olli Jokinen. A nice day's work that should help build the rep of GM Don Maloney.

CALGARY: Jordan Leopold should be a seamless fit, making their blueline one of the game's most imposing. Jokinen gives them options up front, and helps make the Flames a legitimate contender to come out of the West.

PITTSBURGH: Chris Kunitz and Bill Guerin address their most obvious need: scoring on the wings and veteran grit and leadership.

BOSTON: They didn't land the big one, but in Mark Recchi and Steve Montador they filled holes on the wing and blueline.

BUFFALO: Pleased their fans (and players) by re-signing Tim Connolly and adding an offensive weapon in Dominic Moore -- he'll be a boon on the power play.

ANAHEIM: Set up the blueline and the pipeline for years to come.

Losers

MONTREAL: Adding Mathieu Schneider was savvy, but Bob Gainey missed out on the chance to address their obvious deficiency at center.

NEW YORK RANGERS: Nik Antropov and Derek Morris don't bring enough to help them compete against the Canes, Sabres and Penguins.

CHICAGO: Their need for a second line center has been apparent for months. Sami Pahlsson is a nice add, but he's a checker.

COLUMBUS: Antoine Vermette is a winger. They needed a center.

MINNESOTA: Signing Niklas Backstrom was smart, but Doug Risebrough needed to do more than maintain the status quo.

Wed., 5:45 PM

Sorry for the two-hour delay. Nothing like a computer meltdown just as the witching hour strikes to put a cherry on top of deadline day.

At this point, it's safe to say we've seen the last of the approved deals. The most interesting swap of the day? For my money, it was the two-parter involving Edmonton, Los Angeles and Carolina.

The Hurricanes dealt Justin Williams to the Kings for Patrick O'Sullivan and a second-round pick (originally owned by Calgary). They then traded OSullivan and their own second-rounder to Edmonton for Erik Cole and a fifth-round pick.

Give the nod to the Canes on this one. They bring back Cole, who never really found his niche with the Oilers, and he can be re-teamed with former linemate (and roommate) Eric Staal. That might be exactly what it takes to get Staal back on track after what's been a disappointing season, and to give the Canes the boost they need to challenge for one of the final spots in the East.

The Kings move out a player who hasn't yet lived up to expectations, and bring in Williams -- a first-line talent who has a bit too much of Bad Luck Schleprock in his genes.

The Oilers? They get a change of pace on the wing, and a high pick that should help restock their prospect cupboard.

Other late deals

San Jose addressed its need for additional grit and playoff experience with hard-rock winger Travis Moen and depth blueliner Kent Huskins. In exchange, the Ducks got 19-year-old German goaltender Timo Pielmeier, Boston University sniper Nick Bonino and a conditional pick. A great move by GM Bob Murray to get a pair of promising assets for a couple of veterans who were gone after this season anyway.

Earlier, Murray picked up James Wisniewski from the Hawks for center Sami Pahlsson. Thats another NHL-caliber defender to shore up the Ducks, who've already given up Huskins and Montador and could lose Scott Niedermayer and Francois Beauchemin to free agency. Pahlsson gives Chicago the face-off whiz they sought, but no one knows when hell suit up. He's been sidelined by mono since Jan. 31, but should provide a solid defensive presence when he gets the go-ahead.

Wed., 3:35 PM

Isn't that Derek Morris deal a classic Rangers grab? Name over ability. He still has a bomb from the point, but he's not the sort of player who's going to help turn around their 29th-ranked power play.

Morris is certainly an upgrade over Dmitri Kalinin, but if that's the standard, then they failed to set the bar high enough.

I like what the Coyotes did. Nigel Dawes and Petr Prucha strike me as players who can do more than we've seen. Prucha may never hit the 30-goal mark again without Jaromir Jagr blocking for him, but he could be a useful depth player who chips in on the second power play unit. Dawes has sensational hands and has been a big scorer at every level to this point. Playing in the West, under Wayne Gretzky, may allow him to open up his bag of tricks.

Savvy move by the Sabres to nab Dominic Moore from the Maple Leafs. Goal-scoring's been an issue in Buffalo over the past couple weeks moreso than goaltending, and his creativity and grit should help take some of the load off Derek Roy and the newly re-signed Tim Connolly.

Wed., 2:59 PM

Looks like Brian Burke finally caved. The Maple Leafs have sent Nikolai Antropov to the Rangers for a second-round and conditional pick.

Looks like a winner for the struggling Blueshirts, who are desperate for anyone who can put the puck in the net. That they were able to add Antropov without subtracting from their roster makes this look even better from their perspective. It'll be interesting to see where they play him. Do they put him on the wing with Scott Gomez or take advantage of his size and line him up in the middle, where they've returned to their Smurf-like ways?

I think John Tortorella will try both, perhaps working Antropov at center at even strength and on the wing during the power play.

A second-rounder isn't anything to sneeze at, but Burke clearly was hoping for more. Word is he continues to expect at least a second-rounder for Dominic Moore. Hey, Dale Tallon, you listening?

At least one deal snuck under the wire: multiple sources have Derek Morris headed to the Rangers. If you were wondering how they were going to fit him under the cap, here's the swap: New York sends Nigel Dawes, Dmitri Kalinin and Petr Prucha to the Coyotes in exchange for Morris.

The Sabres grabbed Dominic Moore from the Leafs for a second-rounder. More on both of these deals in a bit. Need to make a last round of calls to try to ferret out any straggler deals.

And it looks as though Jay Bouwmeester is staying with the Panthers. Great day for Florida fans.

Wed., 2:52 PM

Reports out of Canada have the Coyotes trading Daniel Carcillo to the Flyers for Scottie Upshall and a second-round pick. Working to confirm the details, but this fits the chatter that was going around earlier.

First thought: Anyone else waiting for another shoe to drop? Carcillo is an aggravating player and he's willing to go with anyone, but he's a poor man's Steve Ott.

Upshall is a more complete player who competes hard, but he's a free agent this summer. He'll bring some reliable jam, offensive upside and leadership to the desert, where they have the cap space to extend his deal --something they couldn't do in Philly. If this was a second even-up for Carcillo, I'd like this deal for the Coyotes. Adding even a few weeks of Upshall makes this a steal.

Wed., 2:36 PM

Lots of reader questions coming in about Marian Gaborik. Best I can tell is that he is being shopped, but nobody's willing to offer up anything of value. At this point, no one knows when he's coming back or if he can stay healthy when he does return. I expect him to finish the day, and the season, in Minnesota.

The other hot question: what are the Hawks doing? The rumors have been floating about Sami Pahlsson, but I've also heard his name attached to the Canucks, who desperately need a checking center to replace Ryan Kesler on the third line. I can't believe the Hawks will stand pat, but unless they're willing to ante up for, say, Nikolai Antropov -- and the Leafs are still holding out for a second round pick -- then they're running out of options.

Well, this clarifies the decision by the Leafs to pick up Martin Gerber off waivers. The team has announced that Vesa Toskala is going on the IR for season-ending hip/groin surgery.

Wed., 2:24 PM

This is exactly why I wait to get multiple confirmations before I report a deal.

When word initially began circulating that the Penguins had acquired Bill Guerin from the Islanders, the return was said to be a first-rounder. Then it was a second-rounder. Now?

It's a fifth rounder -- with conditions. If the Pens make the playoffs -- a scenario that's looking more likely with the additions of Billy G. and Chris Kunitz -- the Isles get bumped up to a fourth-rounder. If Pittsburgh wins a series, it becomes a third-rounder.

This is a solid deal for the Pens. Guerin's a great guy in the room and a leader on the ice. His numbers aren't stellar this season, but he hasn't been skating with Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby. And Pittsburgh fans shouldn't worry about his brutal playoff performance in 2006-07 when he was basically skating on one leg for the Sharks. This time around, he'll be an impact performer down the stretch.

The Isles? Well, they have to be disappointed that Guerin didn't fetch a bit more, but this gives a good indication of why so many players are still floating around out there. The buyers aren't willing to up the ante at this point, and with less than an hour to go, the market may have been set.

Wed., 1:45 PM

A league source confirms that Boston has acquired Mark Recchi from Tampa Bay. Great add for the B's, who desperately needed a top-six forward to replace Marco Sturm. His playoff experience will be hugely valuable for a team that relies so heavily on young and/or inexperienced players.

The Tampa side of the equation is taking shape. It looks as though they're sending a second-rounder (this year or next, their choice) along with Recchi to Boston for Matt Lashoff and Martins Karsums.

If Boston wins the Cup then, hey, they win this deal in a walk. If not, it looks as though Tampa picked their pockets, adding two young players who can step in and contribute -- if not next year, then soon.

Lashoff, a former first-rounder, is an offensive-minded blueliner. Great skater, great first pass, but needs to work on his decision-making in his own zone. With coaching, he could mature into a top-four defender. Karsums, a former second-rounder, is a feisty checker with some touch who should become a reliable depth forward. It's a lot to give up, but the Bruins were dealing from a position of strength. Lashoff had been passed on the depth chart by Matt Hunwick, and he didn't look to have a future with the team. Karsums looks like a lock to be a player, but the B's have Brad Marchand slotted into that role in the future. This deal probably finishes off Boston's activity for the day.

Wed. 1:26 PM

Looks like the Olli Jokinen to Calgary deal now is official. The Flames are sending speedster Matthew Lombardi, bruising winger Brandon Prust and a first-rounder (2009 or 2010, Calgary's choice) to Phoenix in exchange for Jokinen and a third- rounder.

There are plenty of doubters about what Jokinen brings, and justifably so. He's never lived up to the hype of his third overall selection, and he's taken a lot of the blame for the fact that his teams have never made the playoffs. But the Flames offer an entirely different environment. It's a veteran squad where he won't be asked to play a leadership role.

And don't forget that he played his best hockey under Mike Keenan in Florida. Jokinen seems like the sort of player who needs a stern hand on his shoulder at all times, and Wayne Gretzky's no hard case.

Are the Flames legitimate contenders now with Jokinen and Leopold in the fold? No doubt. Be interesting to see if San Jose or Detroit feel the need to counter these deals.

The first-rounder is the key to the return for Phoenix. Not too many teams are moving those these days, but adding two legitimate NHL forwards shouldn't be overlooked. Lombardi's a frustrating player -- his feet move a lot faster than his head, and in that way he reminds me of a Geoff Courtnall -- but he has potential to improve his game.

Prust is a depth forward who'll keep the opposition honest, but don't expect much more than that from him. And if the rumors are to be believed, just getting Jokinen out of the room may be the most rewarding aspect of the deal for the Coyotes. There was talk that he was unhappy playing on such a young squad, and did little to make life easier on the players who make up the future of the team.

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