NHL GMs have been busy leading up to the 2/28 trade deadline with numerous trade being made already. Let’s take a look at some of the deals that have already gone down as of yesterday:
Colorado acquires Brian Elliot from Ottawa in exchange for Craig Anderson – I immediately Tweeted (@Ed_Welsh) about this one as I felt it was just a swap out of two mediocre goaltenders. Anderson has had one good season in the NHL and may never repeat it. Although, that is one great season more than Elliot. I have no idea why the Avs make this deal as it is my opinion that only the Sens have a chance of winning this deal.
Boston acquires Tomas Kaberle from Toronto in exchange for prospect Joe Colborne, Boston’s 2011 first round pick and a conditional second round pick in 2012 – Toronto gets real good value for Kaberle here. Colborne is having a pretty good rookie AHL season so far this year and the first and second round picks are just what the prospect starved Leafs need to re-stock the system. Boston has the prospects to be able to pay the steep price, although if they can re-sign Kaberle beyond this season, the price doesn’t seem too out of balance.
San Jose acquires Ian White from Carolina for a 2012 second round pick – The Sharks needed someone blue line help and they get it in White. Carolina picks up a low end second rounder for a guy that was basically falling into the third pairing.
Tampa Bay acquires Eric Brewer from St. Louis for Brock Beukeboom and their 2011 third round pick – Good trade for both teams here. Brewer was falling down the depth chart in St. Louis thanks to their tremendous young depth on the blue line, so they pick up some future in return for a veteran providing diminishing returns. For Tampa, it’s a small price to pay as Brewer is exactly the type of veteran presence they need as they attempt to go deep into the playoffs this season.
Colorado acquires Eric Johnson, Jay McClement, and a conditional first round pick from St. Louis in exchange for Chris Stewart, Kevin Shattenkirk, and a conditional second round pick – The biggest deal thus far with a marquee name on both sides. However, I like this for the Blues much more than the Avs. Basically, the Blues are in a much better position to lose Johnson than the Avs are to lose Stewart. With Pietrangelo taking the reigns as the #1 defenseman in St. Louis, losing Johnson is a easier pill to swallow, especially when you have bruising Barrett Jackman still around and you are getting an offensive puck-mover back in Shattenkirk. Colorado loses a budding power forward, with no one ready to assume that role and gets back McClement, who is best suited for thrid line center, a position they already had filled in O’Reilly.
Pittsburgh acquires James Neal and Matt Niskanen from Dallas in exchange for Alex Goligoski – I am on the Stars bashing bandwagon on this one. I don’t care how much payroll this trims. Neal has scored 20+ goals the last two seasons and is on pace to push 30 this season. At his age, it should take moving mountains to get him off the team. But instead, the Stars “throw-in” Niskanen and all they get in return is Goligoski. Goligoski is a nice puck-moving defenseman, but he has been wildly inconsistent and you are now hoping that he will gain that consistency by being higher on your depth chart than he was on Pittsburgh’s. This one is a slam dunk for the Pens, as if Niskanen responds well to a change of scenery, this will go down as an all out thievery.
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