Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Deadline Deals: Declaring a Winner

A fairly busy trade deadline today, but no real blockbuster moves, as the biggest name, Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger, stayed in Anaheim. The general consensus is that Calgary, acquiring Jokinen and Leopold from two cellar teams, made out like bandits.

Daniel, who was the real winner today, is there a dark horse team that made itself significantly better, and is there a clear loser?


I'd like to say the clear loser is the Ducks. We gave up a lot of depth for what basically amounts to a hope for a future pay-out. More importantly, the Leafs had a really good day. They shed some assets and picked up some good picks. Burke is going to do a good job up there; I hope Toronto fans are ready for a salary cap mess.

The Flames did do great work. Bringing back Leopold might have been their best move. Let's face it, he's good at moving the puck, and to a team with that much speed up front, not to mention some good creativity going through the neutral zone, it's just one more guy who is going to keep their transition offense in the back of the mind of every defender daring enough to pinch.

My big winner of the day though is Boston. They got Recchi, a veteran forward who already has two rings, and has had a very quiet but successful year down in Tampa Bay. The guy still knows how to finish around the net and can round out a second line for them very nicely. Plus, with Sturm hurt Recchi is an inexpensive replacement that cost a couple of prospects. Then they added Montador in exchange for a Center, who was being crowded out and was not a major part of their game plan anyway. Montador was leading the Ducks in +/- and he brings great character to a playoff team. Montador isn't afraid to get his nose dirty, a trait that'll really benefit a team in the cutthroat Eastern Conference.


Unfortunately, I can't declare the Ducks the clear loser tonight, but I'm factoring in the Whitney trade, Bob Murray's mitigating excuses (which we'll discuss in the next post), and a couple of smart trades that happened before 3:30pm today.

I'd have to call the Avs the losers. Yes, they came into today as clear sellers, but there's an art to selling. If you can't move Ryan Smyth, you don't just move whomever you can for whatever you can get. They only made one deal, and it was a bad one.

For the winner, I'm going to agree it's the Bruins. Mark Recchi's a feel-good story, as he's had trouble finding work since the Penguins waived him. The Bruins basically get back Glen Murray with this move, though Recchi's maybe 10mph faster. And if you factor in Murray's buyout and Recchi's salary, they still saved 1.1M (for this season's cap). The addition of Montador guarantees that one of Boston's babyface defensemen will see more scratch time. And is there anything scarier than a playoff team with dynamic young stars adding Stanley Cup experience and a seasoned blueliner?

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