Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Deadline Recap: Habs Disappoint; Crosby Gets His Winger

As a Sharks fan, I'm very excited!
As a Habs fan...I'm at a loss for words.


Here are the NOTEWORTHY deals of the day in chronological order:

- San Jose acquires D Brian Campbell and a 7th round pick
Buffalo acquires F Steve Bernier and a 1st round pick.

Love this one for the Sharks, as they have been abysmal to watch lately. This should help the powerplay and adresses their need for a puck moving d-man. Buffalo gets a fantastic young developing power forward in Steve Bernier, who's got a very bright future in the league.

- Dallas acquires F Brad Richards and G Johan Holmqvist
Tampa Bay acquires F Jussi Jokinen, G Mike Smith, F Jeff Halpern and a 4th round pick.

The Stars make a nice splash acquiring Richards and a nice backup for Turco in Holmqvist, who I believe can be a great goaltender in this league...the problem for him was the goalie-killer, Tortorella. The Lightning get up-and-commer Jussi Jokinen in return, and defensive specialist Jeff Halpern as well. Mike Smith will finally get that #1 role he's been longing for.

- Washington acquires G Cristobal Huet
Montreal acquires a 2009 2nd round pick.

Initially believed to be part of something bigger...but, it wasn't. Habs fans were let down once AGAIN this year, despite the rumours that actually had significant evidence to back up. The Habs have decided out of the blue to hand over the reigns to 20 year old Carey Price, who will now be under tremendous scrutiny for everything he does wrong. The Habs may have been trying to acquire something for the impending unrestricted free agent, but a 2nd rounder is way under-priced. A nice steal for Washington here. Gainey let us down folks, AGAIN - that's really all I can say.

- Colorado acquires D Ruslan Salei
Florida acquires D Karlis Skrastins and a 3rd round pick.

The Avs got a little more physical with Salei, but an overall fair deal. Skrastins is an iron-man in the league.

- Carolina acquires F Tuomo Ruutu
Chicago acquires F Andrew Ladd.

If Tuomo can help Carolina make the playoffs, he can finally get his chance to prove to the world that he CAN live up to the hype. He's been compared to as a Peter Forsberg type player throughout his young career, and he can definitely bring a much needed physical/offensive asset to this Hurricanes club. The Hawk's get bigger, and get a power forward in training who can crash the net like the best of them. Two young, very hgih potential players swapped here, and it will be interesting to look back on this deal 4 or 5 years down the line.

- Ottawa acquires F Martin Lapointe
Chicago acquires a 6th round pick.

A character player heads over to Ottawa, as they continue to add veteran help. Lapointe can still score, and will stick up for his teammates without hesistation.

- Colorado acquires D Adam Foote
Columbus acquires a conditional 1st round pick in 08 or 09 and a 4th round pick.

Colorado have decided to go back to their former heroes. First Forsberg, now Foote, and almost had Blake by the deadline apparently, but that wasn't meant to be. Foote will be a real nice addidtion, joining the likes of shut-down d-man Scott Hannan and offensive specialists Liles and Leopold. A real nice quartet in Denver, hard to see the Avs missing the playoffs now.

- Washington acquires F Sergei Fedorov
Columbus acquires D Theo Ruth.

The Caps (apart from Pittsburgh) are the winners of the East on deadline day. Acquiring Fedorov promotes the prospect of an all-russian super-line in Fedorov, Ovechkin and Semin, although it is unlikely to happen as Semin and Ovechkin are natural left-wingers. Also, Backstrom has been doing superbly well centering Ovechkin and Kozlov.

- Vancouver acquires F Matt Pettinger
Washinton acquires F Matt Cooke.

The "Matt" exhange sees two grinders switching scenarios. Not much more to say here, but I slightly prefer Cooke to Pettinger, so I chalk up the win to Washington.

- New York Rangers acquire D Christian Backman
St. Louis acquires a 4th round pick.

The Rangers' search for a defensive upgrade comes to a rest with the acquisition of Christian Backman...if you're thinking "well that's nothing to brag about", you're right. I think the Rangers dropped the ball today, but not as badly as Montreal.

- Pittsburgh acquires D Hal Gill
Toronto acquires a 2nd and 5th round picks.

The 6 foot 7 250lb stalwart d-man heads to Pittsburgh to provide more stability on the back end. A pretty solid pickup for the Pens here, but nothing compared to the bombshell that dropped at 2:58 p.m.

- Pittsburgh acquires F Marian Hossa and F Pascal Dupuis
Atlanta acquires F Colby Armstrong, F Erik Christensen, F Angelo Esposito and a draft pick.

Bombshell. Heartbreak. In that order. The Habs hype that's lasted for well over three weeks came to end with 2 minutes to go on deadline day, as the Pens landed the Slovakian dynamo away from Atlanta. Hossa will slot into place on the wing alongside Sid the Kid, replacing a role thought to be Colby Armstrong's for a few years now. Hossa provides the natural scoring ability to take some heat off Sid, and combined with the likes of Malkin, Staal and Sykora, the Pens now posess a disturbing plethora of offensive talent. Gone are Erik Christensen (who saw limited time in Pittsburgh thanks to his placement on the depth chart behind Crosby, Malkin and Staal at center), Armstrong (who never really developed into the power forward they anticipated, and 20th overall selection in the '07 draft Angelo Esposito, who was disappointing in the preseason for Pittsburgh, shying away from any and all physical activity. The Pens also acquired Pascal Dupuis, who has had a disappointing season thus far, but can turn it around in Pittsburgh. I don't see how Gainey couldn't get a deal done with Waddell after all the time Waddell spent scoping out the Habs young and current stars...I'm so disappointed.

- Detroit acquires D Brad Stuart
L.A. acquires 2nd and 4th round picks.

I had rumoured the Wings to acquire Stuart a while back, and they eventually did so. Great move by the Wings, as Stuart can now be a 2nd line PP point-man alongside Kronwall/Samuelsson. Also, acquiring Stuart is a great move because of the injuries to Rafalski and Lidstrom right now.

- Florida acquires F Chad Kilger D/F Wade Belak
Toronto for 3rd and 5th round picks.

Minor deal, of course, but still an improvement to their AHL-like roster of now.

- New York Rangers acquire F Fredrik Sjostrom, G David LeNeveu and F Josh Gratton
Phoenix acquires G Al Montoya and F Marcel Hossa.

Al Montoya has the potential to be a star in the league, but behind recently locked up Henrik Lundqvist, it wasn't to be in New York. Marcel Hossa should be able to figure in the lineup in Phoenix consistently and immediately, something he wasn't able to hold down in NY. Sjostrom is a streaky player, but does own some nifty highlight-reel goals in the past. LeNeveu, also a highly touted youngster, has struggled in the NHL with Phoenix. Josh Gratton adds more size down the middle.

- Anaheim acquires D Marc-Andre Bergeron
New York Islanders acquires a 3rd round pick.

Anaheim adds ANOTHER offensive defenseman, who to me figures in behind Pronger, Niedermayer, Beauchemin and Schneider on the depth chart. Nevertheless, a solid depth pickup should one of those 4 go down. Wise move to protect his lineup by Burke.


Alright...please, help me understand guys! What happened with Montreal!? Are you really surprised, or have you come to expect this of Gainey? What do you think of dropping Huet for a 2nd rounder? PLEASE LET ME KNOW, I NEED ANSWERS!!!!!


Karl said...

i refuse to shit on Gainey...he was realistic by not giving up Higgins...as happy as i would have been w/ Hossa...he doesn't perform in the playoffs and he was very expensive....i think we will be fine down the stretch...we will not win the cup this yr...and we werent going to do it with or without Huet and/or Hossa

paul said...

i agree with karl i just think that everyone was exited about a big name coming to mtl and now that we got nothing its a little hard to except. i think gainey tried and was blindsided by pittsburg.Now thats its over lets get back to winning and make a playoff run.

sasabainga said...

I think we had reason to be excited for a big name, because we haven't had one for about 10 years to be honest. Kovalev and Theodore may be the biggest names we've had lately, which isn't saying much: Kovy broke out this year after a dysmal year last season, and Theo struggled badly after his Vezina 02 season. We needed a star like Hossa, and if it was to cost us Ryder, Lapierre and Grabovski, and a pick here or there, or an Emelin/Valentenko or Fischer, he should have done it. I'd still have done it for Higgins, although I like the guy. Hossa is an established premier two-way forward, with game breaking ability. He has 35 points in 55 games in the playoffs, and although it's only 13 goals, I'd take that any day...he has his best years ahead of him as he is now in his prime. I'm sorry guys, but I'm let down, big time.

paul said...

i feel let down to i was wondering what happened with Olli Jokinen could the blackouts in south florida played a factor.

paul said...

i just watched the gainey press conference it seems that atlanta was asking for one thing this morning and them asked for more late in the day.

optimist prime said...

I'm gonna have to go with sal on this one! this is not only dissappointing,but, this puts alot of damn pressure on a 20 year old, who might i add is backed up by another youngin'. Both of these players combine for 0 playoff experience. Now, suppose the habs somehow hold on to the 5th spot, chances are they play the "megatron" of the east right now in the penguins or the Habs killer himself martin brodure. to me giving up your starting goaler was not a good move... hell i wouldn't even call it a move. this is going to be interesting to see how price will react to this one. i seriously think this hurts the habs chances of going far in the playoffs this year.

sasabainga said...

The new thing now for bandwagonning fans will be waiting for the playoffs, and, SHOULD we qualify, bandwaggon-ing for Price to pull another AHL Calder Cup miracle run.

It seems like the Habs are willing to base a lot of this regular season on post-season luck.

We needed a scorer, we didn't get it. I say our BEST chance will be to finish 6th (because I now believe 4th and 5th are out of the picture) and playing the 3rd seed from the weaker Southeast division.

But, how WEIRD would it be for us to face the Capitals? I could definitely see Huet and Price going toe-to-toe in what would be an absolutely sensational series for that reason alone.

paul said...

prime just to note Huet has only six playoff games under his belt, 2 wins and 4 loses and also the only other playoff game in the AHL is a lose, also the only playoff type game last year a 6-5 lose to toronto in the last game, Price who i have to admit is very up/down this season and i'm not 100%conviced he is ready to be the number 1 goalie, he did carry the Bulldogs to the Calder Cup, and led team Canada to Gold in the world jrs 2 years ago. Thats says alot about him under pressure and i can only hope for the best.

sasabainga said...

well put.

paul said...

also just to note the game he played in the ahl playoffs he got shelled for 8 goals against, but dont get me wrong i still like huet as a goalie and he did a lot for montreal in his time here i hope he does well.do u think him being traded to washington affected the hossa deal(maybe waddell was pissed that montreal helped washington)i dont know just a thought.

sasabainga said...

Yeah it may have played a role, but when it really comes down to it, Atlanta had a laugher of an offer from Pittsburgh that they couldn't in their right mind pass up, so in the end, he accepted the better deal as opposed to making a deal out of spite.

On top of that, Kolzig (as of now) is still slated as the #1, and should see 3-to-1 action time in tandem with Huet (kind of a reversal of what we saw with Huet & Price).