Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What happened to the trade deadline?

Is it possible that the general managers got the date wrong and thought the trade deadline was February 18th, only to find out that it was the 28th? Yesterday was the quietest deadline in the last ten years, with only one significant player (Penner) and one formerly significant player (Arnott) moving. To contrast, on February 18th we saw the movement of Kaberle, Stewart, Shattenkirk (c'mon the best name in the NHL) Erik Jonson, Brewer and Anderson, now that is what I am talking about. Well I guess the two deals do deserve to be analyzed.

Penner joining the Kopitar and Dustin Brown on the top line, creates a very difficult matchup to defend against. Surrounding Kopitar with two strong wingers will provide one of the best puck cycling lines in the NHL. All three of them should see a significant boost in their production over the rest of the season. All the respect to Brad Richardson but he has no business playing anything higher than the third line on any team in the NHL. Together with Williams (congrats on the new deal, now just stay healthy) Stoll and Smyth on the second line, their is finally some offensive potential from this team.

This deal made sense for the Oilers as well, they got a rugged defensive prospect in Colten Teubert (although his stock has dropped significantly lately) and a couple of picks. In the rebuilding mode, Penner is not the kind of player you want to pay the big bucks to. It is better to hold off on that money so that when your stars need to get re-upped you have the cash available. (Will be interesting to see what will happen with the Lightning with Stamkos and Hedman).

For more on Teubert:

Arnott is a very interesting case to anlayze, especially from a fantasy perspective. He provides for the Caps the legit number two center that they have been looking for, and also a big body in front of the net on their surprisingly 25th ranked power play. Also, he will be expected to bring the playoff experience that he has from his Cup winning seasons to a team that just seems to buckle for one reason or another every single year. After watching his game Tuesday night, and his beautiful pass to Laich for the tying goal, look for Arnott to provide solid fantasy numbers the rest of the way. A lot was expected from Arnott upon his return to the Devils, and that never happened. However, I think though that with the talent surrounding him in Washington he will have his numbers improved.

The Capitals also did really well bringing in Dennis Wideman. He will provide stability to the backend with Green having an injury-filled season. The new look Caps look destined for a deep playoffs this season, especially when considering their attention to defence this season.

The Devils made a savvy pickup in this deal. David Steckel is one of the best face-off men in the NHL and will fill a void in their lineup since the days of the all-important John Madden. I think most expect the Devils to bounceback next year and re-enter the playoffs and Steckel will be a huge part of their success. Also, they added a second rounder for Arnott, who after his lackadaisical season was most definitely not coming back next year. Good move Lou! I am sure ownership did not force you into this one!

A key difference between this trade deadline and the previous few, is the upcoming free agency market and draft. Aside from Brad Richards there are no big names out there to catch, and teams feel that the selling value of players may be higher at that time. Also, this years draft is considered to be one of the weaker ones in memory, so the value placed on picks was not as high. Also, due to the parity in the NHL, very few picks for later years were trading hands, as teams are scared that their teams may plunder and the value of their picks may skyrocket. Can you imagine if the Avs and Sens after making the playoffs last year had traded their picks this year? Yikes! I think the thought of being the next Brian Burke scared a lot of GMs off.

Hopefully we will see more action next year!

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