March 11, 2006

Hockey: Shake It Up

Lots of trades, not a lot of players traded, relatively speaking. Lots of draft picks got moved around as GMs tried to figure out the new cap-limited world. After a slow start on deadline day, they seemed to get the hang of it: 16 of 25 trades happened with only one hour left. So what the heck happened? Why, by sheer coincidence every single team won their trades this year! No, really; just ask them!

So what really happened? A quick run-down:


Net Gains: Anaheim got F Jeff Friesen again at the trade deadline. They also got the shockingly tough D Sean O’Donnell from Phoenix for unused F Joel Perreault.
Net Losses: Last time they got Friesen, it cost Teemu Selanne; this time it’s a more reasonable price of a 2nd round pick in 2006, though that may have been over paying. Sandis Ozolinsh has also been moved out to the Rangers for a (San Jose) 3rd round pick, and veteran D Keith Carney was bundled with Finnish League D Juha Alen off to Vancouver for prospect D Brent Skinner and a 2006 2nd round pick.
Sum Total: Ozolinsh had already been replaced by Niedermayer, Friesen has been having an awful year (but he plays for Washington, so…), and O’Donnell is tougher, though not quite as skilled as Carney. They’re up a draft pick, too. The prospects will dictate how this trade went, but for now a slight gain.
Arbitrary Rating: +1


Net Gains: Minor moves for a team pushing for a playoff spot. D Steve McCarthy came over from Vancouver for a fourth round 2006 pick, who had been traded to Vancouver for a third round pick, and had originally been drafted in the first round of 1999.
Net Losses: Rarely used F Rico Fata was taken off waivers by Washington.
Sum Total: Strictly a depth move. They’re three points out of a playoff spot, six points away from sixth place, and have won seven of their last ten games, so why mess?
Arbitrary Rating: 0


Net gains: The sound you heard was GM Mike O’Connell saying “Oh, fuck it” to this season. They picked up seldom used F Mariusz Czerkzwski (Spell Check’s favorite name) off waivers from Toronto.
Net Losses: Having already said goodbye to their best player, they promptly sent the second best away, trading oft-injured F Sergei Samsonov to Edmonton for C Marty Reasoner, C Yan Stastny and a second round pick.
Sum Total: O’Connell explained that part of the trade was doubts about re-signing Samsonov; then he admitted that he didn’t bother trying to. Kind of says it all.
Arbitrary Rating: -2


Net Gains: A quieter phone (temporarily).
Net Losses: The most troublesome three-headed monster since Cerberus, one (Mika Noronen) of three solid goalies has been traded to Vancouver for a second round pick.
Sum Total: A little cheap, perhaps, given that Edmonton got 36 year old G Dwayne Roloson for a cost of a first round pick plus futures. Then again, Noronen has only played in four games this year and has a career NHL record of 22-31-6.
Arbitrary Rating: 0


Net Gains: Not a whole lot. Not a thing, in fact.
Net Losses: C Jason Wiemer went to New Jersey for a fourth round pick in 2006.
Sum Total: Calgary loses a grinding forward. Better be careful, as they only have 15 more. They get a little something for someone they won’t miss.
Arbitrary Rating: +0.5


Net Gains: Hoo, boy! Veteran F Mark Recchi now knows how C Doug Weight felt, going from the worst team (Pittsburgh) in the league to the best. The exchange was for F Niklas Nordgren, C Krys Kolanos and a second round pick in 2007.
Net Losses: Nada. Zip. Can you believe this?
Sum Total: Could we just give GM Jim Rutherford the “Executive of the Year” award now and save some time? They get a scoring, battle-hardened, playoff-tested veteran for two fourth-liners and a second round pick.
Arbitrary Rating: +3 (+5 if they can sign him for next year, too).


Net Gains: Prospect F Brandon Bochenski and a second round 2006 pick from Ottawa.
Net Losses: Inconsistent F Tyler Arnason was the cost for Bochenski, D Todd Simpson brought a sixth round pick from Montreal, C Jim Dowd brought a fourth round pick from Colorado, and C Andy Hilbert was lost off waivers to Pittsburgh.
Sum Total: The trade might come back to bite them, as Arnason is young and should be a thirty-goal man in the near future, if he ever gets it together for a full year. Bochenski is a rookie, though a good looking one, and may or may not pan out. Not great value for Simpson.
Arbitrary Rating: -1


Net gains: Injured and distracted Vezina and Hart winner Jose Theodore. Veteran C Jim Dowd (from, no kidding, Brick, New Jersey) came in from Chicago for a fourth round pick to add depth to an injured line up (Konowalchuk, Vaananen, Svatos).
Net Losses: The cost for Theodore was pretty steep, as in G David Aebischer.
Sum Total: Theodore is a much better goaltender than Aebischer, or would be in a normal (read: not drama-filled) year. The only question is whether Theodore will have another normal year.
Arbitrary Rating: +2


Net Gains: Trading away a “captain” who resigned his C.
Net Losses: That would be D Luke Richardson, traded for a conditional pick.
Sum Total: Richardson is big, tough, and experienced; he’s also old, slow and has never had more than 4 goals or 21 points in a season.
Arbitrary Rating: +1 Addition by subtraction, this.


Net Gains: Tough shut-down D Willie Mitchell and 2nd round 2007 pick from Minnesota.
Net Losses: D Martin Skoula, D Shawn Belle, and a 2nd round pick in 2006.
Sum Total: Mitchell is a free agent after this year, so he’s a rental, but he provides more of what Dallas was missing than Skoula or Belle could have provided.
Arbitrary Rating: +2


Net Gains: Big (6’5”) D Cory Cross arrives from Pittsburgh for a 4th round pick in 2007.
Net Losses: Seventh D Jamie Rivers got sent to Phoenix for a 2006 7th round pick.
Sum Total: An oddly quiet year for what’s usually one of the big deadline teams, the cap has put a damper on that. Cross is a good player, but he plays smaller than his size. Rivers was an asset they just weren’t going to use.
Arbitrary Rating: 0


Net Gains: Veteran G Dwayne Roloson came from Minnesota for Edmonton’s first round pick in 2006 plus “futures”, whatever they may be. Oh yeah, some Russian forward named Sergei Samsonov, too.
Net Losses: The 29 year old C Marty Reasoner was clearly too old for the Oilers, so he and C Yan Stastny were sent to the Bruins with a 2nd round pick. G Mike Morrison was claimed off waivers by Ottawa.
Sum Total: Rock solid Roloson is an upgrade in net, though how Markkanen will feel about being pushed back to second place is debatable. Samsonov is a brilliant offensive force… when he can stay healthy. His speed will fit in well with Edmonton, but so did Reasoner. Samsonov’s impending free agency makes this a risk.
Arbitrary Rating: +2


Net Gains: Second-pair D Ric Jackman came in from Pittsburgh for former 2002 first round pick C Petr Taticek.
Net Losses: It’s who they didn’t lose, really.
Sum Total: Re-signing C Chris Gratton and C Olli Jokinen will help Florida keep G Roberto Luongo around.
Arbitrary Rating: +1


Net Gains: Experience for youth, bringing in F Mark Parrish and D Brent Sopel.
Net Losses: Going back were D Denis Grebeshkov, F Jeff Tambellini (yes, son of Steve) and a 3rd round pick in 2006.
Sum Total: The kids leaving have loads of talent, but LA can spare a little future depth for current production as they work to keep their playoff spot.
Arbitrary Rating: +1


Net Gains: Defensemen Skoula and Belle came with a 2nd round pick in 2007 from Dallas, and F Mattias Weinhandl came off waivers from the Islanders.
Net Losses: The Dallas trade cost one big D in Willie Mitchell. Everyone knew G Roloson would move once G Fernandez was signed, but it was surprising that he went to the team the Wild are chasing for a playoff spot, as Edmonton paid a 1st rounder for him.
Sum Total: Great price for Roloson, not so good for the best defenseman on a defensive team.
Arbitrary Rating: -1


Net Gains: Streaky G David Aebischer came from Colorado, and veteran tough guy D Todd Simpson came from Chicago for a 6th round pick.
Net Losses: Often brilliant G Jose Theodore was sent packing, with all his associated distractions.
Sum Total: Aebischer may be coming in to be the number two guy, behind a surprisingly capable G Cristobal Huet, who will hold the fort until G Carey Price matures in three or four (or five) years. Simpson adds some honest toughness to help young D Mike Komisarek.
Arbitrary Rating: -1


Net Gains: An aggressive team gets tougher, picking up D Brendan Witt from Washington for F Kris Beech and a first round pick this year.
Net Losses: Beech – that’s it.
Sum Total: Fantastic pick up for a young team. Witt doesn’t score, but they don’t need him to. He does block shots and hit like an avalanche, and Washington G Olaf Kolzig is crying in his beer right now.
Arbitrary Rating: +2


Net Gains: Veteran D Ken Klee from Toronto for minor leaguer F Aleksander Suglobov, and another experienced D in Brad Lukowich from the Islanders for a 3rd round pick. Center Jason Weimer was bought from Calgary for a 4th round pick.
Net losses: Former first round pick D Sean Brown went to Vancouver for a 4th round pick in 2006.
Sum Total: New Jersey has been bitten hard by the injury bug on defense this year, so I can’t blame them for overreacting, but Klee and Lukowich are strictly depth players.
Arbitrary Rating: 0 (+1 for every D missing a game in the playoffs.)


Net Gains: Prospects in D Grebeshkov and F Tambellini.
Net Losses: Cy Young candidate F Parrish (24G, 17A), giant (6’5”) C Oleg Kvasha, minute-eating D Sopel, Veteran D Lukowich.
Sum Total: Now that’s how you clean house! Apparently, outgoing GM Mike Milbury couldn’t get anyone to take C Alexi Yashin and his rather foolish contract, but he’s left the team younger and cheaper for the new GM, whoever that will be (my guess: Steve Tambellini).
Arbitrary Rating: +2


Net Gains: Scoring D Sandis Ozolinsh from Anaheim for a 3rd round pick.
Net Losses: Gritty (and much-traded) F Ville Nieminen to San Jose for said 3rd round pick.
Sum Total: This ended up being Nieminen for Ozolinsh, and the Rangers needed a point man more than a grinding forward.
Arbitrary Rating: +1


Net Gains: Back up G Mike Morrison came off waivers from Edmonton, and the skilled (if enigmatic) F Tyler Arnason came from Chicago for prospect F Brandon Bochenski and a 2nd round pick.
Net Losses: Nothing else.
Sum Total: Can’t see how Arnason improves the team much, but Morrison will give Emery a bit of breathing room until Hasek returns.
Arbitrary Rating: -1


Net Gains: Bruising D Denis Gautier came from Phoenix for two 2006 second round picks and AHL grinder F Josh Gratton, F Niko Dimitrakos came from San Jose for a 3rd round pick.
Net Losses: None.
Sum Total: With only five players making it to 60 games so far, depth is necessary and they got some. Gautier is a shut-down player and Dimitrakos brings some speed to the third line and power play.
Arbitrary Rating: +2


Net Gains: F Oleg Kvasha is now a Coyote in return for a 3rd round pick being sent to the Islanders. Depth D Jamie Rivers came from Detroit for a 7th round pick.
Net Losses: Tough Defensemen Denis Gautier and Sean O’Donnell were sent to Philadelphia and Anaheim respectively, and young C Jamie Lundmark went to Calgary for a 4th round pick.
Sum Total: A young team gets a bit younger and lot softer. After a massive number of trades this year, these guys have got to be looking forward to the stability of the off season!
Arbitrary Rating: -2


Net Gains: Waiver pick up C Andy Hilbert is a scorer in the AHL, but has yet to do so much in the bigs. F Niklas Nordgren and C Krys Kolanos came with a second round 2007 pick from Carolina.
Net Losses: Carolina got F Mark Recchi in return. Ouch. D Ric Jackman went to Detroit for minor leaguer C Petr Taticek, and D Cory Cross went to Detroit for a 4th round pick.
Sum Total: Recchi scores, hits, is fantastically durable, and wanted to stay in Pittsburgh. Can’t keep him around, then. *snark*
Arbitrary Rating: -3


Net Gains: None.
Net Losses: Venerable (ancient?) D Eric Weinrich went to Vancouver for a 3rd round pick and AHL D Tomas Mojzis.
Sum Total: The big trades already happened, with Weight, Pronger and Sillinger leaving earlier. Shame they didn’t do it sooner in the season: they’re 7-1-2 in their last ten. A lack of pressure, perhaps?
Arbitrary Rating: +1 Whatever they’re doing, it seems to be working so far.


Net gains: Super pest F Ville Nieminen from the Rangers for a 3rd round pick.
Net Losses: The smooth Niko Dimitrakos (from Sommersville, Mass.) is now a Flyer for another 3rd round pick.
Sum Total: Adding a dimension the Sharks have often lacked this year, they hope Nieminen can toughen them up for a playoff push.
Arbitrary Rating: +1


Net Gains: None.
Net Losses: None.
Sum Total: Young, enthusiastic team that’s up against the salary cap. They could have used some defensive help, but if the deal’s not there, don’t make it.
Arbitrary Rating: 0


Net Gains: Old, slow D Luke Richardson joins old, brittle Leafs for a conditional (5th or 6th round) pick.
Net Losses: D Ken Klee went to New Jersey for talented AHL F Aleksander Suglobov, and rarely used F Mariusz Czerkawski was picked up by Boston off waivers.
Sum Total: Kind of cool that two players went back to the teams that drafted them, but other than that…? Suglobov could be a gem if he ever becomes consistent, and he’ll get his chances with Toronto.
Arbitrary Rating: 0


Net Gains: Lots. Iron horse D Keith Carney and Finnish League D Juha Alen came from Anaheim, with prospect D Brett Skinner and a 2006 2nd round pick going back; veteran D Eric Weinrich was added from St. Louis for the very fast AHL D Tomas Mojzis and a 3rd round pick this year; depth D Sean Brown was claimed for a fourth round pick; and in the biggest deal third-string Buffalo G Mika Noronen was brought in for a second round pick.
Net Losses: Young D Steve McCarthy was traded to Atlanta for a 4th round pick.
Sum Total: The price for the two veteran defensemen may have been a bit steep, especially if they end up being rentals, with Vancouver’s injured top three D coming back for the playoffs, but without the rentals there may be no playoffs! And depth never hurts in the second season.
Arbitrary Rating: +2 (+3 if Noronen plays more than fifteen games, including playoffs)


Net Gains: The curious case of F Rico Fata comes to Washington off waivers. It’s his third team this year, and he’s one of those players who does great in the AHL, losing all his talent when promoted to the NHL.
Net Losses: Disappointing F Jeff Friesen was sent to Anaheim for a 2006 2nd round pick, and rock-solid D Brendan Witt went to Nashville for a 1st round pick and 25 year old C Kris Beech.
Sum Total: Well, what can you say? It would have been nice to get a young goalie for G Olaf Kolzig to tutor, but the Capitals really didn’t have that much to trade as almost everyone either underperformed or was simply tossed in over their heads this year. Four years from now, we may have quite a different story…
Arbitrary Rating: +1 A first round pick for someone every team knew wanted to leave is pretty good, and a 2nd rounder for Friesen is great, though no other team would have paid that.

Now let’s see how the new folks handle themselves, eh? The march to the playoffs continues!


posted by Thursday at 3:05 am


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