Today was certainly a busy day in the front offices of teams in the National Hockey League.
You know what they say about the best laid plans? I had everything all ready for a great blockbuster day of trades before Wednesday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline, but then the general managers had to get all antsy and jump the gun. Deadline day the last few years has been rendered moot because of the early wheeling and dealing, but I think this year could be different.
Don’t worry because I’ll be live-blogging the mayhem of deadline day tomorrow at TJRSports. You can follow my thoughts and commentary on Twitter @DanMountSports.
I’ll have the breakdown of the major trades and what it means for the teams involved.
Trade: Vancouver G Roberto Luongo and prospect Steven Anthony to Florida for G Jakob Markstrom and Shawn Matthias.
What it means for Vancouver: The long soap opera is over for the longtime Canucks netminder. Luongo played there from 2000-06 before being traded to the Canucks as a part of a six-player deal. The Canucks also get out from under that massive contract. Matthias is 26 and will settle into the third or fourth line.
What it means for Florida: Clearly Markstrom hasn’t lived up to the hopes of the organization and was dealt for Luongo. The deal means that new owner Dale Tallon is really try to get people to come to the rink as the Panthers are struggling to fill their arena. Luongo did some of his best work for the Panthers and won’t have to deal with the pressure of the Canadian media.
Trade: Edmonton G Ilya Bryzgalov to Minnesota for a fourth-round pick in 2014.
What it means to Minnesota: It gives the Wild some insurance with Niklas Backstrom out and Josh Harding dealing with the effects of the multiple sclerosis that has sidelined him since New Year’s Eve. The load has been heavy for rookie Darcy Kuemper, and the Bryz will lighten that load a bit until Backstrom and/or Harding come back.
Anaheim’s numerous trades
First: LW Dustin Penner traded to Washington for a fourth-round pick in 2014.
What it means to Washington: The Capitals are desperately looking for someone to compliment Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. Will this be the solution to push Washington into the playoffs?
Second: Dallas D Stephane Robidas traded to Anaheim for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2014.
Third: Anaheim G Viktor Fasth traded to Edmonton for a 2014 fourth-round pick and a 2015 third-round pick.
What it means for Edmonton: It gives a capable backup to the newly signed Ben Scrivens. Fasth has been a very capable deputy for the young former Cornell goalie. Fasth is used to being a backup, but can start for extended periods if Scrivens does get hurt.
What all of this means for Anaheim: First, it gives the Ducks a very solid defenseman in Robidas. He’s very tough along the blueline. The Ducks want to make a big push a give Teemu Selanne another Stanley Cup before he rides off into the sunset.
Second, could Anaheim be making a play for Thomas Vanek from the New York Islanders? Vanek already rejected a long-term deal, and is looking to land on a Cup contender. The Ducks certainly fit that bill. (Groan) Anaheim has a deep well of goalies and defensemen to offer the defensively-challenged Islanders. Even with Fasth getting sent to Edmonton, Anaheim has Frederik Andersen, John Gibson, and Igor Bobkov behind Jonas Hiller.
Trade: The Islanders send D Andrew McDonald to Philadelphia for a 2014 third-round pick, 2015 second-round pick and prospect Matt Mangene.
What this means to the Islanders: This could be a waving of the white flag for the Isles. McDonald averaged over 25 minutes a contest. He gets another salary off the books and New York gets a couple of high picks.
What it means to Philadelphia: The Flyers get a defenseman that leads the league in blocked shots and logs a lot of ice time. However, his possession numbers aren’t the best, and his contract comes up at the end of the season. The Flyers are trying to make a playoff push and McDonald will help.
Trade: Washington RW Martin Erat and prospect John Mitchell for D Rostislav Klesla, C Chris Brown and 2015 fourth-round pick.
What it means to Washington: The long ordeal surrounding Erat is over as he has wanted a trade out of DC for months. The Caps fill a position of need with Klesla, but he’s been banged up most of the season and in the minors for stretches of it.
What it means to Phoenix: Let’s remember that Erat was once a top-six center for the Nashville Predators. If he can find his scoring touch, the Coyotes may have gotten a steal. However, he needs to wake up and get back to his old ways.
There may be more trades throughout the night so I will continue to update the entry. Also, I’ll have a live blog up and running around 8 a.m. ET and a final analysis later in the week. See you soon.
Dan Mount is an NHL writer for TJRSports.com. He is based out Watertown, NY.