Nothing happens

The NHL trade deadline can be like Christmas morning for hockey fans, and this year it was almost as if Christmas came twice in a single week. On Sunday, team Canada won the gold medal at the Olympics, and on Wednesday, the trade deadline was at hand. However in comparison to the Olympics, the trade-deadline was very anti-climactic – as if instead of two Christmases, you’re the kid whose birthday is on the 27th, and you end up getting a bunch of socks as an afterthought.

This year, all the big deals happened prior to the Olympic roster freeze. The Ilya Kovalchuck sweepstakes were won by the New Jersey Devils and Brian Burke pulled off probably the biggest blockbuster, acquiring Dion Phaneuf for his Toronto Maple Leafs. The Calgary Flames were also active sellers; by trading away Phaneuf and Olli Jokinen they dumped salary, but also brought in some good players (Matt Stajan and Ales Kotalik) in a rebuilding attempt. After the Olympics, things calmed down. A lot.

There were deals made, but none to the large degree anticipated. This can be accounted for by the overall trend of teams trying to hang on to draft picks, and the high asking prices for players. For example, the Canucks traded a 3rd round draft pick to Carolina for Andrew Alberts, a fifth defenseman on the depth chart of most NHL clubs. As a result of high asking prices, most of the dealing came for smaller name players. For those of you who missed out, here are a few trades that may have flew under the radar, but that will undoubtedly have a great effect down the stretch run.

Scott Walker to Washington

Walker was brought in to help Washington’s penalty kill, which is currently second-worst in the league. In his second game he found his scoring touch, picking up two goals in his first match as a Capital. A great pick-up for the Caps, considering they only gave up a 7th round draft pick.

Wojtek Wolski to Phoenix

Phoenix sent third year forward Peter Mueller and a minor leaguer to Colorado in return for this great two-way player. Wolski has great offensive potential (next year Phoenix will count on him to score at least 60 points), but is also defensively responsible (he sports a +16 rating this year). Phoenix will make their first playoff appearance in seven seasons this year and General manager Don Maloney’s busy deadline day (seven trades) tell his team that he wants to be a Stanley Cup contender this year.

Fredrik Modin to Los Angeles

Modin brings over a decade’s worth of NHL experience and a Stanley Cup ring to a young King’s dressing room. Although Modin is no longer a player who scores 25 goals a year, he has done it a few times throughout the course of his career. He will be sound defensively for the Kings, and likely chip in a few points, but the main upside in this acquisition is how he will influence the young Kings players in the playoffs, L.A.’s first post-season trip in seven seasons.

Colin May
// Writer

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