Cornwall - Feb. 28, 2011 - As part of my regular contributions to OurHometown.ca, I will write the occasional column about my random thoughts from the world of hockey. For lack of a better name, I will refer to these columns as a "Bag of Pucks". You may agree, you may disagree and that's okay. Drop a line to OurHometown.ca by clicking the link below and provide your thoughts!
SLOW START - By 11:45 am on Trade Deadline Monday, there had only been one trade to report. A minor deal that saw Atlanta send Niclas Bergfors to Florida for Radek Dvorak. All the major sport networks and radio talk shows went on the air at 8:00 am and for the first 225 minutes, they had very little to talk about! At one point, TSN commentators were talking about last night Oscar awards. It was a very quiet day on the trade front, one that hardly justified the countless hours of radio and television coverage. However, like many other Canadians, I couldn't help myself but to check the web or listen to the Team 990 throughout the day.
SOMETIMES LESS IS MORE - Apparently the right deal was not available for many NHL General Managers. There was a great deal of speculation that Brad Richards, Ales Hemsky, John Michael Liles, Andrei Kostitsyn and others might change their address but in the end, none of them got moved today. Some of the Canadian teams got an early jump on the trade deadline.
Montreal brought in James Wisniewski, Brent Sopel and Paul Mara. Toronto made the Tomas Kaberle deal, moved Kris Versteeg to Philadelphia and acquired Joffrey Lupul from Anaheim. Ottawa moved Chris Kelly, Alexei Kovalev and acquired Craig Anderson. Edmonton made one of the biggest trades today by getting a pile of picks and a prospect from Los Angeles. Vancouver added some depth today in the acquisitions of Maxim Lapierre and Chris Higgins. Calgary was surprisingly quiet, picking up Freddy Modin in a trade and Brett Carson off waivers.
Some of the bigger deals took place in the last month. The Kaberle deal, the Neal-Goligoski deal and the Johnson-Stewart trade are all examples of moves that happened in advance of today’s trade deadline. Brian Burke has often said that he prefers to do his trading in advance of the deadline because there is less pressure to get something done under the gun.
As quiet as it was, as a hockey fan it was tough not to pay attention in hopes that there would be something big announced.
WHAT'S IN A NUMBER? - Bryan McCabe could not get his familiar #24 in the Big Apple, so he will wear #28 with the Rangers. McCabe has also worn #4, #44 and #23 in his career. I will keep an eye in the coming days to see what numbers all the traded players will wear.
NEVER SAY NEVER - After a weekend that was described as key to their playoff run, the Leafs now sit 4 points out of a playoff spot with 19 games to go. The surprising play of goaltender James Reimer has propelled the Leafs into a position to have a shot at the post-season. He left last night's game with an injury, however early reports are suggesting that he exit was a precautionary measure.