Making sense of the deadline trade moves and market...so far
So much for saving moves and fueling Trade Deadline fever by waiting until Monday. Instead, this year has already seen teams get out in front of the deadline and make significant trades. February has been busy indeed, with prominent players moving. Thanks for
For both teams, this deal has long-term value. In the short-term, it would seem the Penguins got the better of it, although they did assume up to $3 million more in contracts, which certainly played a role in the deal for the Stars, who are in a free fall in the Western Conference, and that puts GM Joe Nieuwendyk in a quandary. Is he buying, selling, reshuffling? This move either indicates he's clearing room in order to try to re-sign pending UFA Brad Richards or that he has to look toward the future, whether the Stars are a playoff team or not.
Typically, though, when young players of this caliber move, there are more dynamics at work than the proffered "you have to give good players to get quality in return". While that's true, it usually has something to do with intangibles. Call it attitude, work ethic, coachability, whatever you want, but when players this young exchange addresses, maturity is the catchall phrase. It also points to a variance in the building process of both young teams. Both Doug Armstrong in St. Louis and Greg Sherman in Denver just tweaked their business plans hoping that the players acquired grow up a little through the process and help their team grow as well.
The Washington Capitals have been quiet after retooling last season down the stretch only to lose in the first round of the playoffs. (Be wary, Boston Bruins -- sometimes too many moves hurt rather than help.) GM George McPhee still would like a second-line center, but he won't give up core young players...
The New York Rangers would like to add a forward and a defenseman, but so would most teams with postseason aspirations. If Brad Richards is in fact in play -- and that's up to him because he has a no-movement clause -- the Rangers would clearly have interest. The Avs and Sens, who switched goalies in a deal involving Brian Elliott going to Denver and Craig Anderson to Ottawa, are certainly in play with veterans Chris Phillips and Milan Hejduk on the block. The Edmonton Oilers also have players to part with, and Dustin Penner and Ales Hemsky keep surfacing...
In all, an interesting February, with more moves to come, as contenders bolster their rosters, outsiders restock and the mass in the middle struggles to find the balance between what makes sense now and helps them to move forward.