Being benched for the Heritage Classic led to Roberto Luongo
's stunning exit from Vancouver. (Graig Abel/Getty Images)
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie hopped on the NHL Network to share some late-night trade gossip, including insight into what prompted the Roberto Luongo deal.
• The Luongo trade marks the end of one of the most grievously mishandled talent surpluses hockey has ever seen. Does it mean the end of Vancouver's playoff chances as well?
• David Hyde says that the deal for Luongo feels more like a desperate cry for attention than a bold move toward respectability for the Panthers.
• The Luongo trade forced the Canucks to dress a backup who hasn't played in nine years.
• Contract talks continue between the Rangers and captain Ryan Callahan, but the time to come to a new agreement is rapidly running out. Fans of both don't care which side blinks first, as long as one of them does.
• The upstart Avalanche knocked off the Blackhawks last night to pull to within one point of the defending Stanley Cup champs in the Central Division. Nathan MacKinnon also etched his name alongside Wayne Gretzky's in the NHL record book. Pretty good night for Colorado, all things considered.
• With just hours separating him from a possible trade, pending UFA Paul Stastny said he's willing to offer the Avs a hometown discount if that's what it takes to keep him in Colorado.
• The acquisition of Ilya Bryzgalov allowed the Wild to end the season of one of their most popular players.
• Ryan Miller and Steve Ott are gone, but the fire sale continues in Buffalo. The question now: Does anyone want what the Sabres are selling? They might have run out of options yesterday with Jaroslav Halak, and the market has been fairly cool to this point regarding Matt Moulson.
• Eric Duhatschek writes that the overriding theme of Tuesday's flurry of trades is that goaltenders sometimes need a fresh start to get their game back on track.
• Getting a star player like Steven Stamkos or Mikko Koivu healthy at the right time can make a greater impact on a team's fortunes than a bold deadline trade.
• The Red Wings haven’t missed the playoffs since before Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan were born, but with a roster riddled with injuries it might be up to the three youngsters to keep Detroit's 22-year streak alive.
• The Maple Leafs' playoff chances would look a lot better if someone other than Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk could provide some consistent scoring. Dave Bolland's return might fill the void, but it could be up to GM Dave Nonis to upgrade Toronto's offense today.
• The Flyers are using some advanced statistics that were generated in practice to give them a new kind of edge. It's interesting that they're the only NHL club to use this data so far.
• Playing in what might have been his last game with the Devils
, Martin Brodeur
passed on a chance to go out in high style.