Top Line: Deadline trade grades; Garth Snow on thin ice?; more links

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Why is this man smiling? Montreal GM Marc Bergevin had a very good deadline day. (Ryan Remiorz/AP)

Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin

By Allan Muir

An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:

• Jim Matheson offers grades for each team that took part in trade deadline activity and says it was a better day for buyers than for sellers. Hard to argue with that assessment considering how little money prime scorers with expiring contracts fetched on the market.

• Eric Duhatschek agrees with Matheson's assessment, saying that there won't be any cases of buyer's remorse when the league's general managers wake up this morning.

Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin went from being burned in effigy to being elected mayor of Fickleville after his deadline-beating deal that brought Thomas Vanek to Montreal.

• It's pretty clear that  Garth Snow is no Rumpelsiltskin after he failed in his efforts to spin Vanek into gold, but the Islanders GM is well situated for success a few months down the road when the draft rolls around. That, however, begs the question: Should Snow be the one who is allowed to call the shots in June?

• Rory Boylen lists the Canadiens, the Kings, the Rangers, the Capitals and the Senators as his five winners of deadline day.

• Adam Proteau takes issue with Boylen's acclaim for Washington, saying that its acquisitions don't make the team a sure thing for the playoffs, let alone a contender.

• Acquiring Martin St. Louis for futures is the kind of deal that a team on the verge of Stanley Cup contention makes, and the Rangers are not that team. Larry Brooks says that this is another case of New York trying to push the process by bringing in an aging star at the expense of the team's future.

• Martin Fennelly calls the St. Louis trade "a two-hander to the skull" of the Tampa community. Yeah, they're not happy down there.

• Former captain St. Louis left a Dear John letter for the Lightning's jilted fans.

• Steve Yzerman says that he'll try to re-sign new Tampa Bay winger Ryan Callahan before he gets to free agency this summer.

• Bucky Gleason writes that new Sabres GM Tim Murray showed the courage to make deals in a way that his predecessor, Darcy Regier, never did.

• The next couple years are going to be lousy in Buffalo, but even the most jaded Sabres fan has to admit that Murray's wheelings and dealings left the club with plenty of assets to help build a promising future.

• The Flyers and the Capitals engaged in their second line brawl of the season on Wednesday night, which of course prompted the usual debate: Is there anything you're looking forward to more than seeing these two teams meet in the playoffs?

• The tanking Canadian dollar is great for most of the country's exports, but it's bad news for hockey. L.A. GM Dean Lombardi revealed yesterday just how significantly the shrinking loonie will affect next year's salary cap.

• I think we all expect a certain amount of excessive fawning when a player is about to having his number hoisted to the rafters, but even that doesn't explain how Pat Caputo could argue that Nick Lidstrom, not Gordie Howe or Steve Yzerman, is the greatest Red Wings player ever.

• GM David Poile had to put emotion aside when he made the decision to trade the Predators' all-time leading scorer to Detroit.

• There's more to the non-trade of Ryan Kesler than Canucks GM Mike Gillis's inability to acquire enough value in return, writes Ed Willes.

• It's hard enough to make a good deal without players having control over where they go. Don't expect to see an end to no-trade/no-movement clauses any time soon, though.

• The return of Roberto Luongois a game changer for the Panthers. Pretty good deal for Lu, too. He met with the media yesterday to talk about returning to his adopted home.

Tim Thomas thought he had a future in Florida and wasn't happy with the way things went down when he was shipped off to Dallas. Sounds like he wasn't too thrilled with having to waive his NTC, either.

a decent consolation prize yesterday.