Monday, February 27, 2012

LIVE Coverage - 2012 NHL Trade Deadline

As we did for the 2011 NHL Draft and Free Agent Frenzy, we will be bringing you live coverage with all the latest trades as they happen, plus instant analysis all day long. There will be a Habs-focus to this live blog, no doubt, but we will still cover news from around the league.

Monday, February 27th

Trade Deadline - 3:00 PM EST
Pierre Gauthier press conference - 6:30 PM EST

- 9:00 AM - The Habs officially cancel practice this morning.

- 9:19 AM - Bob McKenzie points to Habs as a team to watch for possible off the chart surprises today.

- 9:19 AM - Some players named this morning in play: Steve Staios, Antti Niemi, James van Riemsdyk. Samuel Pahlsson, Jaroslav Spacek. The New York Islanders are said to not be dealing pending-UFAs Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau or Evgeni Nabokov.

- 9:26 AM - Darren Dreger now suggests Parenteau is on the market (after Renaud Lavoie said opposite moments ago), though Nabokov still not available.

- 9:38 AM - Twitter rumour monger Incarcerated Bob says Andrei Kostitsyn has been traded and trade call is going through. PLEASE note that Incarcerated Bob, El Cloun, El Chouin, DeepthroatCH, Eklund, Hockeyy Insiderr, The Creasy, and others are NOT legitimate sources. Stick with mainstream media today.

- 9:45 AM - Renaud Lavoie indicates the New York Islanders' asking price for P.A. Parenteau (UFA rental) is a first round selection.

- 9:49 AM - The Montreal Canadiens have a war room in Tampa Bay, where Pierre Gauthier, Bob Gainey, and assistant coach / assistant GM Larry Carriere work on deals.

- 10:06 AM - Bob McKenzie indicates the Habs are the favourites to be the first team to make a deal today.

- 10:08 AM - Darren Dreger puts Ryan White's name out there as generating interest from other GMs. He's been added to our big board at the bottom of this post.

- 10:10 AM - Bob McKenzie says there are unconfirmed reports Andrei Kostitsyn is heading to Nashville. No word on return yet. Stay tuned.

- 10:14 AM - From the "what?!" file, former Canadien tough guy Georges Laraque has told the French media that a Tampa Bay Lightning player informed him that Rick Nash will be traded to Tampa.

- 10:16 AM - Louis Jean of Sportsnet says he has heard anyone NOT named Carey Price, P.K. Subban, Josh Gorges, and perhaps Max Pacioretty is available.

- 10:21 AM - Per Renaud Lavoie,
Andrei Kostitsyn "knows" he's been traded to Nashville, but hasn't spoken to Pierre Gauthier yet. No word on return yet.

- 10:45 AM - Kostitsyn deal done. See completed trades list below.

- 11:10 AM - TSN reports former Hab forward Mikhail Grabovski is in play in Toronto. They claim there is a late 1st round pick on the table for him, but Brian Burke wants more.

- 11:13 AM - Darren Dreger says Boston is looking at either Winnipeg's Johnny Oduya or Colorado's David Jones to reinforce their blueline.

- 11:44 AM - Indication is Leafs trying hard to get pending UFA Grabovski signed. GM Brian Burke says doing nothing today would not be the worst thing possible. Says he received a trade offer for goaltender James Reimer days ago but turned out down flat.

- 11:47 AM - Here's a funny little scoop. The Columbus Blue Jackets pulled down a Rick Nash banner from outside their arena today. Proof is on YouTube: Is a deal closer than we think it is? Nash played for the Jackets yesterday, and participated in the team's morning skate today.

- 11:50 AM - Montreal journalist L.A. Lariviere reports that he expects Chris Campoli to be next player out of Montreal. This, as predicted (see Habs big board at bottom of this post). Other Montreal journalists Tweeting that no Hab seems particularly surprised or upset about Kostitsyn's departure.

- 11:58 AM - Always reliable Columbus reporter Aaron Portzline indicates world from Jackets senior advisor Craig Patrick is that the team has "more than 15" open offers on a "handful of players," but nothing they like just yet.

- 12:02 PM - Less than 3 hours till deadline. Reports that Bryan Allen and Tomas Vokoun were pulled out of practice with Carolina and Washington, but nothing confirmed as of yet. Do we have more action coming?

- 12:04 PM - The Montreal Canadiens have claimed d-man Brad Staubitz off waivers. Winnipeg claimes Grant Clitsome. More below in confirmed deal section.

- 12:11 PM - Brian Burke talks to TSN on the phone, saying Grabovski is officially off the table today. The contract doesn't have to get done today, but he believes it'll get done. He also mentioned the prices for goaltenders today are far too high for him, and/or involve contracts extending beyond this season. Says he would be ok with not making any moves today and believes that's the most likely scenario right now.

- 12:15 PM - La Presse journalist Richard Labbe indicates that neither Travis Moen nor Mathieu Darche has received medical clearance yet, and thus neither is on the trade market today.

- 12:51 PM - Andrei Kostitsyn addresses the Montreal media before leaving to join the Preds. Says he has yet to speak with his brother Sergei since the trade. Doesn't like country music. Scott Gomez was his best friend on the team. He and Randy Cunneyworth didn't have the best rapport, as he was unhappy with his ice time / usage.

- 1:03 PM - Another strange rumour as the Detroit Red Wings may have a deal in place to send pending UFA Brad Stuart to the New York Rangers for picks, per NewsDay's Steve Zipay. That would be a 2nd d-man leaving the Wings for future assets today, indicating they must have something bigger in mind. Lubomir Visnovsky, perhaps?

- 1:09 PM - Renaud Lavoie gives us a bit of REAL insight into the Canadiens' braintrust (hi, Tony Marinaro) by indicating that Geoff Molson remained in Fort Lauderdale with the players, while Pierre Gauthier, Bob Gainey, and Larry Carriere are together in Tampa Bay.

- 1:15 PM - Bob McKenzie indicates Carolina will retain Bryan Allen, even if a new contract can't be agreed upon today. Pierre LeBrun chimes in that former Canadiens d-man Jaroslav Spacek is expected to be dealt away from the Hurricanes within the next hour, however.

- 1:45 PM - Bob McKenzie indicates Colorado may be close to dealing Daniel Winnick, who has received considerable interest. San Jose in the lead.

- 1:46 PM - Sportsnet's Louis Jean has a Travis Moen update. No contract talks have yet taken place, but he'd like to stay in Montreal and the team would like to retain him.

- 2:50 PM - 10 minutes till the deadline and we have confirmation from JF Chaumont that Habs Chris Campoli and Yannick Weber are both on the team bus presently being boarded. It seems - for now anyway - that Pierre Gauthier couldn't find a taker for their services.

Today's Latest Completed Transactions Around the League

- 10:45 AM - The Montreal Canadiens traded Andrei Kostitsyn to the Nashville Predators for a 2013 2nd round pick, plus the conditional 5th round pick Montreal sent Nashville in the Hal Gill trade.

This is a deal that had to happen. I would have liked to see Kostitsyn get a little bit of a bigger return, and it's unfortunate he goes to a team that doesn't hold a 2012 2nd rounder (Habs have it already from the Gill trade). But needed to get value in return for Kostitsyn before losing him for nothing on July 1st. The Canadiens now hold two 2nd round picks in 2012, and three 2nd round picks in 2013, after not having a second round pick in any of the last 3 drafts. For the Preds, a team that lacks offensive fire power, they are rolling the dice that reuniting Andrei with his brother Sergei creates some kind of a spark and no off-ice issues.

If you are underwhelmed at the return, before being mad at Pierre Gauthier, be mad at Andrei Kostitsyn himself whose horrid play of late turned off a lot of potential takers and damaged his value. Also note that the 2013 draft is expected to be deeper than the 2012, so that pick may hold more value.

- 12:04 PM - Noon means waiver time. The Montreal Canadiens have claimed forward Brad Staubitz off re-entry waivers from the Minnesota Wild.

Staubitz, 27, is a 6'1", 210 lbs defenseman who isn't known for his offensive game, but is a tough, physical customer. Staubitz played 43 games for the Wild this season (no points, 73 PIM, -7) before being sent down to play 4 games in the AHL. Staubitz is a competent fighter and will be a UFA at year's end. Since he was on re-entry waivers, the Canadiens get him for half-price, meaning his cap hit this season is just $287,500. His acquisition allows the Canadiens to bring in a warm NHL body if they trade d-men elsewhere (likely Chris Campoli) later today. Staubitz is capable of playing the wing as well.

The Winnipeg Jets claimed defenseman Grant Clitsome off waivers.

Clitsome has one more year on his contract at over $1M. Surprising he wasn't worth any sort of draft pick to Columbus, but a depth defenseman at best.

- 12:43 PM - The Detroit Red Wings have dealt defenseman Mike Commodore to the Tampa Bay Lightning in return for a conditional 7th round pick.

Strange to see the Wings "selling" a player at this point, but Commodore hasn't been effective since signing with Detroit. He has played only 17 NHL games this season (hence the very low return). The Lightning adding a d-man for "nothing" lets them moving pending UFAs Brett Clark and Matt Gilroy if reasonable offers come in.

- 12:58 PM - The Edmonton Oilers trade defenseman Tom Gilbert to the Minnesota Wild for defenseman Nick Schultz.

Interesting trade of an offensive-oriented d-man from the Oil for a solid, more defensive guy in Schultz. Similar contracts, similar age. I'd score this as a win for Minnesota for now, as I like Gilbert's all-around game better than Schultz's.

- 1:43 PM - The Toronto Maple Leafs trade defenseman Keith Aulie to the Tampa Lightning for prospect forward Carter Ashton.

This one comes a little out of the blue, but is a pretty big move. Aulie looked good last year but was passed in the depth chart by Jake Gardiner, making him expendable. The Lightning are in need of younger d-men to build around. Ashton is a 20-year old AHL rookie who has scored 19 goals and 35 points in 56 games. His offensive upside is unclear, but he has good size at 6'3", 205 lbs, is a solid skater, and plays a strong two-way game. Tampa selected him in the first round, 29th overall, in 2009. Seems like a solid move for the Leafs to deal out of depth and bring in a big, young forward. Hard to admit it, but really like it for Toronto.

- 1:56 PM - The San Jose Sharks have acquired forwards Daniel Winnick and T.J. Galiardi, and a 7th round pick from the Colorado Avalanche for Jamie McGinn, Michael Sgarbossa, and Mike Connolly.

Winnick and Galiardi are good depth forwards entering the post-season. Sgarbossa is an impressive junior-aged prospect, while McGill - a 6'1", 210 lbs winger and still only 23 - has scored 24 points in 61 games with San Jose this year. A clear deal of future assets for present ones, with the Sharks gearing up with grizzled vets for a deep playoff drive.

- 1:57 PM - The Ottawa Senators have traded defenseman Brian Lee to the Tampa Bay Lightning for defenseman Matt Gilroy.

Gilroy is an upgrade on Lee for the present season, but will be a UFA this summer. Tampa gets an asset with some staying power, though Lee has far from lived up to the hype that once made him a first round selection.

- 1:58 PM - The Vancouver Canucks have acquired center Samuel Pahlsson from the Columbus Blue Jackets for 2 fourth round picks.

Pahlsson is a great pick-up for the Canucks, not unlike Maxim Lapierre and Chris Higgins last year. Centering a line with Travis Moen and Rob Niedermayer, Pahlsson was an integral piece to Anaheim's Stanley Cup championship. At age 34, it will be interesting to see what he has left in the tank, but the price is cheap to rent him before he becomes a UFA this summer. I'd call it a very good pick-up for Vancouver.

- 2:07 PM - The Chicago Blackhawks acquire defenseman Johnny Oduya from the Winnipeg Jets for 2nd and 3rd round picks in 2013.

Oduya will be an unrestricted free agent this summer but is a decent rental on D (though he has gone down hill the last year and a half) for a team that is struggling mightily of late. The price paid for a guy whose best hockey seems behind him (though he's still only 30) seems excessive, but such has been the nature of the defenseman market leading up to the deadline.

- 2:55 PM - The Boston Bruins have acquired Brian Rolston and defenseman Mike Mottau from the New York Islanders for Yannick Riendeau and Marc Cantin.

The B's add a veteran for their playoff push. Rolston cleared waivers at noon. A salary dump from the Isles for no real return.

- 2:59 PM - The Nashville Predators have acquired center Paul Gaustad and a 4th round selection from the Buffalo Sabres for a first round pick.

There was mass interest in Gaustad in the days leading up to the deadline, as a big, two-way fourth line center is the kind of guy teams like to stock up on before the post-season.

- 3:00 PM - The Boston Bruins acquired defenseman Greg Zanon from the Minnesota Wild for defenseman Steve Kampfer.

The Bruins trade a younger defenseman still trying to establish himself at the NHL level for a veteran shotblocker for their playoff drive.

- 3:00 PM - The New York Rangers acquired tough guy John Scott from the Chicago Blackhawks for a 5th round pick.

- 3:35 PM - The biggest trade of the day (arguably) comes in after the deadline. The Vancouver Canucks have traded forward Cody Hodgson and d-man Alexander Sulzer to the Buffalo Sabres for prospect Zack Kassian and defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani.

2 promising young talents dealt for one another in Hodgson and Kassian. Interesting move that comes in late. Hodgson has tons of potential, but Kassian is a mean big body with offensive upside.

Habs News and Rumour Big Board

Player NamePhotoPosContractThe ScoopStatus
The Hot Seat (Most Likely to be Moved)
Campoli, ChrisD0 yrs remaining (UFA), $1.75M- Healthy scratch yesterday
- Little trade value
- Numerous teams interested in adding depth D
Kostitsyn, AndreiRW/LW0 yrs remaining (UFA), $3.25M- Played yesterday, limited minutes
- Poor season, but Wojtek Wolski had value
- Stated wants to stay in Montreal
Dealt to Nashville for 2nd round pick in 2013.
Nokelainen, PetteriC0 yrs remaining (RFA), $550K- Little talk of him, but healthy again
- Playoff team may want his face-off ability
- RFA but doubting fit in long-term plans
- Can recoup late pick spent on him
The Rumoured (Mid-Long Shot Deals)
Moen, TravisLW0 yrs remaining (UFA), $1.5M- Injured, not yet skating, no return date set
- Bob McKenzie claims Habs not making him available
- Would be a hot commodity if healthy

Not cleared for contact; allegedly unavailable
Plekanec, TomasC4 yrs remaining (UFA), $5M- Rumoured yesterday to be available by mainstream media
- Agent denies wanting a trade
- Only to be moved in an "upgrade" deal

Name continues to be floated
White, RyanLW0 yrs remaining (RFA), $625K- Darren Dreger indicates many teams are calling about him
- Unclear if Gauthier considers him part of core moving forward
Darche, MathieuLW0 yrs remaining (UFA), $700K- Currently sick/injured, but returning soon
- Two-way depth guy for playoff team
- Little value, but doesn't hurt to add a pick

Not cleared for contact; allegedly unavailable
Subban, P.K.D0 yrs remaining (RFA), $875K- Sportsnet says may be available
- Other team sources say haven't heard he's on market
- Trading now would be a huge mistake
Kaberle, TomasD2 yrs remaining (UFA), $4.25M- Is there a market for him? Zidlicky trade hints yes
- Production may interest some clubs
- Will PG deal him before Markov's return? If taker, he should!
Speculation (Others who Could be Available)
Weber, YannickD1 yr remaining (RFA), $850K- Re-joined Top 6 on D yesterday with Campoli sitting
- Hasn't earned full time D roster spot
- Still has potential + some value
Desharnais, DavidC1 yr remaining (RFA), $850K- IF Plekanec is on market, DD could be as well
- Team wants to get bigger
- Value MAY be as high as it will ever be
Gomez, ScottD2 yrs remaining (UFA), $7.36M- Let's call this one wishful thinking
- Definitely available, but unlikely any other team bites
Palushaj, AaronRW1 yr remaining (RFA), $850K- Hasn't shown he can play consistently in NHL
- Will be waiver eligible next season
- Young + cheap for team needing forward depth
Eller, LarsC1 yr remaining (RFA), $850K- Only IF the Canadiens need to sacrifice a player of value to acquire a big name
- Cunneyworth hasn't loved him this season
- Very skilled, but inconsistent effort

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