The NHL trade deadline passed yesterday and the
action was a little disappointing but the Rangers, Canadiens and Blues
still managed to improve their teams.
As a Leafs fan, nothing has happened in terms of what I
thought or was hoping to have happen. By 9am yesterday morning, the Score sports app
said the team was actively shopping both Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel. These
are the 2 largest contracts on the team, one of them is almost certain to move,
since the Leafs seem to be going nowhere but down, so he is going to be out the
door soon enough.
By 1pm yesterday, word came out that if they could find some
taker for Dion Phaneuf, they would have kept a part of his insane salary but the deal did not happen.
Got stronger over the weekend with the trade for Devante
Smith-Pelly. Hard nose player from the Anaheim Ducks who can play physical, and
can also provide a scoring touch. This morning, they acquired Jeff Petry from the Edmonton Oilers, giving up a
couple draft picks in return and added some depth with Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn. The way Montreal has been playing lately, they
have their eyes set on another trip to the Conference finals, which just might
be against the same Rangers team that knocked them off in 6 games last spring.
New York Rangers
Speaking of the NY Rangers, it always seems like the New
York pro sports teams really do go all out at the trade deadline, whether it is
the Rangers, Knicks, Yankees or even Mets. All of these teams seem to make
their moves. They resigned Mats Zuccarello and they acquired Keith Yandle from
the Arizona Coyotesé
The New York Rangers acquired a big piece in their push for
another deep playoff run, picking up All-Star defenceman Keith Yandle in a
trade with the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday.
The Rangers lost to the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup
Finals last season didn't wait until Monday's trade deadline to make a big move
for this year's run.
The 28-year-old Yandle has been one of the NHL's best
offensive-minded defencemen, a four-time All-Star who has led the Coyotes in
scoring the past three seasons. He has 41 points in 63 games this season and
has been the anchor of Arizona's power play unit.
New York also received defenceman Chris Summers and a 2016
fourth-round pick for defenceman John Moore, top prospect Anthony Duclair, a
conditional first-round draft pick in 2016 and a second-rounder this year.
The Rangers made another deal ahead of the trade deadline,
acquiring forward Carl Klingberg from the Winnipeg Jets for forward Lee
Stempniak. Stempniak, 32, joins his fourth team in two years. Klingberg is a
24-year-old draft pick of the Atlanta Thrashers from 2009, he has spent most of
this season with the St. John’s IceCapps of the AHL. This move should benefit
both the Rangers and the Winnipeg Jets; both are also nearly locked in for a
The Rangers are third in the Eastern Conference, five points
behind Montreal, and two behind the neighbouring Islanders in the Metropolitan
The 28-year-old Yandle has been a core member of the Coyotes
since they drafted him in the fourth round of the 2005 draft. An assistant
captain in Arizona, he has been the subject of trade rumours for the last
several seasons and was finally moved with a year remaining on a five-year, $26
million contract signed in 2011.
St. Louis Blues
The Blues also picked apart the Coyotes, taking defenceman
Zybynek Michalek, a move that is a definite upgrade to that seemingly horrid
Blues blue line. In each of their last two playoff runs, they were stopped dead
in their tracks by the same Chicago Blackhawks team, ironically in Game 3 of
each series. I’m not saying Michalek will be the guarantee that it won’t happen
again, but judging by reactions to this trade, it probably won’t hurt.
Considering that St. Louis has been a favourite to at least
make it to the Stanley Cup the last couple years, one would think there need
not be much more tinkering with that lineup.
Labels: Jeffrey P. S.