Having already made some big-name trades, the Steve Yzerman and the Bolts stayed put today as the rest of the league finished re-arranging itself. This was actually a low-traffic deadline day, with only 15 deals and 31 players moved. However, this year, more than usual, high profile players were involved in trades weeks before the deadline.
The Lightning had already acquired Dwayne Roloson and Eric Brewer before the deadline, shoring up their two main areas of weakness. They also parted ways with goalie Dan Ellis. If the Lightning were going to do anything today, it would have been adding some scoring depth. Yzerman recognized this wasn’t a glaring need and didn’t want to give up too much, so nothing came of several deep discussions.
However, the rest of the Southeast Division was very active. The Florida Panthers were in full-on fire sale mode, starting with a trade with the Atlanta Thrashers that saw Radek Dvorak and a 2011 5th round pick go to Hot-lanta in exchange for Patrick Rissmiller and Nicolas Bergfors. They then traded Dennis Wideman to the Washington Capitals for low prospect Jake Hauswirth and a 2011 3rd round pick.
Next on the list would be a deal with the Carolina Hurricans as the Panthers made their way through the division. Florida sent Bryan Allen to Raleigh for Sergei Samsonov. The Panthers then went West Coast as they shipped Chris Higgins to Vancouver in exchange for Evan Oberg and a 3rd round pick.
The Atlanta Thrashers made a couple more late trades. They traded away goalie Drew McIntyre to the Montreal Canadiens for Brett Festerling. They also received a 7th round pick in 2011 from Calgary for Freddy Modin.
The only trade Carolina made was with Florida, but the Capitals added what might have been the biggest trade of the day right around 3 p.m. They sent faceoff expert David Steckel to New Jersey along with a 2012 2nd round pick in exchange for Jason Arnott.
While Florida dumped their team, the Capitals certainly seemed to gear up for a tight divisional race down the stretch. There were no significant changes for the Thrashers or the Hurricanes it seems, but only time will tell how much those deals impact their team.
Overall, I’d give Yzerman an A- for his first year of trades. He filled needs, but I’m not sure he really got that player or two that will take the Lightning to next level. If he could have added a depth scorer, it would have been nearly perfect. But that is really just nitpicking, as Yzerman was able to accomplish all of this without giving up too much in return.
Look out, the playoffs are a mere 44 days away!
Topics: Atlanta Thrashers, Brett Festerling, Bryan Allen, Carolina Hurricanes, Chris Higgins, Dan Ellis, David Steckel, Dennis Wideman, Dwayne Roloson, Eric Brewer, Evan Oberg, Florida PAnthers, Freddy Modin, Jason Arnott, Nicolas Berfors, Patrick Rissmiller, Radek Dvorak, Sergei Samsonov, Steve Yzerman, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals