Monday, February 28, 2011

NHL 2011 Trading Deadline: Part 2

The remaining day to the trading deadline was just a mild surge of player transactions at best, which left a lot of pundits and hockey fans disappointed in the anticlimactic resolution. There was no blockbuster deal to be had. The teams on top of the standings decided to "dance with who brung ya." as the perception of others who are in the middle of the pack were the most active at trading deadline.

The biggest name that everyone would hope would be moved didn't. Brad Richards, a UFA at the end of the season, only wanted Ranger blue and the Stars weren't going to accommodate. It is sure to be a continuing story through the playoffs and rest of the season as to what Brad Richards will do.

But the biggest name on the list of people who did change jerseys was young forward Dustin Penner. From what I heard from the media who saw his press conference, he seemed more pleased to go back to Souther California. His time in Edmonton was a colossal underachiever as compared to his expectations when he arrived. I like this move for Los Angeles who now has a bankable player for the fans and their playoff push. They had to give up on a defensive prospect, but that is what the Oilers are looking to build on for the future.

Also moving to the Alberta province is Fred Modin. Can we call him a journeyman player now? NHL Home Ice on Sirius questioned this move as to where he fits in the perceived Calgary Flames.

Jason Arnott moved to Washington D.C. in a trade that sent "Crosby Killer" David Steckel. Which means that Penguins fans may see him a possible 6 more times next year as well as 3 more times before the end of the this regular season. Unlike most players today, Arnott got what he wanted by choosing to waive his no-trade clause to go to a contending Cup team. I like this move for the Capitals to add depth at center.

The last noteworthy trade saw the last remaining "Original Blue Jacket" Rusty Klesla, a blueliner for 10 years in Columbus being their first ever draft pick, got moved to Phoenix in exchange for Scottie Upshall and Sami Lepisto. It's an end of an era in Columbus, but perhaps it's time to turn a page and create a new winning tradition culture.

Of course, the news during trade deadline day does affect the other hockey leagues. With many prospects in the AHL and ECHL system, today also gets the attention from smaller markets to see if their teams gain anybody else new.

Overall, I would say that the media hype that gives this a day to talk about hockey in a 24 hour marathon is something that can create a festival-like atmosphere. When ideas and communication gets exchanged, something can always become of it - even if it's not always set to action. Perhaps the names that weren't called today will get their chance next season.

Welcome to the new trading deadline. Welcome to the new NHL.
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