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Another Busy Day on the Trade Front

Today has been the busiest day so far in the lead-up to Trade Deadline day. Six trades have gone down so far today. Let’s get to it!

This morning started off with two teams who are miles and miles out of the playoffs swapping goaltenders. Ottawa, in their 19th trade (approximately) in the last two weeks sent Brian Elliott to the Colorado Avalanche for Craig Anderson. On the surface, the Senators are big winners on this one. Craig Anderson is a good starting goalie, while Elliott has yet to prove that he can even hang in the bigs. The only way this deal makes any sense for Colorado is if they knew that they wouldn’t be able to resign Craig Anderson  this summer (he is due to be a UFA), and they wanted to get something, anything in return. I still think they could have done better than Brian Elliott though.

If there’s one thing that has proven true over the first season of Steve Yzerman’s career as a GM, it’s that he puts a lot of stock in what he sees happening with the Red Wings. On December 31st, Dwayne Roloson stood tall in defeated the Wings 4-3. The next day, Yzerman made him a member of the Lightning. Yesterday, the Wings exposed the Lightning’s team D, so today Yzerman made a move to address that, adding veteran blue liner Eric Brewer from St. Louis.

The former Blues captain should slide right into the Lightning’s top four, and eat up some valuable minutes, especially killing penalties. The Blues, in return, receive the 3rd round pick of the Lightning this year, as well as prospect Brock Beukeboom – son of former NHLer Jeff Beukeboom.

The Carolina Hurricanes added Derek Joslin along the blue line, for “future considerations”, one of the most fuzzy concepts in sports dealing. Basically, think of it the same way as a “conditional” draft pick, where the conditions of the pick aren’t necessarily known. Let’s leave it at that, because really, future considerations is about as murky a term as there is.

You had to figure the Sharks were going to acquire another blue liner when they parted with some of their depth, and they did so by adding Ian White, who joins his fourth team in a year. He was with the Toronto Maple Leafs at this time last year, then joined the Calgary Flames in the deal that brought Dion Phanuef to Toronto. He then went to Carolina in November in a trade that brought Tom Kostopoulos and Anton Babchuk to Calgary. Now, White is a Shark, and Carolina has San Jose’s second round pick.

White is a capable offensive defenseman, putting up 38 points last season, and is only 26 years old so has plenty of time to grow if he is given the time to adjust to one system of play. A second round pick is a little bit of an overpay for a guy of White’s abilities, who is probably a career second pairing guy at best. The Sharks saw a guy they wanted, though and were willing to pay a little extra to get him.

The second most anticipated move of the day, as it cleared out cap space for the biggest move of the year. Brad Stuart’s brother Mark was traded from Boston to Atlanta, along with forward Blake Wheeler. In return, Boston receives forward Rich Peverly and Boris Valabik. Valabik and Stuart are gritty, depth defensemen, Wheeler is a versatile top 6 forward, and Peverley adds some skill to Boston’s tough bottom 6.

The most important part of the deal is that it gave Boston the cap space to acquire…

Tomas Kaberle! The Boston Bruins have finally landed their man. Kaberle was the biggest fish available in the Trade Deadline pond. The 32 year old Czech defender has been good for nearly 50 points a season throughout his career, topping out at an astounding 67 points in 2005-2006. The Bruins, if they can lock him up before his contract expires on July 1, have put together one of the league’s best top pairings, with he and Zdeno Chara.

In the deal that sends their longest tenured player to a division rival, Toronto acquires prospect Joe Colborne. Colborne is an enormous young man, standing 6’5″, and spent two years at the University of Denver, before turning pro this year, playing the season with the Providence Bruins (the AHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins). His best asset, according to Hockey’s Future, is his vision and playmaking ability. The knock on his is that he doesn’t use his size to his advantage, but if he could ever harness his full abilities he could be a very good prospect.

The Maple Leafs also receive the Bruins first round pick this year, and a conditional second round pick. The conditions of the pick are whether or not the Bruins make it to the Cup Finals and/or Kaberle resigns with Boston.

With this being the second big trade to go down between Boston and the Leafs in the last year, I want to look at what each team acquired in the deals.

Toronto:

Phil Kessel

Joe Colborne

Boston’s 2011 First Round Pick (projected at 25th overall)

Boston’s 2012 Second Round Pick

Boston:

Tomas Kaberle

Toronto’s 2010 First Round Pick (2nd overall, Tyler Seguin)

Toronto’s 2010 Second Round Pick (32nd overall, Jared Knight)

Toronto’s 2011 First Round Pick (Projected 6th overall)

Essentially, both teams got rid of a player they weren’t going to keep beyond that season, and got a good return on it (receiving a total of three picks or prospects each).

Boston fans should be ecstatic about the return they got on Kessel, who didn’t want to be there anymore. The Leafs really sold the farm to make that deal happen.

Leaf fans should be thrilled with what they got back for Kaberle. Really, a prospect, a first rounder and a potential second rounder? Very good work by Mr. Burke.

As far as I’m concerned, the two trades end in a wash.

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