James O'Brien

Hockey Daily Dose

print article archives RSS

Dead deadline

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

So it’s Tuesday, Feb. 28 and let’s be honest. About as little as one could expect – even a realist, not an optimist – changed between today and yesterday. That's a bummer for more than just the panel who had the sweat it out on TSN. Here's a quick run down of the inactivity on Monday, which easily overshadows what actually did happen:


  • Rick Nash is still (apparently?) quite miserable as the captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Not only did he not get traded but the general manager who didn’t trade him also decided to tell the assembled media that Nash asked for the trade in January. (Boy, it’s going to be a fun month and a half in Ohio isn’t it? Sounds like even more fun than any other off-season for the sad little Blue Jackets.)
  • Instead of pestering other players along with the pestering pests that inhabit the Vancouver Canucks’ roster, Steve Ott will remain a member of the Dallas Stars, where he might just pester the pestering pests on the Canucks’ roster during a No.1 or 2 vs. No. 7 or 8 matchup in the first round this season. (Sorry for getting all Dr. Seuss on you there.)
  • Dustin Brown will remain notably cheap for the Los Angeles Kings, who might be more likely to miss the playoffs than Ott’s Stars, to the surprise of most of us.
  • The New York Islanders decided that they just can’t let go of the 36-year-old netminder who decided that not playing hockey was better than playing for them last season. Instead, they’re going to try to re-sign Evgeni Nabokov just weeks before he turns 37. (No way that will end badly, right?)


You can apply the same sad little bullet point snark to any other number of trade situations that you may have envisioned going into Monday afternoon, because sadly, most of your deadline dreams didn’t come true. In fact, a mere 16 trades went down involving just 32 players.


I can’t say that I was surprised that nothing approached the level of the Jeff Carter trade from last week, but I was hoping it would at least get some competition. Yet much like 2011, the biggest world-moving swaps happened days (if not weeks) before the real deal. It makes you wonder if the spectacle is going to go from an all-day event to something that gets an hour or two of coverage and maybe an hour recap show later that afternoon. If you’re looking for the typical “winners and losers” list, then you’re going to be disappointed in the Daily Dose. Actually, scratch that, I’ll give you one winner and loser:

Winners: whoever opted to get (and keep) their Columbus Blue Jackets season tickets. I mean, sure, the games will be awkward but at least you get to (probably) wave goodbye to Nash.

Losers: Any sad soul who decided to take off work for the trade deadline. Honestly, there was a time that I felt bad for anyone who decided to make the plunge, but you should know better by now.


(Let me provide one exception: if you took off work for the deadline but threw a clandestine barbecue or enjoyed some other party with the event as your thinly veiled reason, then bump yourself up to the “winners” side. That’s good hustle.)


Anyway, let’s rummage through the bargain bin. (Note: if you don’t see your favorite trade, it’s because it was a boring move. Extra note: most trades were pretty much boring.)



Prepare your outdated Mafioso jokes, the Kostitsyn brothers are on the same NHL roster again! The Nashville Predators traded for better Kostitsyn brother Andrei Kostitsyn, who could be an absolute find if he makes the most of his abilities like his brother Sergei Kostitsyn has been doing with the Predators. Andrei wasn’t exactly a happy camper in Montreal this season, so I think this change of scenery will be a big boost – even though lining up with his bro actually isn’t set in stone. Either way, keep an eye on him; he could get a real boost in Nashville.


Don’t bother with Paul Gaustad in Nashville, though.



Knowledgeable Twitter commenters (rather than the nefarious ones) bumped me down from thinking that this was a huge bonus for Minnesota in real life, but it’s definitely a fantasy upgrade for the Wild as they acquired offensive defenseman Tom Gilbert for Nick Schultz. I’ve been informed that Gilbert is likely to slot into the second power play QB role in Minnesota.


Normally I’d get excited about such an opportunity, but dip your toe in this one rather than diving right in because this is the Wild offense we’re talking about here …



Wait, this isn’t 1998? Nevermind then.



In (sadly) the most interesting trade of the deadline, the Vancouver Canucks sent deified center Cody Hodgson and depth defenseman Alex Sulzer to the Buffalo Sabres for big, mean forward Zack Kassian and intriguing blueliner Marc-Andre Gragnani.


Hodgson should get a real opportunity to make things happen in Buffalo – though it remains to be seen where he’ll slot in right away. Kassian’s more of a wild card in Vancouver since they’re a talented and successful team, but they lack his mean streak and snarl on the wings. Gragnani would be more interesting on a squad with less offensive talent from the blueline, but keep a lookout for a PP specialist role or an injury to possibly bump his value up.



The San Jose Sharks sent Jamie McGinn and some prospects to the Colorado Avalanche for Daniel Winnik and T.J. Galiardi. McGinn’s been productive this season but might not do as well on a less explosive team but Galiardi could really flourish in San Jose. Things were really going sour for the forward with Joe Sacco and the Avs, but he could be downright rejuvenated with the Sharks.



Nicklas Backstrom was placed on the long-term injured reserve … Henrik Lundqvist needed just 13 saves to get a shutout Monday. Yup, it was boring … Pekka Rinne stopped 30 out of 31 shots for his win on Monday … The Calgary Flames signed Tim Jackman to a two-year deal …Taylor Hall has three goals and six points in his last four games, including a tally and a helper on Feb. 27 … Johnny Boychuk is dealing with a concussion … Semyon Varlamov seems like he’s really laying claim to the Avalanche’s starting job again … Jason Arnott scored the last two goals – both on the power play – to help beat the Flames 3-1 … Pat Dwyer is day-to-day with a lower-body injury … Kris Versteeg is dealing with an undisclosed issue. (Click here to view the full injury list.)

James O'Brien is the Hockey Daily Dose's author and has been a contributor to NBC's Pro Hockey Talk for more than four years. Follow him on Twitter.
Email :James O'Brien

Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days

Video Center


    Back's NBA 6-Pack: Monday
    Draft: Norris on WR breakdown

    Draft: Norris on WR breakdown
    Norris: Senior Bowl

    Norris: Senior Bowl's Top 20
    Norris: Who

    Norris: Who's No. 1?
    Short: Expectations for Hanley

    Short: Expectations for Hanley
    Short on Max Scherzer in NL

    Short on Max Scherzer in NL

    Beer's NBA 6-Pack: Friday

    Beer's NBA 6-Pack: Wednesday