DEBILITATED IN DALLAS
After a few instances of holding on too long - seriously, they let Brad Richards go for nothing but free cap space? - the Stars finally punted on a season during the trade deadline, dealing Jagr and Derek Roy for picks and prospects.
Honestly, I’m not blown away by the packages they received for that combo; aside from a defensive prospect and the fact that one of the second-round picks could turn into a first, they didn’t seem that much better than what the Buffalo Sabres received for Robyn Regehr. Really, this all comes down to how defensive prospects Kevin Connauton and Joe Morrow (from the Morrow deal) work out.
Right now, however, It’s pretty hard to look at the post-trade Dallas roster as anything less than desolated. They moved their leading scorer (Jagr), a guy who became their fourth-highest scorer (Roy) despite some setbacks and their captain Brenden Morrow for picks and prospects. With no real roster players coming back to the Stars, it’s all about the future, which means it’s time to divest in the team beyond obvious guys like Benn, Loui Eriksson and Ray Whitney.
Could Cody Eakin or Erik Cole get a bump? It’s quite possible, but things look even grimmer than their fading playoff hopes.
THE OTHER ROY
While some will quibble about what the Vancouver Canucks gave up for Derek Roy, I love the move, especially from a real-life standpoint. He’s a genuine second-line center with a lot to prove (and a lot of money to win or lose) in a contract year. I can’t help but wonder if his arrival will justify Roberto Luongo staying around until at least the offseason, since “second-line center” is exactly the type of player the Canucks were reportedly demanding for Bobby Lou. Overall, it might not be a home run for the scoring-needy bunch, but it’s a double that could turn into a triple.
SWINDLED BY SHARKS
Wow, the San Jose Sharks are running a nice course in having their rebuilding cake and eating their still-trying-to-contend cake, too. They turned a beyond-washed-up Michal Handzus into Chicago’s fourth-round pick and then moved enormously over-valued power forward Ryane Clowe to the New York Rangers for one second-round pick, one third-round pick and a conditional second-rounder in 2014. Oh yeah, they also received either two second-rounders or a second-rounder and a third-rounder from the Penguins (depending upon conditions) for Douglas Murray. That's amazing, and the best part is that none of those players seem genuinely important when it comes to their playoff hopes. Outstanding.
(Jon Wold does a better job of summarizing the Sharks’ bouquet of picks.)
As far as Clowe's fit with the Rangers? I'm honestly a little stumped. Do you dislodge speedy, useful winger Carl Hagelin from Derek Stepan's line with Ryan Callahan/Rick Nash? Clowe logically slides into the third line, but will that be OK after they spent so much to rent him? Confounding stuff.
GOOD NEWS/BAD NEWS FOR PENS
So, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ impressive streak came to an end at 15 games, ruining some of the fun from Jarome Iginla’s first goal. (Sidney Crosby’s selfish broken jaw upstaged Iggy’s debut with the team. Why does everyone keep stealing his limelight? Not nice.)
INJURY NOTES (full list) and QUICK HITS
Joni Pitkanen could be out about three months after a nasty icing-related spill. Why does the NHL take a few extras to install the most obvious rules like hybrid icing? Do they think people buy tickets to see a “thrilling” race to touch up every now and then? Sometimes, you guys, sometimes ... Ilya Kovalchuk will remain sidelined for the “near future” but not necessarily the rest of the regular season. So, apparently the end of April isn’t the near future? Hockey math confuses me every now and then ... While I think he still ranks as a diamond in the rough-type and not a fantasy keeper, it’s pretty cool that hockey nerd favorite Frans Nielsen has six points in his last seven games ... You know who’s sneaky good? Anton Khudobin. I wouldn’t be THAT thunderstruck if he ends up pulling a Cam Ward* in this year’s playoffs if Tuukka Rask has a rough go of things ... Sounds like I put the whammy on Matt Cullen. Word is he won’t travel on Minnesota’s next road trip - at least immediately - and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury ... Two guys I hope to see moved for pure entertainment reasons had strong Tuesdays; Keith Yandle scored two goals and Jason Pominville had two assists ... It sounds like Miikka Kiprusoff would be willing to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs if they pay him more money or something. Lovely ... In case I missed it, Ville Leino scored a couple goals during the weekend, so naturally he realized that wasn’t completing his secret job of angering Sabres fans and fantasy owners, so he got hurt again ... Dave Bolland’s day-to-day with a foot injury ... Dustin Penner is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. (Insert he must have dropped one flapjack on the floor-type joke here.) ... T.J. Oshie (foot) was placed on the IR ... Leading Predators goal-scorer Gabriel Bourque is out with an upper-body issue.
* - Take the hockey world by storm, not get hurt at a really inconvenient team for a fringe playoff contender.