Corey Abbott

In The Crease

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Eastern Conference Report Card

Thursday, April 4, 2013


New York Rangers

Added: Ryane Clowe, Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, John Moore, 2013 sixth round pick

Lost: Marian Gaborik, Blake Parlett, Steven Delisle, 2013 second round pick, 2013 third round pick, Conditional draft pick in 2014 (second round)


The Rangers were a popular pick to lift the Stanley Cup heading into this season, but their struggles in the truncated campaign have them on the cusp of not making the playoffs. The fear of not qualifying for the post-season has led to a dramatic overhaul on deadline day.

New York obtained Ryane Clowe from San Jose after he chose them over Vancouver and they picked up Derick Brassard and John Moore in the surprising blockbuster deal that sent Marian Gaborik to Columbus. The Blueshirts also acquired hard-nosed forward Derek Dorsett in the trade, but he's out for the rest of the year with a fractured clavicle.

The Rangers should be commended for their bold moves, especially since Gaborik appeared to be rapidly losing favor with coach John Tortorella, and if Wednesday night's win versus Pittsburgh is any indication, they appear to be on the right track to reach the post-season.

Grade: B+


Ottawa Senators

Added: Cory Conacher , 2013 fourth round pick

Lost: Ben Bishop


The Senators decided to end their remarkable three-goalie run Wednesday at the NHL trade deadline. They sent Ben Bishop, who was likely going to be their third string keeper, to Tampa Bay in exchange for impressive rookie Cory Conacher and a draft pick. The move will hand Robin Lehner the team's starting duties until Craig Anderson returns from his ankle ailment.

Conacher instantly becomes the Senators' leading scorer with 24 points in 35 games. He did benefit from playing alongside Steve Stamkos and Martin St. Louis, but he does possess good offensive instincts and is only 23 years of age.

Grade: B


Philadelphia Flyers

Added: Steve Mason, Jay Rosehill

Lost: Harry Zolnierczyk, Michael Leighton, 2015 fifth round pick


The Flyers tried to get Ben Bishop from Ottawa but settled on Steve Mason from Columbus because the Senators' price was too high.

Mason has plenty of question marks regarding his ability, as he's never been able to duplicate the success he had as a rookie in 2008-09. He probably won't be the team's long-term answer in goal, but his arrival may place Ilya Bryzgalov on a higher state of alert.

Philadelphia also sent energy forward Harry Zolnierczyk to Anaheim for tough guy Jay Rosehill.

It's hard to endorse either of Philadelphia's moves at this time as they don't help the team improve now and, especially in Mason's case, they might not pan out in the future, either.

Grade: D


Pittsburgh Penguins

Added: Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow, Jussi Jokinen, Doug Murray, 2013 third round pick, future considerations

Lost: Joe Morrow, Kenneth Agostino, Ben Hanowski, Patrick Killeen, 2013 first round pick, 2013 second round pick, 2013 fifth round pick, Conditional draft picks in 2014 (second round) and 2013 (seventh round)


The Penguins kicked off the trading frenzy early with big moves to bolster their already impressive roster. Before the end of March, Pittsburgh had already added former captains Jarome Iginla and Brenden Morrow from Calgary and Dallas, respectively. The Penguins also obtained rugged rearguard Doug Murray from San Jose to help their penalty kill. Iginla has been playing alongside Evgeni Malkin while Morrow has slotted in nicely on the third line. Despite those moves, they weren't done and added Jussi Jokinen from Carolina before Wednesday's deadline.

During their roster tinkering, Pittsburgh brought in a wealth of leadership and grit, as well as some versatility in Jokinen at the expense of prospects and upper tier draft picks. The team's management has been given the green light to 'go for it' when it comes to reaching the Stanley Cup Finals. Once Sidney Crosby returns from his broken jaw, the Penguins should be considered a favorite to win it all this spring. Whether or not they can do that is of course up for interpretation, but the moves they made improved an already dangerous group.


Grade: A


Tampa Bay Lightning

 Added: Ben Bishop, Philippe Paradis, 2013 seventh round pick

Lost: Cory Conacher, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Kirill Gotovets, 2013 fourth round pick


The Lightning made a surprising move prior to Wednesday's deadline when they dealt promising rookie Cory Conacher to Ottawa for goaltender Ben Bishop. Bishop has performed well for the Senators this season while sharing the crease with Robin Lehner in number one goalie Craig Anderson's absence. However, Tampa already has a goalie project of their own in Anders Lindback, who is currently recovering from an ankle injury.

The move appears to be a tad desperate when you consider that Lindback is still learning his craft and working his way to potentially being a starter. Bishop isn't a number one guy either, although he is probably further along in that regard than Lindback is right now. The Lightning are also far back in the playoff hunt and Bishop's arrival is unlikely to put them back into contention.

The tandem of Lindback and Bishop could be very good next season, but right now the move doesn't seem to make much sense.

Grade: C-


Toronto Maple Leafs

Added: Ryan O'Byrne

Lost: 2014 fourth round pick


The larger story from the perspective of the Toronto Maple Leafs is who they didn't acquire rather than who they did following the NHL trade deadline. The Leafs were reported to be in the mix for a veteran netminder and they had their sights set on Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff and Vancouver's Roberto Luongo. Kiprusoff decided to stay with the Flames and will probably retire at the end of the year, while the Leafs turned down a few trade proposals from the Canucks for Luongo during the final moments prior to the deadline.

Toronto may be better off in the long term without landing either puck stopper. They have received very good goaltending from James Reimer and Ben Scrivens this year and they won't be handcuffed salary cap wise as they would have with Luongo on board or by having to give Kiprusoff an extension.

In the end, the Leafs got physical defenseman Ryan O'Byrne from Colorado to play in their top-six group.

Grade: C+


Washington Capitals

Added: Martin Erat, Michael Latta Joel Rechlicz, Dane Byers

Lost: Filip Forsberg, Matthew Clackson, Garrett Stafford

The Capitals gave up a solid prospect in Filip Forsberg but they received a good offensive winger in Marin Erat in return. Erat has been a consistent point producer with the low-scoring Predators over his career and it will be interesting to see how he plays under a different system. He should get top-six minutes with Washington.

The team is close to surpassing Winnipeg for the Southeast Division lead and they are clearly hoping to make a run down the stretch to qualify for the playoffs. Erat should help in that regard and they chose to keep center Mike Ribeiro despite not signing him to an extension yet.

The Capitals were thought to be too far back to reach the postseason following their brutal start to the year, but now they are thinking playoffs and their deadline moves support that direction.

Grade: B


Winnipeg Jets

Added: None

Lost: None


The NHL trade deadline came and passed with the Jets standing pat. The only roster move the club made was picking up Mike Santorelli off waivers from Florida on Wednesday. Nik Antropov is projected to miss two weeks with a lower-body injury, which necessitated the transaction.

The Jets are floundering in the East's playoff picture, so it was a bit hard to see them stand idle. They could've used a jolt that a trade could create, but GM Kevin Cheveldayoff didn't want to move any assets and hinder the team's future growth.

Grade: C

Corey Abbott is an Associate Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him Twitter @CoreAbbott.
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