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 What the Puck? March 4, 2008 Allow Anonymous Users Reply to This Topic...
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Posted - 03/06/2008 :  11:06:30  Show Profile

The trade deadline has come and passed and I would argue that it was not quite as monumental as many expected. Although Marian Hossa, Brad Richards, and Brian Campbell moved, Olli Jokinen, Alex Tanguay, Michael Ryder, Rob Blake, John Michael-Liles and many other “expected” trades did not occur. Nonetheless, the deadline was full of some surprises and there were definitely many winners and losers, both teams and players, on the deadline. In this edition of What the Puck? I will take a look at some of the winners and losers and the fantasy impact.


Brad Richards (C, Dallas): Brad Richards was a big time winner in the trade that sent him and goalie Johan Holmvqist from Tampa Bay to Dallas for G Mike Smith, forwards Jussi Jokinen and Jeff Halpern and a 4th round pick. Richards is the big winner in this deal as he is essentially lined up to be the premier center on Dallas once Mike Modano retires. Moreover, it will be very interesting to see what Richards is able to do with first line minutes as he never really got those in Tampa as Vincent Lecavlier is, rightfully so, the man for the Lightning. This trade improves Richards’ fantasy value for this season and next.

Mike Smith (G, Tampa Bay): The other winner from the Richards trade is Mike Smith. Smith, who was arguably the best backup in the league, is now the starter in Tampa. However, it is interesting as Smith went from one of the top teams in the Western Conference to one of the worst in the east. However, although there may be some disappointment about leaving a contender, Smith has got to be thrilled that he gets to be the goalie for Lecavlier’s squad. In the fantasy realm, Smith now becomes a solid #2 goalie for your squad. Moreover, Tampa Bay is going downhill right now so Smith may not be as valuable until next season.

Steve Bernier (RW, Buffalo): For some reason. Bernier had been in the doghouse all season in San Jose. Naturally, it was rather expected that when the Sharks were trying to get Brian Campbell, Bernier was going to go to Buffalo. However, Bernier is a big time prospect and has all ready shown signs of life since joining the Sabres. Essentially, Bernier is one of those guys that will benefit from a change of scenery. Bernier is not a premier fantasy forward yet, but with a resurrection in Buffalo, Bernier could be valuable for your team in the playoffs.

Washington Capitals: I would argue that the Capitals had the most productive deadline of any team. Colorado is the only other team that could rival them, but I am not convinced that Peter Forsberg will save the team. Nonetheless, the Capitals acquired two key veterans that will help their squad make a push in the weak Southeastern conference. First, the Caps stole Cristobal Huet from Montreal for a second round pick in 2009! This trade is mind-boggling. The surging Habs have become legitimate Stanley Cup contenders, yet they trade their veteran, starting goalie for a second round pick in 2 years. I know Carey Price is “the future”, but the Habs better hope that the future is ready now if they hope to make a playoff push. Secondly, the Habs were able to acquire veteran Sergei Federov for defensive prospect Ted Ruth. With the acquisition of both Huet and Federov, the Capitals have propelled themselves into the top contender to take the Southeastern conference.


Pittsburgh Penguins: I know grabbing Marian Hossa would make the Penguins seem to be winners at the deadline. However, I believe what they gave up for Hossa, who has essentially no chance of resigning in Pittsburgh this summer, and for bottom pairing defenseman Hal Gill is far too much. They now don’t have their draft picks in the first 2 rounds of the upcoming draft and also lost leader Colby Armstrong, and big time prospect Angelo Esposito. The fact is the weakness for Pitt the entire season has been defense. They did not improve their defense at all. This was as evident as it could be in the 5-1 spanking they took from the Bruins, who are in no way a scoring powerhouse, the first game after the deadline. In the end, it is unlikely that Pittsburgh has the defense or goaltending to win the Cup, and if they don’t win the cup, the trade for Hossa was a waste.

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