Sometimes the best trades are the one’s you don’t make. If you were expecting the mind boggling, head spinning moves from last year’s trade deadline for the Florida Panthers, I’m sorry to disappoint you. The good thing? We didn’t lose a single player, draft pick, or take on any money that could hamper us in the future. On the other side of the coin we didn’t acquire anyone today either, but Dale Tallon did his work in the days preceeding the deadline, and most likely for a much lower price.
Dale spoke about his earlier moves today, and if you read between the lines you’ll see that it was the right thing to do:
“We made our moves early and those moves probably would’ve cost us a lot more today to do,’’ Tallon said. “Overall, I’m satisfied with the team we have. We have tremendous depth now. We improved our team a few days ago and we’re going to get healthier over the next few weeks.
“We’re going to stay with the team we have right now that has 70 points and is in first place and is battling for a playoff spot.’’
This is not to say he wasn’t busy, or that the efforts weren’t being put forth to make a deal today, but in the end Dale has a plan, and mortgaging the future isn’t part of it. More from Dale:
“We made a lot of phone calls. We identified what we wanted to add to our lineup, but weren’t able to get exactly what we wanted to get without mortgaging our future,’’ Tallon said. “Just not a lot of activity today.’’
In all it was a quiet day all around with only 15 trades being made that involved 31 players and 11 draft picks. There were no big names moved as anticipated. Rick Nash, Derek Roy, and Mikhail Grabovksi were players who’s named had been tossed around (some at length), ended up staying with their respective teams….for now. The asking price for many players was just too much, and with many teams not wanting to sacrifice the asking price, most GM’s felt it better to hold on to what they have.
There were a couple surprises as the Minnesota Wild sent Nick Shultz to the Edmonton Oilers for Tom Gilbert in a swap of defencemen. Nothing at all against Gilbert, but the Wild took everyone by surprise with this one as Nick was a fan favorite, as well a great teammate, and I’m sure they are still in shock. The Montreal Canadiens started things off just before 11:00 A.M. eastern by trading Andrei Kostitsyn to the Nashville Predators for a 2nd round and a conditional 5th round draft pick in 2013. The trade reunites the Kostitsyn brothers in Nashville as Sergei has been with the Predators since the summer of 2010. The Preds must be hoping that whatever magic the two displayed in Montreal when they were together translates better in Music City.
Buffalo had been rumored to have something in the works, made what I would call the surprise deal of the day by trading Zach Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani to the Vancouver Canucks for young forward Cody Hodgson and defenceman Alexander Sulzer. Hodgson is a former first round pick and has a very bright future in the NHL, and the Sabres look very shrewd with this one. Follow all the trades here on TSN’s trade tracker.
As for the Panthers the deals that Dale made to acquire Wojtek Wolski and Jerred Smithson will have to appease you for the balance of the season. The dressing room has a good mixture of players, and Dale is smart not to “spit in that soup” so to speak, and will go with what he has.
Now, everyone can relax in knowing that they aren’t going anywhere. They can all also get a boost of confidence in knowing that management has faith in them, and that it’s up to the unit that is here right now to get the job done and end the playoff drought for the franchise. The Panthers are in first place, and have a few games at hand compared to their divisional rivals. The mental toughness of this team will be tested for the balance of the season, however without the pressure of a player wondering if he’ll be traded or not.
Buckle up boys and girls. It’s going to be a fun ride the rest of the way.
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