It’s finally upon us, this most manic of frenzied days, this wild free-for-all that is the NHL trade deadline. And like any reputable news source, we’re going to be here every step of the way, offering you, Gentle Reader, with all the fast-breaking news. Of course, because this is the interwebs, and breaking news becomes universally known within ten seconds, the fact that we have, at best, third-, fourth- and fifth-hand sources is totally not important. And the fact that we are not full-time Tradeologists is also not important. The point is that we are on the case, reporting everything as it happens, rounding up to the nearest half hour after it is either brought to us in comments or emails by friends who are keeping closer tabs on everything than we are, or after it posts on Kukla’s Korner, because we totally can’t get TSN.ca to load at work. Oh yeah, and did we mention we’re at work? Because we might get busy and not be able to update every half hour. Don’t miss it! The best Part-Time Trade Deadline Mania on the interwebs!
10:09 a.m. As far as we can tell, nothing is happening yet. Unless you consider Mike Comrie re-signing with the Islanders “something”. Which we don’t.
10:39 Of course the first actual news we spot on Kukla is that the Devils have acquired Bryce Salvador. We were kind of ho-hum about this at first, because, well… Bryce Salvador? But then we looked him up in wikipedia, to solidify our opinion that he’s just what the Devils need (another so-so NHL-caliber defenseman, to go with our other eight), and according to his entry there, which is GOD’S HONEST TRUTH (the wiki has spoken, people!), the trade was for Cam Janssen. If this is true — which it HAS to be — WOOOOOOOO!!!!! Someone gave up a warm body for Cam Janssen? We figured hoping for a ten-pound catfish was unreasonable. Well color us surprised. And, um, color us curious about what the Devils are going to do with nine NHL-caliber defensemen.
11:09 According to very reputable sources, the Sabres have been in a team meeting this morning. It’s probably just Darcy Regier standing in front of his players to tell them there is no news yet to report.
Speaking of which, there is no news to report at this moment. Which is good. Pookie’s teaching a class about Google Calendar and Schnookie is ordering all manner of lab supplies. We’re too busy for trades right now!
11:48 Wow! It’s been an exciting 40 minutes! The top story is, of course, that the Panthers got the big prize of the deadline, Toronto’s Wade Belak, for the low, low price of a fifth-round draft pick. We don’t know about you, but we think the playoff picture in the East has been rocked by this trade.
Meanwhile, Brian Campbell’s season-destroying contract negotiations are finally at an end, and his reign of terror in Buffalo has concluded along with it. He’s off to San Jose in exchange for Steve Bernier and a first-round pick. As with Janssen, that’s way more than the ten-pound catfish we would have given up for him. Sorry about that, Sharks fans.
Oh, and there are rumblings about this Richards-to-Dallas thing actually happening, but nothing’s set in stone. We can’t be bothered with rumor and innuendo. We’re dealing only in cold, hard facts here, people. Please. We’re a reputable news source.
12:09 Updating half-hourly is so the way to go with trade tracking, because it pretty much guarantees that a big move will be made as soon as you post your latest update. Take, for example, the Dallas/Tampa trade, which upgraded from “innuendo” to “truth” as soon as we scoffed at it. So yeah. Brad Richards and our favorite “really awful goaltender the Devils have recently faced in the playoffs”, Johan Holmqvist, are now Stars, in exchange for Mike Smith, Jussi Jokinen and Jeff Halpern. While we know all the names involved in this trade, we’d be lying if we said we had informed opinions about any of these guys. Our guts, though, say that we don’t think Richards is a pile of puke, despite the way his contract makes it almost impossible to think clearly about him as a player, and we have never been very impressed by Halpern’s Princeton-y past. So, advantage: Stars. Except for the Holmqvist part. He’s terrible.
In other news, the Canadiens made a charitable donation of Christobal Huet to the Caps. As a receipt for tax purposes, the Caps gave them a second-round pick. What the hell, Montreal? They’re in your conference. Why would you do that?
12:21 We would be remiss if we didn’t mention how thrilled we are for how the Richards deal from a purely Devils perspective. On paper it doesn’t look much like the Tampa-Dallas deal effects NJ much, but here at IPB we dig deeper. Other people see Brad Richards going to Dallas. We see Vinny’s BFF going to the Devils of the West. This is surely just a move setting the table for the centerpiece of Trade Deadline Day ’08 — Vinny himself going to the Devils of the East (aka, well, the Devils!).
12:39 Things are still quiet on the Vinny-to-NJ front, but the rest of the NHL world has been sent reeling by the news that the Blackhawks and Hurricanes swapped Tuomo Ruutu and Andrew Ladd, and the Avalanche acquired Ruslan Salei from the Panthers for Karlis Skrastins and a third-rounder. We’re not sure how we can go on living with a league landscape that has been so inexorably altered.
1:09 Boomer has been a life-long Gunsmoke fan, and our dad was not. We remember there was a time during our pre-teen years when there was a Gunsmoke reunion special that Boomer was super-excited about, so the whole family gathered in front of the TV to watch it with her. And we had a marvelous time listening, for the entire show, to our father’s howls of laughter every time the shot changed to show another geriatric original castmember. It never got tired for him to laugh at a 70-something James Arness being foisted up into the saddle of some poor, unsuspecting buckskin, and don’t even get us started on how incapacitated with mirth he was when Miss Kitty was rolled out, wearing her full saloon-girl makeup and brassy red wig. On that same note, the Avs have picked up Adam Foote from the Blue Jackets. Pierre McGuire says right now that it’s for a first-round pick, but we try not to ever believe a word Pierre tells us.
In other news, Ottawa’s shocked us by giving up a sixth-round pick for Marty Lapointe, who we didn’t realize was still in the NHL.
1:39 The two steps forward the Washington Capitals took acquiring Huet look a little ridiculous following the 8,000 steps back they took acquiring the rights to Fedorov’s embalmed body. Wait, we’re getting some breaking news here… Fedorov is still alive? Really? Her? Also, the Islanders got “Rob Davison” for a 7th round pick from San Jose. OK, now they’re just making up names and trades to distract us from the big Vinny-to-NJ-for-Andy-Greene deal. Wait, what’s this? The Caps aren’t done! They sent Matt Pettinger to Vancouver for Matt Cooke. Because the Eastern Conference totally needed another Sean Avery. Thank you ever so much, Washington.
2:09 It’s official! The trade we’ve all been looking forward to, Vinny Lecavalier to the Devils for Rod Pelley, has gone down!
Psych! Made you look!
Okay, there actually is no news to report other than that Pookie has traded lunchtime for naptime.
2:39 We’d love to say there’s big, official news now involving Hossa, the Penguins, and maybe some large catfish, but it’s all still rumors and innuendo. And you know how we feel about that.
3:11 Finally, some craziness abounds! First up we’ve got the Pens acting on the current trend of trading for reanimated corpses (see: Fedorov, Sergei and Foote, Adam), and giving up a second- and a fith-round pick for Hal Gill. We’re sure Leafs fans are sorry to see him go.
In further “they’re just making these names up” trade news, the Rangers gave a fourth-round pick to the Blues for the fictional Christian Backman. Now, we don’t pretend to know much about the Western Conference, but we’ve never heard of that guy. We think he’s just J.D. in a fake mustache.
The biggest splash of the last half hour was the news that Pittsburgh acquired Marian Hossa (and Pascal Dupuis) for the bargain-basement price of Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen and Angelo Esposito, as well as a first-round draft pick. What a reasonable price to pay for the rental of such a proven playoff performer. Is this Atlanta’s just rewards for the ridonkulous rental trades they made last year? And what is up with Pittsburgh management? Last year Sid said he didn’t want an enforcer so they went out and got Laraque, and this year they’re shipping out Sid’s BFF? Are they trying to send a message? Is this their way of publicly announcing this is Conklin’s team now?
3:39 Everyone seems to have scrambled to squeeze their trades in under the deadline, so there’s all kinds of action to update now. Being a part-time amateur trade tracker is hard work!
First up, the rage for reanimated corpses continues unabated, and the Wild spend a sixth-round pick for one of their own, only they go for the extra-special malicious reanimated corpse in the form of Chris Simon. Oohh… thuggish!
The Red Wings decided to attempt to stop the bleeding by picking up the Kings’ Brad Stuart, about whom we have no opinion whatsoever. We know we’ve been hearing his name for years, and something makes us want to think he’s supposed to be good, but since the Wings only gave up a second-round and a fourth-round pick for him, how good can he be?
The Panthers and Leafs continued to wring shrugs from the rest of the observing hockey world by shuffling Chad Kilger for a third-round pick. A third-round pick in the ten-pound-catfish draft, right?
The Ducks filled their own glaring need for some defensive shoring-up by giving the Islanders a third-round pick for Marc-Andre Bergeron. We’ve watched the Devils play against the Bergeroned Islanders six times this year, and wouldn’t be able to tell you the first thing about him. That’s why we’re considered “experts”.
In the most emotionally stirring news of the day (besides the “someone gave us a warm body for Cam Janssen” bit), the Al Montoya Era is officially over in New York. Considering we wrote about Montoya during the lockout that he resided in a storage closet in the bowels of MSG with other highly-touted, unsuccessful Rangers prospects such as Daniel Goneau and Christian Dube, you can imagine how sorry we are to see him move on. Goneau and Dube are going to miss him. Marcel Hossa will be shipping out to Phoenix with Montoya in return for Fredrik Sjostrom, David Leneveu and Josh Gratton.
4:11 After the bombshell that is the Montoya trade, things have gotten a lot quieter, although another troubling trend (besides how in vogue reanimated corpses have become) has sprung up. First we’ve got the Kings trading JS Aubin to the Ducks for a seventh-rounder, and then we’ve got the Thrashers trading Alexandre Giroux to the Caps for International Man Of Mystery Joe Motzko. Do these teams not realize that they are in each other’s divisions? When did teams who are duking it out for first in their division like the Caps and Thrashers are start trading with each other? We think Trade Deadline ’08 will go down in history as the day GMs officially finally all lost their marbles.
In other news, Tampa traded Jan Hlavac’s reanimated corpse to Nashville for a seventh-round pick.
4:39 Well, it looks like the dust has settled, and everyone’s done. At least, Lou’s officially done, which means we don’t care anymore. When we woke up this morning, the first thing we thought was, “We really hope today ends with nine NHL-capable defensemen on the Devils active roster.” And our prayers were answered. As for all that “We really, really, really want Lou to trade for Lecavalier” talk, he probably secretly really sucks anyway. We’re better off with Bryce Salvador.