The Calgary Flames got the jump on the National Hockey League’s annual clearout sale by making a couple of major deals before the Olympic break. What will Darryl Sutter be up to today, if anything?
Join us throughout the day for news and views (and perhaps the odd irreverent comment) about the 2010 trade deadline.
7:04 a.m. Before moving on, let’s say a prayer of thanks that the Maple Leafs went ahead and moved Alexei Ponivarovsky last night instead of letting it drag into today. If the forward was still in play today, it would have subjected us to even more on-air and online references to "Poni" than we’ll get now that they’ll only be reviewing yesterday’s move until something else of note happens today.
7:10 a.m. If James Duthie had taken even a moment to think that Craig MacTavish was immediately to his left, he may not have made that wisecrack about Matthew Barnaby’s photo looking like a mugshot.
7:21 a.m. Goalies are always a fascinating component to deadline day. Tomas Vokoun is touted as the potential catch of the day and there are conflicting reports about whether the Montreal Canadiens are ready to take advantage of Jaroslav Halak’s current trade value. And of course, there’s all the Calgary-based clamouring for a new backup.
7:24 a.m. Breaking news from TSN — Wayne Primeau is available!
7:27 a.m. Speaking of goalies, reports out of Chicago quote Blackhawks management as saying they are NOT in the market for a netminder despite outsiders’ concerns about Cristobal Huet.
7:30 a.m. OK, Flames fans. There are five-and-a-half hours left until the horn sounds. What are your realistic (or fantastic if you prefer) expectations for today?
7:38 a.m. Here we are five years into the cap area and there are still fans who miss the point about how the CBA has impacted the way trades are made. Just as an example, some Flames supporters look at yesterday’s moves and say: "If Andy Sutton is worth a second-round pick then surely Cory Sarich is, no?" Well, no. Because Sarich has two more years (worth $7.2M) remaining, he’s much more difficult to deal than UFA-to be Sutton.
7:44 a.m. In the wake of the big news about Wayne Primeau, here’s another ex-Flame alert — Anders Eriksson (now in Phoenix) is on waivers!
7:50 a.m. You know this a deadline-obsessed world when word of Sean Bergenheim’s healthy scratch and rumoured availability gets a lot of play.
7:56 a.m. Woooooooo — live interview with Luca Caputi!
8 a.m. Still five hours to go. Why does this start so early every year again?
8:05 a.m. Biding our time reading — Denver Post blog entry on the pros and cons of trading Wojtek Wolski. The Avs are a tough read heading into the deadline because they’re in a playoff position but few people consider them legitimate Cup contenders.
8:08 a.m. Philly writer Tim Panaccio reporting that the Panthers want Jeff Carter in return for Tomas Vokoun.
8:13 a.m. Several media outlets are reporting that Vokoun has officially waived his no-trade clause. Presumably, that means unconditionally (i.e. not team-dependent).
8:15 a.m. Tim Panaccio says the Flyers have told the Panthers "no" on moving Carter.
8:16 a.m. Darren Dreger reporting that Sheldon Souray is willing to go to any American team but won’t waive NTC for a Canadian club. Question is, how many U.S. teams want him? (EDIT: Not all American teams apparently, but 19 of the 24)
8:17 a.m. Our own Kent Wilson has heard that the Flames have acquired tweener forward Robbie Earl.
8:19 a.m. More on Earl — the Wild have recalled him from the minors, but the party line in the Twin Cities is that the move is only a hedge in case Minnesota moves a forward today.
8:21 a.m. Forget Robbie Earl. The confusion caused by a misleading tweet saying that Earl is coming to Calgary. Yes, he’s coming to Calgary but only as insurance for Minnesota for tonight’s game AGAINST Calgary in case the Wild trade a forward today. We now return you to your regularly scheduled speculating.
8:25 a.m. While we’re talking about the Wild, Eric Belanger is touted as the most likely player to be moved today.
8:29 a.m. Ex-Flame Derek Morris on the move again — back to Phoenix. Details to come.
8:30 a.m. Late-breaking update — Flames have not acquired Robbie Earl but someone on the Calgary staff has downloaded the entire Steve Earle library from iTunes.
8:33 a.m. The Morris move brings to mind the line from old baseball catcher Bob Uecker: "They couldn’t believe how bad I was the first time so they reacquired me just to make sure."
8:35 a.m. Media reports in Boston suggest the Bruins are getting only a draft pick for Morris, which may mean they’re clearing cap space for a follow-up move, presumably a defenceman. UPDATE: It’s a 2011 fourth-round pick to the Bruins.
8:40 a.m. TSN prefaces interview with Sidney Crosby by saying he scored one of the three biggest goals in Canadian hockey history (to go with Henderson in ’72 and Lemieux in ’87). That may be accurate, but it seems funny that no one ever mentions Mike Bossy’s overtime goal against the Soviet Union in the 1984 Canada Cup, not even as an honourable mention.
8:48 a.m. While we’re in a lull, anyone want to make any guesses as to which five American teams Sheldon Souray would not waive his NTC for?
8:51 a.m. Weak. TSN claims much of its early-show talk was centred on Canada’s Eastern teams because they wanted to "give fans in Western Canada a chance to wake up." So when they finally change their focus to the West, they start with the team in Pacific time zone, which is obviously one hour behind the Mountain zone.
8:55 a.m. TSN panelists aghast about the suggestion the Canucks Pavol Demitra is available but on ther other hand, isn’t this the best time to trade the oft-injured UFA-to be? After the Olympics, his value will never be higher. (UPDATE: TSN’s other panel, led by Dave Hodge, is all over this point)
8:58 a.m. Leafs flip Martin Skoula to New Jersey.
9 a.m. Four hours to go — do you know know where your David Moss is?
9:04 a.m. Michael Russo reporting that Tony (Circus) Hrkac is back . . . in the AHL with the Houston Aeros. Hrkac is 43 now.
9:06 a.m. Blues are in a weird situation. Only three points out of the playoffs but they have to overtake four teams to get into the top eight. Their older players are NTC/NMC-protected and their young players are mostly untouchable. So unless they can convince someone to take Brad Boyes’ contract, they may be quiet.
9:10 a.m. No surprise, Leafs get only a lower-round draft pick for Skoula. Exact round TBA.
9:18 a.m. Take a deep breath, Flames fans. TSN is almost ready to start talking in depth about your team. Whoops, not quite yet — gotta talk to Ken Holland first.
9:20 a.m. Leafs get a fifth-round pick from Jersey for Skoula.
9:21 a.m. Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos says Rangers are asking Columbus about ex-Oiler Raffi Torres.
9:25 a.m. Ex-Flame Alex Tanguay being mentioned in a lot of "likely-to-be-moved" lists. Lightning might be the most active team today.
9:30 a.m. So has everyone recovered from the Robbie Earl scare yet?
9:33 a.m. In a major upset, Atlanta is apparently close to trading defenceman Ron Hainsey. At least that’s the speculation after Hainsey was called off the ice during this morning’s practice. Hainsey is making $4.5M ($4.5M!) for two more seasons.
9:34 a.m. Florida-Boston deal: Dennis Seidenberg and a prospect for Byron Bitz, Craig Weller and a second-rounder. Seidenberg reunited with German Olympic teammate Marco Sturm.
9:40 a.m. This just in — TSN now says they will talk about the Flames’ deadline situation during the second intermission of their Canucks-Red Wings telecast tonight.
9:44 a.m. USA Today’s Kevin Allen says that even if the Lightning is seen by many as a potential big player today (the team flight to Washington is being delayed until after the deadline so that any traded players can disembark the plane) it’s possible that the impending ownership change will handcuff general manager Brian Lawton.
9:46 a.m. Carolina defenceman Aaron Ward to the Ducks for ex-Hitmen goalie Justin Pogge and a fourth-rounder.
9:50 a.m. Another wince-inducing moment on the TSN panel that includes Craig MacTavish. Darren Pang taking a dig at Pierre McGuire about "doing time."
9:53 a.m. Justin Pogge — just another reminder that starring for the Canadian junior team is not necessarily an indication of future NHL success. Remember Jimmy Waite? Jamie Storr?
9:58 a.m. Radio report out of Montreal says the Canadiens will not move Halak (or Price for that matter) today. As always, the major problem with trying to move a goalie at the deadline is that only contenders with a specific need AND cap space are potential customers. That’s a mighty short list, which based on the law of supply and demand makes it hard for the trading team to get fair value for their masked man.
10 a.m. Three hours to go.
10:02 a.m. For what it’s worth, Panthers coach Peter DeBoer says Tomas Vokoun will be Florida’s starting netminder tonight.
10:05 a.m. Bob McKenzie reports that the Oilers have claimed Nashville’s Ryan Jones on waivers.
10:09 a.m. Chris Chelios clears waivers and will join the Atlanta Thrashers. Just for the fun of it, do a search for "Chris Chelios" and "Julio Franco" in Google news tomorrow morning.
10:12 a.m. From RossCreek in the comments section: "Roger Millions mentions Josh Harding could be headed to Calgary?"
10:15 a.m. Multiple sources are reporting that Carolina forward Ray Whitney is staying put. Makes sense at this late date considering a two-year contract extension was said to be a condition of waiving NTC.
10:17 a.m. TSN lists Glencross, Moss and Dawes as the Flames’ potential trade bait. Sitting on the fence by listing Calgary as a buyer/seller.
10:20 a.m. More TSN gabbing about the Flames and, well, poor Daymond Langkow. He might as well put it on his tombstone — "Not a real No. 1 centre."
10:22 a.m. With Whitney allegedly off the market, the Hurricanes focus is now on Scott Walker.
10:23 a.m. "Flames have lost their identity." Thanks for chipping in, Steve Simmons. What is this, 2004?
10:25 a.m. Bob McKenzie says Caps are locking in on Scott Walker. UPDATE: Walker to Washington is official. Details TBA.
10:27 a.m. Alert! Stephane Yelle mention on TV.
10:28 a.m. Bad news for Carolina is that Walker nets only a seventh-round pick. Good news is there is no eighth round.
10:34 a.m. Report: Avs and Coyotes working on a deal that would have Peter Mueller and Wojtek Wolski as centrepieces. Phoenix prospect Kevin Porter’s name also mentioned.
10:37 a.m. Instant analysis — Kent Wilson likes the potential Avs-Coyotes deal from Phoenix’s standpoint. An "outright steal" in his books.
10:38 a.m. Canucks get Stastny. Yan Stastny that is. Blues get minor-league winger Pierre-Cedric Labrie (six points in 45 games for Manitoba Moose).
10:42 a.m. Deal confirmed — Mueller and Porter from Phoenix to Colorado for Wolski.
10:48 a.m. Hidden fallout of the Avs-Coyotes trade — a new city of fans and play-by-play announcers has to learn the nuances of pronouncing "Voy-tek Vol-skee."
10:52 a.m. Take it for what it’s worth, but an out-of-town beat reporter says he’s been told Darryl Sutter is working on a deal with an Atlantic Division team. No specifics, but word is the potential trade is "very minor." Guess that rules out reuniting Jarome Iginla with his Olympic centreman?
11 a.m. Two hours to go and Pierre-Cedric Labrie is desperately clinging to the honour of most important hyphenated name to be on the move today. Hang in there, P.C., word is the Devils have absolutely no interest in moving Pierre-Luc Leblond-Letourneau.
11:03 a.m. Blues writer Jeremy Rutherford is passing along a report that former Blues and Kings coach Andy Murray will become the new head coach of the Swiss national team.
11:08 a.m. Good question from cyberspace — does Carolina getting only a seventh-rounder for Scott Walker make it harder for other clubs to move role players for a more substantial pick?
11:11 a.m. As Kent Wilson rightly reminds me, the "minor trade with an Atlantic team" rumour comes on the heels of reports the New York Islanders have been scouting the Flames.
11:12 a.m. Despite being frequently mentioned in rumours, the Kings are supposedly perfectly happy to stand pat today. A series of lowball offers on Alexander Frolov may have cooled Dean Lombardi’s desire to make a move.
11:15 a.m. Denver Post reports that Avalanche newcomer Peter Mueller will join the club in time to be in uniform against the Ducks tonight.
11:18 a.m. OilersNation writer Robin Brownlee is looking into rumours that the Rangers are sniffing around for Edmonton defenceman Tom Gilbert.
11:22 a.m. From JackBauer in the comments section: "Elliott Freidman is reporting that the Oilers are going to call up 2 defenceman from the AHL today. No word on any trades." This may tie into reports of a possible Gilbert trade.
11:26 a.m. Someone somewhere sometime today (sorry, I forget exactly who and where and when) dropped a slight Ryan Smyth comparison when discussing Oilers newcomer Ryan Jones. After seeing this photo, that makes a little more sense.
11:29 a.m. Looking forward to Vancouver columnist and conspiracy theorist Tony Gallagher’s reaction to Phoenix’s acquisitions of Derek Morris and Wojtek Wolski.
11:30 a.m. More fodder for Gallagher — his beloved Canucks send Mathieu Schneider to Coyotes. Also, Kings get Jeff Halpern. Also also, Canucks have sent Brad Lukowich to Manitoba.
11:36 a.m. In the wake of all their activity today, are the suprising Coyotes a legitimate contender to make a run in the playoffs?
11:41 a.m. Question from Randy Workman in the comments section: "So are the Flames done?" There are rumours that something minor is in the works but based on the magnitude of the pre-Olympic deals, nothing happening today was definitely the safer bet.
11:43 a.m. Tim Panaccio reports that the Flyers are still chasing Nashville defenceman Dan Hamhuis.
11:45 a.m. Caps get Eric Belanger from Minnesota for a second-round pick.
11:46 a.m. Details to complete earlier deal — Tampa Bay gets forward Teddy Purcell and a third-round pick from the Kings for Jeff Halpern.
11:48 a.m. From RossCreek: The FAN960’s Dean Molberg reports that Calgary backup goalie Curtis McElhinney has been traded.
11:53 a.m. Hard to even begin to imagine what the motivations and consequences of trading McElhinney would be.
11:58 a.m. Even after the jettisoning of Denis Grebeshkov, Oilers d-men Steve Staios, Tom Gilbert and Sheldon Souray all being mentioned to various degrees in trade rumours.
Noon Wild (so to speak) rumour from the Saddledome — Dustin Boyd and Curtis McElhinney to Minnesota for Josh Harding and a second-round draft pick. UPDATE: TSN is saying McElhinney is actually going to Anaheim.
12:03 p.m. Sportsnet says the Flames have landed Vesa Toskala for McElhinney.
12:08 p.m. Impossible to fathom that Darryl Sutter would spend his cap cushion on a $4M backup goalie whose career has been in serious decline for several seasons. Especially since the schedule calls for only two more back-to-backs the rest of the way. There must be a follow-up move, no?
12:12 p.m. For the heck of it — Toskala’s 2009-10 save percentage, .874. McElhinney’s .885.
12:15 p.m. Good line from CBC’s Eillotte Friedman regarding the Toskala acquisition: "Were the Maple Leafs blacked out in Calgary this year?"
12:16 p.m. Toskala is making $4M this season and is a UFA this summer.
12:23 p.m. Sportsnet says Raffi Torres is going to Buffalo.
12:25 p.m. Blue Jackets reportedly get Nathan Paetsch and a second-round pick from Buffalo for ex-Oiler Torres.
12:30 p.m. One spin on the Vesa Toskala deal. Regardless of his poor numbers with a lousy Leafs team this season, the belief is that Toskala is a better backup option than Curtis McElhinney. Part II of that scenario is that the backup could wind up being very important down the stretch because Kiprusoff is at less than peak physical and mental condition coming out of the Olympics (and after a heavy pre-Olympic workload of course).
12:35 p.m. Just 25 minutes to go, but also don’t forget about the annual backlog on the trade call and the tricke of last-minute deals that get announced for about an hour after deadline.
12:40 p.m. Clarke MacArthur from Buffalo to Atlanta for two picks (third-rounder and fourth-rounder).
12:42 p.m. TSN reports Leafs will move Lee Stempniak.
12:45 p.m. Biggest surprise among teams that haven’t done a thing yet today? Chicago? San Jose? Philly?
12:49 p.m. Caps re-acquire Milan (Formerly Known as the Poor Man’s Zdeno Chara) Jurcina from Columbus.
12:52 p.m. Tweet from former Flames goalie coach David Marcoux: "Good luck to Curtis McElhinney now in Anaheim. A change will do you good. Ttyl buddy!"
12:53 p.m. Report: Oilers defenceman Sheldon Souray might be done for the year (and done for a potential deal before the deadline) because of post-surgery infection.
12:55 p.m. Amazing that dealt players have time to pose for photos wearing their new clubs’ sweaters so that the TV networks can put up the updated images when interviewing the players by phone.
1 p.m. Deadline has passed, now what about the late-breaking deals?
1:02 p.m. Another tweet from David Marcoux: "Turek, McLennan, Sauve, Boucher, McElhinney, Joseph, were Kiprusoff’s back-ups since he’s been in Cgy. Tough job!"
1:03 p.m. Kings traded for the Blue Jackets’ Fredrik Modin but the deal may not have been registered with the league in time.
1:06 p.m. Lee Stempniak to Phoenix for two draft picks.
1:08 p.m. Caps and ‘Canes deal again — Joe Corvo to Washington for Brian Pothier.
1:09 p.m. TSN says the Modin deal to Los Angeles is official.
1:10 p.m. Hurricanes have traded ex-Flame Stephane Yelle.
1:14 p.m. Still no word on Sandbox’s new club.
1:17 p.m. Canucks get defenceman Andrew Alberts from Carolina.
1:26 p.m. It’s been fascinating to see Michael Peca’s world-class five o’clock shadow come in over the course of TSN’s trade deadline show.
1:30 p.m. Can’t get over the fact that many panel experts take for granted that Dion Phaneuf will become a great defenceman.
1:31 p.m. Edmonton ships blueliner Lubomir Visnovsky to Anaheim for defenceman Ryan Whitney, who has three more years at $4M per left on his contract.
1:37 p.m. Still no confirmation that the Flames are done, which lends credence to the possibility something may still happen.
1:40 p.m. Calgary sends Dustin Boyd to Nashville for a fourth-round pick.
1:58 p.m. Looks like that’s it for Calgary and I think it’s safe to say these two deals aren’t playing well with Flames fans. For the short term, the Flames get a couple of Vesa Toskala starts down the stretch. Long term, they lose a $530,000 backup goalie for 2010-11 and an RFA who was still under their control and gain a fourth-round pick.
2:03 p.m. TSN reports that the Oilers have sent Steve Staios to Calgary for Aaron Johnson and a third-round pick. Staios makes $2.7M next season; Johnson is a UFA. The first legitimate trade ever made between the Alberta teams.
2:08 p.m. If that third-rounder given up is a 2010 pick, the Flames may as well skip the draft this summer. Ah well, more time to prepare for those two fourth-rounders they have.
2:12 p.m. Avs reacquire Stephane Yelle.
2:15 p.m. We’ll leave the last word to Steve Simmons, who really likes the Kings’ acquisition of Jeff Halpern because: "He takes up time when he’s on the ice."