Call me crazy on this one, but that deadline was more then I could have hoped for. After a bit of despair earlier about the way things were shaping up, especially say in the hour between 2:30 and 3:30 PM on the 3rd before the final 3 trades came through, it couldn’t ahve ended better. Whitney is still a Cane, but I’m OK with that. Corvo was unexpectedly traded, but Pothier in the past has been a good defenseman in his own right and could prove to be worth re-signing if his concussion issues are in the past.
But let’s look at the trades following the Wallin trade.
To Ottawa: Matt Cullen
To Carolina: 2010 2nd round pick, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, USS Enterprise.
Wait… not that Picard? This one’s a defenseman? An offensive defenseman that Ottawa fans maligned quite often this season at that? Yeah I think we’ve heard this one before, that one played out nicely. While I still need to give Alexandre his 10 games to see how I like where he fits in the system, early returns are promising. It definitely sucks to lose Cullen though and the 3rd line center position has been notoriously hard to fill for the Canes historically.
To Anaheim: Aaron Ward
To Carolina: Justin Pogge, 2010 4th round pick
Hey, we get a 4th round pick back! That might be the most important part of the deal. Pogge should help Albany out a good bit though since Peters seems to be here for the long haul until Ward is back. With the Rats apparently running into some injury issues with Murphy and now Mike Morrison out this couldn’t come at a better time for them. Considering the way Ward had been playing earlier this season, I would have said the 4th alone is worth significantly more.
To Washington: Scott Walker
To Carolina: 2010 7th round pick
Meh trade in my books. It sheds some salary and Walker is one of my favorite foot soldier types not just in Canes history but around the league. If there’s anyone I’m OK with moving for absolute scraps to give him another shot at the Cup it’s Scotty. Besides, the 7th has been quality for us of late with selections like Kyle Lawson, Samuel Morneau and Tommi Kivisto in recent years.
To Washington: Joe Corvo
To Carolina: Brian Pothier, Oskar Osala, 2011 2nd round pick
This is the one that came out of left field for me that may in fact prove to be the steal of deadline day. It hurts a bit since I was a big fan of Corvo but fact of the matter is that this isn’t a huge downgrade for us. Pothier was at one point a VERY highly regarded defenseman in his own right with good two-way play. Some injury issues have hurt him though so it may be a little while before I am comfortable with that aspect of this. But Osala, damn if this kid isn’t a stud. He scores, he’s fast as hell, and he hits like a freight train. Not too long ago he was drawing comparisons to a pre-injury Erik Cole. The only issue with him is his inconsistency, which is likely the biggest reason he was traded on both sides of this trade. Washington has plenty in the wings in the pipeline and can chance him never panning out whereas we have the time to give him to sort this out to help him pan out. The 2nd rounder is just icing on this deal.
To Colorado: Stephane Yelle, Harrison Reed
To Carolina: Cedric Lalonde-McNicoll, 2010 6th round pick
Another meh trade, sending Yelle back to the place that put him on the map. Reed was looking like a complete and total bust here. Lalonde-McNicoll I have absolutely no clue about… and neither did anyone from TSN. So take that as a pretty big indication to not expect anything to come of this trade except for whoever we draft with that 6th.
To Vancouver: Andrew Alberts
To Carolina: 2010 3rd round pick
The one trade we made on deadline day that I didn’t care for. Alberts, while his salary goes up to 1.3 mil next season, was a reliable 3rd pairing type for us. He did exactly what he was advertised to do, clear the crease, hit, and provide a decent defensive game. But his upside may be tapped so we shipped him off to Vancouver. I still don’t think we got a good return on this one though.
But here’s how the deadline works for me. Despite trading Cullen and Corvo, the rest of the core of the team that’s been on this insane hot streak is essentially the same. We cleared out some dead weight and made some roster spots open for some younger guys to provide a bit more of a spark.
Here’s our lineup from last night:
Whitney – Staal – Jokinen
LaRose – Sutter – Ruutu
Samsonov – Dwyer – Cole
Boychuk – Brindy – Nonstopoulos
Gleason – Pothier
Pitkanen – Picard
Carson – Harrison
Trading out Ward for Jay Harrison is a wash, both #6 guys. Only Jay is actually paid like a #6 and Ward is paid like a #3/4.
Yelle was the extra forward, and while he’s been good at times this year he wasn’t needed anymore.
Walker was replaced by Boychuk. Why it wasn’t Osala or Blanchard is beyond me but any chance to see Boychuk in the lineup is a positive for me. That kid can just create chances out of nothing. See his forechecking on the TKO goal from last night.
Just as importantly we saved about 2.5 million in remaining salary and will likely be able to make a splash in UFA to pick up a real top 4 defenseman or two this coming offseason.