Good afternoon everyone…welcome to NHL Trade Deadline-A-Palooza ‘09! Over the next day or so, like so many of you, I will be glued to NHL Live on XM’s Channel 204 and/or The NHL Channel on cable awaiting news of Thrashers trades as they occur! As they happen over the next day or so I’ll be updating this blog so keep checkin’ in. As always, if you hear of a noteworthy deal that goes down around the league…post it up!
You are all hearby officially deputized as cyber-reporters for this event, so as news breaks…post it up for us all to see.
We are still just over a day away from Wednesday’s 3:00 pm trade deadline but there has been a few deals that have gone down already. Yesterday, as I’m sure you’ve all heard by now, Nic Havelid was sent packing to the New Jersey Devils in return for Anssi Salmela, a 24- year old Nordic blueliner who played for the Finnish national team. This follows the trade that sent Mathieu Schneider to Montreal for draft picks. Both Havelid and Schneider will be UFAs this summer and their being moved came as no real surprise.
As we have discussed, other Thrashers unrestricted free agents that may be playing elsewhere by Wednesday night include Marty Reasoner and Eric Perrin. The latter has made it very clear that he would welcome a change of venue.
I also have this feeling that Kari Lehtonen could be up on the blocks. Recently the team held talks with his agent and now I come to understand that his parents are in town. I could be reading too much into that, but we’ll see.
Regardless, I would not be stunned if Hedberg or Kari is dealt away. If it’s Moose instead of Kari, then it means the organ-I-zation is comfortable with having Odrej Pavalec on the big-boy squad now and we’ll have a Kari-Opie tandem in the net.
Also, there have been some players of note from around the league that have been placed on waivers today.
The Thrashers do not play Wednesday night, and won’t until they welcome the Habs to Philips Arena on Friday. So, unlike last year when they were in Montreal on the deadline date, there won’t be a mad scramble to call up Wolves players to fill in gaps created by trades.
The following games are on the schedule for tomorrow however…Montreal at Buffalo and Detroit at Colorado.
Last year Dan Kamal posted a blog over on the Thrashers web site indicating his belief that the NHL should schedule no matches on the trade deadline date and I must say that I agree 100% with that. I’d also like to have it where all teams have exactly the same amount of games after the deadline as they go down the stretch. That’s probably not possible given that there are so many teams sharing their home arena with NBA teams…as is the case with the Thrashers…but still, I think it’d be a good goal to strive for.
UPDATE: Mar. 3, 1:17 pm: And as sure as hell is hot…as soon as I posted this, I learn that Eric Perrin has been placed on waivers per the TSN link provided above.
UPDATE: Mar. 4, 9:17 am: Dan Kamal was just on Hockey This Morning, (XM-204) with Scott Laughlin. Kamal indicated that he expects DW to be “very busy” today discussing deals but he does not see any “earth shattering” trades to go down. He also pointed to last Saturday’s come-back win vs. Carolina as something that reminded him of the atmosphere created a few years back when the Thrashers were making playoff runs.
Players Kamal discussed:
Kari: He not only thinks he will NOT be traded, but feels he is a “cornerstone” player to build a team around.
Moose & Opie:He expects there will some interest shown for these two.
Kozlov:Kamal said Kozzy wants to stay and “be a part of the turnaround” and does not think he’ll be dealt today.
Perrin:He’s very disappointed that things did not work out for him this season.
Kovalchuk: Kamal said that “priority ONE is re-signing” Kovy for the Thrashers…and there is no 1-a or 1-b to this.
UPDATE: Mar. 4, 12:30 pm: Don Waddell was a guest on NHL Live with Clement & Fox, ( I’m listening via XM). Not a lot to report but he did express the desire to “change the makeup of the team”. Also, he said that the team needs some more “size up front”, (DUH5). Regarding the goalie situation, he did indicate that Pavs should be ready and that the situation at that position would “probably” be address this summer.
Oh, and when asked about moving Schneids so early before the deadline was because the deal was there for the taking and it was a money saving move.
UPDATE: Mar. 4, 3:00 pm: The 3:00 pm deadline is here and…nothing. This does not mean a deal hasn’t been file with the league office and that, once finalized, we then hear it announced…but as for now….nothing.
UPDATE: Mar. 4, 3:08 pm: Thrashers send Erik Christensen to the Ducks in return for Eric O’Dell….an 18-year old who was drafted by the Ducks in the 2nd round of last summer’s draft, (39th overall). He is a 6′-0″, 174 lb centerman who shoots right. Currently, O’dell is with the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL and has 14 goals, 18 assists and is a +10 in 29 games.