I don't have the NHL Network so I hopped online and tried to watch TSN's trade deal coverage and just got a damn truck commercial on loop so I was forced to watch Rogers Sportsnet. Let's face it folks, Rogers is like FSN compared to ESPN, they just don't work. Of course, if I had gotten TSN, I would have missed this priceless quote:
"My bedsheets were wet last night in anticipation of today." --Doug MacLean (former GM/head coach of Columbus and former coach of Florida
Ok, before we get to anyone else, all things considered, the Rangers did ... ugh. In a late deal that crossed, the Blueshirts dealt Marcel Hossa and Al Montoya to Phoenix for Fred Sjostrom, David Leneveu and Josh Gratton. Absolutely terrible deal. Sjostrom is soft, Leneveu has been an utter disappointment and will be nothing better than a backup AHL goaltender, and Josh Gratton has no place on the Rangers. Gratton is a goon/grinder, but is slower than Ryan Hollweg and should end up in Hartford. And for that we give up Jagr's buddy Hossa and Montoya - the sixth overall draft pick in 2004. Congrats Glen, you got raped by your former understudy.
We also picked up Christian Backman, a former first round pick who has turned into a mediocre defenseman. Maybe he will surprise some people, I don't know. We certainly needed another blueliner so I guess he will help but he isn't anything close to the other defensemen who were dealt - Brad Stuart, Adam Foote, Brian Campbell, Ruslan Salei or Gill.
However, Pittsburgh just got a ridiculous amount better. They got Marian Hossa, they got Hal Gill - who makes Jagr's life a living hell; they will be real tough and we play them THREE TIMES down the stretch. This will be a rough road to the playoffs ... But, but, at least the Isles won't be biting at our heels. They traded their best defender Marc-Andre Bergeron for a pick and dealt Simon the Barbarian to Minnesota. Seeing that maniac go will be good, but now takes out any intimidation factor they might have brought to the remaining four games against us. And what is it with the Wild taking the Islanders problems? First they sign the cheating roid-popper Sean Hill and now Simon?
As for everyone else:
Atlanta and Pittsburgh - The Hossa deal works for both teams. The Pens payed a big price but got a superstar and the Thrashers got a lot of good, young parts. My only thing is that Army was good friends of Cindy's so that may upset him a bit.
Washington - Ovie has to be happy. Sergei Fedorov, Matt Cooke and Cristobal Huet make the Caps a much better team. Fedorov replaces the injured Nylander, Cooke is gritty and can score and Huet solidifies the crease as Ollie was looking his age and Brent Johnson isn't a starter.
Colorado - Adam Foote and Ruslan Salei solidify the blueline. Both are rock solid defenders and the Aves needed that. With Stastny, Sakic and Smyth back from injury, and the return of Forsberg, they became instant Cup contenders.
Ottawa - Small deal, but getting a veteran like Martin Lapointe for a sixth round pick is a terrific deal and could only help come playoff time.
Montreal - If they actually think that Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak will take them to the Cup then they are sorely mistaken.
Dallas - The Stars gave up Mike Smith (one of the best young goaltenders in the game), Jussi Jokinen (one of the top three shootout scorers since the lockout) and Jeff Halpern (a gritty vet) for the overpriced and overhyped Brad Richards (who doesn't play in their style) and Johan Holmqvist (a mediocre goaltender).
Vancouver - Seeing Matt Cooke leave will hurt, Matt Pettinger really isn't anything special. These guys needed some help to get through the west and that's all they did? Ugh.
San Jose - Brian Campbell is an upgrade. Steve Bernier is a gritty young guy who can chip in some goals, but their defense needed a stud and they got it. Vlasic and Carle haven't stepped to the next level and Ozolinsh is mediocre now that he is off the bottle. But seriously, is Soupy that good? I don't know ...
Philadelphia - Vinny Prospal is a suitable replacement for Simon Gagne, but that's it?
Detroit - Brad Stuart is a good, solid defenseman and he will be big come playoff time, but that's it? Do they really think that Darren McCarty will be able to put himself back into NHL shape and give them all of the grit they need?
So, all in all, it was a fun day of watching GM's trade players like hockey cards, but Glen Sather cast a damper on it by not making the Rangers any better and dealing away their blue chip goaltending prospect for nothing.