Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Rangers Load Up, And Other News

Looks like the Bruins' Sunday-afternoon game against the Rangers might be even more colorful than usual.

The Rags have decided to go all-in for this year's playoffs, making a couple of big moves:

- Acquired forward Nik Antropov from Toronto for a draft package
- Acquired defenseman Derek Morris from the Coyotes for Kalinin, Dawes and Prucha
- Picked up Sean Avery off waivers from the Stars

The good news is that none of these moves are going to help the Rangers in the long run, as they maintain their reputation for trying to get a Cup the easy way instead of building a real team. The bad news is that they suddenly have one of the league's most potent blue lines, combined with a larger and nastier set of forwards than they've had in a long time. Oh yeah, and they've got a decent goalie too.

Other news from around the league as the trade deadline mercifully passes:

The Flames and Pens are the high-rollers of the day. Pittsburgh steals Bill Guerin from the Isles for a conditional draft pick in a last-ditch attempt to salvage their season. Calgary mortgages a large chunk of their future for Olli Jokinen and Jordan Leopold. Somehow both of these teams expect to get big results out of perennial postseason underachievers.

The Ducks get the award for Most Enthusiastic, making five transactions on top of the Whitney/Kunitz trade a few days ago. None of it will amount to much, other than stocking the fridge for a quick rebuild.

The Coyotes decide it's time to strip down and rebuild... again. Anyone got an empty arena in need of an NHL franchise?

Buffalo acquires Dominic Moore and Mikael Tellqvist, meaning nothing.

Brian Burke used his managerial genius to translate Moore and Antropov into a couple of 2nd-round picks and Martin Gerber. Ouch.

The Sens took another step toward a #1 draft pick.

The Habs completed another phase of Project Letdown, quietly running out the clock. No Vinny, no Marty, no nothin'.

Peter Forsberg retired.

What didn't happen: Florida didn't move Jay Bouwmeester. Tampa held on to both Lecavalier and St. Louis. Pronger and Niedermayer still play for the Ducks. The Blues retained Tkachuk for the rest of the season. The Avs didn't deal Smyth, Hedjuk or Laperriere. And Manny Fernandez is still a Bruin.

Shifts in the balance of power: New York, Calgary and Pittsburgh take big steps up. Boston and Philly get marginally better. Buffalo and Dallas make minor tweaks. Toronto, Ottawa, Anaheim and Phoenix are toast.

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