Trade Deadline 2013 is in the books. The Kiprusoff scare is over. Leafs are still 5th in the East.
“Sometimes the best moves are the ones you don’t make.”-Anthony Petrielli -(@APetrielli)
For those of you who missed it and were doing something productive, yesterday’s experience reminded me of a famous quote once uttered by an esteemed San Diegan news anchor. In what started off as an eerily quiet and inauspicious morning, things quickly turned into a maelstrom towards the end of the deadline at 3pm. I usually go solo on this piece but given the magnitude of the Trade Deadline, I opted to enlist the help of some of MLHS’ great writers for thoughts on what transpired yesterday. We’ve got you covered.
In total, 17 trades were consummated, involving 28 players and 14 draft picks. A full listing of transactions can be found here.
Admittedly, trying to keep up with Twitter yesterday was like attempting to follow Bryzgalov’s train-of-thought. That is why I decided to consolidate the opinions and thoughts of our writers in one post. From the outset, the general consensus is that Nonis was prudent in standing pat, with the only transaction being the acquisition of Ryan O’Byrne (D, 28), who stands at a massive 6’5” 234 lbs.
“The biggest addition for the Leafs was signing their NCAA prospect Andrew MacWilliam (23, 6’2”, 220lbs) who’s developing into a solid shutdown defender that’s big, kills penalties, and block shots.” -Jon Steitzer (@YakovMironov)
“As for Ryan O’Byrne, it’s hard to get excited about adding a
glacier guy who is considered the worst defenseman on the worst team in the league, but his best days came alongside Liles so there’s some reason for hope.” -Jon Steitzer (@YakovMironov)
“Though it’s been with some bad Avanlanche teams, O’Byrne’s 300 NHL games is more than the likes of Kostka, Fraser, and Gardine combined (244 GP). His 19 playoff games are an added bonus” -Michael Stevens (@MLHS_Mike)
“I didn’t mind the idea of a veteran goalie as much as others simply because Reimer has a rocky injury history, but at the end of the day I want to see what Reimer-Scrivens can do this year because I think they’ve earned it. So, by that token, I’m happy they didn’t add a goalie.”-Anthony Petrielli -(@APetrielli)
“The Leafs did well not to act on anything significant today. This gives the current group of players the vote of confidence they need and gives our goalies (primarily Reimer) a chance to gain some valuable playoff experience, without much pressure” -Mislav Jantoljak (@Xterratu)
“It was 9th place Rangers and 10th place Capitals that made moves in contrasting directions…The Caps move (Erat and Latta for Forsberg) was dealing for an errant playoff chase…[while] the Rangers’ move appeared to be a proactive one ahead of the declining salary cap next season, as well as a retool.” -Michael Stevens (@MLHS_Mike)
“New Jersey got better adding Steve Sullivan. I’ve watched quite a few Coyotes games this year and think he still has gas left in the tank…and when you consider the Devils like to run Zajac-Elias-Henrique at center when they’re fully healthy, he’s going to play with a really good hockey player. “-Anthony Petrielli -(@APetrielli)
“The Senators got a really good return in Cory Conacher (for Ben Bishop) who is not only awesome, but will fit in well with their youngsters.” -Mislav Jantoljak (@Xterratu)
“Overall, if you look at who came into the conference (Erat, Brassard) and who left (Gaborik, Pominville) the East probably got easier to play in, at least for the short-term.” -Jon Steitzer (@YakovMironov)
Deal of the Day
“Conacher for Bishop hands down. This is the kind of deal I love to see as both teams are bringing in potential, and both teams are assuming risks, while trying to fill needs…If Ottawa wasn’t Ottawa, I’d really be looking forward to seeing Conacher play with either Turris-Alfredsson, or Spezza-Michalek next year.”-Anthony Petrielli -(@APetrielli)
“…not trading for Kiprusoff?” -Jon Steitzer (@YakovMironov)
“Sabres GM Darcy Regier may have bought himself some job security with the ransom he mustered for Pominville…nabbing bona fide prospects from the Wild in Matt Hackett (G), Johan Larsson (C), a 2013 1st rounder, and a 2014 2nd rounder.”-Michael Stevens (@MLHS_Mike)
“Gaborik…it’s impressive how quickly [Columbus] managed to put together an impressive roster.”-Mislav Jantoljak (@Xterratu)
“Obviously the Mason to Philadephia deal. You already have a goaltender locked-up till 2019-2020 and he’s not performing well. Then you trade for one that’s been anything but stellar in a market that’s less demanding.”-Mislav Jantoljak (@Xterratu)
“With a career trajectory closely mirroring Andrew Raycroft, you’ve got to wonder why the Flyers would ever want to get him as an insurance policy to Ilya Bryzgalov.”-Michael Stevens (@MLHS_Mike)
“The Pominville deal didn’t make a lot of sense to me. He’s a good player, and I think he’ll help Minnesota, but he’s nowhere near worth what they gave up to get him.”-Anthony Petrielli -(@APetrielli)
“Considering the Leafs would have retained salary on Connolly, I’d definitely rather have him than Lombardi if I were the Ducks.”-Anthony Petrielli -(@APetrielli)
“Otherwise, the teams that needed to make the playoffs – New York, Washington, New Jersey — made moves to make their teams better while the perennial outsiders did little. The more things change the more they stay the same.”-Anthony Petrielli -(@APetrielli)
“I’m not upset that [Boazk] wasn’t traded. I don’t think you give up depth at centre heading into the playoffs, and while I would like to see MacArthur signed, if he’s not, he’s still a player you hang onto.”-Jon Steitzer (@YakovMironov)
As I watched Nonis’ post-deadline press conference, a couple of points stood out to me. The fact that he acknowledged that this was the first year they weren’t selling for picks tells me that management truly believes that the team has progressed, and explains a lot behind the Leafs’ relative inactivity.
These Leafs, for all their faults and holes, seem like the real deal to make the playoffs. Before the deadline, the Leafs were a top-2 D, topline C, and a #1 goalie from being a serious contender. I think it’s fair to say that Reimer deserves a chance to scratch the ‘number 1 goalie’ item from our checklist. Post-deadline, we are still nowhere closer to the other two items on our wishlist. However, if this trade deadline is any indication, management’s view of the team is well-articulated and they are willing to act on, or in this case, stand pat by, their vision.
-Aaron Chan (@Mapleleafmuse)
National Post: Luongo Blames Contract for Slow Trade Talks - Gillis sucks.
Sports Club Stats: Playoff Berth Odds - 99.2%…still scared of that 0.8%.
Nikhil Daljeet (MLHS): What to Expect from Ryan O’Bryne - I’d pay a 4th rounder to see Chara eat ice.
Cam Charron: Problem is O’Byrne Forces Gardiner out of Line-up – he’s got a point…
Leaf Matters: 50th Podcast - Congrats Matteo and Michael! Here’s to at least 50 more.