Teams arenít waiting for the deadline to make moves; over the last seven days we have seen 16 trades. Most teams are making their moves early, which could result in very boring trade deadline day.
TRADE: Pittsburgh Penguins trades conditional seventh-round drafts pick in 2011 to the Ottawa Senators for Alex Kovalev.
Kovalev is in the final year of his contract so a strong finish and leading his team deep into the playoffs could result in a nice new contract. Kovalev has shown that when he wants to be he can be one of the best snipers in the league. Kovalev and James Neal give the Penguins a couple of scoring wingers who will greatly benefit when Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin return.
Kovalev has seen his point totals decrease in each season since the 2007-2008 season when he scored 85 points. Kovalev is no longer an elite offensive player or a keeper in hockey pools but he could give you a boost to finish out the season. If your hockey pool uses the NHL playoffs as your playoffs then Kovalev could pay off. Donít overpay for him as he only has short-term value.
TRADE: Anaheim Ducks trade Curtis McElhinney to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Dan Ellis.
This was suppose to be Ellisís chance to be a starter in Tampa Bay but failed to grab the reigns there. This year proved that Ellis canít be a true number one starter and is better fit as a backup or shared starter. Ellis has only won 20+ games once in his career. Ellis has one season remaining on his contract and will only be the starter till Jonas Hiller is healthy.
McElhinney will never be more then a solid backup goaltender. Dwayne Roloson is the Lightningís starter and they have prospects like Cedrick Desjardins and Dustin Tokarski in their system so they didnít bring McElhinney in to be there go to guy. He is in his final season of his contract and was brought in to be a backup while Mike Smith is hurt.
TRADE: Atlanta Thrashers trade Brent Sopel and Nigel Dawes to the Montreal Canadiens for Ben Maxwell and a fourth-round draft pick in 2011.
Sopel is clearly a rental player for a playoff run. With so many injuries in Montreal they needed to add someone to help fill the gap. Sopel does have a Stanley Cup ring and will provide leadership and strong defensive presence from the back end. Sopel has no fantasy value but his addition will help the offensive defensemen like PK Subban and James Wisniewski to have the freedom to join the rush more.
Dawes is with his fifth team over the last four seasons and has not developed to be the scoring winger he was predicted to be when drafted. Dawes was a point-a-game player in the WHL and AHL but that has not translated into NHL success. This will likely be his last shot. Until proven otherwise he has zero fantasy value.
Maxwell is a two-way player who has yet to score a single point during an NHL game. Maxwell will get a chance to play in Atlanta and should develop into a solid third line checking center who scores 25-30 points a season, but should not be on any fantasy roster.