Itís the 2012 NHL Trade Deadline and teams are making moves to bolster line-ups for a playoff run or working on the rebuild. Lets break down the latest transactions.
Buffalo Sabres trade Paul Gaustad and a fourth-round draft pick in 2012 to the Nashville Predators for a first-round draft pick in 2012.
Gaustad is the kind of player teams want to add for a playoff run. He is an aggressive, defensive forward who can chip win with 10-12 goals a season. Gaustad is a rental player as he is an UFA at the end of the season but he will be an effective player for the Predators during their playoff run. Preds are doing everything they can to show Shea Weber and Ryan Suter they are serious about winning now. Watch-out for the Predators this playoffs.
Boston Bruins trade Marc Cantin and Yannick Riendeau to the New York Islanders for Brian Rolston and Mike Mottau.
Boston adds a rental player in Rolston for a playoff run. Rolston is a pure goal scorer but age and injuries are catching up with him. Rolston is on pace for just five goals and 12 points. Rolston will play mostly on the third line and kill penalties but can be moved up to the top line if Nathan Hortonís concussion keeps him out for too long. Can Rolston be the Bruinís Mark Recchi from last yearís playoffs? Mottau will give the Bruins depth on the blue line as he has solid hockey sense and can play any role in the bottom three defensemen.
The Islanders continue to add young pieces to their club, but the question New York fans want to know is when will the rebuild be over and they start contending? Riendeau has a ton of offensive potential but is a big work in progress. Riendeau put up 58 goals and 126 points in the QMJHL three seasons ago but has struggled since bouncing between the AHL and ECHL. Cantin is a defenseman who scored 10 goals and 41 points last season with the Mississauga St. Michaelís Majors in the OHL but has bounced between the AHL and ECHL this season.
Winnipeg Jets trade Johnny Oduya to the Chicago Blackhawks for a second-round draft pick in 2013 and third-round draft pick in 2013.
Chicago gave up quite a bit for a rental player but it addresses a need on a team that wants to make some noise in the playoffs. Oduya can add offence and play a shutdown role so he brings several elements for the Hawks. Oduya did score 26 and 29 points in back-to-back season with the New Jersey Devils. The addition of Oduya may push Nick Leddy down the depth chart and reduce his powerplay time for this season. Leddy owners donít fret; he is still young and will be an offensive stud just needs to play with more consistency.
Columbus Blue Jackets trade Sami Pahlsson to the Vancouver Canucks for a fourth-round draft pick 2012 and fourth-round draft pick in 2013.
Vancouver added a player who will help dearly come playoff time. Pahlsson is a winner as he was a key member of the Anaheim Ducks Stanley Cup team in 2007 and he won an Olympic Gold medal with Sweden in 2006. Pahlsson also has played quite a lot with the Sedin twins but donít expect him to line up on their line. Pahlsson himself wonít have much fantasy impact but his addition could affect Cody Hodgson. Will Pahlsson play on the fourth line or will he bump Hodgson down to the fourth line, only time will tell. The Canucks are a much better playoff team with this addition so stack up on Vancouver players for fantasy playoff pool.
San Jose Sharks trade Jamie McGinn, Michael Sgarbossa and Mike Connolly to the Colorado Avalanche for Daniel Winnik and T.J. Galiardi
San Jose added a depth forward in Daniel Winnik. Winnik can play any forward position in the bottom six and is defensive minded. Winnik wonít have a big offensive impact with the Sharks but can be one of those key players who will help a team go deeper in the playoffs. Winnik has scored a career high 26 points twice but has no fantasy impact.
The addition of T.J. Galiardi gives him a fresh start as he has struggled this season. In the 2009-2010 season Galiardi scored 15 goals and 39 points in 70 games and showed a ton of promise but suffered a wrist injury the next season and just hasnít gotten going this season. Galiardi is a versatile player who can play any forward position, kill penalties and score goals. With Logan Couture injured this could be a big opportunity for Galiardi. He is a decent depth player to add to your fantasy roster for NHL playoffs.
Avalanche get McGinn who is a third liner who can put up 30 points a season. McGinn has 12 goals and 24 points this season and is on pace for 16 goals and 32 points both of which would be career highs. McGinn will be a solid checking winger who will be responsible in his own end and has the potential to be a 20 goals and 40 point player down the road.
The other two players going to Colorado is Sgarbossa and Connolly both are smaller, offensive players with strong upsides. Sgarbossa is lighting it up in the OHL with the Sudbury Wolves. He has 41 goals and 84 points in 57 games this season. With 84 points so far this season he has back-to-back season with 80+ points. Connolly was a point-a-game player with the University of Minnesota-Duluth in the NCAA with 55 goals and 136 points in 123 games. Connolly has had a solid start to his professional career with 10 goals and 30 points in 40 games as a rookie with the Worcester Sharks of the AHL.
Aaron Brouwer is the co-creator of fantasyhockeycoach.com. FHC is a free fantasy hockey service that developed a ranking system combining post-lockout statistics, current factors and our own hockey knowledge. Brouwer writes a weekly fantasy hockey column for The Star Phoenix, Fantrax, Inside Hockey and Bleacher Report. Email Coach Brouwer at [email protected] or check us out on twitter at twitter.com/fanhockeycoach.