Tampa Bay continued its fire sale on Tuesday by sending RW Steve Downie to Colorado in exchange for D Kyle Quincey, as reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzie. The Lightning then flipped Quincey to the Red Wings for a first round pick and AHL D Sebastien Piche, according to McKenzie.
The 24-year-old Downie has played in 55 games this season for the Bolts and has 12 goals and 28 points to go with 121 penalty minutes. From SprungOnSports analyst Daniel Friedman: “Downie adds some more size to a team that already has a little. He’s a good two-way forward who has scoring punch and can check very well. Adds another dimension to their team.”
Quincey was a regular member of the Avalanche defense, logging over 22 minutes of ice time per game in 54 games to go with five goals and 23 points. Daniel Friedman on the 26-year-old and the trade as a whole: “It’s a good trade for both sides, though I give the Avs the slight edge because I think Downie is a bit better at what he does than Quincey is at what he does.”
NEW YORK– By Daniel Friedman
We are just six days away from the NHL’s Trade Deadline and per usual, there are plenty of rumors going around. Which ones are and
aren’t true? That’s a different story entirely.
Nabokov Likely Staying Put
Let’s start with the New York Islanders and goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. As I’ve said before, Nabokov isn’t likely to be moved.
He’s been playing superb hockey for the Isles and between Rick DiPietro’s injury, Al Montoya’s shakiness and the fact that Kevin Poulin needs to bide his time in the AHL, it makes little sense for this team to get rid of Nabby.
Interestingly enough, we now know those aren’t the only reasons Nabokov is likely to stay put. According to Newsday’s Arthur Staple, as well as a team source, contract negotiations between Don Meehan (Nabokov’s agent) and GM Garth Snow are set to commence “very soon.” Interpret that however you will and take it for what it’s worth.
Extra Point- There are still a few pieces the Islanders would like to sell, such as defensemen Milan Jurcina and Mark Eaton. Teams have been scouting Jurcina all year. He’s had his moments and he will have suitors. Whether or not those suitors are willing to give Snow what he wants in return, likely a second-round pick, remains to be seen. Mark Eaton has reportedly demanded a trade but has done virtually nothing to make himself a viable or attractive option for a contending team looking to add depth.
Nash Still Likely Going Nowhere
As far as Rick Nash is concerned — despite the fact that TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that he thinks the Rangers are the frontrunner, my sources tell me otherwise. The only way that changes is if Columbus lowers their asking price, which is highly unlikely.
There are more than a few insiders close to the situation who believe that the Jackets would strongly prefer to keep their captain on board
rather than trade him. Columbus would however like to move Jeff Carter, who was traded to the team this summer but not by his choice. Carter’s struggling this season, but that has a lot to do with the fact that, other than Nash, he doesn’t have much talent to work with.
Carter is not the type of player that will carry a team on his back; he’s more of a support star. He needs that extra boost, like the one he had in Philadelphia with Mike Richards, Claude Giroux, James van Riemsdyk and Daniel Briere. No doubt, such rumors will persist until the trade deadline passes, but a couple of teams have already begun wheeling and dealing.
Habs Make Out Well In Gill Deal, Though Gauthier Still A Goner
The Washington Capitals, who are practically fighting for their lives in this playoff race (at least in theory), would’ve loved to acquire Hal Gill from Montreal. Unfortunately for them, Nashville put together the better package.
Canadiens’ GM Pierre Gauthier, who is ironically also on the brink of elimination, was able to reel in Blake Geoffrion, Robert Slaney and a 2012 second-round pick from the Predators, in exchange for Gill and a conditional fifth-rounder in 2013. Determining which side won this deal really depends on how you look at it.
If you’re going to judge based on short-term benefit, then obviously Nashville got the better end, given that Hal Gill is the only NHL-ready player in this group. Gill is 6’7″, 244 pounds and packs a whole lot of “ouch.” Simply put, he’s practically a freight train on
skates. The Preds are clearly gearing up for what they hope will be a deep playoff run, and adding some more size and stability to their defense—already one of the league’s best—will only help.
Long-term, however, I think the Habs got the better end. Blake Geoffrion has plenty of upside and can play either center or wing. He’s shown the ability to score goals and not just the pretty ones. Geoffrion has a nose for the net and will go to the dirty areas around the net to make things happen. He’s also an excellent skater and is strong on the puck.
The media will have a field day talking about how much pressure Blake – who is the grandson of Habs legend Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion – must now feel playing in Montreal with that last name. Try as they might, it shouldn’t faze the kid. Dallas Stars winger Eric Nystrom, son of Islander great Bob, says that’s something that, as a professional athlete, you generally tune-out.
If Geoffrion plays 40 games or more for the Canadiens next season, Nashville gets that fifth-round pick. Montreal also received a second-round pick in the deal and that obviously gives (insert new Habs GM’s name here) an opportunity to add another solid prospect to the pipeline.
As for Robert Slaney: He’s struggled to find his offensive touch in recent years, but has decent size (6″2, 203 lbs) and is an aggressive fore-checker. Slaney has 20-goal potential, though it appears unlikely he’ll reach it. If I told you I was expecting this kind of a return for Hal Gill, I’d be lying. It was a great move by Gauthier, though it probably won’t be enough to save his job. Barring a Habs miracle postseason berth, Gauthier is as good as gone.
Flyers Upgrade Blueline
Not to be outdone were the Flyers, who added a pair of defensemen – Nicklas Grossman and Pavel Kubina –, in two separate deals. The team
needed more “size and physicality,” as head coach Peter Laviolette coined it, and in Grossman and Kubina, they’re getting exactly that.
In order to pry the 6”3, 227 pound Grossman away from Dallas, Philly GM Paul Holmgren had to part with a 2012 second-round pick, and a 2013 third-rounder. Was that a bit much? I don’t think so. For Kubina (6”4, 258 lbs), he sent Jon Kalinski, who projects as a depth forward, along with a conditional second-rounder in 2013 and a fourth-round pick in that same draft to Tampa Bay.
As long as both rearguards play at the level they’re capable of, these were two excellent pickups for Holmgren and his Flyers. There’s little to no chance they’ll catch the Rangers, but come playoff time, they should be considered a serious threat.
Yzerman Deals Kubina, Moore
The Kubina deal was not the only recent trade Lightning GM Steve Yzerman made. He also shipped Dominic Moore and a 2012 seventh-round
pick to San Jose and got a 2012 second-round pick in return.
I cannot, for the life of me, understand why Moore keeps getting bounced around. He’s a real good penalty-killer and two-way forward. Most coaches will tell you they wish all of their players had his work ethic. I think the Sharks did well here, and the addition of Moore only makes
this team deeper down the middle. I doubt GM Doug Wilson is finished tweaking, though.
As for Stevie Y: Look, the Lightning are still looking to add more pieces through the draft and the team you see now is by no means the
finished product. That second-round pick should help them out a little, and it’s more than I thought they’d get, but I have to
disagree with the decision to trade Moore.
Nash & Columbus Still The Main Focus
Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash is going to be the focus of all the trade talk leading to next Monday’s deadline. Columbus GM Scott Howson is still waiting for the right offer. “We’re waiting for the right deals,” Howson said. “We’re getting closer. But we’re not there yet.”
The Blue Jackets are entertaining offers for Nash and Jeff Carter, two of the top available players. The Flyers and Maple Leafs have had direct discussions about the two players, but the Bruins, Kings and Rangers are also interested in Columbus players. However, TSN’s Darren Dreger tweeted that the Flyers were out on Nash and that the Rangers were the frontrunners.
One possibility for Howson and the Blue Jackets is pitting Eastern Conference contenders against each other, with Columbus dealing both forwards and getting strong packages for both players. If Boston or Philadelphia acquire Nash, let’s say, the Rangers will feel pressure to add Carter. “We’d like that,” Howson said with a smile.
Extra points: -Other players listed by Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch are Ales Hemsky of Edmonton, Buffalo’s Derek Roy and Tampa Bay’s Ryan Malone.
-Detroit, Vancouver and Columbus were scouting the Carolina-Washington game on Monday, says Luke DeCock.
-Check out TSN’s list of the teams with cap space available to make moves.
USA Today’s Top 10 Trade Targets
Nash, Carter and Hemsky are on Kevin Allen’s list of the 10 most intriguing trade candidates. Carolina has Tuomo Ruutu and Jaroslav Spacek on the list, while Columbus has a third player in the top 10 in Samuel Pahlsson. Rounding out the list is Jets D Johnny Oduya, Kings G prospect Jonathan Bernier, Montreal forward Travis Moen and Wild D Marek Zidlicky.
Toronto Sun Delivers Juicy Rumours
The Toronto Sun said that the Kings needed to get one player from the Nash-Carter-Hemsky trio before Monday, with Bernier as the trade bait. If LA fails to reach the postseason, GM Dean Lombardi could be on the outs. Other notes include Toronto likely passing on Carter and the paper wondering if Philadelphia was done dealing.
Extra points: -The Flyers could put together a package including some of Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn, James van Riemsdyk and Scott Hartnell in a deal for Nash.
-Ottawa and Florida are interested in Islanders D Milan Jurcina, and the Sens are interested in D Mark Eaton who has reportedly asked for a trade.
-Boston was told that Oilers F Ryan Smyth is not on the trade market.
-Calgary could move D Anton Babchuk by Monday’s deadline.
Sabres Could Emerge As Sellers
In addition to the speculation that Buffalo could deal Derek Roy, Jordan Leopold and Paul Gaustad could be players sent elsewhere by Monday, according to the Buffalo News, with Brad Boyes another player with an expiring contract who could get dealt. On the other hand, there’s still a small chance Buffalo could contend for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
“I think we can put a run together and I told the team that before Pittsburgh, ‘I still believe in you,’” Head Coach Lindy Ruff said. “When we’ve been healthy and been on the same page, we’ve been able to push ahead.”
1) This can be summed up real quickly. Nick Collison and Kendrick Perkins are the unsung MVP’s of the Oklahoma City Thunder. They come with hard screens, they take charges, and block shots. These are the plays that separate the good from the great in the NBA.
Those who will willingly sacrifice glory, stats and media attention for the better of the team will allow for that franchise to climb to new heights. It’s like having the best offensive and defensive line in the NFL. Without those willing to get down and dirty, there is no Kevin Durant freeing himself up for 51 on Sunday night. There is no James Harden hitting corner threes without that baseline screen to shield off the defense. Nick Collison is the longest tenured Seattle Sonic/OKC Thunder player. He and Durant are the only two remaining from the days in Seattle.
Another point to make is how Kendrick Perkins handled the press attention following Blake Griffin’s “Dunk of the Year”. If you don’t remember, and require a visual, take a gander. However, he played it off. Durant did as well, as any good teammate should. If he has the balls to challenge the baddest dunker in the game, he does his job. Not many would be willing to take the chance at being Mosgov’d.
The title is DUNK OF THE YEAR. The comments used to pour in about how Perkins was posterized. Yes, he will be on most Griffin fan’s walls for the next five years or so, but by then the Thunder may already have won a championship thanks to guys like Perkins and Collison. They’re just blue collar dudes who make certain the stars can live in the glory. Rest assured Durant and Westbrook take Collison out for dinner on a daily basis.
Yes, Durant and Westbrook provide the offensive firepower that keeps this team running. However, without those who sacrifice their body on both offensive and defensive sets, this team would not be sitting pretty at 25-7, the best record in the league. Collison is the guy no casual NBA fan will ever appreciate because he doesn’t sell the tickets, fill the seats, top jersey sales – but he does give his team that edge, allowing them to roll over their competition.
2) Jeremy Lin. Carmelo Anthony. I don’t even need to expand upon this. Just search those two on Twitter. Everyone in NYC is bugging out because Anthony’s first game back put another one in the loss column. #TradeMelo #Dwil-LIN #NYisinstateofpanic. It is nothing short of hysterical.
The largest television market in the nation becomes the largest complaining media market in the world in one night. The Knicks, regardless of their 7-1 run with Lin sans Anthony, are sitting at 16-17 and only percentage points ahead of Boston for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They have Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and now the most recognizable person on the planet right now in Linsanity. TNT even uses Lin within their programming as puns. To advertise the upcoming Knicks-Heat game, it read “Game one: Jeremy Lin and the Knicks vs. Heat, Game two: Lakers vs. Thunder, followed by LINside the NBA.”
Nets PG Deron Williams took it quite personally that this whole international phenomenon began with a victory against he and his Nets. “It started on me,” Williams said. “It’s been stuck on my mind. When somebody says they destroyed you, and you watch the tape and you don’t feel like you got destroyed, you circle those games,” Williams said. “I took offense.” “Every three lines … ‘Jeremy Lin destroys Deron Williams.’ ”
Eight three pointers and 38 points later, the Nets took it to a Knicks team that looked confused, trying too hard to be unselfish, standing in their own way from playing the type of basketball that allowed them to reel off seven out of eight. We’ll see how they respond with this upcoming marquee, nationally televised matchup with the East leading Heat.
3) For the surprising Houston Rockets to be without an All Star representative this upcoming weekend in Orlando is straight up ludicrous. Kyle Lowry is an early season MVP candidate. He’s posting 16 points, eight assists, five rebounds and two steals per contest. The five-year veteran is flying way under the radar while the Rockets currently sit in the sixth seed, 19-14 in the uber competitive Western conference.
Posting 24 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and rebounds in Monday’s win over the Memphis Grizzlies only proves the point further. They also just beat Oklahoma City and Utah. Kevin McHale is turning some heads, specifically mine. I NEVER thought having him at the helm to replace Rick Adelman would spark this team, but it somehow has – regardless of the Pau Gasol trade falling through a week prior to the season.
Kevin Martin and Luis Scola have maintained their professionalism and continued to produce on a nightly basis. With no true All-Star player, this team is better suited to make noise in the early rounds of the playoffs than the Denver Nuggets and Grizzlies (until Danilo Galinari and Zach Randolph suit back up), which is exactly why they need to keep winning now to possibly secure home court in the playoffs. If they continue to fly under that radar, they will surprise every major media outlet because of their lack of coverage throughout the season.