Rating the impact of these top deadline deals
The dust has cleared. GMs have poked their heads out of their respective foxholes and now are wondering what they have wrought.
Although the number of trades paled in comparison to the number anticipated by pre-deadline media hype, there were significant deals. The moves likely will alter the balance of power in both conferences and might have a direct impact on who raises the Stanley Cup in June.
Coupled with the Sharks' acquisition Sunday of defenseman Craig Rivet from Montreal, San Jose has gone from teetering on the brink to Stanley Cup contender in the blink of an eye. At least that's how it appears on paper.
Guerin will ramp up an offense that now stacks up against any in the Western Conference. The Sharks have lost five of seven, fallen off the pace of Pacific Division-leading Anaheim and, as of Tuesday morning, were sixth in the conference. This deal should change those dynamics in short order.
This deal not only brings a proven scorer (Guerin has 28 goals so far this season), but it also reinforces in the Sharks' dressing room that management believes this is a Cup-contending team. Guerin and defending Hart Trophy winner Joe Thornton are familiar with each other from their days in Boston, so that should help in the transition.
For a team that has been so conservative about its prospects and draft picks, giving up two first-rounders in a little more than 24 hours signals GM Doug Wilson believes the time is now, if at all.
Impact-o-meter: 8.5 | Complete trade details
This is almost unthinkable for Oiler fans, in some ways similar to seeing Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and Paul Coffey leave town. Smyth was the blueprint for the cliché "heart and soul." With his distinctive all-Canadian mullet and his penchant for playing with broken bones and displaced teeth, he was pure Oiler. Now, he's a New York Islander.
The Oilers couldn't stay in the playoff hunt and couldn't reach a long-term deal with Smyth, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer; so, GM Kevin Lowe bit the bullet and made sure he didn't lose his most important player for nothing.
As he did with the Chris Pronger deal, Lowe received good value out of an untenable situation. Apart from the ever-valuable first-round pick, the Oilers got two players who were selected 15th overall in their respective drafts, Nilsson in 2003 and O'Marra in 2005. Nilsson isn't yet ready to play in the NHL, having toiled in the AHL for over a season, but joins a pretty good crop of youngsters waiting in the wings in Edmonton.
So, is this just a rental situation, a la Doug Weight and Mark Recchi, or is Smyth gone for good? Who knows. Maybe Smyth will like life on Long Island. After all, the Isles suddenly have stated they're around for the long haul this spring. Instead of trading potential free agent and leading scorer Jason Blake, they kept him and added more offense in the form of Richard Zednik, who came over from Washington. If the Isles can just find a way to keep Alexei Yashin out of the lineup, there might be a Cup in the offing.
Impact-o-meter: 8.5 | Complete trade details
It took some time to get this one together, but Roberts finally acquiesced to the Penguins' desire to have him come to Steel City and waived his no-trade clause with the Panthers.
It's not that Roberts didn't want to play with Sidney Crosby; he has familial obligations in the Toronto area, where his teenage daughter is going to school. He was hoping to parlay his no-trade deal into a move closer to home. Oh well. He might have to settle for a Stanley Cup instead. Not to overstate Roberts' potential impact in Pittsburgh, but along with veteran forward Mark Recchi, the Penguins now have two Cup-winning forwards who understand the long playoff road and can provide the steadying hand for this young team.
There is little doubt the Penguins are the real deal. They are fifth in the East with games in hand on every other team in the playoff bracket. The arrival of Roberts and, to a much lesser degree Georges Laraque, should help keep the team from swooning down the stretch. But rookie GM Ray Shero didn't deal solid defensive prospect Noah Welch just to sneak into the postseason. Roberts was brought in to lead this team deep into the playoffs. Anyone who saw Roberts lead an injury-ravaged Toronto team to the 2002 Eastern Conference finals knows he has the potential to do just that. A fitness freak, the 40-year-old Roberts still plays the game with abandon, so there will be questions about his durability. He has missed 13 games this season and missed significant time last season, as well.
Impact-o-meter: 8.0 | Complete trade details
• Todd Bertuzzi traded from Florida to Detroit for two conditional draft picks and Shawn Matthias
Todd Bertuzzi has gone from being the black sheep of the NHL to the dark horse of the trade deadline. If GM Ken Holland guessed right and Bertuzzi can return from his back woes with his nose for the net, the Wings are as good as any team in the star-laden Western Conference. If Holland has guessed wrong, no harm no foul.
Indeed, it looks very much like Holland brought in Kyle Calder in an earlier three-way deal between Philadelphia, Chicago and Detroit almost as a backup in case the Bertuzzi experiment fizzles.
Depending on how the team and Bertuzzi finish out the season, the Wings could owe Florida a first-, second- or third-round pick this spring. If they sign Bertuzzi, who can become an unrestricted free agent, they'll owe another second-round pick in 2008. That's not a whole lot to wager against the possibility of getting a player who was a top 10 player in the league. The knock on the Red Wings in recent playoff years has been they've been too easy to play against. If Bertuzzi is up to snuff, he has the potential to shift the balance back in favor of the Red Wings.
Perhaps more symbolic, the Panthers rid themselves of the cornerstone of what might turn out to be one of the worst trades in NHL history.
Impact-o-meter: 7.0 (conditional) | Complete trade details
Buffalo GM Darcy Regier resisted the trade urge a year ago and his team rewarded him with a run to the seventh game of the Eastern Conference finals. This season, decimated by injuries to key players, especially up front, Regier did some wheeling and dealing to shore up his first-place club.
In the end, he shed long-time backup netminder Martin Biron, and a couple of deals later, ended up with underappreciated forward Dainius Zubrus from Washington.
Zubrus, whose profile is hampered by playing in hockey-dead Washington, should be an almost perfect fit for Lindy Ruff's skilled, fast-moving Sabres. Zubrus has been playing on a line with Alexander Ovechkin, so he knows a little bit about skill. He's accumulated 52 points on a one-dimensional team, including 33 points in his last 37 games. If the Sabres get co-captain Chris Drury, Maxim Afinogenov and Tim Connolly, among others, back before the playoffs, Zubrus will give the team another layer of offensive talent that will make them as dangerous. If those players are slow to return, Zubrus is a nice insurance policy against an early playoff exit.
Impact-o-meter: 7.5 | Complete trade details
• Mattias Norstrom, Konstantin Pushkarev, third- and fourth-round picks in 2007 traded from Los Angeles to Dallas for Jaroslav Modry, Johan Fransson, first-round pick in 2008, second- and third-round picks in 2007
Solid and eminently dependable, Norstrom quietly has established himself as one of the most underrated defensemen in the NHL. The longtime member of Sweden's national teams has played 823 NHL games, all but 43 in the relative anonymity of Los Angeles. Adding Norstrom to a group that includes Sergei Zubov, Philippe Boucher, Darryl Sydor and Stephane Robidas, will make the Stars only that much more difficult to play against.
The Stars rank second in the NHL in goals-against, allowing an average of 2.34 goals per game (only New Jersey is better) and they are second only to Detroit in allowing the fewest 5-on-5 goals. There will continue to be questions about the team's offensive capabilities (only Vancouver has scored fewer goals of the top eight teams in the conference), but the earlier acquisition of Ladislav Nagy from Phoenix should alleviate some of those concerns. But defense wins Cups, and the Stars are as solid as they come on the back end.
Impact-o-meter: 7.0 | Complete trade details
There will be much gnashing of teeth in Toronto about the team's lack of deadline movement and Yanic Perreault's third stint with the team that originally drafted him back in 1991. But GM John Ferguson chose the safe route by bringing in a player who, even at the ripe old age of 35, quietly can do it all. He is still a faceoff master, winning 62.6 percent of the 666 draws he's taken this season. He still can produce, collecting 33 points in 49 games for an offensively challenged Coyotes squad. And he's a heck of a nice guy.
Is he enough to put the Leafs into the playoffs? He won't hurt. The Leafs will be criticized for sending away defensive prospect Brendan Bell, once the CHL's defenseman of the year; but Toronto has a clutch of young defensemen who will struggle to get ice time with Pavel Kubina, Tomas Kaberle and Bryan McCabe locked into long-term deals. If the Leafs fall short of the postseason, it might be because of the deal they didn't make to bring in Gary Roberts or Bill Guerin or even Todd Bertuzzi. It won't be because they brought Yanic Perreault home.
Impact-o-meter: 6.0 | Complete trade details
If there is a downside to Buffalo GM Darcy Regier's maneuverings, it's that he now has little in the way of insurance in goal. With Biron gone, the backup duties now fall to Ty Conklin, brought in from Columbus for a fifth-round pick. A season ago, Biron was instrumental in keeping the Sabres at an elite level when Miller was out with a thumb injury before the Olympic break. Although Biron was not used in the postseason during the Sabres' run to the Eastern Conference finals, his presence should not be underestimated.
The Sabres knew if rookie Ryan Miller faltered, they had a Plan B. Now Plan B is Conklin, whose career in Edmonton went up in smoke in the dying seconds of Game 1 of last season's Stanley Cup finals when he misplayed the puck behind the Oilers net and allowed Rod Brind'Amour to score the game-winner. Since then, he's split time between the AHL and NHL and has a 3.30 GAA and .871 save percentage in 11 games for Columbus.
Bottom line: Ryan Miller better stay healthy.
Impact-o-meter: 5.5 | Complete trade details
All along, Anaheim GM Brian Burke said he wouldn't be sucked into overpaying for rental players with draft picks and prospects. And even though conference rivals San Jose, Detroit, Nashville and Dallas all upgraded by doing just that, the Ducks stood firm. The only move of note was to bring in veteran tough-guy Brad May from the Avalanche for minor-league netminder Michael Wall.
May has amassed 2,027 career penalty minutes, but was only recently activated from the injured reserve after missing 53 games (shoulder surgery). It brings to question his ability to be effective if he can't crash and bang. If he can get back to form, May will add some veteran toughness up front for Anaheim, which has a nice blend of skill and brawn. If May can't produce, his usefulness will be minimal at best.
Wall has a lot of upside. The 21-year-old from Telkwa, British Columbia, is 6-foot-2, 204 pounds, and held his own earlier this season when Ilya Bryzgalov and Jean-Sebastien Giguere were both out with injuries. He went 2-2 with a 2.97 GAA. Depending on what the Avs do with Jose Theodore and his bloated contract, the undrafted Wall should get a chance at the backup role behind Peter Budaj during next season's training camp.
Impact-o-meter: 4.5 | Complete trade details
Scott Burnside is the NHL writer for ESPN.com.
MORE NHL HEADLINES
- Steen boosts Blues over Blackhawks in 3OT
- Stastny ties it, then lifts Avs to OT win vs. Wild
- Sharks dominate Quick, Kings from start
- Rangers surge past Flyers to seize opener
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
NHL TRADE DEADLINE
The NHL broke all of its deadline trade records last season with 25 deals putting 40 players on the move. This season hasn't been as busy, but teams aren't sitting on their hands either. Here's the deadline action:
• Trade Tracker: Take a look at all the deals
• Oilers send Smyth to Isles
• Sharks get Guerin from Blues
• Wings acquire Bertuzzi from Panthers
• Roberts waives no-trade, goes to Pens
• Pens add enforcer Laraque from Coyotes
• Kings send captain Norstrom to Stars
• Veteran Perreault traded to Leafs
• Sabres deal Biron, add Caps' Zubrus for stretch
• Avs deal vet May, get Parker from Sharks