Tim Murray will be due for a nap. After getting good-to-great return for Ryan Miller and Steve Ott last week, the new Buffalo GM managed to move Matt Moulson and Jaroslav Halak before the bell rang on Wednesday's deadline period. He didn't necessarily hit any home runs, but managed to bring in a goaltender with some upside in Michal Neuvirth, veteran defenseman Rostislav Klesla (who has been in the minors) and Torrey Mitchell, along with a couple of second-round picks for Moulson and Cody McCormick. The interesting times won't end for the Sabres, but Murray left no stone unturned in his first trade deadline as a GM.
We're putting the Pens on this side of the winners/losers line because, while subtle, we like the addition of Marcel Goc from Florida and Lee Stempniak from Calgary. They don't have the profile of guys like Mike Cammalleri, who went untraded, or Moulson or Vanek, who might have been fits for the Pens. But we think Stempniak, a one-time 27-goal scorer, will be a pleasant surprise for Pens fans. And while GM Ray Shero opted not to add a veteran backup ( Tomas Vokoun is just back skating and his availability for the playoffs remains unknown), we like the idea that this spring it's going to be Marc-Andre Fleury or bust -- even though we've seen the "bust" part the past few seasons. Interesting times ahead for the Eastern Conference's top team.
People will be critical of Washington GM George McPhee, but he did move a player who was unhappy in Martin Erat and then turned part of that return (Klesla) into a proven netminder in Halak. McPhee also helped clear up the crowded goaltending situation by moving Neuvirth in the Halak deal. Halak is familiar to Caps fans, having upended the then Presidents' Trophy-winning Capitals in the 2010 playoffs. He will provide a nice counterbalance to Braden Holtby and could end up being the starter for the Caps come playoff time. He'll be an unrestricted free agent in July, so he won't add to the logjam in goal beyond this season. The other addition was Penner, who came from Anaheim for a fourth-round pick and will bring some size and playoff experience (he has won two Stanley Cups) to a forward group that is hungry for experience.
Not too many options for the Lightning as captain Martin St. Louis wanted out and got his wish with a deal that sent him to New York for Rangers captain Ryan Callahan. The Lightning could end up with two first-round picks out of the deal too. In Callahan, they get a tough-as-nails player built for the playoffs. They'll miss the skill and leadership of St. Louis, but it's not as big a drop-off as might have been the case.
The Rangers are quietly closing the gap on Boston and Pittsburgh, and St. Louis brings with him a ton of experience and skill.
TEAMS THAT DIDN'T GET THERE