Happy Trade Deadline Day.
Starting right now, we will be live blogging the trade deadline and keeping you up to date on everything we hear. Check back in all day to see what’s going on, and be sure to talk to us in the comments. Any new posts will be below this one but we will be sure to link them and let you know what’s going on.
This is going to be fun.
1:30 AM- In case you were wondering about what happened tonight, Buffalo got absolutely no help. Everyone won, and right now the Sabres sit in tenth place. The saving grace is games in hand, but they don’t look so great at the moment.
3:16 AM- I’ve been thinking a lot about the potential Connolly deal and I must say I’m happy the Sabres appear close to signing him. There has been plenty of discussion regarding what Timmy is worth, and I honestly think he’s worth exactly what he’s making right now. If Connolly can be had somewhere within the $2-3.5 million range it could wind up to be a steal or a complete disaster. We’ve lived with a few seasons of $3 million disasters in Tim and Afinogenov before, so I think I could handle it if something terrible goes wrong. The upside with Connolly is worth the risk.
Why is it so important to sign Connolly now? Well, if he plays at a .9/PPG rate for the rest of the year he could get a ton of looks in the offseason. If Buffalo tries to sign him then, his agent could start throwing around a few big numbers that go to other players. Check out the line from Martin Havlat, who is making $6 million this season and has only produced slightly more than Connolly while facing similar injury issues.
It’s an unfair comparison for sure, but it’s not a hard one to make with potential suitors elsewhere. Havlat is once again a UFA this summer, and it will be interesting to see what kind of demand there is for his talent and at what price. Hopefully it isn’t an issue for Connolly, and by the time I wake up we have him signed.
4:48 AM- Post with some links is up, and I’m going to sleep. Expect an update around 10:30 if anything has happened.
9:37 AM- Chris here. I’ll help take you through most of today. TSN is reporting that Chris Pronger is off the market.
And an update from Darren Dreger of TSN on Connolly:
Sources tell TSN the Buffalo Sabres have tabled a two-year contract extension at better than $4 million per season to keep forward Tim Connolly in Buffalo.
Although the offer is considered to be strong, it may not be quite good enough to get the deal done without further negotiations.
A three-year term was also discussed, however sources say the money offered was less than Connolly was willing to accept.
Four million doesn’t sound so bad, but it probably means the Sabres will have to skimp on salaries for the defense next year, meaning a Connolly extension makes tough decisions for Jaroslav Spacek and Henrik Tallinder.
Re-signing Connolly also means Drew Stafford might inadvertently be on the trading block as he will be a restricted free agent this off-season. It’s a little early to predict, but we could have Steve Bernier Part II on our hands if management doesn’t have a plan in place for Stafford now.
10:11 AM- Good morning. Since I went to bed Ottawa has re-signed Philip Kuba, and traded Vermette to Columbus for Pascal Leclare. I guess Bryan Murray got tired of kicking the tires while I was in bed.
Also I’m with Chris when it comes to Tim Connolly. I think two years, $8 million sounds like a lot but as I said last night that’s a number that will only go up during the summer. If he can take that deal to the bank, so can I.
10:31 AM- More from the TFP blog:
[10:24am] Quick update on Connolly. Apparently the deal has been agreed to, but isn’t signed just yet.
We’ll let you know as soon as we hear official word.
The Buffalo Sabres have agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension with center Tim Connolly
The deal is not yet signed, a source told TFP.
Details to follow.
Not sure I completely agree with the decision. As someone I work with put it, don’t the Sabres know Connolly hasn’t played out his first contract yet? Yes the Sabres need offense and stability, but I would rather risk losing Connolly than lock up that much money into damaged goods. I’d rather bring in reliable players and some tough defense. That’s just me though.
10:40 AM- Mike Harrington has an update from the Sabres morning skate:
As it turns out, you can’t read much into the roll call from the Sabres’ morning skate because it’s an optional. Not on the ice are Tim Connolly, Derek Roy, Paul Gaustad and Craig Rivet.
Three names also floated in trade talk — Maxim Afinogenov, Ales Kotalik and Henrik Tallinder — are all skating.
So much for reading tea leaves.
Can’t say I like it. I’m looking for the Sabres now to make more moves.
11:04 AM- Another Sabres Edge update. From the lips of Henrik Tallinder:
“I have no idea about any rumors. Whatever happens, happens. I’m here for a game today. If not, there’s a trade so we’ll see. Anyone is expendable so I’m not surprised.
“I’m not nervous but you never know what to expect. It’s part of the business I guess. I’ve never been traded before so we’ll see what happens.”
If he isn’t traded today, then expect it before the start of next season. I just can’t see him being a Sabre at $3.5 million next year (and to think it sounded like a bargain a year-and-a-half ago.
11:19 AM- My posts keep getting eatean, but I think I’m okay with this Connolly deal. TSN just had Ray Ferraro on and said the Sabres cheered when they found out about the deal. This is the kind of thing that may prove to them that there’s some faith in the team to be good in the long term, and I think that’s a very important statement. Health is of course going to be the concern, but we all know the potential Connolly has. Maybe this time around potential will translate to reality.
11:23 AM- The NHL texting service just informed me that Pascal Leclaire is an Ottawa Senator and Antione Vermette is a Blue Jacket. Nothing quite like up-to-the-minute news. Thanks, NHL.
11:56 AM- Two more trades are in the books via TSN. Colorado sends Jordan Leopold to Calgary for Lawrence Nycholat, Ryan Wilson and a pick.
Also, the Penguins acquire St. Louis’ Andy Wozniewski for Danny Richmond.
12:10 PM- Sabres make another move, and it’s for a goaltender. Buffalo traded a fourth round pick to Phoenix for Mikael Tellqvist. This brings up a lot more questions than answers to me. Is this a message that the Sabres aren’t confident in Lalime, or is Miller’s injury a lot worse than they’d let on? I think it’s more the latter than the former, but that’s just me. We will know much more very soon.
12:17 PM- My knee-jerk reaction to the Tellqvist deal was that I wasn’t thrilled by it. However, it’s actually a smart deal. Tellqvist makes $800,000 this year and will be an unrestricted free agent in July.
It’s not so much a vote of no confidence for Lalime as it is a move for more depth. Clearly management doesn’t think Enroth is ready for the NHL and it’s better to have him starting in Portland than riding the bench in Buffalo.
Who knows when Miller will be ready to go, so between Lalime and Tellqvist, the Sabres are in decent hands. They should still look to upgrade the defense and add a reliable scorer, but this has the potential to be a quiet little deal that really pays off in the long run.
12:30 PM- The Leafs have claimed Martin Gerber off waivers. Speculation is that Vesa Toskala is done for the year so the Leafs are looking for some stability between the pipes–and Gerber has been anything but steady since he left Carolina. Toronto also claimed Erik Reitz from the Rangers.
12:35 PM- In a side note, I got a text message from the Sabres at 12:10 telling me that Darcy Regier would be holding a press conference at noon. I love the timeliness of mass text messages.
12:38 PM- We’re a little late on these, but the Stars claimed veteran Brendan Morrison off of waivers. Pittsburgh also claimed Craig Adams from the Blackhawks. They’re moves that certainly won’t hurt either team.
12:46 PM- The Jokinen to Calgary deal is done, and it includes Matt Lombardi, Brandon Prust and a first round pick. That makes Calgary a big threat in the postseason. The West will be a ton of fun to watch come this postseason.
12:50 PM- Just got a text from the NHL about a big Sabres trade. Tellqvist. NHL text messages are useless.
1:08 PM- Harrington spoke with Regier. Here’s what the general manager had to say about Ryan Miller:
“We have an understanding of what is the best-case scenario, which isn’t out that far,”Regier said. “We have a worst-case scenario.”
So I asked if that worst-case is out for the season. Regier said no.
“Not where we’re standing now,” Regier said. “He will play. It’s just a question of when.”
1:22: The Fourth Period is reporting that Leafs forward Dominic Moore has been traded to Chicago and that Mark Recchi is going from Tampa to Boston. More to come.
1:38 PM- Just saw a guy buying a Mike Comrie Islanders jersey in the background on NHL Network. Good pickup.
1:45 PM- We’re about 75 minutes from the trade deadline, and the Connolly and Tellqvist deals are starting to sink in. The opinion of most is that Darcy can’t be done yet, but we’ve said that before and have been left with nothing. I have to day I’d be shocked if Max, Kotalik, and Jaro are all playing tonight. Then again, I’m still shocked Tim Connolly will be making $4.5 million next season and will be playing with the Sabres.
1:49 PM- From the Sabres Edge live chat going on right now:
1:44 Comment From PB: They won’t finish the day without unloading Max, will they?
Bucky Gleason: I expect Max to be in the lineup tonight. The Sabres wanted to trade him last summer, if not earlier, but haven’t had any takers. Max has about $800,000 or so left on his contract. The last thing other teams want, when the money is tight, is a rental who hasn’t played all year. And when he has played, he hasn’t played well. We have another 75 minutes until the deadline. I would be very surprised if they traded him at this point.
Man do I hope Bucky’s wrong.
2:09 PM- Just finished up a quick post about Tellqvist and his numbers.
2:10 PM- So… the Sabres can’t be done yet, right? So far they haven’t really improved the team this season today, which is a bit of a concern if you ask me. Still time, but we’re getting close…
2:12 PM- The cost for Guerin is a conditional pick. Wow. He’s making $4.5 million, but you’re not paying a whole lot of that at this point. The Pens have to make the playoffs just to get Tellqvist-level value.
2:42 PM- It’s been over a half hour since anything has gone down. Some rumors about Neil to Florida, but nothing official yet. We’re less than 20 minutes away now.
2:47 PM- The Flyers have made something happen, trading Scottie Upshall and a second round pick for Daniel Carcillo. Fantasy guys know Carcillo as a penalty minute monster, so the Flyers just got tougher. In a related story, I would have loved to pick up Upshall. He was a UFA, but the price looks pretty cheap for his services.
2:49 PM- Antropov goes from the Leafs to the Rangers for a second round and conditional pick.
2:57 PM- Three minutes. Pull the trigger, Darcy.
3:00 PM- Word is Jay Bouwmeester is staying put.
3:03 PM- Hockeybuzz says Scott Gomez is going to the Coyotes for Derrick Morris. He’s close. It’s Morris for Nigel Dawes, Dmitri Kalinin, and Petr Prucha according to TSN. That was fun.
3:08 PM- Wow. Dominic Moore to Buffalo for a second round pick. Really? Did that just happen?
3:12 PM- So the Sabres added another forward. Great. Who did they move out? Right now it seems like nobody. Here’s to hoping Darcy had a few more phone calls in place before 3 p.m. Moore’s been in the league for four years. Buffalo will be his fifth team. Since he couldn’t get a deal done with Toronto, Brian Burke shipped him out. There has to be more, right?
3:25 PM- From ESPN.com:
LeBrun (3:12 p.m. ET): We are told the Toronto Maple Leafs moved Dominic Moore in a three-way trade that saw Buffalo get Moore and the Leafs get a second-round pick, but we’re not sure who the third team is and what it got. We’re also told Alexei Ponikarovsky stayed put after almost being dealt.
So it definitely looks like there’s a third team in the mix. Curious to see what else the Sabres gave up.
3:38- Tampa trades Noah Welch and a third round pick to Florida for Steve Eminger. ESPN.com reporting that Jay Bouwmeester has not been traded. And the Hurricanes have called a 4 p.m. press conference.
3:44 PM- Word is Travis Moen will be headed to San Jose. No word on what for just yet. Chris is working on a post that will be up shortly. UPDATE: It’s up now.
3:51 PM- Anaheim sends Moen and Huskins to San Jose for a goalie, a prospect, and a conditional. The Hurricanes also picked up O’Sullivan from the Kings. Oilers will also have a trade to announce. Suddenly we’re up to 18 trades, which is getting near the usual.
4:02 PM- Hey ya’ll, Jon here. The Cole/Williams/O’Sullivan deal is one of the most complicated, strange three-team deals I have ever seen. In fact, one of TSN’s commentators (I’m not sure which one) just called it “a two-sided triangle.” Uh…. what?
4:09 PM- Sportnset.ca has this trade going down:
Eric Cole to Carolina
Justin Williams to Los Angeles
Patrick O’Sullivan and Ales Kotalik to Edmonton
2nd round pick to Buffalo
So the Sabres essentially traded Moore for Kotalik? Not sure how that helps the team.
4:15 PM- During Brian Burke’s press conference, TSN just reported Olaf Kolzig, Jamie Heward, Andy Rogers and a 4th round pick from the Lighting for Richard Petiot. What the hell? That doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense to me. Burke opened the presser saying there was another “minor deal” involving a minor leaguer, but I think he underplayed it a bit.
4:27 PM- So at the end of the day, here’s how it goes down…
Sabres acquire: Mikael Tellvqist, Dominic Moore
Sabres give up: Ales Kotalik, fourth rounder
Plus, they move down a few picks in the 2nd round.
I’ll take it. I was a big fan of keeping Kotalik for his shootout prowess, but I’ll give up a half-season of shootout goals and not much else for Moore.
4:35 PM- Another late-breaking deal… Laveranues Coles is heading to the Bengals. Oh… wait…