I actually thought this would be a busier deadline for Bridgeport/NYI, either in departed prospects or in dumped UFAs. The middle ground — somewhat quiet — isn’t bad.
Nothing like two years ago, when the playoff race was basically set and everyone’s parents were sellers. But still, around the East now that it’s over:
Gain: D Rory Fitzpatrick (All-star write-in candidate)
Lose: G Brian Boucher (No. 1 netminder); D Alexandre Picard (2nd-leading scorer at 8-30-38)
What’s it mean: Ow. I dunno so much about Picard, but losing Boucher… Scott Munroe’s good, but can they keep up? They have a seven-and-a-half game lead on a playoff spot with 21 to play.
Gain: LW Alexandre Giroux (here he comes again)
Lose: RW Joe Motzko (solid player, leading scorer)
What’s it mean: Good forward for good forward. Imagine they’ll get deeper with the Fedorov acquisition up top — Eric Fehr is on the Clear Day list.
Gain: RW Jeff Hamilton (you know), C Kiel McLeod (signed).
Lose: Nothing (directly).
What’s it mean: They will battle. They will work. They will not go away. (They will not get Keith Aucoin back, though.)
Gain: Nothing yet.
Lose: Nothing now.
What’s it mean: Picking up Pascal Dupuis in the Hossa trade means no call-up; picking up Hal Gill means defensive depth and no call-up. The Pens remain a competitive member of the logjam, and they’ll get some help (Kennedy, Minard) when the big club gets healthy.
Gain: C Colton Fretter (limited playing time this season with Chicago).
Lose: LW Jeff Tambellini (for now at least).
What’s it mean: The damage could have been worse if Fedotenko, Satan et al went for picks. They still have some decent depth and will be players, particularly if they hang in until they get that full line back at the end of the NHL season.
Lose: Nothing. Not one transaction reported since Monday.
What’s it mean: A Marian Hossa deal would have probably cost Nick Foligno, either in trade or disappearance, and maybe a player or two more. Martin Lapointe insures the organizational depth at forward. They’ll stick around.
Gain: D Alexandre Picard, D David Koci (from Rockford), RW Brandon Segal (from Portland), maybe probably a player or two eventually.
Lose: D Jay Leach (vet to Portland), D Justin Fletcher (to Rockford).
What’s it mean: The early-season swoon makes the Ads less dangerous right now (eight-and-a-half out with 22 to play) than they might be otherwise. If they stay hot, they could help Bridgeport by beating other teams.
Overall: The Phantoms got dinged. The Admirals got helped. All seven teams will finish with 87 points. Break out the tiebreakers. No, seriously, this division was competitive before and should remain that.