Jason Pominville to Minnesota, and Marian Gaborik to Columbus Highlight Trade Deadline


It took until after 2:30 pm but the two biggest trades of the NHL’s trade deadline have finally been made.  We take a look at those trades, plus other noteworthy transactions in our Instant Analysis.

The Buffalo Sabres have traded captain Jason Pominville and a 4th round pick in 2014 to the Minnesota Wild.  In return the Sabres get Johan Larsson and Matt Hackett, a 1st in 2013 and a 2nd in 2014.

In Pominville the Wild get a Right Wing who can provide an extra injection of offence.  Pominville has 10 goals and 25 points in 37 games so far this season.  Pominville is a two time 30 goal scorer, including just last season, and a six time 20 goal man.  He has scored 80 points once, over 70 points twice, and over 60 points 5 times in his NHL career.  He is also effective in his own end of the rink, and a great two way forward.  He will really help the Wild in their playoff push this season, and is signed through next year at a cap hit of $5.3 million per season.

In Hackett the Sabres acquire a young goaltending prospect.  Drafted in the third round of the 2009 draft, Hackett is currently playing for the Houston Aeros in the AHL where he sports a .907 save percentage this season.  Last season he put up a .917 in 44 games for Houston.  Hackett is still young and has the potential to be an NHL starter.  Hackett has great size, and very good positioning, and a solid glove hand.  His legs are quick and agile.  Like many young goalies his main issue is rebound control.

Larsson was drafted by the Wild in the second round (56th overall) of the 2010 Entry Draft.  The 20 year old has 15 goals and 37 points in this, his rookie season with the Houston Aeros.  He’s a 2 way centre who likely projects as a good third liner going forward.  He’s good on faceoffs, and adds defensive ability to his ability to chip in points.  A nice add here for Buffalo.

Adding to these two high quality prospects, are 1st and 2nd round draft picks.  The Sabres got a kings’ ransom for Pominville.

The New York Rangers have traded Marian Gaborik to the Columbus Blue Jackets.  In return the Rangers get Derick Brassard, Derek Dorset, John Moore and a 6th-Round Pick (2013)

Gaborik has fallen out of favour with New York head coach John Tortorella, suffering through benchings, and stints on the fourth line.  The sniper who scored 41 goals for the Rangers last season has just 9 goals and 19 points in 35 games this season.  He is a 3 time 40 goal man, and 7 time 30 goal scorer, so he knows how to find the back of the net.  Blessed with elite speed, a great shot and release, and good hands, there is some question about Gaborik’s work ethic.  Gaborik is signed through next season at a cap hit of $7.5 million per year.

In return the Rangers replenish some of the depth they gave up in acquiring Rick Nash from Columbus last season.

Brassard has 7 goals and 18 points in 34 games this season.  While he has never lived up to the hype of being the 6th overall pick in the 2006 NHL draft, Brassard can be a decent secondary scoring option, who can play both centre and wing.  He is creative with the puck and has a good shot, but again there is some question about his work ethic.

Dorset adds real toughness to the Rangers lineup and is known for his willingness to drop the gloves.  He had 235 PIMs last season, and already has 53 PIMs in just 24 games this year.  Dorset can also play the game though as his 12 goals and 20 points in 2011-12 attest.  This year he has 3 goals and 9 points.  Look for him to add toughness to the Rangers bottom lines.

John Moore was the Blue Jackets first pick, 21st overall in the 2010 Entry Draft.  He is a slick skating, puck moving defenceman.  With his great passing skills, good vision and big shot, it is hoped that Moore can become a powerplay quarterback but has struggled at the NHL level thus far.  He does need to work on his defence, and decision making.  I think with a change of scenery he is young enough that he can become an effective NHLer.

Senators trade Ben Bishop to Tampa Bay for Cory Conacher and a 4th round pick.

In Bishop the Lightning once again attempt to address their long standing issues between the pipes.  While many have been tried in Tampa, aside from a few months of good play by Dwayne Roloson, the Bolts have never addressed losing Nikolai Khabibulin following the 2006 Cup Win.  In Bishop they get a 6’7″ goaltender who has been solid in Ottawa this season with an 8-5-0 record and 0.922 save percentage in 13 starts.  It will now be up to Bishop to prove that he can be a full time NHL starter.  In Bishop and Anders Lindback the Lightning now have a 13 foot tall goaltending tandem, the largest in NHL history.

The Senators acquire Cory Conacher, who was the league MVP in the AHL last season.  This season his 24 points put him 2nd in rookie scoring, and immediately make him the Sens highest scorer.  He has a non-stop motor and great skill, but has had to overcome his small size.  He appears to be doing just that.  In an interesting bit of trivia, Conacher will try to become just the 2nd rookie to be traded during a Calder Trophy winning campaign, joining Ed Litzenberger in 1954-55 who was moved from the Montreal Canadiens to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Nashville trades Martin Erat and Michael Latta to Washington for Filip Forsberg

Erat is an offensive winger who has had 5 seasons over 50 points, and 8 seasons over 40 points for the Nashville Predators.  He currently has 21 points in 36 games, so is scoring at around that pace once again.  He is a shifty winger, with quick hands and good playmaking skills, and has been a consistent producer for a goal challenged team in Nashville.  He is signed through 2014-15 at a cap hit of $4.5 million per season.

In Michael Latta, the Capitals get a player the Predators drafted in the 3rd round of the 2009 draft.  He has 35 points in 67 games for the Milwaukee Admirals this season.  Latta is a decent grinder with good defensive skill, who might be able to top out at a 3rd or 4th line centre, but there are plenty of question marks here.

In Filip Forsberg, the Predators get one of the top prospects from the 2012 Draft.  You can read my report on him here.  He’s a powerful winger with a ton of skill, and in my opinion is a sure fire NHLer.  I think that in this deal the Predators have gotten the steal of the day.

Colorado trades Ryan O’Byrne to Toronto for a 4th round draft pick in 2014.

O’Byrne will be a free agent at season’s end.  In O’Byrne the Maple Leafs get a big defenceman, who can block shots and play penalty kill minutes.  He’s also pretty good at using his size to clear the crease.  O’Byrne has good straight ahead speed for a big guy, but his lateral mobility and agility can be an issue.  He also needs to make better decisions with the puck on his stick.  He is likely headed to the Leafs press box, as O’Byrne is a depth piece at this point.  He is scheduled to be a free agent in July.

Phoenix trades Matthew Lombardi to Anaheim for Brandon McMillan

The Ducks acquire some centre depth in Lombardi.  The speedy forward is a rental who will be a UFA this July.  He has 4 goals and 8 points in 21 games for the Coyotes this season.  He is good on the draw and can kill penalties.

In MacMillan, the Coyotes get a 23 year old prospect winger currently playing in the AHL for the Norfolk Admirals. The 23 year old has 8 goals and 13 points in 41 games.  He can best be described as a grinder who may one day be able to crack  the Coyotes 4th line.

Phoenix trades Steve Sullivan to New Jersey for a 7th round pick

The Coyotes added Sullivan in the offseason in the hopes that he could help replace some of the offence lost when Ray Whitney left.  It hasn’t worked out as with just 5 goals and 12 points in 33 games, Sullivan, 38 years old, appears to be on his last legs in the NHL.  I would guess that the Devils are adding him mainly for depth purposes in case injuries occur and they need a fill in.

St. Louis trades Wade Redden to the Boston Bruins for a 7th round pick

Redden, a cheap free-agent pickup by the Blues in January, was pushed out of a roster spot by the Blues trade for Jay Bouwmeester yesterday.  He’s been mediocre in his NHL return and we see why the Rangers left him in the AHL for all those years.  This appears to be strictly a depth addition for the Bruins.

Phoenix trades Raffi Torres to the San Jose Sharks for a 3rd round pick

Raffi Torres replaces much of the grit lost in the Ryan Clowe deal yesterday at a much cheaper price for Doug Wilson and the Sharks.  He also has 5 goals this season, or 5 more than Clowe had.  Torres is a big hitter who seems to have toned his game down just a little in the wake of his long suspension for the hit on Marian Hossa in last year’s playoffs.  Still Torres does get in on the forecheck and cause havoc for opposing teams.

Carolina trades Jussi Jokinen to Pittsburgh for a conditional 7th round pick

The Hurricanes tried to waive Jokinen just 1 week ago, and were unable to do so.  However in agreeing to take on some of his $3 million salary for next year, they were able to find a buyer in Pittsburgh.  Jokinen is a versatile forward who can play all three forward positions, and has been very good in the faceoff circle this season.  Jokinen is former 60 point scorer, a 2 time 50 point scorer, and 6 time 40 point scorer.  He is more a playmaker than a goal scorer, but is also famous for his ability in shootouts.

Nashville trades Scott Hannan to San Jose  for a conditional 7th round draft choice.

In Scott Hannan the Sharks get back a big, stay at home defender who enjoyed his best seasons in San Jose.  He will help replace the loss of Douglas Murray and comes at a much cheaper price.  Like Murray, Hannan is a free agent in July.

Columbus trades Steve Mason to Philadelphia for Michael Leighton and a 3rd round pick.

The third round pick is the best asset in this deal.  I don’t understand what anyone sees in Steve Mason.  After his great rookie year, he’s been a complete disaster.  Jim Carey 2.0.


Thanks for reading, as always you can leave your comments below.

You can follow me on twitter @lastwordBKerr. Give the rest of the hockey department a follow while you’re at it – @BigMick99, @IswearGaa and @LastWordOnNHL, and follow the site @lastwordonsport.

Interested in writing for LastWordOnSports? Find more info at our “Join Our Team” page.

photo credit: MR_53 via photopin cc


  1. Good analysis Ben, as always. Curious though, you only really comment on “winners” of a trade twice (Buffalo and Nashvile), I would also think that Ottawa got a steal as well.

    I’d also be interested in your opinion on the TB goalie situation (I like the side stat about the tallest goalie tandom in the NHL). I cant seem to figure out the motivation of the Lightning in trading picks and prospects away twice in the same calendar year to get two young project goalies. I use project loosely as either one of them could turn into a legitimate starting goaltender for a team that can wait. However with aging vets like St Louis, Lecavilier, Malone, Salo and Brewer, I would have thought the Bolts would have been better served making a play on Luongo or Miller (rumoured to be on the block, and might have been given goaltending acquisitions by Sabres). I dont see Lindback or Bishop stepping it up immediately, and by the time one of them is able to a number of the vets will be gone (and now they wont have Conacher as well). You would have thought that Conacher, and a couple of picks would have been enough to land at least Luongo, even throwing in Malone for Kassen to even out some of the salary concerns. The 9 year contract should not worry TB as it would silence their biggest need for 9 seasons (and I am sure their fans would love to finally find something else to complain about). Miller may have been tough, given the ransom the Sabres received for their captain I can only imagine what they might have expected for Miller.

    Again, I just dont know where the Bolts thinking is on this. There were goalies available, was Bishop really the answer the team was looking for, or is he another stop gap? Conacher has his motor always turned on and looks good, Yzerman must have really seen something he likes in Bishop.

    • The thing about most deadline deals is it is hard to pick a clear winner and loser at this point as it usually is a benefit to both clubs, one now and one in the future. When I see the Caps giving a primo prospect for a 2nd line guy or the Wild going crazy with the number of assets given for Pominville, or Tuesday the Flames not getting enough for Jay Bo though, they can be called.

      On the Tampa/Ottawa swap, I agree with you. I really think Ottawa made out like bandits in what they got for their third goalie and a guy who is a good backup but very unproven as a starter. Im not sure what Stevie Y was thinking there.

  2. McPhee must be hearing footsteps to make that deal. Its the kind of deal that has made Toronto bottom feeders. The question is why did he not get more. Its seems to be like the Halak trade, “Halak was in play”. Would we have given up Ryder, Gionta, Moen and a second for Flip Forsberg.

    I think Bishop is going to force the NHL into reducing the size of Goalie pads.