Teams swap goalies at NHL trade deadline
In the week before the NHL trade deadline, a total of 11 goaltenders were dealt. Martin Brodeur stayed put with the New Jersey Devils, while Jaroslav Halak got moved twice, first from the St. Louis Blues to the Buffalo Sabres for Ryan Miller and then to the Washington Capitals for Michal Neuvirth.
Here’s a look at those trades and what the goalies fetched in return:
Ryan Miller — From the Sabres with F Steve Ott to the Blues for G Jaroslav Halak, F Chris Stewart, F William Carrier, a 2015 1st-round pick and a 2006 conditional 3rd-round pick
Despite being an unrestricted free agent, Miller was worth a heavy price to the Blues, who were already considered a strong Stanley Cup contender. If Miller re-signs in St. Louis, or the team reaches at least the Western Conference final this spring, that third-round pick becomes a first, so naturally the Sabres are rooting for the Blues.
Ilya Bryzgalov — From the Oilers to the Wild for a 2014 4th-round pick
Bryzgalov, whom Edmonton signed to a one-year deal earlier this season, was part of some musical-goalie movement on Tuesday. With Niklas Backstrom out for the rest of the season and Josh Harding likely down the same path, Minnesota wanted a veteran to back-up Darcy Kuemper, who has shined so far.
Viktor Fasth — From the Ducks to the Oilers for a 2014 5th-round pick and a 2015 3rd-round pick
Anaheim made three moves within a short period of time Tuesday, also acquiring injured defenceman Stephane Robidas from the Stars and trading winger Dustin Penner to the Capitals. Fasth, who has a year left on his contract, was expendable to the Ducks because they have Frederik Andersen and John Gibbons available behind Jonas Hiller.
Roberto Luongo — From the Canucks with F Steven Anthony to the Panthers for G Jacob Markstrom and F Shawn Matthias
The biggest deadline shocker came when Luongo, who had wanted out of Vancouver for almost two years, was sent to Florida. Not only did general manager Mike Gillis make the 34-year-old happy by sending him “home,” but he got rid of the final eight seasons of a US$64-million, 12-year contract and got a top goaltending prospect in return in Markstrom. The 24-year-old Markstrom joins Eddie Lack with the Canucks, who had Luongo and Cory Schneider in those spots a year ago.
Devan Dubnyk — From the Predators to the Canadiens for future considerations
Along with Halak, Dubnyk is one of two goaltenders to be traded twice this season after going from Edmonton to Nashville in January. The return of Pekka Rinne squeezed Dubnyk out of a job with the Predators, and he’s a solid third behind Carey Price and Peter Budaj in Montreal.
Tim Thomas — From the Panthers to the Stars for G Dan Ellis
Stars general manager Jim Nill tried to sign Thomas this past off-season and immediately starting considering dealing for the 39-year-old when the Canucks traded Luongo to Florida. Thomas will back-up Kari Lehtonen, though coach Lindy Ruff figures he’ll reward the 2011 Conn Smythe Trophy winner with more starts if he earns it. Ellis, who has another year left on his contract, is set to back up Luongo with the Panthers at least for the rest of this season.
Reto Berra — From the Flames to the Avalanche for a 2014 2nd-round pick
The 27-year-old rookie has just 29 games of NHL experience and hasn’t yet cracked double-digits in wins, yet Colorado paid a heavy price to get Berra from Calgary. Semyon Varlamov seems to be entrenched as the Avalanche’s starter, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere is the veteran backup, while Berra is set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Jaroslav Halak — From the Sabres with a 2015 3rd-round pick to the Capitals for G Michal Neuvrth and D Rostislav Klesla
Halak never played in a game for Buffalo after being traded there from the Blues, and it was no surprise the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent was dealt again. That it was to Washington for Neuvirth and Klesla came as a bit of a surprise, given Braden Holtby’s position as the starter there. Neuvirth has one year left on his deal at a cap hit of $2.5 million, and he could get a chance to battle Jhonas Enroth for time in net with the Sabres.