The equivalent of Christmas day has come and gone for fans of NHL teams as the trade deadline is now but a memory. 22 trades occurred involving 45 players and 21 draft picks being exchanged between trading partners. The Preds chose to do nothing on this day, maintaining the status quo with their roster and with the expectation that injured players (Bonk, Erat, Sulzer, and Nichol) will soon be back in the line up and (hopefully) contributing. In the Western Conference, Edmonton traded F Erik Cole to the Hurricanes for F Patrick Sullivan (acquired from LA via Carolina in an earlier trade) and a second round pick. The Oil also pick up speedy forward Ales Kotalik from Buffalo for a second round pick. San Jose acquired F Travis Moen and D Kent Huskins from Anaheim for prospects and a conditional draft pick. Anaheim aslo shipped F Sami Pahlsson to Chicago for D James Wisniewski. Pahlsson is still recovering from mono, but is expected to be in the line up in the near future. Columbus acquired F Antoine Vermette from Ottawa for Goalie Pascal Leclaire. And it what was arguably the biggest trade of the day, Calgary acquired D Jordan Leopold from Colorado and F Olli Jokinen from Phoenix. The Flames sent F Matthew Lombardi and F Brandon Prust along with a first round pick to Phoenix and D Lawrence Nycholat, D Ryan Wilson, and a 4th round draft pick to the Avalanche.
As a Preds fan, one can look at this in either a positive or a negative light. Negatively, we could say that we missed opportunities to add second line scoring with someone like Nik Antropov or Dominic Moore, or even picking up Miroslav Satan off waivers. The positive perspective is that this team is playing with heart and grit, has great chemistry, and is doing what it takes to win games. Locker room chemistry is a delicate balance and can easily be upset, and we have seen how talented but troubled players can quickly take down a team and a season (think Sean Avery). The test of our decisions today will play itself out over the next 18 games.
For another take on today's action, follow the link to the Forechecker's sight On the Forecheck.