Every year there is concern that there won’t be much movement at the trade deadline. Every year those fears are unfounded. Somehow, even in this salary cap era, there are plenty of deals to be made.
GM Bob Murray, who stated yesterday that he “liked the atmosphere in the room,” also admitted that he would likely make a few tweaks to the roster to improve things. Two of Murray’s criteria were “how much sense does it make economically?” and “how good is it for the organization?”
Murray decided there were a few defensive moves that would be good for the organization, but he left the forwards alone. The biggest trade was sending defenseman Ryan Whitney and a sixth-round draft pick to Edmonton in exchange for Lubomir Visnovsky. If Visnovsky is paired with James Wisniewski, broadcasters everywhere will have a lot of fun with that combo. All they need to do is bring back Vitaly Vishnevsky and you can have Vishnevsky, Visnovsky and Wisniewski. Almost sounds like a law firm. Visnovsky, a former King, had to waive his no movement clause, which apparently was not a problem.
The Ducks also picked up another veteran d-man in Aaron Ward. In exchange, they sent the Carolina Hurricanes minor league goaltender, Justin Pogge and a 4th round draft pick.
Pogge’s AHL position was quickly filled by Joey MacDonald, whom Anaheim acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was purchased with a 7th round draft pick in 2011.
Vesa Toskala, who was obtained in the Jean-Sebastien Giguere on January 31, did not stay in Anaheim long enough to even change his pads and helmet. Toskala, 32, heads back up to Canada, this time to the Calgary Flames, in exchange for a younger back-up in 26 year-old Curtis McElhinney. Toskala will rejoin Miikka Kiprusoff after having both been part of the San Jose Sharks organization.
Because neither new goaltender could be in Anaheim by the puck drop this evening, the Ducks recalled Timo Pielmeier to back up Jonas Hiller against Colorado.
In a final and late move, the Ducks sent Petteri Nokelainen to the Phoenix Coyotes for a 6th round draft pick. Nokelainen had been obtained last year at the trade deadline, but had been a healthy scratch of late.
One thing is certain – the annual team photo tomorrow morning will be a bit different than it would have been this morning!