Saturday, February 25, 2012

Devils Grab Zidlicky, Panthers Add Smithson, Brown In or Out and More

The Devils' and Wild trade
Devils Get
Marek Zidlicky, $4.0 million cap hit- expires after next year.

Wild Get
D Kurtis Foster, F Nick Palmieri, F Stephane Veilleux, 2012 2nd Round, Conditional 2013
3rd Round if Devils make Eastern Conference Finals and Zidlicky plays in 75% of Devils
first 2 playoff rounds.

The New Jersey Devils look to be all-in this year. With Zach Parise's contract status unchanged, and set to expire July 1st, and Marty Brodeur on his last legs GM Lou Lamoriello is going for a cup now.

A cup or long playoff run could get Parise to stay in Jersey for a discount. A cup could let Marty go out on top, allowing the Devils to move on and get a new franchise tender. A cup would bring money to a team rumored to be in financial woe.

The addition of D Marek Zidlicky improves the defense on the Devils. The loss of D Kurtis Foster and F Nick Palmieri is bearable. F Stephane Veilleux is nothing to even notice. Washington's 2nd rounder that New Jersey gave up would have been nice, but no back breaker. And the conditional to finish off the trade is "meh."

However, I do not think this trade will greatly impact the Devils making a run this year. The health of Travis Zajack and the goaltending of Marty Brodeur will decide just how far this year's squad will go.
Although I do think Lamoriello is right in thinking that this year's success will be vital to the organization. The extra revenue will go a long way, Parise will only stay if he feels he can win there, and Brodeur might just be willing to relinquish the reigns if he gets one last time with Lord Stanley.

The Panthers' and Predators' deal

Panthers Get
C Jerred Smithson, $800,000 expires after next year.   

Predators Get
2012 6th Round

With the Florida Panthers offensive woes lately, the Red-volution fanbase in Sunrise, Florida thought the next trade would be for a goal scorer. However, GM Dale Tallon went out and picked up a 33 year-old veteran defensive forward. With John Madden sidelined and Marcel Goc's injury details being unclear, the Panthers picked up a penalty killer and face-off vet who likes to throw the body.

This move is indicative of a team looking to add more veteran presence for the playoff push. I would be surprised if this is the last move. Especially with a grand total of 5 goals over the recent 4 game homestand.

Tallon is known for keeping his conversations with other team's GMs to a whisper, so it's no surprise that Florida's activities are not being publicized. However, according to The Fourth Period's top 25 players available chart for the 2012 trade deadline, the Panthers have interest in a few players including Colorado's F Paul Stastny and Columbus' C Derick Brassard.

The mentioned players are unlikely to be moved to Florida, in my eyes, but I get the feeling Tallon is making calls for some top 6 scoring help. Either Brassard or Stastny would be a welcomed addition to this squad, if Tallon can get them.

Tallon has said he will not jeopardize the future assets of the franchise for one playoff run. But with the extreme depth the NHL's top prospect pool flaunts, they can still lose a few prospects or picks without jeopardizing the long-term success of the club. Only Tallon knows how far into the well he can go without sacrificing the rebuild.

Is Brown in or out of play?

Almost minutes after Los Angeles dealt for Jeff Carter, the word on Twitter was Dustin Brown was very much in play. Brown's availability looked like it would drastically change the Nash sweepstakes.
TSN's Bob McKenzie tweeted:
LAK captain Dustin Brown being potentially available is a Trade Deadline game changer because of the number of teams who have high interest. 
In my post yesterday, Speculation on Rick Nash and New Trade Landscape, I mentioned how teams looking to add a physical goal scorer for this year's playoff run might instead turn to Brown, leaving Nash as a wallflower. Brown's lower cap hit, by about $4 million, and less contracted years would give teams more flexibility in the future. Plus, it would take a lot less to pry Brown out of L.A. than Nash out of Columbus.

However, the trade winds shifted yesterday afternoon. Eliotte Friedman tweeted:
Trade deadline craziness: Lombardi telling inquiring GMs that DustinBrown is not available.
It appears that after Brown's availability leaked, and GMs started inquiring, Kings GM Dean Lombardi pulled back. Whether this is his way of saying, "the offers so far are not good enough," and trying to stir up a better package or this is a straightforward, "no" is anyone's guess.

Whatever Lombardi is saying, teams will still be calling for Dustin Brown's services.

Lombardi inked D Willie Mitchell to a over-35 contract extension, 2 years for a $3.5 million dollar cap hit (Link here).  Meaning, he now has about $55 million tied up for 20 skaters next season. This could give GMs a glimmer of hope that the Kings will be looking to move salary off the books for next year, Brown being a possibility.

With Jack Johnson moving in the Carter trade, the Kings could use a NHL-ready defensemen of the puck moving variety. Any deal for Brown would likely involve that.

The Leafs have D Luke Schenn to offer, while the Flyers may be willing to move UFA-to-be Matt Carle. However, Carle's availability is uncertain, as Flyers are working on an extension with the Alaskan defender. Also, Flyers just made two moves to strengthen D line, why take two steps forward to move one step back? Then, again, Brown was not available before.

Buffalo is certainly a possibility, but is Jordan Leopold or Andrej Sekera what the Kings are looking for?

The New York Rangers may be willing to move a defender, possibly Mike Sauer, in a package for Dustin Brown if they feel they can no longer afford Rick Nash.

Bottom line: Teams that feel out of Rick Nash will be pushing hard for Dustin Brown, possibly offering a package Lombardi can't say no to, whether Brown is on the trade block or not.

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Readers, did Devils improve? will Florida get scoring forward? where will Brown end up?
Comment with your opinions!


  1. It is rumored that new jersey needs to make a second round appearance to attract much needed investors. This move allows them to attempt to make a long playoff push which would boost revenues. It is also rumored that Parise's father and general manager Lou Lamoriello do not like each other due to the 'mismanagement' of Jordan Parise's hip injury that forced him over seasons.

  2. Investors + ticket sales are a must in Newark. Lou knows that with Marty playing well, for the first time in awhile, this year 2 or 3 playoff rounds is a legit expectation.

    Have not heard of Parise family info before... thanks for input!


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