Around the Rink
Fill up your Garth Snow piñata and pull out your finest "Buffalo Sabres 2017 or Bust" t-shirt, the trade deadline has passed like food cart tacos and fantasy owners are struggling to make heads or tails of what it means that Matt Frattin is heading to Columbus.
Well, maybe not so much on the Frattin point, but yes to all the rest and I'm going to break a bit of this down for you. (Though if you do own Frattin, I think that he may be able to carve out a more firm position in Columbus and find himself playing more worthwhile minutes.)
It was a pretty eventful trade deadline with a shocking number of goalies packing their bags. I'm going to talk about a number of the trades — the Hot and Cold section below will be looking just at players who are swapping jerseys — but if you want to get a full list of trades, take a look over here.
In fantasy, the trade deadline can be tumultuous, with top-tier players heading to Cup contenders and middle-of-the-road guys getting down-graded as their moved like chess pieces luring out the opponents queen.
One of the players in the former group who gains some upside is Marian Gaborik, who will don the black and silver of Los Angeles. The Kings, while they've struggled offensively, will give Gaborik the ice time and support that Columbus couldn't offer. He could deliver a big stretch performance, if he can stay healthy. (Even though GM Dean Lombardi said today that Gaborik will have to "adjust his game" to LA's defensive style.)
Another forward who gained some upside Wednesday is Matt Moulson, who was moved to the Wild. Needless to say that anyone leaving Buffalo should have better prospects at their new home. Moulson is likely to be lined up on the Wild's second line with Mikko Koivu and either Dany Heatley or Charlie Coyle taking the other wing. That's a big upgrade. There is no Mikko Koivu on Buffalo.
A few more who are interesting for fantasy, in terms of their upside: Dustin Penner could benefit from a great Caps powerplay. He's not coming from a bad situation after playing parts of the season with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, but there's as much potential for him in the nation's capital. Ales Hemsky moving to Ottawa could be interesting. Hemsky has a lot of offensive capability, but had languished on a defensively challenged team for years. Martin Erat, who was traded to Phoenix, could at least see some more consistent ice time if you believe the theory that a team wants a player they traded for. Presumably Phoenix wants him, but you would have thought that when Washington traded for Erat last year. (If you haven't been following that saga, Washington decided shortly after acquiring Erat that he looked best sitting at the eend of the bench rather than on the ice.)
On the other end of the spectrum are a few players who were traded into worse situations or players who will be aversely effected by trades their team made. Of the former we've got Devan Dubnyk. Once Pekka Rinne was back in Nashville it was clear that they'd do anything to get rid of him. They moved him to Montreal for "future considerations." Montreal immediately sent him to the AHL. He's droppable in most formats.
Of the later are Wild goaltenders Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding. When Minnesota acquired Ilya Bryzgalov it become clear that the team doesn't expect either of them back this season. They haven't made any designations yet, but they did say that they're shutting Backstrom down, likely for the rest of the year.
You can add Tim Thomas to the list of goaltenders who situations changed dramatically yesterday. He's now in Dallas, and will presumably be backing up Kari Lehtonen. Reto Berra moved to Colorado where they've already got two goalies. It's not clear what his role will be there yet. He may just be in place to take over backup duties once Jean-Sebastien Giguere's contract expires at the end of this season.
Scott Clemmenson is another who has found himself being the third wheel. With Roberto Luongo and Dan Ellis arriving in Florida, Clem has been sent down to the AHL.
Lastly, Chris Stewart has moved from a powerful Blues offensive corps to Buffalo where they were struggling before they traded away Steve Ott, Ryan Miller, Matt Moulson, Jaroslav Halak, and Cody McCormick. Chris Stewart spent the afternoon with his bags packed, watching TSN in his hotel room, fingers crossed. Now he's just hoping the Blues don't win the Cup without him. He's got a long 20-game stretch coming up.
Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check our Projected Goalies Grid
Washington Capitals (Braden Holtby) at Boston Bruins (Tuukka Rask), 7:00 PM
Los Angeles Kings (Jonathan Quick) at Winnipeg Jets (Ondrej Pavelec), 7:00 PM
Buffalo Sabres (Jhonas Enroth) at Tampa Bay Lightning (Ben Bishop), 7:30 PM
Colorado Avalanche (Semyon Varlamov) at Detroit Red Wings (Jimmy Howard), 8:00 PM
Columbus Blue Jackets (Sergei Bobrovsky) at Chicago Blackhawks (Corey Crawford), 8:00 PM
St. Louis Blues (Ryan Miller) at Nashville Predators (Carter Hutton), 8:00 PM
Vancouver Canucks (Eddie Lack) at Dallas Stars (Kari Lehtonen), 8:30 PM
Montreal Canadiens (Peter Budaj) at Phoenix Coyotes (Mike Smith), 9:00 PM
New York Islanders (Evgeni Nabokov) at Edmonton Oilers (Ben Scrivens), 9:30 PM
Pittsburgh Penguins (Marc-Andre Fleury) at San Jose Sharks (Antti Niemi), 10:30 PM
Injury News For Teams Playing Thursday
Mikhail Grabovski, C - (ankle) missed his third straight game on Wednesday
Dmitry Orlov, D - has been suspended for two games by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety
Aaron Volpatti, LW - (left shoulder) has not been cleared for practice
Dennis Seidenberg, D - (knee) is out for the season
Loui Eriksson, RW - was kept off the ice Tuesday and Wednesday due to a "very minor heel issue"
Adam McQuaid, D - (groin/hip) will be shut down for the coming weeks
Chris Thorburn, RW - (upper body) his injury is reportedly not serious
James Wright, C - (ankle) is out indefinitely
Grant Clitsome, D - (back) is out for the season
Mark Scheifele, C - (knee) will be 6-8 weeks
Patrick Kaleta, RW - (knee) is out for the season
Tampa Bay Lightning
Steven Stamkos, C - (leg) will play tonight!!!
Radko Gudas, D - (lower body) is unlikely to play Thursday against the Bruins
Alex Tanguay, LW - (knee / hip) had season-ending surgery
Detroit Red Wings
Stephen Weiss, C - (sports hernia) has hit a setback in his recovery and is due to receive further tests
Pavel Datsyuk, C - (knee) will be out for the next three weeks
Henrik Zetterberg, LW - (back) underwent surgery on Friday, the team is optimistic that he'll return this season
Jakub Kindl, D - (lower body) expects to be ready for Tuesday's game in New Jersey
Mikael Samuelsson, RW - (shoulder) remains on IR
Darren Helm, C - (headaches) will be out for a few days
Alexey Marchenko, D - (ankle) is expected to miss the rest of the season
Dan Cleary, RW - (knee) will miss at least one week
Columbus Blue Jackets
Fedor Tyutin, D - (ankle) skated Tuesday but will not travel with the team for Thursday's game
Blake Comeau, LW - (knee) has recovered from his knee injury
Jared Boll, RW - (ankle) joined the Blue Jackets for practice Sunday
Ryan Murray, D - (lower body) is day-to-day
Marian Hossa, RW - (upper body) is progressing, but has yet to start skating
Nikolai Khabibulin, G - (shoulder) will miss another three to four months
St. Louis Blues
Jordan Leopold, D - (ankle) is be out for another 10-14 days
Vladimir Sobotka, C - (knee) joined the Blues for their optional practice Wednesday,
Daniel Sedin, LW - (hamstring) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday
Andrew Alberts, D - (concussion) has been slow to recover and shouldn't be expected to return anytime soon
Mike Santorelli, C - (shoulder) has undergone season-ending surgery
Rich Peverley, RW - (upper body) missed Tuesday's game, is expected back tonight
Carey Price, G - (lower body) skated during Tuesday's practice but will not play Wednesday
Brandon Prust, LW - (upper body) is on IR
Michael Bournival, C - (concussion) did not play on Saturday
Martin Hanzal, C - (lower body) did not take part in the Coyotes' practice Wednesday
New York Islanders
Eric Boulton, LW - (hand) broke his hand in a fight this week and is likely out for a bit
John Tavares, C - (knee) will need surgery and should miss the rest of the season
Curtis Hamilton, LW - (knee) remains out
Anton Belov, D - (oblique) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday
Tomas Vokoun, G - (pelvis) began skating with the team, but isn't set to return yet
Pascal Dupuis, RW - (knee) will miss the remainder of the season
Paul Martin, D - (hand) had surgery and will be out indefinitely
Kris Letang, D - (stroke) will receive "another battery of tests" in two or three weeks before the team decides whether or not he can return this season
Chris Conner, RW - (wrist) rejoined the team for practice Wednesday
Beau Bennett, RW - (wrist) experienced a setback in late February and is expected to be out for a bit
San Jose Sharks
Tomas Hertl, C - (knee) has resumed skating but is a long way from returning to game action
Brad Stuart, D - (upper body) skated during Wednesday's practice, but will not return Thursday
Martin St. Louis, RW, NYR: Who can really say what happens behind closed doors, but all of the rumors seem to be true here. St. Louis, who spent 12 3/4 seasons with Tampa, requested a trade after Tampa GM Steve Yzerman left him off of Team Canada. The Rangers got a sweet deal here, moving captain Ryan Callahan and two draft picks for the Tampa captain. In 62 games this season St. Louis has 29 goals and 32 assists. He's even been good leading up to his debut with the Rangers last night, putting up four goals and four assists in his last seven games with the Lightning. He suited up for New York last night, but didn't get on the scoresheet
Matt Moulson, LW, MIN: Moulson, who has already been touched on, has been causing damage even while on a miserable Buffalo offense. In his last six games (with a small stretch spent sidelined before the break) he's got two goals and six assists.
Thomas Vanek, LW, MTL: Vanek's move to Montreal may be a parallel shift in terms of his potential, but that's only because John Tavares is out for the season. Vanek excelled on a line with Tavares and Kyle Okposo earlier this year, so his potential had already taken a hit before this trade due to Tavares being out for the year. Nonetheless, Vanek has been solid — though not spectacular — lately. He's pulled in two goals and four assists in his last five games. Many have knocked Vanek for his production this year, but he's still pulling in respectable numbers with 21 goals and 32 assists through 60 games.
Devan Dubnyk, G, MTL: This may have been made a moot point with Dubnyk being reassigned to the Canadiens AHL affiliate, but between Price's injury and Dustin Tokarski letting in a weird fluke goal last night we may not have seen the last of Dubnyk this season. That may be bad news for Habs fans because it's something of a mystery how he's still getting playing time on any NHL team. He hasn't broken the .900 save percentage threshold in five straight and his .891 save percentage on the season ranks 40th in the NHL.
Ales Hemsky, LW, OTT: As mentioned above, Hemsky got an upgrade when he was traded to Ottawa, but he hasn't been playing well. He did score two goals against Ottawa on Tuesday, but he hadn't put a point on the board for seven games before that and has had a slow season overall.
Dan Ellis, G, FLA: Ellis, who has only played 14 games this season, had an ugly end to his time in Dallas, giving up four goals on 20 shots Tuesday. He's now playing for a less defensively sound team and will remain a backup, just behind Roberto Luongo instead of Lehtonen. Ellis isn't looking very appealing for fantasy teams right now. One would hope you can do better than Ellis in your league.
Cory Conacher, C, BUF: A great pickup off waivers for Buffalo, even though Conacher hasn't delivered on the promise he showed early in his rookie year with the Lightning. He's been a little lackluster with Ottawa since being traded in the middle of the season last year, but Buffalo may be a good fit for him to grow into. Don't have too high of expectations this season, as no one on Buffalo is a premiere prospect for your fantasy team, but he is interesting for coming seasons and legacy formats.
Marcel Goc, C, PIT: Goc has never been an explosive offensive force, but he can be a threat and could become much more dangerous on Pittsburgh depending on where he lands in the lineup. For deeper leagues you'll likely get more out of Goc in Pittsburgh than you saw in Florida. Keep an eye on the Penguins depth chart.