Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman made one of the bigger moves last week when he swapped current Red Wings' defenseman Kyle Quincey for a first-round pick but made even further moves today to stock the talent in Tampa's Channelside district. He acquired defenseman Keith Aulie from Toronto today for prospect Carter Ashton and getting defender Mike Commodore from Detroit for essentially nothing (a conditional 7th draft pick in 2013). Not to be outdone on deadline day, they swapped defenseman Matt Gilroy for Ottawa's former first round pick Brian Lee. Add to that haul the two second-round picks and a fourth-round pick in deals that cleared the salaries of Dominic Moore and Pavel Kubina last week.
Fantasy-wise, Lee figures to at least see more chances offensively than he did in Ottawa but he is more of a shut-down defender anyway. Aulie is an intriguing prospect as a big player that gives them more size on the blue line. Neither should do terribly much offensively, but it's an impressive haul of players for Yzerman who still has baggage like Ryan Malone and Dwayne Roloson on the NHL roster. Ashton is a big winger that had 35 points for Norfolk in the AHL this season.
Despite the deserved attention the Cody Hodgson for Zack Kassian swap is receiving (also switching coasts in that deal were defensemen Alexander Sulzer and Buffalo blue liner Marc-Andre Gragnani) their acquisition of Sami Pahlsson from Columbus may have the most impact on what they hope to be a deep playoff run. Pahlsson's a defensive forward that can do much on the ice, but won't factor offensively. Consensus among Rotowire writers seems that Kassian will get a chance to produce with Vancouver, giving them a nice pair of power forwards with him and Alexandre Burrows, but how much will Kassian see with the top-6 forwards. (Kassian had seven points in 27 games for Buffalo). As for Gragnani, Vancouver has one of the league's most productive blue lines with Alexander Edler, Kevin Bieksa, Sami Salo and Dan Hamhuis. It will be hard for Gragnani to crack that group.
Cody Hodgson could have been playing better of late, with just three points in the last 14 games, but he'll see more offensive chances on Buffalo, possibly with the likes of Thomas Vanek, but the Sabres have solid offensive players in Derek Roy and Jason Pominville, but it will be intriguing to see how Hodgson will fit in with the likes of Drew Stafford and Tyler Ennis. If Hodgson is available, he's certainly worth a pick up and he is still more potential at this point. Potential that may have not been given a chance to grow with Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler down the middle.
Where might Hodgson fit in with the Buffalo's crowded top lines?