NHL trade deadline -- Experts' live blog

Updated: March 5, 2009, 7:57 AM ET
ESPN.com

We hope you're as pumped as we are for today's trade deadline. Starting now through the deadline, NHL writers Scott Burnside, Pierre LeBrun and E.J. Hradek will bring you the news and analysis right here.

Keep clicking, refreshing and scrolling for all of the day's intrigue! And send your questions in here -- it could be used during our blog and later today on ESPNEWS.


Russo (4:42 p.m. ET): And the final word goes to The Mullet, Mr. Melrose:

"I am very excited about being a blogger. And all in all, a very interesting day, but a disappointing trade day for the NHL. Not enough glitz, and I am all about glitz."

Russo (4:39 p.m. ET): OK, puckheads ... we're about to sign off here but wanted to give you some final thoughts from our NHL gurus:

--Burnside: It's a strange deadline day when the biggest name that was dealt is a player (Jokinen) who has been in the league 10 years and hasn't played a single playoff game.

--LeBrun: As a final thought on what still turned out to be a fairly busy trade deadline, you have to admire what the Edmonton Oilers pulled off before the buzzer. After the dust settled and four teams were involved, the Oilers added Kotalik and O'Sullivan and lost Cole, who hadn't played well for them. Kotalik will help an Oilers PP that has struggled of late. He's a UFA July 1, but then again, so is Cole. O'Sullivan is a real good, second-line player. Edmonton may be playoff-bound, and now it's deeper for it.

--Hradek: I was a little disappointed by the whole day in terms of big names. It shows you the cap and economy have really made it difficult for teams to make significant moves.

Russo (4:35 p.m. ET): Some final details here on the Carolina/Los Angeles/Anaheim moves:

--Carolina sent Justin Williams to Los Angeles for Patrick O'Sullivan and a second-round pick.
--Carolina traded O'Sullivan and its own second-round pick to Edmonton for Erik Cole and a 2009 fifth-round pick.
--Edmonton traded a second-round pick to Buffalo for Ales Kotalik.

Hradek (4:28 p.m. ET): Capitals fans -- as well as some players in their room -- have to be disappointed GM George McPhee couldn't make a move to upgrade his goaltending depth. McPhee worked the phones, but he couldn't close on any deals. I believe the Caps could have used some help in goal and on the blue line. Last season, McPhee was able to get goalie Cristobal Huet and center Sergei Fedorov. Those deals proved vital for the club's run for a playoff spot. This year, the expectations are higher. If the team doesn't advance past the first round (where it was stopped last season), fans will be wondering why the Caps didn't make a move. In his defense, the Caps didn't have a lot of salary-cap space. On this deadline day, salary-cap issues really hamstrung several clubs around the league.

LeBrun (4:17 p.m. ET): And from the "deals that didn't get done" department ... a source tells us that the Boston Bruins tried very hard to land Tkachuk, but the deal didn't happen.

LeBrun (4:15 p.m. ET): The Carolina/L.A./Edmonton thing gets even more complicated. A source told ESPN.com that Buffalo traded forward Ales Kotalik to Carolina for a second-round pick. The Hurricanes then traded Kotalik to Edmonton for a second-round pick. In the end, the Oilers get both Kotalik and Patrick O'Sullivan today.

Russo (4:14 p.m. ET): For what it's worth, a source tells ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun that the St. Louis Blues have kept Keith Tkachuk.

Hradek (4:09 p.m. ET): I have to say, I really like the Sharks deal to get Travis Moen and Kent Huskins. The two guys are big, depth players who've won a Stanley Cup. I think both guys -- who can be unrestricted free agents in the summer -- can really play a role in helping get the Sharks to where they want to go.

LeBrun (4:07 p.m. ET): More details/clarification on the O'Sullivan deal. There are other details to this, but sources confirm a three-way trade that sees Edmonton's Erik Cole end up back in Carolina, Los Angeles' Patrick O'Sullivan end up in Edmonton and Carolina's Justin Williams end up in Los Angeles.

Jay Bouwmeester
Scott Audette/NHLI/Getty ImagesJay Bouwmeester, left, is staying put (for now) in South Florida.

Burnside (4:05 p.m. ET): The Washington Capitals may have been quiet on the trade front, but that doesn't mean they are standing pat. Defenseman Brian Pothier, who has been hampered by injury most of the last two seasons, has been cleared to play and will begin a three-to-five-game conditioning stint with the Caps' AHL affiliate in Hershey. Pothier has not played since last January.

LeBrun (4:04 p.m. ET): The Stanley Cup contending San Jose Sharks got better, in a big way, with the acquisitions of hard-nosed forward Travis Moen and defenseman Kent Huskins. Moen was key part of the '07 Cup-winning Ducks team, so he's yet another champion added to the Sharks roster after GM Doug Wilson added Cup champions Rob Blake, Dan Boyle, Brad Lukowich, Claude Lemieux and coach Todd McLellan over the last year. Moen, especially, brings some serious grit to the Sharks' lineup and we wonder if this move wasn't made because Mike Grier is out long term.

Burnside (3:56 p.m. ET): Most of the attention will be focused on Pahlsson's arrival in Chicago, and with good reason. But Anaheim GM Bob Murray has done a nice job in treading the line between waving the white flag and achieving his goal of shedding payroll and preparing to re-tool his team this offseason. The Ducks are still very much in the playoff hunt. As of Wednesday, they are one of three teams tied with 68 points for what would be the last two playoff berths in the West, and there is nothing to suggest in their moves that they won't be right there at the end in mid-April.

But Murray has also positioned himself nicely for the future. Ryan Whitney, acquired for Chris Kunitz last week, will help solidify the blue line pending what happens with Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger. They did deal defensive specialist Pahlsson to Chicago for defenseman Wisniewski, who will be a restricted free agent and thus could also be part of the Ducks' future plans, as well as stepping into the hole created by the departure of Steve Montador, who went to Boston.

Russo (3:54 p.m. ET): The boys are trying to figure out the last part of this Kings-Carolina three-way deal.

LeBrun (3:50 p.m. ET): We now hear the Los Angeles Kings have traded Patrick O'Sullivan to Carolina. Not sure yet what they got in return. Might be part of the three-way trade.

LeBrun (3:48 p.m. ET): Deals are still trickling in past the deadline because of the backup at the fax machine at the NHL's head office. We hear of a possible three-way trade involving Erik Cole possibly going back to Carolina. More on that later.

Russo (3:43 p.m. ET): And another ... a source told ESPN.com Tampa Bay has traded defenseman Steve Eminger to Florida for defenseman Noah Welch and a third-round pick.

Russo (3:41 p.m. ET): More deals coming in ... a source tells ESPN.com the Anaheim Ducks traded forward Samuel Pahlsson to Chicago in exchange for D-man James Wisniewski.

Burnside (3:33 p.m. ET): Although the trade deadline has passed, it's likely deals will continue to be announced over the next hour, or more, as the NHL processes deals that were announced before 3 p.m. Sources told ESPN.com that Tampa was unable to move veteran Gary Roberts. Center Jeff Halpern, who had been on a number of teams' radar screens, remains with the Lightning.

Russo (3:25 p.m. ET): We don't know if more deals will come through (remember, the Smyth-to-Islanders deal came out at around 3:40 p.m. ET in deadlines past), but give us your take. Vote here for your top trade.

LeBrun (3:23 p.m. ET): Just got off the phone with Panthers GM Jacques Martin, who made the gutsy decision to keep Bouwmeester despite the fact he may walk away July 1 as a UFA.

"It was a tough decision, but we like our team and we felt in the end it was the best decision for where we are at right now," Martin told ESPN.com. "We feel we're solid on defense."

I asked him if he almost dealt him.

"It came close. It came very close," he told us in an interview we conducted in French. "But, in the end, this is the scenario that made the most sense for us."

Martin would not tell us, but sources confirm Philadelphia and Vancouver made the strongest pitches for Bouwmeester, but they were obviously not good enough.

Burnside (3:18 p.m. ET): Got to give Florida GM Jacques Martin credit for sticking to his guns. We had heard Vancouver and Philadelphia were interested in defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, but, in the end, the Panthers decided to keep their best player knowing full well he will likely bolt as a free agent July 1.

The Panthers haven't made the playoffs since 2000 and Martin decided that going to the postseason was more important than trying to squeeze assets out of a departing star. The problem for the Panthers will be if they stumble and miss the playoffs altogether, the strategy will be seen in an entirely different light. Get in and win a round, and Martin will have been vindicated. The other thing that gets lost in this sometimes is that Martin will have the cap room he would have committed to Bouwmeester, let's say $7 million a year, to spend elsewhere this summer.

Russo (3:17 p.m. ET): Here are more details on the Rangers' deals today.

LeBrun (3:12 p.m. ET): We are told the Toronto Maple Leafs moved Dominic Moore in a three-way trade that saw Buffalo get Moore and the Leafs get a second-round pick, but we're not sure who the third team is and what it got. We're also told Alexei Ponikarovsky stayed put after almost being dealt.

Burnside (3:10 p.m. ET): More details on the Morris deal. The Rangers sent forwards Nigel Dawes and Petr Prucha and defenseman Dmitri Kalinin to Phoenix for Morris.

LeBrun (3:09 p.m. ET): We're told Atlanta has dealt Erik Christensen to Anaheim in exchange for prospect Eric O'Dell -- the Ducks' second pick, 39th overall, last year.

LeBrun (3:01 p.m. ET): It's 3 p.m., and just under the wire, the Rangers got Derek Morris, a source confirmed to us. Also, the Panthers decided to keep Bouwmeester, while the Wild also kept Marian Gaborik.

Russo (3 p.m. ET): The deadline is here! Our experts still have some posts left for you ... stay tuned!

LeBrun (2:59 p.m. ET): Just confirmed the Nik Antropov deal to the New York Rangers. The Leafs get a second-round pick plus a another conditional pick, which will depend on how many rounds, if any, that the Rangers win in the playoffs. We also hear the Leafs are talking about a three-way trade involving Dominic Moore.

LeBrun (2:51 p.m. ET): We just confirmed the Coyotes traded Daniel Carcillo to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Scottie Upshall and a second-round draft pick. Great deal for Phoenix in my mind. Philly has cleared up some cap space with this deal. So will they get Derek Morris or Jay Bouwmeester? Just got a note from Panthers' war room on Bouwmeester and they're still debating their options.

Burnside (2:49 p.m. ET): The Carolina Hurricanes, still very much in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race, look to be making a move before the clock runs down. GM Jim Rutherford wants to add some offense.

Hradek (2:48 p.m. ET): Do the Flames moves make them better? Well, Olli Jokinen is a big horse of a forward. He's never had the opportunity to play with a quality team. Now, he gets that chance. He's not a guy who can be expected to lead a team, but I believe he can be a nice supporting piece. He has experience playing for Mike Keenan, who clearly pushed for the deal. That should help him. Leopold adds some depth on the blue line. Leopold began his NHL career in Calgary, so they know him. It's obvious Flames GM Darryl Sutter, disappointed by recent playoff failures, wants to make a push this time. The Flames have maxed out their cap to do so. It's a risk, but, then again, this is a risky business.

LeBrun (2:45 p.m. ET): Fifteen minutes from the deadline and we hear Chicago is still dabbling on a few offers for a center ... also, Atlanta has denied being in talks with Edmonton for a deal involving Colby Armstrong.

Russo (2:40 p.m. ET): Quote from Melrose: "It's way too quiet on Jay Bouwmeester."

Russo (2:36 p.m. ET): Melrose is loving the Bill Guerin deal. He believes he will add a lot of experience to the Penguins' lineup. He also likes the brownies.

Russo (2:30 p.m. ET): Burnside, LeBrun and Hradek are making a ton of calls, trying to find any leads on deals that may be coming down to the wire. We imagine the folks at the league offices are getting hammered with calls from teams, as well.

LeBrun (2:21 p.m. ET): Just got a note from our friend Mark Spector of SportsNet in Canada. He makes an excellent point on the Jokinen/Cammalleri situation. Spector figures maybe Calgary can flip Jokinen at the draft and then still re-sign Cammalleri. Makes sense.

Burnside (2:20 p.m. ET): Interesting Bill Guerin is once again on the move at the trade deadline. And there's no doubt he brings an interesting skill set to the table with his playoff experience (he's played 105 postseason contests and won a Cup with New Jersey way back in 1995) to a Pittsburgh team that is suddenly looking very playoff-ready. A word of warning, however. The last time Guerin, who is now playing for his eighth NHL team, moved at the trade deadline, it didn't exactly work out. Back in 2007, San Jose GM gave up a ton for Guerin -- Ville Nieminen, prospect Jay Barriball and a first-round draft pick, and Guerin failed to score in nine postseason games before he was injured during the second round.

LeBrun (2:15 p.m. ET): Just a quick note on Martin Havlat. He's close to signing a multiyear deal, but it won't be completed today. But they're close enough where the Hawks are not going to move him today.

Russo (2:14 p.m. ET): Here are some details on the Bill Guerin deal.

LeBrun (2:10 p.m. ET): Just a thought on the Jokinen deal from earlier today. The Flames now have some big salaries next season in Jokinen, Jarome Iginla, Robyn Regehr, Dion Phaneuf and Miikka Kiprusoff. I think that almost guarantees that winger Mike Cammalleri, who is having a career year, will walk as a UFA July 1 because the Flames won't be able to fit him under the cap.

Russo (2:05 p.m. ET): E.J. and Barry headed to the ESPNEWS studio for an NHL trade deadline update. Check it out!

Hradek (2:03 p.m. ET): An Eastern Conference source says the Derek Morris chase is heating up as we tick toward the 3 pm ET deadline. The source claims the Caps, Rangers and Flyers are the main competitors for the Coyotes defenseman.

LeBrun (2 p.m. ET): Bill Guerin's long and painful wait is over. He's finally been dealt to the Pittsburgh Penguins. "I spoke to him, he's very excited" his agent Bob Murray told ESPN.com. Murray is also the agent for veteran winger Keith Tkachuk and said at this point, 2 p.m. ET, he did not know what the St. Louis Blues were going to do.

LeBrun (1:58 p.m. ET): Just heard from the Toronto war room and the Leafs deny having dealt Dominic Moore to Chicago ... stay tuned.

Donuts
Chuck Burton/AP PhotoBrownies ... but no doughnuts.

LeBrun (1:56 p.m. ET): TSN reported a few minutes ago that Peter Forsberg was going to announce his retirement tonight in Denver. Apparently, that's not the case. "It's not true," Forsberg's agent Don Baizley told ESPN.com "Peter is not in North America and it's not true he's retiring tonight."

LeBrun (1:53 p.m. ET): Just got a note from a source in Ottawa. The Senators still aren't close to dealing either Chris Neil or Jarkko Ruutu with one hour to go before the deadline. We expect Neil, for sure, to be moved because he's a UFA.

Hradek (1:50 p.m. ET): A source says the Hawks are close to a deal for Leafs C Dominic Moore. We don't know if it's done ... we're working to confirm it.

Russo (1:49 p.m. ET): Here are details on the Mark Recchi deal.

Russo (1:47 p.m. ET): Couldn't resist posting this from one user comment:

Tim_CBJ: If the Blue Jackets make it to the 2nd round of the playoffs, I will grow my hair out like the "OLD MELROSE" and that's a promise!

Burnside (1:45 p.m. ET): As the clock ticks toward 3 p.m. ET, it's curious we haven't heard more from the Colorado Avalanche. One of the worst teams in the NHL with a mandate to cut payroll, they have only moved defenseman Jordan Leopold and word is they are not interested in moving Ryan Smyth or Milan Hejduk. Maybe it's just us, but keeping those two veterans hardly seems like the best way to rebuild a franchise that looks to be two or three years away from being a playoff team again.

Russo (1:40 p.m. ET): Melrose says he's waiting for that Jay Bouwmeester deal ... and the brownies.

LeBrun (1:30 p.m. ET): We just got word that veteran winger Mark Recchi has been dealt to the Boston Bruins. Nice pick-up by the Bruins, who add some depth up front. Remember that Marco Sturm is injured and so is Milan Lucic. Recchi has had a surprising season for a guy who's 41 years old. And boy, oh boy, did he ever want out of Tampa. He's an unrestricted free agent July 1.

Meanwhile, just heard from a source who said the Penguins are looking at both Jarkko Ruutu in Ottawa and Bill Guerin on Long Island, and we're guessing they want just one of them. It's all about getting more grit. It's interesting the Pens have called Ottawa back on Ruutu because they were talking to the Sens earlier this week and then talks fell apart. But they're back in it now.

Russo (1:28 p.m. ET): Here are details on Toskala's injury and the Leafs picking up Gerber.


Russo (1:21 p.m. ET): Barry checking in, answering some of your e-mails:

Dublin, OH: With the addition of Vermette in Columbus, how do you view the Jackets' chances of making the playoffs ?

Melrose: Well first off, I really don't like Hradek's new haircut ... but I like the pickup of Vermette. Don't forget, when Ottawa went to the Cup finals in 2007, Vermette was a very important player on that team ... he can do a little bit of everything and has playoff experience. And, obviously, Leclaire has been passed by Steve Mason. Playoffs? Yes, I think they'll get in. Go Blue Jackets!

Chris H (Los Angeles): I saw you mention earlier that the Panthers are asking for a lot from teams if they are going to trade Bouwmeester. ... What are the Panthers asking for?

Melrose: I think the Panthers need a good player that can play now, a prospect and a draft pick. That way, you can appease your fans with the player and also solidify your future.


Russo (1:19 p.m. ET): Update from Barry in the war room: "The brownies are next." Hradek's scouting report on the brownies: "Not good."

Hradek (1:17 p.m. ET): A source says the Hawks continue to pursue help at center. Coyotes pivot Steve Reinprecht and Lightning C Jeff Halpern are two guys that are on the radar. Barry Melrose likes Halpern. He thinks he'd be an excellent addition because he's a good leader. Melrose says everybody is looking for leaders at this time of year. He also thinks he's nicely priced at $2 million per season. Halpern has one more year left on his contract.

LeBrun (1:11 p.m. ET): Just heard from inside the Panthers' war room and they're still no closer to making a call on Bouwmeester. We're told Vancouver and Philadelphia are charging hard on Bouwmeester. Also on Bill Guerin, we're told the original deal that began Saturday is now "dead" and Isles GM Garth Snow is working on Plan B.

Hradek (1:09 p.m. ET): Well, we have more news on the Leafs goalie situation. The club has placed Vesa Toskala on the IR with a groin issue. Evidently, Toskala has been playing through the pain for a while now. That's why they picked up Martin Gerber off waivers.

On another front, a source says things are a little quiet on Derek Morris right now. It seems like interested clubs are still trying to make a move on Florida's Jay Bouwmeester before turning their attention to Morris. The Coyotes will definitely move Morris in the right deal, but it might not happen until right near the deadline.

LeBrun (1 p.m. ET): I've got an update on the Leafs. We're told Toronto has serious offers for both Nik Antropov and Dominic Moore (both UFAs), but at this point (1 p.m. ET), the Leafs are waiting a little longer to see who else jumps in or sweetens the pot. It's worth noting that Chicago still hasn't made a move for a center.

Burnside (12:39 p.m. ET): The other interesting move was the Leafs' acquisition of much-maligned Ottawa netminder Martin Gerber off the waiver scrap heap. The move sparked speculation that GM Brian Burke will try and move netminder Vesa Toskala, although a source close to the Leafs insisted Toskala would not be on the move.

Hradek (12:35 p.m. ET): If the Flames are going to finalize their pitch for Jokinen, they'll have to clear the appropriate cap room. The Flames, who've already re-acquired D Jordan Leopold from the Avalanche, have some significant cap issues. If they get Jokinen, they'll have to make another move to make the money work.


Hradek (12:29 p.m. ET): OK, here's some more answers to your questions:

Eric (Richmond): I know the Rangers picked up Avery from Dallas, but will they do anything to sure up the D-line or someone to score goals?

I think the Rangers are working to re-tool their lineup any way they can. They do have a little cap space to work with. Certainly, they need to find some way to jump start their offense. In the short term, I thought that Bill Guerin would be a good fit. I don't know if the Islanders and Rangers could work a deal together. The rivals rarely deal with one another.

Wes Stone: With all the talk about backup goaltending, why hasn't Manny Legace been signed?

Legace was injured and he didn't play well during this season in St. Louis. He's 36 years old and makes $2.5M per season. I just don't think teams were that interested. He could still move before the deadline today, but I don't think there's been much of a market for him.

Eric (Buffalo): do you think that Buffalo will make a move to bring in a solid goal scorer to make a run at the playoffs? Where do you think Buffalo will end up at season's end?

The Sabres did make a move to bring in a goal scorer. They re-signed Tim Connolly to a two-year deal. Now, Connolly has to stay healthy for more than a couple of weeks at a time. I think the Sabres will be in the race right to the end. I think it will be a point or two either way. The addition of Mikael Tellqvist gives them a little depth in goal until they get Ryan Miller back in the crease.


Burnside (12:25 p.m. ET): Interesting waiver wire moves Wednesday, including the Stars picking up good guy Brendan Morrison, whose career has hit a significant bump the last couple of years. With injuries in Vancouver, and then not really fitting in with Anaheim this season, look for Morrison to get a chance to showcase some decent offensive skills with the injury-plagued Stars.

Russo (12:18 p.m. ET): Barry Melrose has entered the ESPN.com NHL trade deadline war room! Right now, he's eating three rice krispie treats. Said Melrose: "I'm a happy man."

[+] EnlargeBarry Melrose
Doug Benc/Getty Images"Where's the rice krispie treats!?!?!"

Hradek (12:15 p.m. ET): A good source with knowledge of the dealings says the Flames-Coyotes are close to a deal on Jokinen. The source says the proposed deal would send Flames C Matt Lombardi and first-round pick to the Coyotes for Jokinen. Stay tuned!

Burnside (12:13 p.m. ET): The Dallas Stars have acquired center Brendan Morrison, who was put on waivers by the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday. The Stars have been ravaged by injuries, especially to their forward contingent.

Russo (12:09 p.m. ET): Here are details on the Leopold trade.

Burnside (12:05 p.m. ET): We know the Flames are also in pursuit of Olli Jokinen, the Flames setting themselves up as possibly the biggest winners on deadline day. With injuries to top players like defenseman Mark Giordano, Rene Bourque and now Todd Bertuzzi, GM Darryl Sutter is busy plugging holes.

Leopold, of course, is a former Flames prospect (originally drafted by Anaheim) who never quite became the player Sutter wanted and hence was traded to Colorado in a package for Alex Tanguay back in June 2006. Now Leopold, who has been bothered by injury the past couple of years, is healthy and expected to play a big role as the Flames hope to end a three-year string of being ousted in the first round. In other words -- come home Jordan, all is forgiven.

Hradek (11:49 a.m. ET): Another league source with knowledge of the situation in Denver says there's "no chance" the Avalanche will move Ryan Smyth or Milan Hejduk. We'll see.

LeBrun (11:45 a.m. ET): Just another quick update, guys -- we're told by a source close to the situation the Flames are also very much in the chase for center Olli Jokinen of the Coyotes. He's got another year left at $5.5 million next year. His obvious link to Calgary is coach Mike Keenan, who worked with Jokinen in Florida.

LeBrun (11:40 a.m. ET): E.J., speaking of the Coyotes, just got off the phone with a source who said other teams are now in the mix for Morris, not just Boston, Washington and Philly. In fact, some of the teams calling today are from the West. The Coyotes had spoken mostly to the Bruins, Caps and Flyers over the last 48 hours for Morris, but with no deal done at this point. They've opened up the market to other teams. Speaking of defensemen, the Flames have acquired Jordan Leopold (UFA July 1) from the Colorado Avalanche.


Hradek (11:25 a.m. ET): We'll be checking in with you, Puck Nation, throughout the day. Send your questions in here!

Here are a few questions so far:

Saginaw: Will the Wings make a goalie move?!

I don't think so. They don't have very much cap room. And, I don't know if there's a guy out there that they can afford that I would consider an upgrade over what they have now. I suspect they will be going forward with Chris Osgood and Ty Conklin. For the record, Ozzy has looked good in his last two starts. I'm throwing out that relief effort in Nashville.

Todd, Cadillac (mich.): If Hossa is deemed to be out awhile, will the Wings attempt to jump in the trade market harder or do you think they will try to continue to get just one mid-level vet?

Again, the Wings don't have a lot of cap room. In a text message, GM Ken Holland told me that Hossa did travel with the club from St. Louis to Denver last night. To me, that's a hopeful sign.

dan clodius: what are the chances of the St.Louis Blues coming away with a solid pick up before the trade deadline? And what do you think the Blues are in most need of?

It's hard to say. I don't think the Blues want to give away anything of real value. I think if they can add a solid veteran on the blue line (doesn't everybody want that?) it would help their stretch run. In the long term, what they most need is: time. They have young players who need time to mature. I think they should remain patient and shouldn't do anything rash.


Burnside (11:23 a.m. ET): No news yet on tough guy Chris Neil. A source familiar with talks said agent Todd Reynolds and GM Bryan Murray spoke Tuesday, and while both sides have agreed to term, which is believed to be more than the three-year extension signed by Kuba, the two sides have yet to agree on a dollar figure. It's believed the Senators are offering between $1.5 million and $1.8 million a year, while Neil is looking for something a little south of $2.5 million. Neil is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent July 1 and is out of the lineup with a leg injury but will be back shortly. Look for Detroit or other teams looking to add some toughness to take a run at Neil if the two sides can't come to an agreement on money in the next hour or so.

Russo (11:19 a.m. ET): Shameless LeBrun plug ... check out his recent column on the history of Philly's goaltending issues. Poor Sean Burke!

[+] EnlargePascal Leclaire
Stephen Dunn/Getty ImagesPascal Leclaire is heading to Ottawa.

LeBrun (11:14 a.m. ET): Back to Biron ... as he reminded us on the call, he has a no-trade clause anyway, so he's in the driver's seat. Not really sure why the Flyers want someone else in goal. Biron has a done a good job for them. Flyers fans need to step killing their goalies like they have for 15 years. Although speaking of goalies, it'll be interesting to see if anyone picks up veteran Martin Gerber off re-entry waivers which we'll find out in the next hour.

Russo (11:04 a.m. ET): Here are details on the Connolly extension.

Also, from our ESPN Research gurus, a look at some Connolly stats over the past five seasons; we'll let the users judge whether it's worth keeping him:

2008-09: He missed 34 games, posted 26 points
2007-08: Missed 34 games; 40 points
2006-07: Missed 80; one point
2005-06: Missed 19; 55 points
2003-04: Missed 82; zero points

Burnside (11:02 a.m. ET): All kinds of rumors floating around the Philadelphia Flyers relating to defensemen (Jay Bouwmeester and maybe Derek Morris) and possibly their goaltending. But we had a chance to chat with Martin Biron this morning and he was enjoying a day off with his family and wasn't expecting anything to happen relating to him before the 3 p.m. deadline.

"That was all news to me yesterday," Biron said of rumors suggesting a possible three-way deal with Phoenix and maybe Atlanta.

Biron said he was talking to goaltending coach Reggie Lemelin, and Lemelin seemed incredulous to the rumors.

"He was saying, 'What is this nonsense going on right now?'" Biron told us.

Hradek (11 a.m. ET): I see that as some smart asset management by the Jackets. They move a player that no longer figures in their plans and get a guy that helps fill their void in the middle. If Leclaire had been healthier, the Jackets likely could have gotten more in return. After all, as Scott mentioned, Leclaire did have a terrific season in 2007-08. Leclaire's health issues were probably the reason the Senators also required a second-round pick to complete the deal. The Jackets hope Vermette will be rejuvenated by the move.

Russo (10:56 a.m. ET): Here are some details on the Vermette-Leclaire deal.

LeBrun (10:49 a.m. ET): Just got word center Tim Connolly has agreed to a $9 million, two-year contract extension with the Buffalo Sabres. Great news for Sabres fans, who, for a change, won't lose a player at the trade deadline. The Sabres began the process by only offering one year, but Connolly's agent, J.P. Barry, was able to stretch it to two years. Another player off the trade market!

Burnside (10:48 a.m. ET): The Blue Jackets, desperate to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise existence, have added a piece they think will help them on a number of fronts including the league's worst power play in Antoine Vermette. The former Senators center is having an off year like many in the Canadian capital with just nine goals, but he may get a chance to play with Rick Nash in Columbus and should help a team that's been ravaged by injury.

As for the Senators, headed for their first playoff miss since 1996, they have acquired a netminder in Pascal Leclaire, who will challenge Brian Elliott for the No. 1 job next season. Leclaire, 26, has played only 12 games because of injury and has lost his No. 1 job to rookie Steve Mason in Columbus, but he had nine shutouts last season and was stellar with .919 save percentage and 2.25 GAA. The Sens also received a second-round pick in the deal.

[+] EnlargeFilip Kuba
Andre Ringuette/NHLI/Getty ImagesFilip Kuba signed an extension with the Senators early Wednesday.

As for the Blue Jackets look for GM Scott Howson to look to add another forward and possibly a back-up netminder as they'd like an upgrade on Wade Dubielewicz (with all due respect to the personable B.C. native).

LeBrun (10:47 a.m. ET): A Panthers source told me this morning that it was "too tough to call" in terms of whether they would move Bouwmeester or not. They're asking for a lot and if they don't get it, they won't move him.

I should also point out, speaking of big names, that I got word from the Ryan Smyth camp a few minutes ago, and there was still nothing new there. He has a no-movement clause, so he's in charge.

But it was nice to see that the deal we speculated about yesterday, Pascal Leclaire to Ottawa for Antoine Vermette, did indeed transpire today. A real hockey trade! Both players under contract going forward.

Russo (10:46 a.m. ET): Here are details on the Kuba extension.

Scott Burnside (10:46 a.m. ET): The first deal of the day is actually not a deal, but a signing. But the Ottawa Senators' signing of Filip Kuba to a three-year extension will have a ripple effect throughout the trade landscape.

First, if what we are told is true, and it's 95 percent sure Chris Pronger won't be moved by the Anaheim Ducks, Kuba's signing in Ottawa may drive up the market value for Jay Bouwmeester, which will be nice for Florida GM Jacques Martin. We're still skeptical Bouwmeester will move given that Martin wants players who can play right now and help the Panthers make the playoffs for the first time since 2000. That leaves Derek Morris as the top defenseman on the market, which may explain why Phoenix GM Don Maloney is taking his time moving Morris. Boston, Philadelphia and Washington were interested in Morris, but with Kuba and presumably Pronger off the market, who knows what other teams may inquire about Morris' availability.

Joy Russo (10:45 a.m. ET): Happy Trade Deadline Day, boys! And welcome to beautiful Bristol. We're in a war room here in a basement conference room on the ESPN campus. Lots of buzz right now, and a few moves so far.