Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
March 05 2014 07:29AM
The National Hockey League's trade deadline is approaching. Not in a few weeks, or days. We're talking hours. It's time for teams to decide whether they're serious about making the next step towards the greatest trophy in all of sports, or perhaps parachute out of the season.
This year's deadline is particularly interesting. The salary cap's limited increase last year puts the league at a level where much it's teams are lacking room to work with, meaning some serious creativity will be required to make a lot of moves work. Lots of teams have found themselves surprise buyers or sellers. Also, for whatever reason, no goalie is safe.
As for the Leafs, none of us are really sure what they're going do today. I don't even think Dave Nonis knows. We do know that 1.2 million dollars were freed this week by waiving Frazer McLaren and Trevor Smith, and that in a perfect world, a number one centre and number two defenceman would be heading to Toronto today.
This is a live blog of the day's events, coming to you from the Mastercard Centre of Hockey Excellence in Etobicoke. Updates are in newest-to-oldest order, with the most recent just under this line.3:38 PM - BREAKING: THE LEAFS HAVE TRADED NOTHING FOR NOBODY
2:48 PM - We really out here, fam
2:30 PM -
Luongo vs. Backup controversy (Vancouver): Solved in 24 months
Luongo vs. Backup controversy (Florida): Solved in 24 hours
2:09 PM - YOU THINK YOU'RE SO GOOD, TSN? WE'RE GONNA DO IT BETTER!
Okay, probably not
2:00 PM - Let's break down "the selfie"
- Gino Reda needs to have his full stache going for maximum effect, so this is already a disappointment
- Jay Feaster is considering trading James Duthie's iPhone for a Nokia 1100.
- Darren Dreger is waving to Dave Nonis, looking for a scoop
- Pierre Lebrun's Devil horns are him signaling that Martin Brodeur isn't going anywhere
- Actual quote from Gord Miller: "I didn't want to get in the way of your selficizing"
- Bob McKenzie doesn't care at all, because Bobby Mac is the best.
1:32 PM - Gaborik to LA is official, return is Frattin a 2nd, and a conditional 3rd to Columbus. Considering they got a third from Edmonton for Scrivens, they effectively took the return they got from the Leafs for Jonathan Bernier and turned into a Marian Gaborik rental. Interesting.
1:11 PM - It's been silent the last couple of hours. Hemsky seems like a nice pickup for Ottawa, and Dubnyk should make the Habs a little easier to beat if he keeps playing like he has throughout the year. Dave Nonis was on TSN and suggested that he's been looking at "hockey deals" and youth-for-youth moves, but no rentals, and nothing is imminent. He acknowledged a weakness at C and that they "can't have enough" defencemen.
11:21 AM - No Callahan for the Rangers tonight. But maybe St. Louis? The long-rumoured deal is done. Well done to the Rangers on taking advantage of a tough situation for the Bolts, who get a pending UFA who wants an obnoxious amount of money for his good but not world-beating talents. St. Louis has gas in the tank and experience with Brad Richards. I still think his trade request was pretty whiny, but hey, it's over and done with.
11:11 AM - No, seriously. Nobody has left practice. There's no "paper" moves either; the 4 call up limit got removed in the last CBA. Nothing has happened yet.
11:03 AM - Rumours flying that the Leafs have called up Drew MacIntyre. If so, who the hell am I watching play goalie right now? (It's not true)
10:48 AM - Over in the west, it looks like Marian Gaborik is heading to Los Angeles. Without knowing the return, I find it interesting how quickly the Blue Jackets gave up on him, but I guess when he's been injured and unproductive enough for many to forget he's a pending UFA, combined with the fact that the Jackets haven't exactly been world beaters this year, it makes sense. Barring bad contracts going back their way, at least. (EDIT: Russo is now saying it's not quite done, but given LA's history of pursuing Gaborik, I wouldn't be all too surprised if it goes through anyway)
10:45 AM - Ryan Callahan is on the ice for the New York Rangers this morning. This doesn't effect the Leafs in the sense of acquiring him, but if he's not moved, they'll have to face him tonight.
10:32 AM -
Marlies are out for their skate. Today's lines:
10:20 AM -
Players starting to make their way out. Biggs and MacLeod both wearing grey jerseys, meaning they're in a projected lineup for tomorrow's game against Lake Erie. Both were in Yellow (scratched, but clear for contact) yesterday. I assume they take Holland and Ashton's place.
10:02 AM - Marlies finish pre-practice drills. Rest of the team shows up from a Yoga session. Didn't notice anybody missing, but we'll see when they actually come out in half an hour with numbers on helmets.
9:40 AM - TVA Sports' Renaud Lavoie says that the Leafs are actively seeking a defenceman, but don't have much cap flexibility. As well, the Leafs have confirmed the call ups of Carter Ashton and Peter Holland.
9:30 AM - I mentioned in my post yesterday that the Marlies are doing a goaltending swap in a way that Leafs five goalies up top for a day, possibly making room for a James Reimer trade. Sure enough, Christopher Gibson has been called up. Sparks is, like I said, on the ice right now and won't actually be sent down until tomorrow (if nothing happens). The Marlies have also called up Dylan Yeo, despite no new injuries on the back end. Both the Marlies and Solar Bears have games on Saturday and Sunday.
9:15 AM - Just got into the Mastercard Centre. The Leafs are in New York to take on the Rangers, but the Marlies have a 10;30 practice, so if a trade involving prospects happens this morning/early afternoon, this could be the place to be. Stuart Percy, Petter Granberg, Sam Carrick, Spencer Abbott, Wade MacLeod, Josh Leivo, and Garret Sparks are already on the ice.