Ramblings: Deadline Day 2018! St. Louis feeling the Blues … (Feb 26)

by Dobber on February 26, 2018
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: Deadline Day 2018! St. Louis feeling the Blues … (Feb 26)


Afternoon updates…

Two once highly-touted prospect defensemen who have been treading water for two years – Ryan Graves traded from the Rangers to the Avalanche for Chris Bigras

Boston acquired hit-machine Tommy Wingels from Chicago for a fifth-round draft pick. Along with Brian Gionta, he brings nice depth to the team addressing a specific need.

Nick Shore was traded from Ottawa to Calgary. Ottawa received a 2019 seventh-round draft pick.

Penguins acquired Josh Jooris from Carolina for Greg McKegg. The Pens landed more experience here for their Black Aces, but nothing more. Carolina takes a flier on a guy who has a bit more upside, but is still fringe.

The Jets acquired Joe Morrow from Montreal for a fourth-round pick. The Habs did well to get that, as Morrow is a fringe NHLer. But the Jets may have felt the need to do that due to today's Enstrom injury. A safety net, strictly for depth.

Another minor deal – Anaheim acquires Jason Chimera from the Islanders for Chris Wagner. No fantasy impact here – interchanging roles and minimal upsides.

Minor deal – Columbus acquires Ryan Kujawinski from Arizona for Jordan Maletta and Carter Camper. Kujawinski's a power forward I have ranked 227th on my Fantasy Prospect List. More on Kujawinski here.

Vancouver acquired Brandon Leipsic from Vegas for late-blooming rearguard Philip Holm. I don't mind Leipsic's upside and this is one of the only teams on which he could actually see it.

Morning updates…

Toby Enstrom left Winnipeg's practice with a serious-looking injury. They may shift their focus this afternoon towards a defenseman.

Waiver claims: Chris Stewart claimed by Calgary. Mark Alt claimed by Colorado. Johnny Oduya claimed by Philadelphia. Alex Burrows was not claimed. Stewart offers some short-term value here, as he tends to make an early impact before fading. I would recommend picking him up and expecting 10 good games from him. After a few games, just watch careful and keep your finger over the 'release' button…

Ottawa trades Ian Cole to Columbus for Nick Moutrey and a third-round draft pick. Nicely done, a minor deal but add that to the return they got for Brassard. Get the lowdown on Nick Moutrey here.

Ottawa beatwriter Bruce Garrioch says that he felt that J-G Pageau is off the block now because of the Brassard trade. He feels Pageau will get a bigger role with the Sens.


The plan for today – as has been the case for the last dozen years, I will be standing by to give you the fantasy hockey analysis on all the deals today (unless they have absolutely no fantasy relevance). Ian Gooding is around to assist, and I think Cliffy and Laidlaw could chip in as well if things get too hectic. The minor deals will be posted here in these Ramblings. But we also have a full Trade Deadline tracker that you can find right here at any time.


Here’s a thought regarding Minnesota’s top prospect and potential superstar Kirill Kaprizov. He’s signed to play another two years in the KHL, but that still doesn’t mean he’ll cross the pond for 2020-21. If the NHL locks out the players…he may be inclined to just re-sign in the KHL. And his KHL team would obviously be wise to lock him up for another three years or more. Anyway, he’s a bigger risk then I had originally thought.


Kovalchuk was the MVP of the Olympics tournament.


St. Louis has lost six in a row and currently sit outside of a playoff spot. That’s right, a Cup favorite back in October and November may not make the playoffs. And don’t sit there and tell me they weren’t one of seven or eight teams considered favorites – if Jake Allen did what he was supposed to, then they still would be today. But now we have this from John Shannon: “After losing 6 in a row, sounds like the St. Louis Blues are trying to move some assets by tomorrow… hearing Sobotka is now available.  Expensive, but available.”

The Blues started the year 16-5-1. Since then they’ve gone 18-20-3. The Blues are going to be sellers and the only reason is because of the organization sticking to the fellow they clearly anoint as their goaltender. This, folks, is the reason I seemed to “overrate” Ben Bishop when he was traded from Ottawa to Tampa Bay. And Cam Talbot going to Edmonton. And Scott Darling to Carolina. Because teams will play that goalie come hell or high water. Sometimes it works right off the bat and works all the way through (Bishop). Sometimes it takes a few months, and then is awesome for over a year, and then stumbles for a few months again (Talbot). Sometimes it drags on miserably and who knows if or when Darling will get it going. But if a team trades for a goalie and then pays him a big contract…or if a team trades away a goalie so that their prodigy can get the job (John Gibson, Jake Allen, Andrei Vasilevskiy), then that goalie is their guy. No matter what. And if they struggle after two or three months, you’ll start seeing them only play every second game…but if they get a win then you’ll see them play two in a row. Look at Allen’s and Darling’s game logs. Every win, they get the next start. But that doesn’t always happen if Carter Hutton or Cam Ward get a win. We don’t know how goalies will do in fantasy hockey, so all we can do is bet on the guy who will get played the most through thick and thin.

Teams will put so much emphasis on getting the guy they want as No.1 to be their No.1…to the point where they’ll miss the playoffs because of their stubbornness. You see it in St. Louis and in Carolina. Even the threat of missing the playoffs won’t change them. If St. Louis played Hutton 43 games and Allen 27, would that mean another four wins? Four wins puts them in a playoff spot, easily. I just want to illustrate to you the value of seeing a goalie’s opportunity. Sure, sometimes the goalie will suck – but if he’s even mediocre, then he could really pay off for you.

One more thought on St. Louis. My last Ramblings two weeks ago, I spoke of Jordan Schmaltz getting traded. Now that the team is in “seller” mode, I don’t think that will happen. That’s what a six-game losing streak does!


To clear up some cap space (and in an ideal world another team would take their player and remove a contract from their 50 contract limit), the following players were put on waivers and will clear or be claimed by noon Monday:

Paul Postma, Boston

Jussi Jokinen, Columbus

Lance Bouma, Chicago

Chris Stewart, Minnesota

Alexandre Burrows, Johnny Oduya, Ottawa

Mark Alt, Philadelphia

Chris Thorburn, St. Louis


Things I remember:

Burrows was acquired by Ottawa and immediately signed to a two-year contract extension. Everyone I knew thought it was a bad contract. Now, 363 days later, he goes on waivers just 51 games into that 164-game contract.

St. Louis signed Thorburn and everyone I knew thought it was dumb. They even traded Ryan Reaves away, no longer needing him. Now just a few months later, Reaves gets traded and Thorburn waived.

I find a lot of these bad moves are pretty obvious at the time they are made


Some minor moves:

Chris Kelly signed a one-year contract with the Ducks. He’ll cut into Antoine Vermette’s ice time and chase Kalle Kossila back to the minors. The latter is unfortunate because I like Kossila – he has 38 points in 35 AHL games in his second pro season. But he wasn’t a fit for that role that Kelly will fill.

The Preds bolstered their Black Aces by acquiring Brandon Bollig and goaltender Troy Grosenick from the Sharks.

Calgary signed Team Canada’s Cody Goloubef.

Boston signed Team USA’s Brian Gionta. He wasn’t all that great for the Americans, but he brings experience and should be an asset as a 13th forward.

The Flyers signed goaltender John Muse to a one-year contract for depth due to all the goalie injuries. Muse is 29 and is having an amazing season in the minors. Stuck in the ECHL because of his size (just 5-11), his numbers there have been stellar (2.27, 0.930 in 24 games) and his numbers with AHL’s Lehigh are even better (2.05, 0.934 in eight games). Just a safety net though, for now. The odds of an NHL career are steeped against him.


I was searching the wire for a defenseman Sunday and found that Kevin Connauton has eight points in his last 12 games. Just in case you need the same thing.


Alex Pietrangelo is pointless and minus-8 in his last six games. That six-game losing streak I spoke of.


Kyle Turris had five points in 24 games before getting three in his last four for the Predators. He’s on pace of finish with 47 points. Wow – 47 points and that may be his best season out of the next six seasons that he has on his new contract (at $6 million per).

Calle Jarnkrok has 30 points in his last 52 games, which is a 47-point pace. He’s playing with Scott Hartnell and Nick Bonino.


Boston line combos with Rick Nash on the team:



















Top PP line was Bergeron, Marchand, Nash, Pastrnak and Krug.


Buffalo’s Evan Rodrigues has eight points in his last 10 games and his ice time has been averaging above 16 minutes per game in the past eight games. His PP time has been very strong, though just two of those points are on the power play. He played with Kyle Okposo and Scott Wilson Sunday, but his linemates have been all over the map this month. He had 61 points in 41 games for Boston University in his final season there, playing with Jack Eichel. Ironically, it’s Eichel being out of Buffalo’s lineup that has given Rodrigues this kind of ice time and opportunity. But his late-season production is reminding me of Jordan Weal last year. It’s enough to earn him a similar two-year, one-way contract – assuming he keeps it up.


Ryan Strome has 11 points in his last 14 games.

Jordan Eberle has seven points in his last 14 games.

Uh oh. The Islanders blew that one!



In all seriousness, Strome has been shooting more after going through about 30 games where he was the old non-shooting Strome. He’s still only 24 and in keepers I consider him a buy-low player.

Andrej Sekera is minus-14 in his 20-game season so far. While I’m all for giving a player a few games as a sort of training camp…by this point he should be better. But that’s also a team and goalie weakness too. I really thought his return to the lineup would help turn this team around.

Anton Slepyshev has three points in his last four games and lined up Sunday with Connor McDavid. I think he may lose his spot when Pontus Aberg joins the team and gets a tryout there. Or maybe they stick with Slepyshev until he goes another game without a point.


Marc-Edouard Vlasic played 31:49 in Sunday’s overtime loss for San Jose. Brent Burns played 30:41.


Ryan Spooner picked up two assists in his Rangers debut Sunday. Here were the line combos with Spooner and without Nash:




















On another note, today is Day +180 for me. This means that I’m six months post-transplant. This is a major milestone for stem cell transplant recipients and I’m happy and thankful to say that I’m still going strong. Two miles on the treadmill and 100 sit-ups every day. Still staying mostly out of the sun, and still tempering my alcohol intake, and I still have to be careful in terms of avoiding sickness. But other than that, I’m at normal health. Starting today, I will be covering DobberHockey every Monday!

If you haven’t already, look into joining the stem cell registry. Look what my anonymous donor has done for me – literally saved my life. And even if things take a sudden turn for the bad, my life has certainly been extended and there is no question that it’s healthier right now.


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I tend to add thoughts to the Ramblings throughout Deadline Day, so be sure to check back here. Usually morning thoughts before the shit hits the fan…and then some minor trade reports in the afternoon…