Deadline Day, 11:30 a.m.
There are still four hours of shopping remaining before the NHL store closes for the season. Things are starting to happen, and usually the trickle of deals now is the appetizer for the flurry of swaps that is likely to take place between 2-3 pm.
Everyone had Gary Roberts going to Ottawa or Toronto, with Buffalo maybe having an outside shot, until yesterday. Late Monday, the Pittsburgh Penguins got into the mix and got the deal done. Roberts agreed to waive his no-trade clause, and he becomes a Penguin with defenseman Noah Welch heading to Florida. Good deal for both teams. Roberts will be an effective deterrent to opponents taking perceived liberties with the Pens’ young players, and he will help usher them into the postseason for the first time. Florida was able to get a player as opposed to a pick for Roberts simply because there was so much competition for his services.
Not sure whether this would squash the possibility of Phoenix’s Georges Laraque heading to Pittsburgh, but we’ll see. Sounds like the Pens may still want him. EDIT: Just in, Laraque to the Pens for Danny Carcillo and an seventh-round pick. The Pens certainly toughened up, and no one in the AHL’s East Division will be weeping over the departure of Carcillo and his antics.
The Sabres sent goaltender Martin Biron to Philadelphia for a draft choice, thought to be a second rounder. Interesting deal. Philly did Buffalo a favor, taking Biron’s salary off the books. Expect Buffalo to add a forward in that salary slot in the next few hours. The Flyers must believe they’ve got a chance to sign Biron to give up a No. 2, if that’s what it turns out to be. The goaltending roulette wheel continues to spin in the City of Brotherly Love. The Sabres pick up journeyman goaltender Ty Conklin from Columbus to back up Ryan Miller the rest of the way.
Nothing new from Caps land. George McPhee made a pair of solid deals yesterday, picking up a second-rounder for Richard Zednik, and getting a late pick and a defenseman for the Hershey Bears in exchange for defenseman Lawrence Nycholat, who was essentially stuck in limbo. Washington still has some moveable assets. The big question is this: Will they be able to sign Dainius Zubrus at this late hour? If not, he is almost certainly headed elsehwhere.
More all day long.