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Neutral Zone Wrap: Deadline winners and losers

by | Rotowire.com
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What was supposed to be hockey's busiest 24 hours turned into the most boring show on Earth. The buildup to February 27th led many to believe a blockbuster trade or two would be completed. Rick Nash was as good as somewhere else. Carolina seemed ready to trade every defenseman on their roster. And the Leafs were poised to add that veteran netminder everyone claimed was necessary for their survival.

But, alas, nothing significant took place. In fact, 16 separate instances of nothing. Frankly, the best moves were carried out during the previous two weeks. The highlight of D-Day turned out to be the Buffalo Sabres' ability to upgrade and sneak a first-round pick for a middle-of-the-road forward (Paul Gaustad). Let's not forget about the Sharks adding some toughness. And who knew the Predators could be so aggressive?

So which Fantasy players benefited from the most recent round of transactions? And which guys will be worse off? Remember, these examples do not necessarily have to be the ones involved in the trades; they merely can be affected by whatever happened around them. Here are a few notables, taken from deals dating back to February 13th:

The Winners

Jeff Carter/Mike Richards, F, Los Angeles

After a lonely eight months apart, the most dangerous duo since Hekyll and Jekyll have been reunited in Hollywood. And since the Wonder Twins left Philly, each of their brief stays proved to be disappointing. While Carter (25 points in 39 games with Columbus) could claim the excuse of skating with the NHL's worst club, Richards (31 in 56) has squandered his chances in the Kings' lineup. Call it a new system, playing second fiddle at center, or maybe he just missed playing with his best friend. Now that they have each other, they're set to make fireworks…hopefully on the ice.

James Reimer, G, Toronto

Everyone in the organization has faith in you, except perhaps yourself. Maybe that's the result of both you (one win in seven with 26 goals allowed) and your team (a dubious 1-9-1 run) sucking the last few weeks. But management obviously didn't feel the urge to grab a solid goaltender that could usurp your top billing. And don't worry, neither Jonas Gustavsson nor anyone else in the system could possibly pass you as No. 1 in the near future. We think.

Jared Spurgeon, D, Minnesota

The little defender who could will be able to think he can more clearly now, as veteran Marek Zidlicky has jumped to Jersey. The 22-year old wasn't necessarily having a poor second year up to now (22 in 61 with 12 PPPs), but he was always in the shadow of the former senior statesman when it came to power-play duty and general responsibilities (as health permitted). Spurgeon has so much to offer offensively, even with other recent additions Kurtis Foster (now on his third club this season) and Tom Gilbert (missed a month thanks to Daniel Carcillo) joining the mix.

Daniel Winnik, F, San Jose

While he has never become the biggest point producer in the shed, Winnik was being pursued by several suitors on Monday. The regular numbers (18 in 63) will not impress the average fantasy participant, but the 6-foot-2, 210-pound winger will supply the frontline grit San Jose has sorely lacked. So expect a few penalty minutes and some shots on goal. And don't be surprised if Winnik hits a point or two sliding into the spot beside Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski on the second line.

Marek Zidlicky, D, New Jersey

The Czech blueliner may be 35, but he has maintained his scoring skills over the years. And yes, Zidlicky still plays a mean power-play (and gets nearly three minutes a night). With weapons such as Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise, Patrik Elias, and David Clarkson, the opportunities are present. And without any other legitimate D threats in Jersey (save for Adam Larsson and Matt Taormina when they're ready), there's no telling how many points he can rack up.

The Losers

Craig Anderson, G, Ottawa

No one will ever let Anderson near a kitchen again after cutting his finger cooking (don't worry, we'll discover the real reason someday). The Ottawa starter's prospects haven't improved, as little is known as to his return. But don't worry about hurrying back, as the Sens acquired St. Louis giant Ben Bishop for a 2nd-round selection. And Anderson's eventual successor, Robin Lehner (two impressive victories, including a shutout at Boston), is looking like the second coming of Patrick Lalime between the pipes.

Matt Carle, D, Philadelphia

Since Pavel Kubina and Nicklas Grossman arrived in mid-February, Carle's minutes - both in regular (down from 23 to 21) and man-advantage (down from two to one) - have dwindled. Kubina has swiped a chunk of the special-team duty, while Grossman's superior defensive abilities have provided him a greater role (and three in five doesn't hurt). This shouldn't come as a shock to seasoned observers, as Carle has always been stuck behind at least two better D-men for the majority of his career.

Tyler Ennis, F, Buffalo

Just when the points started flowing again for Ennis (three-game streak headed into Thursday), the Sabres go out and bring in a young, highly touted center like Cody Hodgson (33 in 63). It appears the two are projected to skate on the same unit, but the ex-Canuck should pick up more of the spoils in all areas. Even dismissing his bad luck with injuries (out a total of 34 games), Ennis still hasn't earned his place this season - and it shows in his shifts (hovering around 15 minutes per contest). Meanwhile, Hodgson begins his Buffalo stint with a clean slate and significantly more leeway.

Andrei Kostitsyn, F, Nashville

The family reunion is heartwarming and all that, but the reality remains the elder Kostitsyn (24 in 53) has to adjust to a totally different style of play in Music City. Despite a stable of speed demons, Montreal implemented a methodical wait-and-see offensive approach (and look where that got them). Nashville, on the other hand, like to run-and-gun and take more chances on the attack. The learning curve is steep enough to except a slow progression from the new acquisition. So if you own this particular Kostitsyn, plan accordingly.

Rick Nash, F, Columbus

All the stories surround your departure and you end up staying put. What a tease. Oh, and guess what? A few key forward pieces (Carter, Antoine Vermette, Sami Pahlsson) have been removed and shipped elsewhere. Good luck with that and your $7.5-million salary! Well, at least you attempted to save the franchise from future stagnation by requesting a trade. And hey, there's always 2012-13 and beyond.

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Player News
Jori Lehtera
Blues' Lehtera Poised To Return
Jori Lehtera, C, STL
4/27/2015
News: Jori Lehtera (lower body) was on the ice for warmups in advance of Sunday's Game 6 against the Wild, Lou Korac of NHL.com reports.
Analysis: Based on warmups, look for Jori Lehtera to work Sunday on a trio with Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko. Lehtera -- who was was held out of Friday's Game 5 -- checks back into the Blues' lineup with two helpers in four playoff games to date.

Jannik Hansen
Canucks' Hansen Registers Two Points In Game 6
Jannik Hansen, RW, VAN
12:38 PM
News: Jannik Hansen scored his second goal of the playoffs and had an assist in Saturday's series-ending Game 6 loss to the Flames.
Analysis: Jannik Hansen did alright in these playoffs, registering four points in six games. While the 29-year-old skated on the top line with the Sedin twins in the final few games, he remains a bottom-six player who can contribute 10-20 goals in the regular season.

Ryan Miller
Canucks' Miller Disappoints In Series-Ending Loss
Ryan Miller, G, VAN
12:31 PM
News: Ryan Miller allowed five goals on 31 shots in Saturday's series-ending Game 6 loss to Calgary.
Analysis: This marks the second straight year Ryan Miller has been acquired by a new team but that team has failed to make it out of the first round of the playoffs. It was an awful night for Miller, who had played very well in Games 4 and 5. While it's easy to point the finger at the goalie, the Canucks blew a 3-0 lead in the game and left the 34-year-old out to dry on a few of the goals. Eddie Lack proved his worth in the regular season and at times in the playoffs, but Miller still remains the starting goaltender in Vancouver as the Canucks enter the 2015 offseason.

Patrick Kane
Blackhawks' Kane Notches Two Points In Game 6 Win
Patrick Kane, RW, CHI
12:19 PM
News: Patrick Kane scored his second goal of the playoffs and added an assist in Saturday's series-clinching Game 6 win over the Predators.
Analysis: That's a three-game point streak for Patrick Kane, who has racked up seven points in six playoff games. Skating on the second line, the 26-year-old has been a factor every game, firing 19 shots on goal and registering a steady plus-3 rating. With 39 goals and 98 points in 99 career NHL playoff games, you expect more of Kane's magic in Round 2 and beyond.

Jonathan Toews
Toews' Three Points Help Blackhawks Clinch Series
Jonathan Toews, C, CHI
12:13 PM
News: Jonathan Toews scored his third goal of the playoffs and added two assists in Saturday's series-clinching Game 6 win over the Predators.
Analysis: Jonathan Toews has been a monster these playoffs, notching eight points in six games. He's got 89 points in 100 career NHL playoff games and once again if proving to be one of the best postseason performers in the NHL. The Blackhawks will play the winner of the Wild and Blues series, so expect Toews to continue to pile up points as chicago continues to go deeper into the playoffs.

Patrick Sharp
Hawks' Sharp Contributes Two Points In Game 6 Win
Patrick Sharp, LW, CHI
12:07 PM
News: Patrick Sharp scored his third goal of the playoffs and added an assist in Saturday's series-clinching Game 6 win over the Predators.
Analysis: Patrick Sharp is having a great postseason, notching five points in six games to help Chicago advance on to the second round. He may be skating on the third line, but he's seeing quality power-play time and has fired 24 shots on goal -- fourth most in the NHL. With 41 goals in 112 career NHL playoff games, look for the postseason performer to continue to light it up in the second round.

Duncan Keith
Hawks' Keith Notches Three Points In Game 6 Win
Duncan Keith, D, CHI
12:02 PM
News: Duncan Keith scored the game-winning goal and had two assists Saturday against Nashville in Game 6 of their first-round series. The Blackhawks eliminated the Predators with a 4-3 victory.
Analysis: A marvelous outing from Duncan Keith, who has been on fire in these playoffs. He sits second in NHL playoff scoring with seven points and has already scored two game-winning goals for the Blackhawks. With a whopping 15 shots on goal in his last three outings, look for the surging Keith to continue his excellent play into the second round.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau
Sens' Pageau Set To Play Sunday
Jean-Gabriel Pageau, C, OTT
11:50 AM
News: Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who received treatment on his knee Sunday morning, is good to go for the Sens' evening contest against Montreal, according to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports.
Analysis: Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who left Friday's Game 5 with what was called a lower-body injury, is thus slated to remain in the Sens' lineup for Sunday's Game 6. Through the first five games of the series, Pageau has yet to notch a point, but he had recorded 23 hits and 14 blocked shots in that span.

P.A. Parenteau
Habs' Parenteau Returns To Lineup
P.A. Parenteau, RW, MON
10:58 AM
News: P.A. Parenteau is slated to play Sunday against the Senators.
Analysis: P.A. Parenteau, who suffered an an upper body injury in Game 1 of the Habs' series against Ottawa, will return to the team's forward mix Sunday after being a healthy scratch for Games 4 and 5. Parenteau -- who notched 22 points and 30 PIM in 56 game for Montreal this past season -- could see power play action Sunday, with the Habs looking for a boost on that front, having converted just once in 19 man-advantage opportunities in the series thus far.

Dale Weise
Habs' Weise Misses Sunday Morning Skate
Dale Weise, RW, MON
10:48 AM
News: Dale Weise (maintenance) did not take part in Sunday's morning skate, Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette reports.
Analysis: Per coach Michel Therrien, Dale Weise -- whose absence Sunday morning was characterized by the team as a therapy day -- should be available for Sunday night's game against Ottawa, but such an outcome may not be solidified until pre-game warmups. Weise has scored two goals through the first five games of the Habs' series against Ottawa, with both of his tallies having come in Game 3's overtime win.

 
 
 
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