The NHL’s trade deadline day was quiet until the final hour, when a handful of players, including Sabres captain Jason Pominville, were exchanged.
At about the time Pominville was being sent to Minnesota, the New York Rangers traded 31-year-old forward Marian Gaborik to the Columbus Blue Jackets for center Derick Brassard, defenseman John Moore, forward Derek Dorsett and a sixth-round pick.
Gaborik has nine goals and 10 assists in 35 games this season and has one year left of a contract that carries a cap hit of $7.5 million.
Brassard has seven goals and 11 assists this season and Moore, a first-round choice in 2009, has one point in 17 games.
In a deal announced late, New Jersey acquired 38-year-old forward Steve Sullivan from Phoenix for a seventh-round draft pick. He played for the Devils for parts of two seasons at the start of his NHL career from 1995-97. Sullivan signed with Phoenix as a free agent during the offseason and had some good stretches with the Coyotes, scoring five goals with seven assists in 33 games, though he hadn’t registered a point in the last 10 games.
The Coyotes also traded center Matthew Lombardi to the Anaheim Ducks for left wing Brandon McMillan. Lombardi (four goals, eight points in 21 games) returned to Phoenix this season after being traded from Toronto during training camp. He missed 12 games early in the season with an upper-body injury and didn’t provide the Coyotes with the scoring punch they had hoped and was a healthy scratch March 25 after failing to register a point in seven straight games.
In another late deal, the Toronto Maple Leafs bolstered their defense by acquiring Ryan O’Byrne, 28, from the Colorado Avalanche for a fourth-round draft pick in 2014. O’Byrne has a goal and three assists in 34 games this season for Colorado, which currently owns the worst mark in the NHL. He goes to a team in the hunt for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Also, the Washington Capitals sent Filip Forsberg, the 11th overall pick in the 2012 draft, to the Nashville Predators for forwards Martin Erat and Michael Latta. Erat has four goals and 17 assists this and has two seasons remaining on a contract with a cap hit of $4.5 million per season. The 31-year-old has 163 goals and 318 assists in 723 NHL games. Latta was a third-round pick in 2009 and has 35 points in 69 games this season for the Milwaukee Admirals.
Forsberg totaled 33 points in 38 games with Leksand of the Swedish League. He is only 18 years old.
Also, San Jose acquired forward Raffi Torres from Phoenix for a third-round draft pick and the Columbus received Blake Comeau from Calgary for a fifth-rounder and sent goalie Steve Mason to Philadelphia for goalie Michael Leighton and a third-round pick in 2015. Torres has played for the New York Islanders, Edmonton Oilers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks and Phoenix Coyotes. He has been traded three times at the deadline.
One player of note who was not moved was Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo. He was long rumored to be a target of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He will continue to split games with Cory Schneider.
Toronto Star columnist Damien Cox tweeted that Luongo said, “My contract … , that’s why I’m still here.”
Luongo’s contract runs through 2021-22 at a cap hit of $5.33 million per season.
The Tampa Bay Lightning made the first big deal on NHL trade deadline day, acquiring goaltender Ben Bishop from the Ottawa Senators for rookie winger Cory Conacher and a fourth-round pick in the early afternoon. Bishop has filled in well with Ottawa while starter Craig Anderson was recovering from an injury.
Conacher, the former Canisius College star, had nine goals and 15 assists in 35 goals for Tampa Bay. He was the American Hockey League’s MVP last year and also named the league’s top rookie – a season capped by him helping the Lightning’s then minor-league affiliate in Norfolk win the Calder Cup championship.
Bishop has appeared in 13 games with the Senators this season, posting an 8-5 record, a .922 save percentage and a 2.45 goals-against average.
“It’s always a little shocking,” Conacher told Bruce Garioch of the Ottawa Sun. “A new start in Ottawa. I’m excited to go to Ottawa.
“I’m going to go there and try to help the team win. I’m excited.”
Conacher is from Burlington, Ont., and will make his Senators debut Friday night against the Sabres in Buffalo.
The Carolina Hurricanes shipped Jussi Jokinen to Pittsburgh for a conditional pick. Jokinen, 30, scored 30 goals in 2009-10 but slipped to six this year and had been placed on waivers.
The morning produced no activity of note, with the biggest news being that Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff didn’t want to be traded and that he would retire at the end of the season.
There were several minor deals. St. Louis sent defenseman Wade Redden, who has played in 1,017 NHL games, to Boston for a conditional seventh-round draft pick next year that becomes a sixth-rounder if he plays in at least one game during this year’s playoffs. He has two goals and three assists in 23 games this season.
In another deal involving the Bruins, Chicago sent Rob Flick to Boston for Maxime Sauve, and then Nashville shipped defenseman Scott Hannan to San Jose for a conditional sixth/seventh-round pick. Sauve has Sabres connections in that he’s the nephew of former Buffalo goaltender Bob Sauve and son of ex-Sabres forward J.F. Sauve.
Also, winger Jerred Smithson was sent by Florida to Edmonton for a midround pick.
Two players were picked up on waivers. Winnipeg grabbed Mike Santorelli from Florida Panthers and Philadelphia took Adam Hall from Tampa Bay. Hall had been acquired Tuesday with a seventh-round draft pick for Marc-Andre Bergeron.
There were significant trades leading up to deadline day.
The biggest names to move were high-scoring wingers Jarome Iginla and Jaromir Jagr.
The Pittsburgh Penguins got Iginla from Calgary for two prospects and a first-round pick, and he scored his first goal with his new team against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night. They also picked up Brenden Morrow and a third-round pick from Dallas for defenseman Joe Morrow and a fifth-round pick.
The Boston Bruins picked up Jagr from Dallas for two prospects and a second-round pick.
Dallas also traded center Derek Roy, who was acquired from the Sabres in the offseason for winger Steve Ott, to Vancouver for a second-round pick and a prospect.
The Rangers added size on the wing with a trade for Ryane Clowe, sending a second- and a third-round pick plus a condition fifth-rounder to the San Jose Sharks. Clowe is a power forward but has not scored a goal this year.
The Kings acquired veteran defenseman Robyn Regehr from the Sabres on Monday, two days after Buffalo traded blue-liner Jordan Leopold to St. Louis. The Blues also added defenseman Jay Bouwmeester from Calgary shortly after picking up Leopold. The Flames received two prospects and a first-round pick.