NHL trade deadline recap

Marian Hossa, F (PIT): Not much to say here other than if you own him, you are about to finally see the return on investment that you expected from the 100-point man. Unless you are in a two-team, four player league, Marian Hossa is not available. Playing with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin is going to help ignite his disappointing season.

Jaroslav Spacek, D (BUF): With Brian Campbell on San Jose's roster now, Jaroslav Spacek becomes the Buffalo Sabres' top power play defenseman. Again, he's played very well this season and likely isn't available for pickup.


Nathan Paetsch, who is available in virtually all leagues, has a lot of upside and might pick up some of the minutes left by Campbell.

Brad Richards, F (DAL): Dallas is short on wings, yet they traded for a center. Overall I'm not sure that this trade makes them significantly better. First off, Jussi Jokinen, who is excellent in shootouts, was part of Dallas' top line with Brenden Morrow and Mike Ribeiro. Not only was that line hot right now, it played with great chemistry. Next, the Stars gave up Mike Smith, and given the way Marty Turco has choked in the playoffs every season except for last year, I'm not sure that was wise. Brad Richards' hideous plus-minus (minus-25 in 2008) should improve and so should his point production, since he'll be playing with better caliber players, but there is obviously no value to be had on the Dallas side of this equation.


Jussi Jokinen, F (TB): This is an interesting pickup by Tampa Bay. Jussi Jokinen was playing for Dallas' top line and maybe -- just maybe -- he joins the top line in Tampa with Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis. If you have an open spot on your team, Jokinen is definitely worth the gamble. Richards was wilting in Tampa Bay, so overall, the Lightning may not have got significantly worse in this trade.

Mike Smith, G (TB): The Lightning were desperately looking for someone or something who can stop hockey pucks from going into their net and Mike Smith is a pretty good option. He looks like he's on the cusp of being a fairly good starter in the NHL. You have to pick him up immediately because as you know, starting goalies are a rare commodity in fantasy hockey. I'm a big believer in Smith but you have to keep in mind that Dallas is an excellent defensive team, while Tampa Bay is not. We'll find out early whether Smith was a product of the solid defense in Dallas or whether he is as talented as many pundits perceive him to be.

Karri Ramo, G (TB): Karri Ramo is obviously not ready to be a top-flight goaltender and now he'll get some more time to simmer. If you were hoping he'd step into the full-time role, you are out of luck. Mike Smith will get the lion's share of the starts.

Olaf Kolzig, G (WAS): Many Olaf Kolzig owners were already concerned because of Kolzig's sluggish play and the fact that journeyman Brent Johnson was snaking starts. While some owners were holding out hope that Kolzig would return to his All-Star form, the door has now been slammed shut on that. In the most shocking trade of the day, the Montreal Canadiens sent their top goalie, Cristobal Huet, to Washington for merely a second-round pick. It's worth noting that Hal Gill, a so-so defenseman now with the Pittsburgh Penguins, was traded for second- and fifth-round draft picks. Meanwhile, Huet, an All-Star netminder, only garnered a second-round pick. Anyways, Huet will be the starter now for Washington, and Kolzig's value has diminished even more.

Carey Price, G (MTL): First Ken Dryden, then Patrick Roy and now Carey Price. The Habs are yet again strapping their franchise to the back of a very young goaltender. Price is no longer the future --he is the now. For fantasy purposes, you have to own this guy. He's a No. 1 goalie who is going to see all the action he can handle. So far, he's responded well but there will be lots of pressure since the Habs have Stanley Cup aspirations.

Sergei Fedorov, F (WAS): One of the other trade deadline surprises was the fact that the Washington Capitals were a buyer. One of the things they were shopping for was a front-line center -- something they've lacked for as long as my short-term memory can remember. Sergei Fedorov has faded significantly from his Hart Trophy days but he still provides a significant upgrade over what the Capitals have pawned off as No. 1 centers. Playing alongside a fellow Russian like Alexander Ovechkin might ignite Fedorov, and playing next to Ovechkin might give Fedorov's fantasy value a shot in the arm. Keep in mind that Fedorov only had 28 points in 50 games playing alongside Rick Nash, another stellar young star, so take the wait-and-see approach with Fedorov on his new team.

Erik Christensen/Colby Armstrong, F (ATL): Both of these guys are waiver-wire fodder for now, but they might get a chance to play with Ilya Kovalchuk, which could change their status.

Jack Johnson, D (LA): No Brad Stuart, no Jaroslav Modry means Jack Johnson should be seeing more ice time. He's supposed to be the No. 1 defenseman of the future and if you can bite the bullet of his plus-minus, he should have a strong finish otherwise.


Peter Forsberg, C (COL): I think it goes without saying that you should rush to the waiver-wire to pick him up. If you were taking the wait-and-see approach, the Avs added Adam Foote and Ruslan Salei to bolster their defensive corps and are preparing to make another serious run. First they need to get into the playoffs. But anyway, Forsberg will always worth owning in my books. While he's in the NHL, of course.