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NHL trade deadline spurs deals

Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2003

In the final 24 hours before the NHL trade deadline, all 30 teams got into the act, making it one of the busiest dealing days in league history.

All but three clubs made deals Tuesday, when 46 players and at least 16 draft picks were swapped in a flurry of 24 trades before the 3 p.m. EST deadline.

The NHL said it was the most number of deals and players moved since at least 1980.

On Monday, eight trades were made, including deals involving New Jersey, Buffalo and Columbus the only teams to keep their rosters intact Tuesday.

The Toronto Maple Leafs were very busy as they try to build a team capable of winning their first Stanley Cup since 1967. On the heels of deals that brought Owen Nolan and Glen Wesley to Toronto leading up to the deadline, the Maple Leafs added veterans Doug Gilmour and Phil Housley in the final hours trading was allowed.

Gilmour, a forward, was a popular captain of the Maple Leafs from 1992-97. He was reacquired from Montreal for future considerations. Housley was brought in from Chicago for Toronto's fourth- and ninth-round draft picks.

The veteran pair has combined for 2,967 games of NHL experience.

Detroit was also hard at work in an attempt to keep the Cup right where it is. The Red Wings shored up their defense by trading for Los Angeles' Mathieu Schneider, a former champion with Montreal in 1993 who is joining his sixth NHL team.

I'm very excited to get the chance to win the Stanley Cup. And if there was one team I wanted to go to, it was the Detroit Red Wings,'' Schneider said.

The Red Wings sent forward Sean Avery, defenseman Maxim Kuznetsov, a first-round pick in this year's draft and a second-round pick in 2004 to the Kings to land Schneider, who will certainly help Detroit's power play.

He's a puck-moving defenseman, and he fits into the type of game we play,'' Detroit assistant general manager Jim Nill said.

Los Angeles also sent forward Bryan Smolinski to Ottawa for the rights to defenseman Tim Gleason.

The New York Rangers, still hoping they can make the playoffs for the first time since 1997, had general manager turned coach Glen Sather go back to his Edmonton roots and acquire Anson Carter, the Oilers' leading scorer.

Carter joins a club that started Tuesday four points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. New York also acquired rookie defenseman Ales Pisa for forward Radek Dvorak and defenseman Cory Cross. The Rangers also sent goalie Johan Holmqvist to Minnesota for defenseman Lawrence Nycholat.

New York's other team, the Islanders, made two trades in hopes of holding off the Rangers and solidifying their second straight playoff berth.

The Islanders acquired defenseman Janne Niinimaa and a second-round pick in this year's draft from Edmonton for forwards Brad Isbister and Raffi Torres.

Janne is a guy who can log 25 minutes for us,'' coach Peter Laviolette said. Our defense should be in pretty good shape for years to come.''

St. Louis found an answer for its goaltending woes by prying Chris Osgood away from the Islanders. Osgood missed nearly seven weeks due to an ankle injury, but returned Saturday night before New York embarked on a key six-game road trip that started Tuesday in Vancouver.

The Blues sent prospect Justin Papineau and a second-round pick in this year's draft to the Islanders. St. Louis also received a third-round pick in this year's draft from New York in exchange for the 30-year-old Osgood, who is earning $4 million and can be a restricted free agent at season's end.

We did get what we believed to be something of value for Chris,'' Islanders general manager Mike Milbury. There was not a large market for goalies at this stage of the system. St. Louis came in and we told them what we were looking at and they made a reasonable proposal. We knew we were not going to renew his contract.''

The Blues also acquired forward Valeri Bure from the Florida Panthers for defense prospect Mike Van Ryn.

The Pittsburgh Penguins continued their salary purge that began with the trade of Alexei Kovalev to the Rangers last month. Pittsburgh made five deals Tuesday, sending away Jan Hrdina, Francois Leroux, Shean Donovan, Wayne Primeau, Ian Moran and Marc Bergevin eliminating players who combined to earn $3.8 million.

Hrdina and Leroux went to Phoenix for Dan Focht, Ramzi Abid and Guillaume Lefebvre. Lefebvre was acquired by the Coyotes on Monday in the deal that sent Tony Amonte to Philadelphia.

Donovan went from Pittsburgh to Calgary for Micki Dupont and Mathias Johansson; Moran was traded to Boston for a draft pick; Bergevin went to Tampa Bay for Brian Holzinger; and Primeau was dealt to San Jose for Matt Bradley.

Of the players acquired by Pittsburgh, only Holzinger makes more than $475,000.

In other deals, Chicago traded Steve Thomas to Anaheim for a fifth-round draft pick, sent Peter White to Philadelphia for future considerations, and dealt Sergei Berezin to Washington for a fourth-round pick next year.

The Colorado Avalanche made three trades on Tuesday after acquiring hard-hitting defenseman Bryan Marchment from San Jose on Saturday. Colorado acquired forward Bates Battaglia from Carolina for Radim Vrbata, and sent defenseman Alexander Riazantsev to Nashville, and forward Dean McAmmond back to Calgary. The Avalanche received a draft choice from each team.

Calgary sent F Rob Niedermayer to Anaheim for D Mike Commodore and goalie J-F Damphousse; Phoenix traded F Brad May to Vancouver for a draft choice; and San Jose continued its trading by sending defenseman Dan McGillis to Boston for a second-round pick.



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