Short title, and right to the point
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Dallas: Seeing that Detroit is slumping due to injuries, Dallas made a huge splash getting Brad Richards. Richards gives them a top flight center and adds some much needed creativity to the lineup. Richards and Modano down the middle make a formidable offensive pair that can also play defense. Holmqvist gives them a solid backup behind Turco.
Tampa Bay: Rarely are both teams winners in a trade, but the Lightning got great value from Dallas for Richards. Mike Smith gives them a solid young netminder to build around and pair with Kari Ramo as a formidable duo. Jussi Jokinen has good touch around the net and is a solid player. Jeff Halpern replaces Richards in the leadership department and is a good defensive center despite his age. Mark Fristic is a young defenseman with great upside. Most importantly, moving Richards and Jan Hlavac to Nashville frees up cap space for the Dan Boyle contract.
Atlanta: Knowing that the playoffs are likely fading fast, Atlanta got a great return for Marian Hossa, a guy who was determined to head to July 1st, and a depth winger in Pascal Dupuis. Erik Christensen is a great 2 way forward who could play with a good scoring winger, hes also a great shootout performer. Angelo Esposito has played with a chip on his shoulder since the draft and is the perfect future center for Ilya Kovalchuk or Bryan Little. He can be a solid 70 pt player. Colby Armstrong is a future leader who hits everything that moves and is a great character guy.
Washington: Sensing the chance to catch Carolina for the division, Washington got immediate help in Sergei Federov, Cristobal Huet and Matt Cooke. Federov is a playoff performer who can be a leader in the dressing room, Huet immediately upgrades the goaltending position and gives them the future after Olie Kolzig and Matt Cooke adds needed physicality. The Caps will likely have to focus on the division race, as the 6th through 8th spots will be a tough hall with both NY teams, Buffalo, Boston and Philadelphia right around them.
Montreal: Bob Gainey went into this week with the hope of grabbing an impact player like Sundin, Hossa or Jokinen and came up empty. Trading Huet right now was a mistake, putting all the pressure on young Carey Price to carry the team to a division title. The smarter bet would have been to hold onto him in the off-season.
Ottawa: Just like Montreal, they tried to add a big piece but failed to do so. Stillman and Commodore were nice additions, but given the poor play and recent suggestions of locker room turmoil, Bryan Murray needed to do more. An upgrade at goaltender would have been a start, especially if it meant moving Ray Emery.
Toronto: Cliff Fletcher had hoped to purge himself of some of his NTC eligible players, but ended up moving second tier players for a combined 4 draft picks. Not the type of rebuild Fletcher was looking for.
Pittsburgh(conditional): If Pittsburgh wins the Cup, they look like geniuses for adding Marian Hossa to Sidney Crosbys wing in front of an already great line with Malkin and Sykora. But given Malkin's contract status and Hossa's asking price, this looks like a very expensive rental that cost the Penguins some important young talent.
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