With the NHL’s 2011-12 regular season drawing rapidly to a close, here’s a look back at some of the notable trades and how they’ve worked out so far.

October 22, 2011: Vancouver Canucks ship forwards Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm to the Florida Panthers for David Booth, Steven Reinprecht and a 2013 third round pick. 

Booth missed 18 games to a knee injury and has 29 points in 52 games. Perhaps in future, if he can stay healthy, he might regain the 31-goal, 60-point form of 2008-09. Samuelsson and Sturm have also missed time to injury, but of the pair, Samuelsson has been a good addition to the Panthers in their quest for a playoff berth.

November 10, 2011: St. Louis Blues acquire defenseman Kris Russell from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for defenseman Nikita Nikitin.

Russell was hampered by injuries this season and is currently out indefinitely with concussion, while Nikitin is having a solid sophomore performance with 23 points in 51 games. Russell might go on to fulfill his potential with the Blues, but in the short term, this worked out for the Jackets.

December 9, 2011: Montreal Canadiens deal defenseman Jaroslav Spacek to the Carolina Hurricanes for defenseman Tomas Kaberle.

Spacek, at 38, is a fading veteran but appeared rejuvenated with the Hurricanes and could earn a short-term deal with them. Kaberle has posted good offensive numbers (22 points in 41 games with the Habs), but his sloppy defensive game and expensive salary ($4.25 million per season through 2014) hasn’t endeared him to Canadiens fans.

December 17, 2011: Ottawa Senators trade prospect defenseman David Rundblad and a 2012 second round pick to the Phoenix Coyotes for center Kyle Turris.

Turris had no future with the Coyotes after staging a contract holdout earlier this season. Though on pace for only 23 points in 55 games this season, the Senators remain hopeful he’ll blossom into a solid second-line center. The Coyotes, meanwhile, will look to the future with Rundblad, who holds considerable promise as an NHL defenseman.

January 12, 2012: Calgary Flames trade forward Rene Bourque, prospect forward Patrick Holland and a 2013 second round pick to the Montreal Canadiens for forward Michael Cammalleri, goalie Karri Ramo and a 2012 second round pick.

In the short-term, this deal didn’t favor either club. Cammalleri managed only 11 points in 21 games with the Flames and since early March has been sidelined by an upper body injury. Bourque, however, regressed after joining the Habs, with only 7 points in 29 games with a plus-minus of -16. GM Pierre Gauthier’s critics use this trade as one example why he should be fired.

January 20, 2012: New Jersey Devils acquire forward Alexei Ponikarovsky from the Carolina Hurricanes for minor league defenseman Joe Sova and a 2012 fourth round pick.

Ponikarovsky had a good start with the Devils until sidelined by a right leg injury in early March. He’s struggled since returning to action, which suggests his injury may be worse than expected.

January 27, 2012: Chicago Blackhawks acquire center Brendan Morrison from the Calgary Flames in exchange for minor league defenseman Brian Connolly.

The Blackhawks were hoping Morrison could provide some much-needed depth at center, but since joining the club he’s played only seven games and been a healthy scratch. At 36, it appears Morrison’s NHL career is nearing an end.

February 16, 2012: Philadelphia Flyers acquired defenseman Nicklas Grossmann from the Dallas Stars in exchange for a second round pick in 2012 and a third round pick in 2013.

Grossmann has a  good depth addition for the Flyers, part of the reason their blueline has been playing well of late.

February 17, 2012: Montreal Canadiens ship defenseman Hal Gill and a conditional fifth round pick in 2013 to the Nashville Predators for forward Blake Geoffrion, minor league forward Robert Slaney and a second round pick in 2012. 

Geoffrion has some promise as a checking line forward with the Canadiens, but this move obviously favors the Predators in the short term, landing a quality shot-blocking, shut-down defenseman with plenty of post-season experience as they gear up for a run at the Stanley Cup this spring.

February 18, 2012: Philadelphia Flyers acquired defenseman Pavel Kubina from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for forward Jon Kalinski, a conditional second round pick, and a fourth round pick in 2013.

Kubina’s only played seven games with the Flyers and only recently returned from a back injury. They’ll be hoping he remains healthy for the playoffs.

February 21, 2012. Tampa Bay Lightning trade forward Steve Downie to the Colorado Avalanche for defenseman Kyle Quincey, who is then dealt to the Detroit Red Wings for minor league defenseman Stephane Piche and a 2012 first round pick. 

With 11 points in 13 games with the Avs, Downie has provided a welcome jolt of aggressiveness to their roster as they battle for a playoff berth down the stretch. Quincey’s contributions (3 points in 11 games, -1) aren’t as noteworthy, but he’s in a depth role for now with the Wings, and will likely see a bigger role next season. As for the Lightning, they’re happy to have that first round pick (though it’ll be low in the first round) to hopefully bolster their roster in the future.

February 22, 2012. Phoenix Coyotes acquire center Antoine Vermette from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for minor league goalie Curtis McElhinney, a second round pick in 2012, and a conditional fifth round pick in 2013.

Vermette’s been a welcome addition to the Coyotes, with six points in 13 games, providing much-needed depth at center as they jostle for a playoff spot.

February 23, 2012. Los Angeles Kings ship defenseman Jack Johnson and a conditional first round pick in 2012 to the Columbus Blue Jackets for forward Jeff Carter.

Carter got off to a slow start with the Kings but has been hot of late, with 6 points in his last five games. Johnson, meanwhile, has played very well with the Jackets, with points in 11 games and a plus-minus of +3. This deal could ultimately become one which works out for both teams.

February 24, 2012. New Jersey Devils ship defenseman Kurtis Foster, forwards Nick Palmieri and Stephane Veilleux, a second round pick in 2012 and a conditional third rounder in 2013 to the Minnesota Wild for defenseman Marek Zidlicky.

Foster and Veilleux haven’t helped the Wild reduce their long slide down the standings, but Palmieri and those draft picks could help them in the future. Zidlicky, meanwhile, has regained some of his offensive form with the Devils, with 6 points in 13 games.

February 25, 2012. Florida Panthers acquire winger Wojtek Wolski from the NY Rangers for defenseman Mike Vernace and a third round pick in 2013.

Dumped by the Rangers and with his NHL career in jeopardy, Wolski has seized this opportunity and is playing well, with 8 points in 12 games with the Panthers. If he keeps this up, he could earn a contract with the Panthers, albeit a one-year “show-me” deal to prove himself.

February 26, 2012. Ottawa Senators acquired goalie Ben Bishop from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a 2013 second round pick.

A savvy depth move by Senators GM Bryan Murray, which paid instant dividends when Bishop was called up to replace injured starter Craig Anderson. In six games, Bishop went 3-1-2, with a 2.10 GAA and a .915 SP. And all he cost them was a second rounder next year.

February 27, 2012. Nashville Predators acquire winger Andrei Kostitsyn from the Montreal Canadiens for a second round pick in 2013 and a conditional fifth round pick in 2013. 

He had a good start with the Predators, with six points in five games, but over the past four has gone scoreless. The Preds are getting a taste of Kostitsyn’s maddening inconsistency, so it’s probably a good thing prodigal Predator Alexander Radulov has returned to the fold.

February 27, 2012. Edmonton Oilers trade defenseman Tom Gilbert to the Minnesota Wild for defenseman Nick Schultz.

This is a deal which should help both teams over the long term. For now, it appears the Oilers have gotten the better of the deal, as Schultz (4 points, plus-3 in 10 games) has better numbers than Gilbert (2 points, minus-4 in ten games)

February 27, 2012. Colorado Avalanche acquire forward Jamie McGinn and minor league forwards Mike Connolly and Michael Sgarbossa from the San Jose Sharks for forwards Daniel Winnik and T.J. Galiardi, plus a seventh round pick in 2013.

Critics of Avalanche GM Greg Sherman have been silenced by his recent additions of McGinn and Downie. McGinn, who struggled to score with the Sharks, has been on fire since joining the Avs, with ten points in as many games, and a big reason why the Avs have won six of their last eight games, making a serious run for a playoff berth. Winnik and Galiardi (currently sidelined with an undisclosed injury) have done nothing to bolster the Sharks, who remain in danger of missing the playoffs.

February 27, 2012. Chicago Blackhawks acquired defenseman Johnny Oduya from the Winnipeg Jets for a second round pick in 2012 and a third round pick in 2013. 

Are the Blackhawks ever happy they landed this guy. In nine games, Oduya has provided the ‘Hawks blueline with a welcome boost of experience and skill, with four points and a plus-minus of +5. He’s earned praise for his play from coach Joel Quenneville and his new teammates .

February 27, 2012. Nashville Predators acquire center Paul Gaustad and a fourth round pick in 2013 from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a first round pick in 2012.

Gaustad has played only six games with the Predators until sidelined by an arm injury. They’ll hope he returns healthy in time for the playoffs.

February 27, 2012. Vancouver Canucks ship Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer to the Buffalo Sabres for forward Zach Kassian and defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani.

It will take time to determine which team got the better of this deal. It’s noteworthy that Hodgson, who was among the league’s leading rookie scorers at the time of the deal, had only two points in his first 11 games with his new club, though he seems to have picked up his offensive production of late. Sometimes, a player needs time to adjust to new teammates and surroundings, which could explain Hodgson’s offensive drop-off.

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3 Responses to Reviewing the Notable NHL Trades of 2011-12.

  1. Sakic19 says:

    I was a big skeptic of Sherman as GM in Colorado, but I’ve been very happy with his most recent deals. I’m also one of the few who doesn’t hate the Johnson deal. Overall I think hes building this team in the right direction.

  2. gameon63 says:

    Kassian had as many goals as Hodgson until just recently with quite a few big hits and Gragnani has contributed but i doubt you’ll hear much mention of Sulzer so i would definitely view this trade as a 2 for 1. Pahlsson has been exactly as advertised and a bargin for the 2 4th rounders it cost Vancouver.

  3. Captain Ahab says:

    Every team that has got Kaberle has quickly learned that he is strictly a one way player and is a huge defensive liability. Montreal trading for him just shows that Canadien’s GM Gauthier is not a very astute hockey man.
    David Booth was a steal, Steven Reinprecht is laboring in the American League and I hope he gets a chance to come up for the playoffs.
    I yelled at the TV for the Canucks to get Hal Gill. The big, strong, net clearing stay at home defenseman would have been a great addition to the back end. When you have defensemen who like to jump up in the play like Bieksa and Edler you need someone to mind the store and that is still a glaring hole yet to be filled.
    I wanted to see Steve Downie in a Vancouver Canucks uniform rather than an Avalanche one. He would have made an instant impact on the Canucks and the asking price was affordable. I wonder if he was even shopped to Vancouver?
    The Canucks getting rid of Hodgson was more about shipping out a drama queen and his misguided entourage than wanting him to go. Hodgson was brought along slow and easy by the Canucks and their gentle handling of him was starting to pay dividends but those around him wanted him to play more and he started demanding things from the coach instead of the other way around. He got his wish. Shuffled off to Buffalo along with seldom used Sulzer for bigger and younger Zach Kassian and the player that I believe is the sleeper of the deal, defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani. Since joining the Canucks Kassian has done his best to try and fit in playing on anywhere form the fourth to the first lines and not looking out of place on any shift. He has contributed points, dropped his gloves for his teammates, delivered some thunderous hits and generally been everything that Hodgson was not. I see big things form his on the future. MA Gragnani has been a very skilled passer with almost every pass hitting the intended recipient right on the tape. He has a good shot from the point and is not afraid to join the rush. As I said earlier, I look for him to be the sleeper of the deal.

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