Senators winners among Canadian teams on deadline day | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaSenators winners among Canadian teams on deadline day

Posted: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 | 08:02 PM

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Top-six forward Cory Conacher will increase the Ottawa Senators skill level and add offence to a lineup that should get back Milan Michalek and Jared Cowen from injury later this month. (Elsa/Getty Images) Top-six forward Cory Conacher will increase the Ottawa Senators skill level and add offence to a lineup that should get back Milan Michalek and Jared Cowen from injury later this month. (Elsa/Getty Images)

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Here's an assessment on where Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Winnipeg stand after trade deadline day.

The Ottawa Senators upgraded, but for the most part, the other six teams were rather quiet on trade deadline day.

Now, in the next three-plus weeks, we'll see how many how many of the Canadian teams can advance to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Here's an assessment on where Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Winnipeg stand after trade deadline day.

Calgary Flames

Calgary general manager Jay Feaster was put in an unenviable position when his owner Murray Edwards told his GM that he expects the Flames to make the playoffs next season.

Edwards, Feaster and others who have a voice, like club president Ken King, should have begun a major overhaul to this roster a year or two ago. In trading captain Jarome Iginla, defenceman Jay Bouwmeester and Blake Comeau over the past week, the Flames did not get enough in return to make a quick turnaround.

Feaster's cause also was hurt by the fact that veteran goalie Miikka Kiprusoff decided on Wednesday morning to stay put in Calgary with his family and newborn, rather than finish out the season with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Feaster will need one of the best off-seasons on record to appease his owner's wishes.

Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers finally are playing some meaningful games late in a season. GM Steve Tambellini's deadline acquisition of good face-off man Jerred Smithson from the Florida Panthers will help Edmonton, the worst face-off team in the league.

The Oilers decided in the end not to move defenceman Ryan Whitney, who is eligible to become and unrestricted free agent in the summer. Edmonton needs defencemen who can move the puck up to their young and talented forwards, and when Whitney is on his game he makes a good first pass.

Tambellini has put his faith in kids like Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sam Gagner and Justin Schultz. They've won four in a row entering action on Wednesday. It will be interesting to see if they can continue to pile up victories and make a successful run at a playoff position.

Vancouver Canucks

A day after Ryane Clowe chose the New York Rangers over the Canucks, GM Mike Gillis could not unload goalie Roberto Luongo and his big fat contract. Gillis tried. He called the Maple Leafs three times with different deals in the final hour leading up to the trade deadline.

But let's face it, moving the 33-year-old Luongo was a longshot with nine years remaining on his contract and a salary cap hit of $5.33-million US, especially with the salary cap ceiling behind lowered to $64.3 million for 2013-14.

Gillis upgraded his roster significantly on Tuesday with the addition of Derek Roy. With Ryan Kesler due back in the next couple of weeks, the Canucks can begin to focus on the playoffs.

Maybe it's a good development that points have not come easy with this team this season. Maybe they will peak at the right time - in May and June.

Montreal Canadiens

Canadiens rookie general manager Marc Bergevin listened, but was not moved enough to make a deal on his first trade deadline day.

"[The trading period] started two months ago," Bergevin said. "It's not a period that is about having two days to make a trade.

"We added a few pieces over the last couple of months. We were always looking. Today, we looked. There was a lot of conversation, but at the end of the day, we're proud of what we have. Our goal is to make the playoffs, and we're in a great position to do that."

Bergevin improved his lineup with the additions of Michael Ryder and Jeff Halpern last month and increased his blue-line depth with Davis Drewiske on Tuesday.

Not many expected the second-place-in-the-East Canadiens to get back on track so swiftly. Now it's up to the players who Bergevin has entrusted to finish strong and continue their success in the playoffs.


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Ottawa Senators

Out of all the Canadian clubs, Senators GM Bryan Murray did the most to improve his team on Wednesday with his acquisition of top-six forward Cory Conacher from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for goalie Ben Bishop.

Conacher's production had tailed off this season. He had seven goals and 18 points in his first 19 games, and only two goals and six points in his last 16 outings. But his ice time was beginning to dwindle, too. He will increase the Senators skill level and add offence to a lineup that should get back Milan Michalek and Jared Cowen from injury later this month.

Toronto Maple Leafs

They added a depth defenceman in 28-year-old Ryan O'Byrne, who won a Calder Cup with the 2006-07 Hamilton Bulldogs, and was part of the Canadiens run to the East final three years ago.

Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis tried to bring in some goalie depth with Kiprusoff. Nonis talked to Kiprusoff on Tuesday, but he didn't want to leave Calgary.

Nonis also rebuffed the Canucks attempts to unload Luongo for a high asking price.

The Maple Leafs have made tremendous strides under head coach Randy Carlyle and they have even been better since Joffrey Lupul's return eight games ago. Who knows, maybe they finish sixth and draw a weaker opponent in the Southeast Division winner, and actually win a round in their first visit to the playoffs since 2004.

Winnipeg Jets

The Jets needed to upgrade their sagging offence on deadline day. Instead, the only move they made was to pluck off waivers centre Mike Santorelli from the Florida Panthers.

The 27-year-old forward from Vancouver did score 20 goals a couple years ago for the Panthers, but this year he spent time in the AHL with a seven-game stint.

Santorelli was worth the risk. He's an effective shootout performer and there is the possibility he could play alongside Evander Kane.

In the end, Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff did plenty of investigating on Wednesday. But the price of a quick fix was deemed too high. Now it's up to his players to end their four-game losing streak and make sure they hold onto to a playoff position.

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