The Nashville Predators have acquired forward Paul Gaustad and a fourth-round pick in the 2013 draft from Buffalo for a first-round pick in the 2012 draft.
The teams confirmed the deal after the NHL trade deadline Monday. Nashville also sent Buffalo a fourth-round pick in 2013 to edge out another team that offered a first-round pick for Gaustad. Predators general manager David Poile said Nashville paid a big price to get Gaustad to fill a specific role as a penalty-killing centre who can go up and down their lineup.
"We've certainly got ourselves in a real good position here in the playoff race, and I think with these trades we've certainly given us a chance to play with the big boys this year when we get in the playoffs," Poile said. "So we're done. Like I said, I'm really happy."
The Predators also picked up forward Andrei Kostitsyn from Montreal earlier Monday in exchange for a second-round and conditional fifth-round pick in the 2013 draft. Nashville had received the conditional fifth-round pick from Montreal 10 days ago along with defenceman Hal Gill in the first of Nashville's three big trades before the deadline.
Nashville won its first post-season series last year against Anaheim but lost in six games to Vancouver.
"These are all the things we wanted to accomplish," Poile said, adding, we've "got a good feeling about our team as we move forward."
Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said two other teams offered first-round picks for Gaustad with the first not from Nashville. But one team withdrew its offer, and the deal was on at midnight and off Monday morning only to be revived this afternoon. Then the calls came about 90 minutes before the deadline.
Gaustad is in the final year of a four-year, $9.2-million US contract.
"He was born and raised with the Buffalo Sabres," Regier said. "But when we looked at it, we thought long and hard about whether or not to trade him, and if so, under what conditions to trade him. And we set the standard high, and the standard was we had to be able to acquire a first-round pick and if we couldn't acquire a first-round pick in that process, then we were not going to trade him."
Nashville came through with the right offer. Poile likes Gaustad's size at 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds that Nashville wants to match up with the rest of the Western Conference in the playoffs.
Gaustad has seven goals and 10 assists in 56 games this season. In his seventh full NHL season, Gaustad is a reliable checking forward and a good face-off specialist. That fills a hole after Nashville traded forward Jerred Smithson to Florida on Friday for a draft pick.
"I've been on the short end of a lot of 2-3 games," Poile said. "Hopefully this year we'll be winning them 3-2."
Wings send Commodore to Lightning
In an earlier deal, the Tampa Bay Lightning acquired veteran defenceman Mike Commodore from the Detroit Red Wings for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2013 draft.
Commodore has two assists, a plus-3 rating and 21 penalty minutes in 17 games with Detroit this season.
Commodore told Hockey Night in Canada Radio that, while he didn't ask Red Wings GM Ken Holland for a trade, he's pleased with the chance for a fresh start.
"It's a real good opportunity for me," Commodore said. "Things didn't really pan out [in Detroit] as planned, so Ken did me a favour and moved me somewhere I'll have a chance to play a little bit."
In 471 career games with New Jersey, Calgary, Carolina, Ottawa, Columbus and Detroit, the Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., native has 23 goals, 83 assists and 666 penalty minutes.
The 32-year-old won the Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006 and has eight points (two goals, six assists) in 53 career playoff games.
Commodore was part of Canada's gold-medal team at the 2007 world championships. Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman was the GM of that squad.
Sharks get Winnik, Galiardi from Avs
The San Jose Sharks have acquired forwards Daniel Winnik and T.J. Galiardi and a seventh-round draft pick from the Colorado Avalanche for Jamie McGinn, Mike Connolly, and Michael Sgarbossa.
The Avalanche announced the deal just before Monday's trade deadline.
The trade gives the Sharks needed forward depth and a proven penalty killer in Winnik, who had the second most short-handed ice time for the Avalanche. The Sharks are the third worst penalty killing team in the league this season at 77.4 per cent.
The Sharks just wrapped up a 2-6-1 road trip that knocked them out of first place in the Pacific Division and into seventh place in the Western Conference with 71 points. The Avalanche are tied for ninth with 68 points.
Bruins acquire Rolston, Mottau from Islanders
The Boston Bruins acquired forward Brian Rolston and defenceman Mike Mottau from the New York Islanders in exchange for prospects Yannick Riendeau and Mac Cantin.
Rolston, 39, scored four goals and five assists in 49 games for the Islanders this season. The veteran has played in 1,235 career games, scoring 339 goals and 407 assits for the Devils, Bruins, Wild, and Islanders.
Mottau, meanwhile, has two assists in 29 games with the Islanders. In 307 career games with the Islanders and Devils, Mottau registered seven goals and 51 assists.
Rangers grab defenceman from Chicago
The Rangers made one trade before the NHL dealing deadline, landing hulking defenseman John Scott from the Chicago Blackhawks, but not coveted Columbus forward Rick Nash.
After weeks of rumors and speculation, the price tag for Nash — the Blue Jackets captain — proved to be too high for the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers to give in to before Monday's deadline. So, New York settled on Scott, who had one assist and 48 penalty minutes in 29 games this season. New York sent a fifth-round draft pick in this year's draft to Chicago for the 6-foot-8, 270-pound Scott.
Scott, who has also been used as a forward by the Blackhawks, was called for simultaneous roughing and boarding penalties in Chicago's 4-2 win over the Rangers in New York on Feb. 16 after a scuffle with Mike Rupp.
The 29-year-old Scott is in his fourth NHL season. It is his second with Chicago after a two-season stint with the Minnesota Wild. He has one goal and four assists in 140 career NHL games.