After a nice little lull, business picked up on Sunday. Interestingly enough, I think that the holiday hangovers were the only delay in most of the deals not given out, so we'll see what's going to go on next week.
First, Brendan Shanahan left Detroit and signed a one-year, $4M deal with the New York Rangers. It seems a pretty mixed bag for Detroit fans, who loved Shanny's ability to play well at his age, but hated his ghost like appearence in the playoffs. In the last 22 playoff games (the last three playoff seasons), Shanahan only has 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists). However, Shanny is coming off a 40-40 year (40 goals, 41 assists to be exact), so it should help out the regular season part for the Rangers. If it will have any effect if they make it to the playoffs, we'll just have to wait and find out.
Late on Sunday, the San Jose Sharks, Ottawa Senators, and Chicago Blackhawks pulled off a three way deal. We all love three-ways, am I right?? Huh?? Anyway, here's how it breaks down:
TO SAN JOSE: Mark Bell
TO OTTAWA: Tom Preissing, Josh Hennessy, Michal Barinka
TO CHICAGO: Martin Havlat, Bryan Smolinski
Personally, I know Sens fans will hate this on paper, while Sens haters will talk about the Sens not winning a Cup this year. Oddly enough, I think the Sens got a good deal out of this. As a Sens fan, I have to say I like the arrival of Preissing and Hennessy, because they are both studs. Frankly, I would take a couple guys like that for developing than worrying about arbitration or retaining the rights of Havlat. Let's face it, Havlat would have been gone anyway, so it's not a big loss altogether.
Chicago got a flashy guy like Havlat, but unless he can stay healthy (which hasn't been Chicago's strong suit) and find someone to click with on a line, he will be useless to the Hawks. Havlat is a very streaky player who can either make a game or be invisible the entire night. There's no doubt that when he's on, he's on-- but that's hard to come by. He'll be Chicago's guy to deal with for the next three years. Smolinski re-ignited his play late in the season being paired up with Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley when Jason Spezza had his injury issues. However, reality is Smolinski is almost in the twilight of his career, so his effectiveness is to be determined.
The Sharks, I believe, got screwed in this deal. For a team that needs a defenseman who can move the puck, dealing Preissing away probably wasn't the best move. Don't get me wrong, I like Mark Bell-- he's a scrappy player, but Bell and Preissing almost has the same amount of points last season. It will really depend on where Bell is placed in the line-up. If he is with the top dogs in Cheechoo and Thornton, then he'll get plenty of secondary assists, but if he's one a line where it's a grind line-- he'll be effective in the intangibles, but won't show up too much on the scoresheet.
All in all, we'll have to way to see how this all pans out for each team, but if it's a move that needed to be done for a team to move around some salary (COUGHottawaCOUGH) to get someone else in, then it's a good deal all around.