We are just under 24 hours from the NHL Trade Deadline and there have been some moves made and some moves setting up future moves which I would like to discuss in some capacity.
Focusing only in the AHL’s Atlantic Division, here’s what happened so far…
Pittsburgh / Wilkes-Barre
Eric Fehr is on waivers. $2,000,000 salary is all yours if you claim him by noon Wednesday. If not, Pittsburgh can assign him to Wilkes-Barre and save $950,000 in cap money and frees up a roster spot with Pittsburgh.
Here’s what I think: Fehr goes unclaimed and isn’t immediately assigned to Wilkes-Barre. Depending on what moves GM Jim Rutherford tries to swing in either trying to move Marc-Andre Fleury or trading for another defensemen, Fehr goes unclaimed, stays in Pittsburgh with the option of being moved to Wilkes-Barre if the need arises. Do I think we ever see Fehr in Wilkes-Barre? It’s a possibility. I hope so, the pun possibilities for this blog would increase exponentially.
You needed to be on waivers today in order to be assigned to the AHL Wednesday for the playoff run. The only every day name Wilkes-Barre fans are familiar with which was not waived was Chad Ruhwedel. Consider him up for good with Pittsburgh as the seventh defenseman.
Steve Oleksy and Cameron Gaunce are still technically waiver exempt. They should be papered down along with Carter Rowney, who should be assigned for real this week with the news that Conor Sheary participated in full at practice Tuesday as well as Jake Guentzel. Guentzel getting papered down is risk free, and keeps him developing playoff skills if Pittsburgh should get knocked out of the playoffs before Wilkes-Barre.
Washington / Hershey
Late Monday, Washington swung a trade with St. Louis for the services of unrestricted free agent defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. There were picks involved which I didn’t pay attention to. The other bodies involved were Zach Sanford, who was 4-1-5 against Wilkes-Barre this season, Brad Malone, who was a veteran scratch from time to time for the Bears and goaltender Pheonix Copley.
If you remember Copley, that’s because he was with Washington / Hershey last year. I think they moved him in a trade for someone and got him back.
Here’s what I think: Copley will get the lion share of starts for the Bears for the stretch run as told by Bears Head Coach Troy Mann to Kyle Mace Tuesday. Copley is a giant step up over whatever the hell Hershey tried in goal this season with a combination of Vitek Vanecek, Joe Cannata and Parker Milner. Milner and Vanecek are better served as backups and Cannata, who won 20 games with Utica last year, just never got comfortable with Hershey this year. Consider it Copley’s crease now for the 11 time Champs. Hershey has a long way to go and a short time to get there if they want to make the playoffs and they are going all in with the hope that Copley will be the bus that gets them there.
NY Rangers / Hartford Wolf Pack
The Rangers made a trade with the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday that saw Wolf Pack captain Mat Bodie get traded for Daniel Catenacci. Catenacci is a center with 13 points in 50 games for a bad Rochester team. So it’s a lateral move for Catenacci from one bad team to another.
Here’s what I think: Hartford is in last place in the Atlantic and it looks like they will finish there.
Trade Deadline is at 3 Wilkes-Barre time tomorrow. Depending on moves made which are notable I’ll have another blog post here Wednesday night breaking it all down.