Now that we approach February 27, the trades are coming faster and faster.
Eric Belanger has been involved in 2 trades. First, it appeared that he was going to be a 3rd line center with the Hurricanes, but he ended up rotating between 3rd and 4th. Also, Josef Vasicek hadn't been off too well with Nashville, although better than last year with 4 goals and 13 points in 38 Preds games. The Canes are giving him a second chance. Back to Belanger, as of February 9th, with Nashville. The Predators are strong at center, with Jason Arnott, David Legwand, Scott Nichol, and Jerred Smithson with the team, and Vernon Fiddler on the farm. Clearly, Belanger probably wasn't going to fit with them. So, being slightly thin on defense veterans, Belanger was shipped to Atlanta for Vitaly Vishnevski. Now, technically, but not really, Belanger has tied a record by having been a part of 4 different NHL rosters this year. But that is nullified due to the fact that he will likely only play games for Carolina and Atlanta. He was traded from Los Angeles during the preseason or before, and was traded from Nashville to Atlanta the day after he joined Nashville.
Another trade, this one more surprising, was that Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau, two of the less likely San Jose to Boston players to be traded, were shipped to Calgary for Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew. I find this to be a slightly bad trade for Boston. Brad Stuart, despite his struggles this year, is still a 20-minute a night guy with a safe style of play, and would be a top-3 D-man. Primeau is a strong defensive forward who can contribute 5-10 goals a season. On the other side, Andrew Ference is probably a #5-6 defenseman who had a good offensive season last year, but otherwise has been low-scoring and stay-at-home. Chuck Kobasew is probably the key player on this side of the trade, as he is a young prospect with offensive potential. But this year he is struggling to be productive and he has some injury trouble.
In Eastside Hockey Manager....
Penguins- Not much has happened with this group, but I lost a few AHL players to free agency.
Rimouski- Again, not much, but I signed a couple new young goaltenders after losing Michael Chiasson and trading Maxime Roy-Dressiaux or however it's spelled.
Prince Albert- Martin Hanzal was signed by the St. Louis Blues, so I will only get him off a loan.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton- It's likely that Shane Hnidy and Erik Christensen will get sent to the minors.