Until the Los Angeles Kings made the biggest move of NHL trade deadline day by prying forward Dustin Penner away from the Edmonton Oilers, the further breaking up of the Florida Panthers dominated an otherwise dull day of dealing.
Penner was the main marquee player to change teams on Monday, in what was an out-of-character slow deadline day.
The Oilers, who own the NHL’s worst record, unloaded their star forward for an impressive bundle – receiving prospect defenseman Colten Teubert, a first-round pick this year, and another draft selection next year.
There were 16 deals Monday involving 35 players and 12 draft picks, nowhere near the record level of last year when 31 trades with 55 players included were completed.
This was the fewest number of trades on deadline day since 2000 when there were 12. The last time fewer players changed teams was in 2004 when 32 were dealt in 20 trades.
“There’s only a few teams, really, that are out of the playoff races in the East and West. That means most teams were looking to add as opposed to looking to sell players,” Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said. “When that happens, there’s just not a lot of players in play.
“It takes two parties to want to make a deal, and with just a few teams that were willing to trade players away, it made it difficult.”
In addition to Penner, other familiar players on the move included center Jason Arnott, who waived his no-trade clause to go from New Jersey to Washington in a deal that sent Dave Steckel to the Devils; Fredrik Modin was dealt to Calgary by Atlanta for a seventh-round pick; and the Carolina Hurricanes sent forward Sergei Samsonov to Florida for Bryan Allen in one of four deals made by the Panthers.
Florida, which sent veteran former Spokane Chief defenseman Bryan McCabe to the New York Rangers on Saturday, also dealt veteran forward Radek Dvorak to Atlanta for forwards Niclas Bergfors and Patrick Rissmiller. The Thrashers made three deals and claimed center Rob Schremp off waivers from the New York Islanders.
The Panthers also dealt Cory Stillman and Michael Frolik earlier this month.