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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Oilers dominate NHL's trading deadline

If anybody believes the NHL hasn't changed- just take a look at the first trading deadline under the new CBA. Gone are the days when big market teams would unload prospects for rental players, and smaller market teams like the Oilers would gush when they acquired players like German Titov.

The new CBA still has a fleury of trades on the deadline but now everybody is a participant. Every playoff team can upgrade there talent by choosing how much draft picks and prospects they want to sacrifice. Also non-playoffs can get in the mix by trading for castaways that they can use next season.

The Edmonton Oilers made the biggest impact on the trading deadline. The night before they acquired the top goaltender available (Roloson) and today they traded for Samsonov. The other big name goaltender traded was Theodore but he's injured and has played horrible this year. Roloson has played solid the past few years and dropped to the no.2 goalie in Minnesota because of Fernandez's phenomal season this year where he is challenging for the league lead in save percentage.

Sergei Samsonov started off strong this season by averaging a point a game but his numbers plummeted when Thornton was traded away and Samsonov never meshed with any of the other centerman. Here's what teams made the most significant improvements at the deadline.

1. Edmonton Oilers

They now have a proven no.1 netminder (Roloson) and a super-talented winger (Samsonov) who might score some key goals in the playoffs.

2. Carolina Hurricanes

They acquired Doug Weight a few weeks ago and added to their offense by trading for Mark Recchi.

3. Colorado Avalanche

It's debatable if Theodore will make an impact this season. But did steal Theodore for a goalie (Aesbister) who they were going to waive anyway. Also last time Colorado acquired a goalie from Montreal it paid off with two Stanley Cups.

4. Anaheim Mighty Ducks

They were suppossed to be out of the playoff hunt when they dumped veterans Fedorov and Sykora. But now they are three points out (thanks to their young players) and added Friesen to help them out.

5. NY Rangers

They added Sykora a few months ago and now have a former teammate of his- Sandis Ozolinsh. Ozolinsh is one the league's most lethal offensive defenseman and is just out of rehab. If he fails, all it cost them will be a draft pick.