Bertuzzi Suspended Indefinitely: (updated 6:06 EST) Forward Todd Bertuzzi of the Vancouver Canucks has been suspended indefinitely without pay following a match penalty assessed for deliberately injuring Steve Moore during Vancouver’s 9-2 loss to Colorado Monday night. Bertuzzi punched Moore in the head from behind, and Moore collapsed to the ice as his blood pooled around him.
Moore, who had hit Vancouver captain Markus Naslund hard enough to cause a concussion back on February 16, was taken off the ice on a stretcher and transported to the hospital. Moore will miss the rest of the season with a concussion and neck fracture.
A hearing will take place Wednesday at the NHL’s offices in Toronto to determine the length of Bertuzzi’s suspension. British Columbia Provincial Police are also investigating the incident.
Canucks Stack Up for Playoffs: (5:58 EST) The Vancouver Canucks put through a flurry of deals just before the deadline, hoping to provide the missing pieces of the playoff puzzle. Their biggest deal was to acquire left wing Martin Rucinsky from the New York Rangers in exchange for defenseman Martin Grenier and the rights to unsigned draft pick RJ Umberger. They also acquired left wing Geoff Sanderson from the Columbus Blue Jackets in return for a third round draft pick in 2004, and gained left wing Sylvain Blouin from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Rene Vydareny. On defense, the Canucks picked up Marc Bergevin in exchange for a 2004 seventh round draft pick. (So many left wings…. could they be expecting to not have Todd Bertuzzi for the playoffs?)
Preds Fine-Tune Roster at Deadline: (5:49 EST) The Nashville Predators continued to adjust their roster in hopes of their first ever playoff run by acquiring defenseman Shane Hnidy from the Ottawa Senators for a third round pick in the 2004 draft and sending Stan Neckar to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a 2004 sixth round pick. Neckar knows the Lightning well- he played for them for parts of the previous three seasons.
Kings, Thrashers Swap Wingers: (4:23 EST) The Los Angeles Kings made a minor deal Tuesday at the NHL trade deadline, acquiring Jeff Cowan from the Atlanta Thrashers for Kip Brennan in a swap of left wings. Cowan, 27, has played 58 games this season, recording career highs with nine goals and 15 assists. “Jeff is a big, physical winger who forechecks well and is strong around the net,” Kings general manager Dave Taylor said. “We like his work ethic and feel he will be a real good fit for our team.”
Sharks, Bruins, Sabres Complete 3-Team Deal: (updated 4:19 EST) The San Jose Sharks, Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres have completed a three-way swap of two centers and a defenseman. Defenseman Jeff Jillson, originally a Shark, was traded from Boston to Buffalo. Buffalo sent center Curtis Brown to the Sharks, who sent defenseman Brad Boyes to the Bruins.
The deal was followed by another three-way trade with the same teams. Buffalo sent defenseman Andy Delmore to San Jose for a ninth-round pick in 2005, and the Sharks sent Delmore to Boston for future considerations.
Sabres Obtain Grier: (4:16 EST) The Washington Capitals continued to trim the payroll before the deadline by giving up veteran right wing Mike Grier to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for 19-year-old Czech prospect Jakub Klepis. “Mike Grier is one of the finest individuals we have ever had in Washington. It was difficult to trade Mike, but as we look to the future, we couldn’t pass on the opportunity to acquire Klepis,” Capitals general manager George McPhee said. Klepis has 4 goals and 9 assists in 44 games this season with team HC Slavia Praha in the Czech Republic.
Isles Pick Up Karpovtsev: (3:30 EST) The New York Islanders acquired defenseman Alexander Karpovtsev from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a fourth round draft pick in 2005. Karpovtsev is expected to add depth at the blue line and help fill the hole left when defenseman Radek Martinek sustained a broken left ankle which will keep him out for the rest of the regular season.
Jackets, Pens Make Deal: (3:27 EST) The Columbus Blue Jackets acquired center Brian Holzinger from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for left wing Lasse Pirjeta in a trade deadline deal between teams that will miss the playoffs. Each player, however, should help his new team to improve for next season.
Rangers Restock Depleted Team: (3:06 EST) The New York Rangers have been trading away most of their higher-level players for prospects and draft picks in a desperate effort to dump salary. They filled two holes in the lineup by picking up forward Sandy McCarthy (formerly of the Boston Bruins) and center Mike Green (formerly of the Florida Panthers) from waivers Tuesday afternoon.
Blues Acquire Savage: (3:01 EST) The St. Louis Blues picked up left wing Brian Savage from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for future considerations. In a separate deal, the Coyotes gained defenseman Tom Koivisto from the Blues in return for other future considerations.
Stars Sign Sekeras: (2:24 EST) The Dallas Stars signed free agent defenseman Lubomir Sekeras of the Swedish Elite League through the end of this season. Sekeras, formerly of the Minnesota Wild, will join his new team as soon as his immigration paperwork is completed. “This signing gives us eight capable defensemen as we head into the playoffs,” said Dallas general manager Doug Armstrong.
Sekeras will join trade acquisitions Chris Therien and Valeri Bure as the newest members of the Stars.
Francis Waives No-Trade Clause: (1:25 EST) Veteran center Ron Francis waived his no-trade clause and was sent to the Toronto Maple Leafs. In return, the Carolina Hurricanes recieved a fourth-round draft pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Francis, the now-former Hurricanes’ captain, had refused to accept a trade until today. The Vancouver Canucks were also interested in acquiring him, but Francis did not want to play in the travel-intensive Western Conference. He will provide veteran leadership to the Maple Leafs in their playoff run.
The Leafs also acquired left wing Chad Kilger off waivers from the Montreal Canadiens.
Rangers Continue to Sell: (1:00 EST) The New York Rangers continued their fire sale, sending defenseman Greg DeVries to the Ottawa Senators for Karel Rachunek and Alexandre Giroux. DeVries was signed by the Rangers before the start of this season and was one of their more consistant defensemen. Rachunek was one of the Senators’ top defensemen and will be one of the pillars of the rebuilt Rangers’ defensive corps. Giroux, a center, has not played in the NHL this season.
Avs on the Move: (12:00 EST) The Colorado Avalanche made two deals in the hours leading up to Tuesday’s 3:00 EST trade deadline. Most notably, Colorado acquired goaltender Tommy Salo from the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday in exchange for the rights to defenseman Tom Gilbert. The Avalanche also acquired Edmonton’s sixth round pick in the 2005 draft as part of the deal. The 33-year-old Salo has never won a playoff series, but has lost four times to the Dallas Stars in the first round.
Colorado also sent defensemen Derek Morris and Keith Ballard to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for center Chris Gratton, defenseman Ossi Vaananen, and the Coyotes’ second round pick in the 2005 draft.
Leafs Sign Johansson: (12:00 EST) Defenseman Calle Johansson came out of retirement to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the remainder of this season. Johansson retired from the Washington Capitals in August of 2003. He holds the Capitals’ all-time records for points (983), assists (474), and power play goals (51) by a defenseman. Financial terms of the deal with Toronto were not disclosed.
DetroitHockey.Net writer Clark Rasmussen contributed