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Bluelines: Trade Deadline -- Antes, Raises, Calls and Bluffs

By Stan Fischler
February 27, 2012

• The departure of Brian Rolston and Mike Mottau from Long Island to Boston is an interesting one, to say the least. Mottau – when healthy – gave everything he had for Garth Snow’s team. His return to his native Beantown will be a nifty close to what has been a frustrating season for the game defenseman. Rolston, who never fully found his higher gear in Nassau, just might do so on the playoff-bound Champs. 

Peter DeBoer’s assessment of his newly-acquired defenseman Marek Zidlicky is right-on. Zidlicky will require at least two weeks to acclimatize himself to the Devils system. By playoff time, the Czech defenseman should fit neatly into New Jersey’s power play.

• Darcy Regier did well exchanging Paul Gaustad for a first-rounder. While Gaustad served Buffalo well, his absence shouldn’t brake the Sabres rush toward a playoff berth.

• The month-long furor over Rick Nash’s possible move out of Columbus has proven to be – as William Shakespeare would have put it – “much ado about nothing.” At least not yet. Clearly, the Rangers are much better off with their well-knit nucleus then had they been forced to part with such gems as Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh and Chris Kreider, among other Columbus demands.

Sheldon Souray – one of our favorite fellows – won’t win any media points after his critique of Trade Deadline rumor-mongers: “Anybody with knives on their fingers can type on their keyboard and come up with a trade rumor,” explains Shelly. “But it’s a fact of our business, and that’s the way it goes.”

• How about this for the Understatement of the Month? Here’s how Scott Howson analyzed Jeff Carter’s tenure in Columbus: “I think Jeff struggled with this right from the outset.” Think!!??

• The sands of time are rapidly slipping through the hour-glass in terms of the Coyotes future. As has been the case ever since Bettman, Inc. annexed the franchise, there are three sides to the story: 1. The Canadian media, ever-pushing to have Phoenix fail so that another franchise can be established North of the border; 2. The league side: The commissioner makes it eternally clear that franchises only will be moved – exhibit A, Atlanta – out of utter necessity; 3. Behind the-scenes moves that nobody but insiders know about. This much is clear: an Arizona sugar daddy soon must surface if the Coyotes are to remain in Glendale. Because of secrecy involved, that may or may not have happened already. And if it hasn’t happened and the league has given up on Phoenix, negotiations may now be secretly underway to move the Yotes to either Quebec City or Seattle. One way or the other news on this front should surface relatively soon.

• One of the most underrated blog columns is authored by John Shannon for Sportsnet.ca. Here’s a Shannon-ism: “Dale Hunter might be having second thoughts about leaving the comfort of the OHL for the pressure of the NHL. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dale doesn’t return to Washington for a second year, and maybe, just maybe, finds a way to return to the London Knights for their potential Memorial Cup run.  With everything that has happened in Washington this season, nothing would surprise me.”

• My man in Buffalo, Dave Ricci, reports with a sad story about Jordan Leopold: “Jordan Leopold, who makes monthly visits to Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, recently lost one of his closest friends when a little girl named Anna Rose Leavoy lost her battle against brain/spine cancer. Anna Rose was diagnosed in Dec. 2010 when she was just 11 months old. Leopold had become very close to Anna Rose and her family during her battle.” 

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