With the final move ( I think) of the scramble for quality upgrades yesterday, the Penguins picked up a 2010 6th round pick from the Leafs. All it took to get that...defenseman Chris Peluso. Who you say? I know of no such Peluso fellow, you say?
That's because he was drafted in the 7th round in the 2004 Entry Draft. Peluso plays college hockey for Bemidji State of College Hockey America. He has tallied 7 assists and has a +4 rating in 24 games.
Since I really know nothing other than that about this guy, I would have to say it is an upgrade. Any time you can turn a 7th round pick into a 6th round pick is an upgrade, right? Who knows. Either way, it shows that Shero wasn't just concerned with this year...primarily yes, but not entirely. The Pens now have 8 picks in the draft with a 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, (3x) 6th, and a 7th.
How about the rest of the league? How did your team fair? What was left on the table? Yesterday's mad dash for victory was saw the most transactions of any trade deadline to date. 55 players changed hands (some multiple times) in the whirlwind of trading before 3PM Eastern Time yesterday.
I'm pretty happy with the outcome of the Pens deals. They addressed the scoring winger problem with Poni and didn't have to get rid of very much for him. They also switched a 7th rounder for a 6th rounder which was an upgrade. I will be interested to see how the Jordan Leopold deal pays off down the stretch.
The overall consensus pick for the winner here in most arenas has been the Devils. Obviously, Kovalchuk gives them probably the best offensive player they have ever had and puts them in a position to compete right now. They are a far cry from the best in the NHL but will most likely make a name for themselves come playoff time. The only problem is that he may only become a rental player and in that case, they will still have issues down the road.
On the opposite side is the team that dumped Ilya. The Thrashers did nothing to replace their star player. They made no moves to solidify a scorer or protect their net. Vishnevsky is no replacement for Lehtonen, even though he hadn't played this year. The signing of Chris Chelios just baffles me and the Clarke MacArthur trade to Buffalo was just a waste of draft picks. I'm guessing Atlanta will be out of the playoffs.
I also think the Leafs helped themselves for some future playoff appearances. With Phaneuf and Giguere, they have added that star talent they needed to push them back up to the playoff caliber type team. They also did really well moving draft picks and young talent between Pittsburgh, Anaheim, Calgary, Phoenix, and New Jersey. Calgary got the raw end of the deal with Phaneuf considering they received nothing to build a team around, let alone a solid line. Toskala has been relegated to backup duties and may stay there permanently. Curtis McElhinney would have eventually been a #1.