Another NHL Trade Deadline is in the books.
After a very quiet morning, the action picked up significantly in the final hours leading up to the deadline on Wednesday with 17 trades being made including a deal that sent Marian Gaborik from the New York Rangers to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
With the deadline less than an hour away, the Rangers and Blue Jackets swung arguably the biggest deal of the day when New York sent Gaborik along with Steven Delisle and Blake Parlett to Columbus in exchange for Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, John Moore and a sixth-round draft pick.
"I was surprised. I heard little rumours here and there. I didn't try to focus on it, I can't control it," Gaborik told TSN. "I was surprised, but it's a challenge and I'm looking forward to it."
Gaborik waived his no movement clause to allow the deal to go through.
"I had some time to think about and I talked to some guys who played there and I talked to John Davidson. I decided that they are a young team going in the right direction."
Another major move saw Jason Pominville and a fourth-round draft pick in 2014 traded from the Buffalo Sabres to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Johan Larsson, Matt Hackett, a first-round pick in 2013 and a second-round in 2014.
Despite the flurry of activity near the deadline, the biggest story of the day might be the players who were not moved. Two of the most talked about names in the days leading up to the deadline were Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo and Calgary Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff but neither was moved Wednesday.
TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported earlier in the day that, despite discussions with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Kiprusoff elected to stay in Calgary and will likely retire after the season.
"I met with Kipper this morning and Kipper indicated that he really would like to remain with the Calgary Flames," Flames general manager Jay Feaster said at a post-deadline news conference. "From his perspective given the family situation and the new baby, he just doesn't feel that he's ready to move on, that he didn't want to go to another organization (and) that he would like to finish things here,"
The Maple Leafs also had discussions with the Canucks about Luongo but a deal never materialized.
"My contract sucks," Luongo said at a post-deadline news conference. "It's a big factor in trading me and why I'm probably still here. I'd scrap it if I could right now."
Luongo also said that despite not being traded as he had hoped, he was happy to have the deadline behind him.
"It's nice to get past this point," Luongo said. "I've been pretty calm about the situation until yesterday, late evening, for some reason I started getting weird feelings in my stomach. I was getting nervous. It was the first time I've had that type of feeling in my gut," he said.
While Corey Schneider and Luongo both remain on the Canucks roster for the remainder of the season, the team will likely shop Luongo once more this summer.
The Maple Leafs in turn will continue to ride their current goaltending tandem of James Reimer and Ben Scrivens for the remainder of the season.
"We weren't crushed today to learn we couldn't get Kipper to come because we felt that we had two quality guys here," general manager Dave Nonis said.
Toronto did, however, make a trade to bolster their defensive depth acquiring defenceman Ryan O'Byrne from the Colorado Avalanche for a fourth-round draft pick.
"He's not going to come in here and take over the defensive corps. He's a defensive defenceman. We feel he can play with good players," general manager Dave Nonis said. "We have 12 games left and we wanted to make sure that we weren't in a position where we were short on defence. We were very comfortable with him as a player and as a person."
"I kind of had a feeling that something might happen but you're always surprised when you're dealt," O'Byrne said. "Toronto's a team that's right in the mix and I'm really excited to be joining them. From my days in Montreal I always enjoyed playing in Toronto and I'm looking forward to getting there."
The Ottawa Senators traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Tampa Bay Lightning. In return, the Senators get rookie forward Cory Conacher and a fourth round draft pick.
"It's going to be a good opportunity," said Bishop. "Obviously, it's bittersweet. I made a lot of friends and they have a good playoff team here in Ottawa, so that's the sad part."
Bishop appeared in 13 games with the Senators this season, posting an 8-5 record, a .922 save percentage and a 2.45 goals-against average.
Conacher scored nine goals and 15 assists in 35 games with the Lightning this season.
The Philadelphia Flyers were also interested in Bishop but thought the price was too high. Instead, they made a deal with the Blue Jackets to acquire veteran goaltender Steve Mason. The Flyers sent goaltender Michael Leighton and a third round draft pick in 2015 to Columbus.
The Blue Jackets were the most active team on deadline day as they also acquired Blake Comeau from the Calgary Flames in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick and Patrick Killeen from Pittsburgh in a pair of separate moves.
The Edmonton Oilers, meanwhile, acquired forward Jerred Smithson from the Florida Panthers. In exchange, the Panthers receive a fourth-round draft pick. Smithson has scored 38 goals and 57 assists in 578 career NHL games with the Panthers, Los Angeles Kings and Nashville Predators.
Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini said he did not want to trade any of the Oilers core players before the deadline as he felt it would send the wrong message to his young team that has fought its way back into playoff contention.
"The last thing I wanted to do was take away something, where they thought maybe they didn't have as good a chance to win as they did the day before," said Tambellini. "Yes, there were a lot of different scenarios where I could have moved people for mid-round picks, maybe a little higher in a couple of circumstances, but that wasn't my goal coming into this deadline."
Tambellini said that Smithson should ive the Oilers some much needed help in the faceoff circle and gives the team some extra size.
"Jerrod Smithson is well known for his defensive abilities, (is) a very strong face-off person," said Tambellini. "He brings us size and strength in the faceoff circle. He can play centre, he can play wing so he's a versatile guy. And the fact he's a veteran player, is something we were looking for."
In a late breaking move, the Washington Capitals also sent highly touted forward prospect Filip Forsberg to Nashville for F Martin Erat and propsect Michael Latta.
Despite a flurry of pre-deadline day activity, the Pittsburgh Penguins also made yet another deal on Wednesday. The Penguins acquired Jussi Jokinen from the Carolina Hurricanes for a conditional draft pick.
The Penguins made a big splash in the trade market last week, acquiring former Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla, former Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow and San Jose Sharks defenceman Douglas Murray.
TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie reports that if Jokinen plays in 25 percent of Pittsburgh's games in 2013 and Pittsburgh reaches the Stanley Cup Final, Carolina will receive a seventh round pick. If Jokinen plays in 50 percent of Pittsburgh's games in 2013 and the Penguins win the Stanley Cup Carolina will receive a sixth round pick.
Jokinen provides the Penguins with some added depth to help fill the gap while Sidney Crosby recovers from a broken jaw.
The Boston Bruins, meanwhile, picked up Wade redden from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a conditional seventh round draft pick in 2014. That pick becomes a sixth-rounder if Redden plays in at least one palyoff game with Boston. The Bruins were also involved in the first trade made on deadline day, a deal which saw Boston send Maxime Sauve to Chicago for Rob Flick.
The San Jose Sharks also made a pair of deadline day deals. They acquired Scott Hannan from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a conditional sixth or seventh round draft pick. Hannan spent the first eight years of his NHL career with the Sharks. The Sharks also picked up Raffi Torres from the Phoenix Coyotes for a third-round draft pick.
In a pair of separate moves, Phoenix also sent Matthew Lombardi to the Anaheim Ducks for Brandon MacMillan and Steve Sullivan to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a 7th round draft pick.
The Ducks also sent Jeff Deslauriers to Minnesota for future considerations.
A few players also changed teams on deadline day via the waiver wire.
The Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets, despite trade discussions with several teams, both ultimately stood pat on deadline day.
The Jets were reportedly talking to the Sabres about a deal that would send Alexander Burmistrov to Buffalo for right-winger Drew Stafford.
"It's one of those things where at different points in time you're talking lots of different players with lots of different teams and different scenarios," said Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff. "This is the group that earned the opportunity to be battling at this point in time for a playoff position."
The Jets did, however, make one move on deadline day, picking up Mike Santorelli on waivers from the Florida Panthers. Santorelli helps offset the loss of Nik Antropov who is out two weeks with a lower body injury.
The Philadelphia Flyers also made a waiver claim, picking up Adam Hall from Tampa Bay.