Scott Cullen looks inside the numbers to break down all the NHL deals.
Big moves will get the full Numbers Game columns, but all other trades will get covered here:
Numbers Game: St. Louis to Rangers; Callahan to Lightning
Numbers Game: Canadiens make splash, add Vanek
Numbers Game: Kings Bring in Gaborik
Numbers Game: Oilers Send Hemsky to Senators
Numbers Game: Wild Acquire Moulson from Sabres
Numbers Game: Luongo returning to the Panthers
Numbers Game: Blues get Miller, Ott from Sabres
WEAVER to CANADIENS for a fifth-round pick in 2015
Montreal gets a veteran defenceman to shore up their blueline, most likely to take minutes away from Douglas Murray, who has been getting chewed up in possession terms. Mike Weaver is an undersized, 35-year-old right-shooting blueliner who generally plays hard minutes, with defensive zone starts against high quality of competition, and has averaged more than 20 minutes per game for Florida over the past four seasons.
Weaver, an unrestricted free agent in the summer, is not flashy, with seven goals in 585 career games, but he's active in a defensive role -- one of 26 defencemen to have at least 90 hits and 90 blocked shots so far this season.
Joining the Canadiens, Weaver won't have to play such difficult minutes, but he is an upgrade to fill a defensive and penalty killing role.
The fifth-round pick doesn't offer huge value, about a 12% chance of yielding an NHLer, so Weaver's departure from Florida is more about providing opportunity for younger defencemen to play.
Weaver has most recently been partnered with Dmitry Kulikov, but Erik Gudbranson and Dylan Olsen should take on more minutes as the Panthers play for next season.
PENNER to CAPITALS for a fourth-round pick
Dustin Penner is a 31-year-old winger who has great size (6-foot-4, 242 pounds) and good hands. He's a five-time 20-goal scorer whose play had declined over the past couple seasons, but was resurrected to some degree in Anaheim this year, spending much of his time skating on the top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.
That's important because unless Penner is going to play with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom (and he could), he's not likely to have linemates that lead to the same kind of offensive production he had with Getzlaf and Perry. Penner has been an effective possession player throughout his career and, at his best, can be a real beast to handle down low in the offensive zone.
Penner comes relatively cheaply, at a $2-million cap hit, and will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer. He can give the Capitals some secondary scoring and his presence certainly makes it easier for the Capitals to move out Martin Erat, if that long-rumoured transaction might actually take place.
The Ducks' decision to move out Penner leaves room for lots of speculation, as someone like Thomas Vanek might be a pretty sweet upgrade to play with Getzlaf and Perry. That's the real value of the move -- the next domino to fall -- as opposed to the fourth-round pick, which offers about a one-in-six chance of netting an NHL player.
FASTH to OILERS for a fifth-round and 2015 third-round pick
Viktor Fasth, 31, had a wonderful first season in the NHL last year, posting a .921 save percentage for the Ducks in 25 games, and looked like he would have a chance to win the starting job this season, but he only played five games before getting hurt. He hasn't played since November 18, battling lower-body injuries since.
Going to the Oilers, Fasth brings a $2.9-million cap hit and sets up a competition between Fasth and the just-signed Ben Scrivens for next season. While the Fasth-Scrivens duo has combined for a total of 88 NHL games, they are also two of 24 goaltenders with a combined save percentage of .915 or better since the start of last season (minimum 30 games).
Given the poor goaltending the Oilers have had this season, they have a decent shot at getting solid play out of their new tandem going forward.
Anaheim was dealing from a position of strength. Jonas Hiller, while an unrestricted free agent at season's end, is a decent veteran, but rookie Frederik Andersen has been great (.929 SV%) and John Gibson, who has a .923 save percentage in his first AHL season, may be the top goaltending prospect in hockey.
Between a third and fifth-round pick, the Ducks have better than a one-in-three chance of getting an NHL player but, like the Penner deal, the value to the Ducks is clearing Fasth's salary for a bigger move.
BRYZGALOV to WILD for a fourth-round pick
It said something about the desperation the Edmonton Oilers were feeling about their goaltending this season that they resorted to signing Ilya Bryzgalov, the flighty 33-year-old whose game had fallen off so dramatically in Philadelphia.
Nevertheless, Bryzgalov played 20 games for the Oilers, posting a .908 save percentage, which is below average (.913) as NHL goaltenders go, but his even-strength save percentage, which has more sustainability has been a respectable .924 over the past three seasons, good enough to take a chance on as a backup to rookie Darcy Kuemper, who has a .922 save percentage in 24 career games.
The Oilers planned for Bryzgalov's departure by acquiring Fasth from Anaheim, but Minnesota's goaltending situation is murkier. Josh Harding, who had been so great this year, has been sidelined while he tries to regulate his MS medication, and 36-year-old Niklas Backstrom is having the worst season of his career. The more interesting matter for the Wild, long-term, is that Backstrom is under contract for two more seasons.
ROBIDAS to DUCKS for a conditional fourth-round pick
Stephane Robidas, 37, has been out of the Stars' lineup since suffering a broken leg November 29, but he's played big minutes against tough opposition for much of his time in Dallas. He's still a couple of weeks away from returning to action but, when he does, Robidas should step in to play more than 20 minutes per game in a shutdown defensive role, which could knock Ben Lovejoy a peg down the depth chart on the right side (and leave Bryan Allen, Luca Sbisa and Mark Fistric fighting for playing time).
Robidas, who comes with a $3.3-million cap hit, will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer, but he's nice upgrade for a Ducks defence that could use his experience and toughness in the postseason.
Since Robidas has been out for more than three months, the Stars have already adjusted their lineup to accomodate for his absence. Most recently, their top four on defence consists of Alex Goligoski, Trevor Daley, Brenden Dillon and Jordie Benn.
The pick going to Dallas is the fourth-rounder that Anaheim acquired from Washington in the Penner trade, though it is conditional and can move up to a third-round pick if the Ducks reach the Western Conference Final with Robidas playing at least half of their playoff games.
MacDONALD to FLYERS for MANGENE, a third-round pick and 2015 second-round pick
A long-time member of the unheralded and underpaid club, for making $550,000 while playing more than 23 minutes a night for the Islanders, Andrew MacDonald has been crushed under the workload that the Isles have given him this year, a career-high 25:25 per game while taking on the opposition's best forwards night after night. His with-or-without-you numbers show that virtually every Islander has fared better in possession terms when playing without MacDonald. That's obviously a problem.
So, if the Flyers are going to get a positive contribution out of MacDonald, they need to use him differently. Play him less and not against top competition on a regular basis, and maybe then the results won't be tilted so negatively.
Adding MacDonald, who barely costs anything with one-quarter of a $550,000 cap hit due to him, does give the Flyers some depth on the blueline, enough that they might consider moving out Andrej Meszaros or someone else.
Mangene is an undrafted prospect out of the University of Maine who has 17 points in 92 career AHL games. Not much reason to think that the 24-year-old is going to crack an NHL lineup, but the Flyers are pushing up against the 50 contract reserve limit, so including Mangene leaves room to make another move.
For the Islanders, the second and third-round picks, cumulatively, there is a better than 50% chance those picks will yield an NHL player. With MacDonald gone, there will be more opportunity for young defencemen to take on more minutes. Calvin De Haan is already taking a prominent role, but maybe Matt Donovan gets another look too.
RUNDBLAD and BRISEBOIS to BLACKHAWKS for a second-round pick
David Rundblad, 23, was a first-round pick (17th overall) by St. Louis in 2009, but hasn't been able to secure a full-time NHL job, playing a total of 50 games, during which he has nine points and a minus-20 rating.
The positive side is that Rundblad is a skilled offensive defenceman, who has 59 points in 86 AHL games, and while that plus-minus is ugly, he's been a victim of both poor goaltending and low on-ice shooting percentage in his limited NHL duty, so there is reason to believe his numbers will get better.
Certainly, considering the Blackhawks gave up a second-round pick to acquire him, Rundblad should get an opportunity to find his game in Chicago. Maybe not immediately, but he gives the Blackhawks a right-handed puck-moving option and is signed through next season, with a favourable cap hit of $785,000.
Mathieu Brisebois is a 21-year-old rookie pro who was undrafted out of the QMJHL. He's an undersized defenceman who has some offensive ability, but has a long way to go before he can consider challenging for an NHL job.
ERAT and MITCHELL to COYOTES for KLESLA, BROWN and a 2015 third-round pick
Martin Erat, 32, had requested a trade out of Washington and the process might have been made easier if he had more than one goal in 53 games this season, but he's finally found a new home in Phoenix. Erat had been a steady, consistent offensive performer until the past couple seasons, during which he has goals and 48 points in 98 games. He's also gone from playing 19 minutes a night in Nashville to 15 minutes per game for Washington, so it's not shocking that his numbers have decreased.
While his goal production has slipped, Erat remains a solid enough possession player in relative terms, so it's reasonable to expect him to be a contributor in an offensive role for the Coyotes, potentially slotted on the wing with former Capital Mike Ribeiro or with fellow Czechs Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata.
Erat is under contract for another year, at a $4.5-million cap hit, so there is some investment here, to upgrade their skill, by the Coyotes.
The John Mitchell included in this deal is not the Avalanche checking forward, rather this John Mitchell is a big minor-league forward, a 27-year-old who has 57 points in 191 career AHL games.
Going to Washington, 31-year-old defenceman Rostislav Klesla has fallen out of favour in Phoenix, playing a career-low 16:31 per game this season, in addition to playing the first AHL games of his career (3 G, 6 A, plus-8 in 21 AHL GP). In a position of limited responsibility this year, Klesla has actually fared okay, so it's conceivable that he could get an opportunity with the Capitals, who have had a revolving door on the lower portion of their blueline depth chart this season.
Klesla, who makes $2.975-million, will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer.
Chris Brown is a 23-year-old physical winger who has good size and has shown decent offensive ability in a couple of AHL seasons, putting up 43 goals and 82 points in 119 games since leaving the University of Michigan. Brown had no points and 19 penalty minutes in 11 games with the Coyotes over the past two seasons, so he hasn't made his mark in the NHL yet, but is knocking on the door and could get a look with Washington soon enough.
CONACHER to SABRES (via waivers)
Cory Conacher is a 24-year-old winger who the Senators acquired, with a fourth-round pick, last season in exchange for Ben Bishop. Considering Bishop's season in Tampa Bay, Conacher had virtually no hope to offer similar value to Ottawa.
Furthermore, Conacher started his career with 12 points in seven games, playing with Steven Stamkos, but his production has dipped decidedly since, with 37 points in 100 games since, including four goals and 20 points in 60 games this season.
Conacher played at nearby Canisius College, scoring 130 points in 109 games over his last three seasons, before tallying 114 points in 118 AHL games on his climb up the ranks. Those numbers show the kind of offensive skills that Conacher has, but the big question is whether the 5-foot-8 winger can generate offence consistently in the NHL. He had adequate possession stats in Ottawa and should get a decent opportunity to play in Buffalo, where they are busy auditioning players for next season.
Conacher will be a restricted free agent in the summer, and comes with a cap hit of $871,250 this season.
It probably doesn't hurt Conacher's case that he's being acquired by Tim Murray, who had been with the Senators' organization previously.
POTTER to BRUINS (via waivers)
Corey Potter, 30, is a right-handed defenceman with good size (6-foot-3) who has been something of a late bloomer, playing 111 of his 120 career NHL games over the past three seasons.
Potter has been stomped in possession terms this season, though some of that is a function of a small sample while playing for a terrible team because he's been adequate in the previous two seasons.
Potter offers cheap depth ($775,000 cap hit, UFA in summer) for the Bruins, given the state of their blueline, with Matt Bartkowki and Kevan Miller playing regular minutes, maybe Potter will have a chance to play at some point. The Oilers only played Potter 16 games this season to begin with, so there shouldn't be too much adjustment required to filling out the lineup for the rest of the season without him.
MCNABB, PARKER and two second-round picks to KINGS for FASCHING and DESLAURIERS
Brayden McNabb is a 23-year-old, 6-foot-4 defenceman who is really due for a longer look in the NHL. He has 95 points and a plus-23 rating in 145 career AHL games and has eight points and an even rating in 37 games with the Sabres. His relative possession stats are okay and it's reasonable to at least give him a chance on the third pair or as a seventh defenceman at the very least.
Whether McNabb gets a regular shot with the Kings down the stretch or not, he has top-four upside and is a viable insurance option for the offseason as the Kings have veteran physical defencemen Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene heading for unrestricted free agency.
Jonathan Parker is a 22-year-old SoCal native who played in the Western Hockey League, topping out with 86 points in 71 games for Prince Albert in 2010-2011. He has 12 points in 76 career AHL games and 35 points in 46 career ECHL games.
The Sabres have accumulated quite a stockpile of second-round picks recently, so it's not a surprise that they are willing to include some in order to get assets that they would like to have in the system. A pair of second-round picks, cumulatively, offer better than a 50% chance of netting an NHL player.
Hudson Fasching is a right-winger that the Kings drafted in the fourth-round last summer, but the 18-year-old, 6-foot-3 power forward is having a tremendous freshman season at the University of Minnesota, scoring 12 goals and 27 points in 31 games while contributing four points in five games for Team USA at the World Juniors.
The Sabres are taking a swing on Fasching's upside, looking to land a big forward who can score, even if he's going to take a few years to develop.
Nicolas Deslauriers is a 23-year-old who came up as a defenceman before shifting to forward this season and he's put up 18 goals and 39 points in 60 AHL games, not enough to expect that he's a sure thing to take the next step to the NHL, but enough to think that Deslauriers may get a chance at some point, particularly if he continues to improve in his new position.
DUBNYK to CANADIENS for future considerations
G Devan Dubnyk was an above-average NHL goaltender in the previous three seasons, posting a .917 save percentage in 120 games, before his numbers collapsed (.891 SV%) in Edmonton and Nashville this year. He was brought in as insurance in Nashville, but only played two games, leaving Carter Hutton to handle the bulk of the starts in Pekka Rinne's absence.
With Rinne returning to action this week, and with the Canadiens currently missing injured starter Carey Price, Dubnyk offers some measure of roster insurance in case Price's absence goes longer than expected and Peter Budaj needs a break. For the time being, though, Dubnyk is joining Hamilton in the AHL.
He comes with a $3.5-million cap hit and will be a restricted free agent in the summer. Considering how this season has turned out, there's a strong chance that Dubnyk doesn't get a qualifying offer.
GOC to PENGUINS to for a fifth-round pick and a 2015 third-round pick
30-year-old Marcel Goc is a highly-underrated two-way pivot who has consistently played hard minutes, against tough competition, in Florida. He's been reliable enough that he could even knock Brandon Sutter down to a fourth-line role in Pittsburgh.
Goc, who earns $1.7-million per season, will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer, so he's a rental and an inexpensive one at that, with the value of a third and fifth-round pick offering little more than a one-third chance of yielding an NHL player.
From the Panthers' perspective, they get to use the rest of the season to test their young centres, including new acquisition Brandon Pirri and call-up Vincent Trocheck, both of whom have a chance to offer future value to the franchise.
RUUTU to DEVILS for LOKTIONOV and a conditional third-round pick in 2017.
Ruutu, 31, is a veteran forward that can play both ends of the rink, but has been particularly unlucky this season, managing just 16 points with a minus-19 rating in 57 games. The offensive decline is one thing, since Ruutu is playing a career-low 14:15 per game and generating 1.39 shots per game, his lowest since 2007-2008. That's not the entire story, as Ruutu's on-ice shooting percentage is a career-low 6.85%.
Where Ruutu gets undermined is in terms of on-ice save percentage (.891), which plays a notable part in his negative plus-minus number.
In New Jersey, Ruutu can play a top nine role and while he's not likely to be a huge scorer, he's also scored more than 50 points a couple of times in his career, so he's not altogether unfamiliar with the objectives in the offensive zone.
The big issue with Ruutu is his contract, which brings a $4.75-million cap hit for two years beyond the current season. If Ruutu can't produce offensively, then there's no way that he'll provide value for that contract but the expectation is that the Hurricanes will be retaining some of that salary which will help mitigate the cost. If he produces like a 15-to-20-goal-scorer (which was his standard through 2011-2012), then Ruutu could be enough of an addition to improve the Devils' shot at the postseason.
Loktionov, a 23-year-old centre, has only played 12:19 per game, but he's managed decent puck possession stats with a heavy slant (64.0%) of his starts towards the offensive zone. While Loktionov has only 38 points in 135 career games, he has some skill and a little as yet unrealized offensive potential. If he's ever going to realize that potential, though, Loktionov needs to get stronger.
Loktionov will be a restricted free agent at season's end, so the final quarter of this season could go a long way towards determining his future with his new team.
THOMAS to STARS for ELLIS
Tim Thomas, 39, has had an up-and-down return to the NHL after a season on hiatus. His overall save percentage is .909, which is below average, but his even-strength save percentage (.911) is among the lowest in the league this season. There's probably something to Thomas not being completely ready to handle a starter's workload, particularly on a shaky Panthers team.
Going to Dallas, Thomas does offer some insurance as Kari Lehtonen's backup. The Stars are playoff contenders and if Lehtonen gets hurt, the Stars may feel more confident with Thomas instead of Dan Ellis, whose even-strength save percentage is only .902 this season.
Thomas will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and comes with a $2.5-million cap hit. Once the Panthers acquired Roberto Luongo, it was understandable that the Panthers didn't want any kind of controversy between their veteran goaltenders.
33-year-old Ellis is a mediocre backup option, with a .904 save percentage in 33 games over the past two seasons, and he's under contract for next season as well, at a cap hit of $900,000, so he can get used to being buddies with Luongo.
N. SCHULTZ to BLUE JACKETS for a fifth-round pick
There was a time when 31-year-old Nick Schultz was a shutdown defensive defenceman, but those days are in the rearview, it appears, because his possession stats have been abysmal this season. But, with the Blue Jackets missing a couple of defencemen -- Fedor Tyutin and Ryan Murray -- at the moment, Schultz offers some experience and the Blue Jackets can hope that a new situation will work more in Schultz's favour.
When the Blue Jackets' defence is healthy, Schultz could be relegated to seventh defenceman status, so he's not supposed to be a major impact player and the price that Columbus paid reflects that. Fifth-round picks have about a 13% chance of turning into NHLers, so the Oilers take that roll of the dice and get to give some of their young defencemen more opportunities late in the year.
MESZAROS to BRUINS for a third-round pick
Meszaros, 28, has battled injuries and is playing far less than he did in previous seasons -- a career-low 17:22 per game this year -- and he wasn't really doing much for the first half of this season following an injury-plagued 2013 season, but he's been a little fortunate with percentages on his way to contributing 14 points in the past 19 games.
The Bruins have been looking for a veteran to take the place of Dennis Seidenberg since Seidenberg suffered a season-ending knee injury, and Meszaros is familiar to GM Peter Chiarelli from their time in Ottawa, but it will be interesting to see if Meszaros can get back to playing 20-plus minutes per night (as he did from 2006-2007 through 2011-2012), or whether he's going to be a third pair option.
When the Flyers added Andrew MacDonald from the Islanders Tuesday, that gave them some options on the blueline. Even after moving out Meszaros, they still have Luke Schenn and Erik Gustafsson as their sixth and seventh defencemen.
DIAZ to RANGERS for a 2015 fifth-round pick
Diaz is a 28-year-old defenceman who barely played (a total of 12:54) in the past couple games with Vancouver, a far cry from the 25:46 he played in his first game with the Canucks, a month ago, when Vancouver's defence was depleted by injuries.
A right-handed defenceman who can move the puck, Diaz has decent possesion numbers and could very easily slide into a regular spot on the Blueshirts' blueline, possibly ahead of Kevin Klein on the right side.
With Diaz moving on and the Canucks' defence healthy, rookie Ryan Stanton is likely the beneficiary, set to handle regular third pair minutes for Vancouver.
LEGWAND to RED WINGS for EAVES, JARNKROK and a conditional third-round pick
After 956 regular season games with the Nashville Predators, 33-year-old David Legwand is on his way to the Red Wings, a team desperate for help down the middle since Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are both hurt (not to mention Darren Helm and Stephen Weiss).
Legwand has been a strong two-way player, who has decent possession numbers while playing tough minutes. His ice time (17:13 ATOI) is down a bit this year, his lowest since 2001-2002, but Legwand is primed to take on a significant role for the Red Wings down the stretch.
While Legwand, who will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer, may not be a long-term solution for Detroit, he's a reliable two-way player that should help immediately and give the Wings a better chance to make the playoffs.
Eaves, 29, has been a spare part winger for Detroit, scoring four goals and 14 points in 69 games over the past three seasons. He doesn't play a lot and, when he does, it's with fourth-liners, so the on-ice shooting percentage has been low, though probably expectedly so. Eaves will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer, but can handle depth minutes for the Predators down the stretch.
The much more interesting acquisition for Nashville is Calle Jarnkrok, a second-round pick in 2010 who was a hot commodity in Sweden but has taken some time to adjust to the North American game, putting up 39 points in 66 AHL games going back to late last season.
However, recent production is much more favourable for Jarnkrok, as he has three goals and 16 assists, with a plus-4 rating, in the past 16 games. Jarnkrok is expected to be a solid two-way centre in the NHL and could combine with Filip Forsberg to add offence in the not-too-distant future for the Predators.
The draft pick is set to be a third-round pick, though it bumps up to a second-round pick if the Red Wings make the playoffs. All in all, it's a pretty nice return for the Predators, who get some long-term value while surrendering a player who had been with the franchise since he was drafted second overall in 1998.
BERRA to AVALANCHE for a second-round pick
Berra, 27, has struggled (posting an .897 SV%) in his first NHL season, so it seems that the Avalanche paid a relatively steep price for a backup goaltender. If the Avs only need Berra as insurance in case Jean-Sebastien Giguere's back causes him problems, that's fine, maybe he won't play much at all. But, if that's the premise under which he was acquired, why would it cost a second-round pick for a rental that will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer?
With Berra moving on, there ought to be more opportunity then for rookie Joni Ortio, who had a .926 save percentage in the AHL and may be the de facto starter now that Karri Ramo is hurt.
STEMPNIAK to PENGUINS for a third-round pick
Stempniak, 31, is a solid enough winger who has been asked to play tough minutes for the struggling Flames. He plays against tough opposition and, in relative terms, has strong possession numbers and, playing more than 19 minutes per game, he's genrating a career-high 2.77 shots on goal per game. He's finishing on a career-low rate (5.6%), but that's the kind of rate that is due to improve.
In Pittsburgh, Stempniak may be in a really nice spot to see a bump in his numbers. While he might not seem the ideal player to skate on a line with Sidney Crosby, the same could have been said about Pascal Dupuis, the injured winger who the Penguins have been trying to replace. Beau Bennett may still get a chance on Crosby's wing at some point, but look for Stempniak to get his shot too.
In the Flames' case, they somehow ended up with Mike Cammalleri still on their roster after the deadline but, by moving pending free agent Stempniak, that opens up more room for the club's prospects to audition late in the year. Markus Granlund, Corban Knight and Max Reinhart should all be among those Flames forwards to get decent looks late in the year.
HALAK and a third-round pick to CAPITALS for NEUVIRTH and KLESLA
Halak is a 28-year-old who was bumped out of St. Louis by Ryan Miller who, statistically, is about equal with Halak over recent seasons, so Halak is plenty of capable of handling a starter's workload if that's what the Capitals need, depending on Braden Holtby's play. Halak will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer, so he may not be in D.C. long, but if the Capitals are going to push for a playoff spot this year.
From the Sabres' perspective, they sacrifice one of their many draft picks and take on Rostislav Klesla for the rest of the season in order to add Michal Neuvirth, a 25-year-old goaltender who might have what it takes to be an NHL starter. He has a .910 save percentage in 134 career games (.912 in 26 games over the past two seasons), so it's possible that Neuvirth is more suited to a backup role, but this is an opportunity for him to compete with Jhonas Enroth for playing time.
Under contract for another year, at a $2.5-million cap hit, Neuvirth has a chance to take his game to a new level and, playing for the Sabres, he won't lack for shots against when he does play.
Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.