NHL Deadline Rumours: The trades that got away

The NHL trade deadline came and went and Dan Hamhuis is still a member of the fading Vancouver Canucks. It was enough to put GM Jim Benning under fire during his post-deadline conference on Monday.

Monday’s NHL trade deadline brought us 19 trades involving 37 players, but what of the players we expected to be moved that stayed put.

Jonathan Drouin, Dan Hamhuis, Loui Eriksson, Radim Vrbata, P.A. Parenteau, and Scott Hartnell were not traded, but some of their non-trades have interesting stories.

The day after deadline, we round up the rumoured deals that almost came to fruition. Sorry, Jim Benning.

How did the Hamhuis-to-Dallas deal fall to pieces?

Unlike Vancouver Canucks teammate Vrbata (more on him later), defenceman Dan Hamhuis did receive trade offers. Screaming “west side for life,” Hamhuis was willing to accept a trade to Chicago or Dallas but not Boston or Washington or Tampa — the reported Eastern Conference tire-kickers.

Ed Willes of The Province cites a “highly placed Stars source” when he reports the Canucks had a trade in place to send Hamhuis to Dallas in exchange for a “similar” package the Stars eventually sent to Calgary for Kris Russell.

“The deal was taken to Canucks ownership. Ownership requested more. The Stars rejected that request and made the trade with the Flames,” Willes writes. “Dallas then came back to the Canucks with a lesser offer for Hamhuis — believed to be a draft pick in 2017 — but were turned down.”


“They lost the deal,” Willes’s Stars source says. “The deal Calgary got was pretty much available to Vancouver.”

The Canucks GM denied the story.

“We set out the framework for the deal. The next call we got was from [Dallas] saying they did the deal with Calgary,” Benning said.

Troubled Drouin

“Jonathan is suspended. If he wants to come back and play, the door is open,” Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said Monday, after failing to find a suitable trade for his sulking sophomore. “That’s up to him.”

Yzerman hopped on Tampa sports radio station 620 WDAE Tuesday morning and clarified that open door only leads to one place for now.

“If he wants to play hockey, his options are, go to Syracuse,” Yzerman said on-air. “I frankly don’t expect him to want to come back.”

The GM explained that in exchange for Drouin, he wanted a player that could be with the Lightning long-term, preferably one that could give his power play a boost. No one like that was available, said Yzerman, who reasserted his control by not giving into deadline pressure.

According to StlToday.com, Yzerman asked cap-tight St. Louis for a package that included rookie forward Robby Fabbri or rookie defenceman Colton Parayko.

Surely, the Lightning’s incredible play of late — seven straight wins has Tampa tied with Florida atop the Atlantic — helped alleviate some of Yzerman’s urgency to pull the trigger. Drouin, remember, can still be dealt in-season.

Nada for Vrbata?!

The consensus deadline “loser,” according to those of us quick to cast judgment, idle Vancouver received a grand total of zero trade offers for winger Radim Vrbata, reports Ben Kuzma of The Province.

“Not even a palatable draft pick for a diminishing asset,” Kuzma writes.

The 34-year-old’s high price tag ($5 million cap hit) and low production proved to be roadblocks after he handed Benning his eight-team yes-trade list. Still, no one floated an offer for a guy who scored 31 goals just a year ago.

Vrbata’s staying looks worse when you consider Calgary scooped a second and a fourth from Florida for 32-year-old Jiri Hudler.

“We didn’t receive a concrete offer on him,” Benning told Kuzma. “He gave us a fair list, and we talked to the teams and a couple went in a different direction and the others weren’t buying players at the deadline.”

What did the Bruins want for Eriksson?

As evidenced by moves made by the Avalanche and Bruins, bubble teams opted to either add or stand pat rather than subtract Monday. The Bruins are going for it, but will the likes of Lee Stempniak and John-Michael Liles give them the edge over the Eastern powers?

Pending unrestricted free agent Loui Eriksson, 30, didn’t sign his extension nor was he dealt.

According to CSSNE’s Joe Haggerty, the Bruins were asking for a young, top-four defenceman in exchange for Eriksson. The Blues, Wild and Ducks all made offers too low for GM Don Sweeney’s liking. Anaheim acquired lower-tier wingers Brandon Pirri and Jamie McGinn instead.

Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe expects Sweeney to chase a Mathew Dumba–type defenceman via trade at the draft, and the Bruins have an extra first-round pick to dangle as trade bait.

In brief…

  • The Ducks poked around at pretty much every winger available (expect Vrbata, apparently), according to the Orange County Register. GM Bob Murray inquired about Eriksson, Drouin, Andrew Ladd and Eric Staal, but was loathe to include young defencemen Sami Vatanen, Shea Theodore or Brandon Montour in a deal for the bigger names.

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