- Tristan H. Cockcroft, Fantasy
Sure, it took some time, but when the NHL trade deadline finally arrived, a late flurry of deals did create some buzz in the fantasy hockey world. While no true "elite" fantasy stud changed hands, several lesser-known names should attract some interest thanks to their recent change of sweaters. Let's take a look at the 10 most intriguing deadline transactions:
1. The Edmonton Oilers acquired left wing Sergei Samsonov from the Boston Bruins in exchange for centers Marty Reasoner and Yan Stastny and a 2006 second-round pick. Before the season, no one ever would have expected the Bruins to trade both Joe Thornton and Samsonov in the same year, but in what has turned into a terrible campaign in Boston, the impossible happened. Samsonov, a free-agent-to-be this summer, provides an instant offensive punch to the Oilers, who are trying to hang on in the Western Conference playoff race (they're currently tied for the final spot). For fantasy, there might not have been a better thing for his value than a change of scenery. In Edmonton, he already has been paired up with Ryan Smith, and looks good in that assignment. Expect a healthy dose of power-play time for Samsonov, helping him recapture most of the form that made him a 75-point performer five years ago, and if you're a Smyth owner, his value should increase, too.
2. The Florida Panthers agreed to terms with center Olli Jokinen on a four-year contract extension. I said "deadline moves," not necessarily "deadline deals," and the Jokinen news is an important thing for fantasy owners, especially since most were salivating over the idea he might wind up in Ottawa as a member of the Senators' potent offensive attack. Instead, Jokinen, who was reportedly struggling in his contract negotiations with the Panthers the past several weeks, surprisingly re-upped with the team shortly before the deadline, quashing all the rumors surrounding him. Of course, the immediate reaction Jokinen's owners might have is that remaining in Florida doesn't make him any more exciting, and everyone immediately assumes that once a player signs a big-money deal, he lets up a bit statistically. But that's not the case here. Jokinen scored two goals on Friday against the Hurricanes, a top playoff contender, and he has 11 goals, 22 points and a plus-13 rating in his last 15 contests, so he's clearly not taking it easy right now. He's among the hottest players in the game, and seems primed to remain that the rest of the season.
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