Anaheim Ducks make flurry of trades at deadline with eye on Stanley Cup

March 3, 2015

The Anaheim Ducks' brass did their best Jerry Jones impression, executing four trades at the NHL's trade deadline that should upgrade the team defensively for a deep playoff run.

In the deal most likely to make an immediate impact, the Ducks acquired defenseman James Wisniewski and Detroit’s third-round selection in the 2015 NHL Draft from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for left wing Rene Bourque, center William Karlsson, and Anaheim’s second-round selection in the 2015 NHL Draft.  Wisniewski will be under contract for the next two seasons.

In another trade, the Ducks acquired defenseman Simon Despres from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for defenseman Ben Lovejoy.

In a third trade, the Ducks also acquired center Michael Sgarbossa from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defenseman Mat Clark.

Finally, the Ducks acquired defenseman Korbinian Holzer from the Toronto Maple Leafs in a fourth deal in exchange for defenseman Eric Brewer and Anaheim’s fifth-round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft.

At the very least, the team's subpar power play performance should improve after today's wheeling and dealing, as Wisniewski, 31, has the skill to be effective in that area.  This is the 5-11, 203-pound defenseman's second stint with the team, as he played 86 games from 2008-10, collecting 4-37=41 points with 72 penalty minutes (PIM).

Selected by Chicago in the fifth round (156th overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Wisniewski has scored 53-216=269 points with 449 PIM in 538 career NHL games with the Blackhawks, Ducks, New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, and Blue Jackets.

Bourque, 33, was acquired from Montreal in exchange for Bryan Allen, but has been unproductive. Bourque played 43 games with the Ducks and Canadiens this season, earning 2-8=10 points with 18 PIM.

The greater loss was Karlsson, 22, a highly regarded prospect who collected 2-1=3 points with a +1 rating and two PIM in 18 games with Anaheim this season. The 6-0, 185-pound center made his NHL debut on Oct. 11 at Detroit and scored his first two NHL goals, including his first career game-winner, on Oct. 13 at Buffalo.   He was selected by Anaheim in the second round (53rd overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Meanwhile, Despres, 23, has good size and upside and has appeared in 144 career NHL games with Pittsburgh, recording 5-28=33 points with a +27 rating and 120 penalty minutes (PIM).

Selected by Pittsburgh in the first round (30th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Despres scored 2-15=17 points with a +9 rating and 64 PIM in 59 games this season. Despres led Pittsburgh defensemen in hits (184), ranks second in scoring, assists and PIM, and third in shots on net (76) and blocked shots (85).

But Despres didn't come cheap either, as Lovejoy, 31, has been a solid contributor for the Ducks.  He collected 1-10=11 points with a +3 rating and 17 PIM in 40 games this season, and ranked second among Anaheim defensemen in hits (99) and fourth in blocked shots (73).

Acquired from Pittsburgh in exchange for a fifth-round selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Lovejoy earned 6-33=39  points with a +30 rating and 85 PIM in 150 career games with the Ducks.

The acquisition of Holzer, 27, adds depth to the defense.  Holzer has collected 2-7=9 points with 55 penalty minutes (PIM) in 58 career NHL games with Toronto.

Brewer, 35, combined for 1-5=6 points with 24 PIM in 26 games with the Ducks and Tampa Bay Lightning this season.  He has appeared in 991 career NHL games, scoring 75-191=266 points with 780 PIM.

As for the 5-11, 180-pound center Sgarbossa, 22, he has earned one assist (0-1=1) with 14 penalty minutes (PIM) in nine career NHL games with Colorado. Sgarbossa appeared in three games with the Avalanche this season, recording his first career NHL point on Dec. 4 at Calgary.

He was selected to play in the 2013 AHL All-Star Classic and finished his rookie season with 19-25=44 points in 57 games. Prior to joining Lake Erie, Sgarbossa won the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) scoring title with 47-55=102 points in 66 games for Sudbury in 2011-12.

Clark, 24, appeared in nine career NHL games with Anaheim, earning one assist (0-1=1) with six PIM.  The 6-4, 220-pound blue liner was selected by Anaheim in the second round (37th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft.

Overall, the NHL saw a frenzy of activity at the deadline, as clubs made 24 trades involving 43 players today.  The list of the day's other transactions is below:

Arizona traded D Zbynek Michalek and a conditional draft pick to St. Louis for C Maxim Letunov.

Arizona traded D Mark Louis to NY Islanders for G David Leggio.

Boston traded RW Jordan Caron and its 6th-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft to Colorado for C Maxime Talbot and C Paul Carey.

Boston traded C Jared Knight to Minnesota for C Zack Phillips.

Buffalo traded C Torrey Mitchell to Montreal for LW Jack Nevins and Montreal's 7th-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Buffalo traded G Michal Neuvirth to NY Islanders for G Chad Johnson and a 3rd-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Buffalo traded RW Chris Stewart to Minnesota for Minnesota's 2nd-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Buffalo traded C Brian Flynn to Montreal for Montreal's 5th-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Calgary traded LW Sven Baertschi to Vancouver for Vancouver's 2nd-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Chicago traded RW Ben Smith and a conditional draft pick to San Jose for C Andrew Desjardins.

Colorado traded D Karl Stollery to San Jose for C Freddie Hamilton.

Columbus traded D Jordan Leopold to Minnesota for D Justin Falk and Minnesota's 5th-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Edmonton traded D Jeff Petry to Montreal for a 2nd-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft plus a conditional draft pick.

New Jersey traded D Marek Zidlicky to Detroit for conditional draft picks.

NY Islanders traded C Cory Conacher to Vancouver for C Dustin Jeffrey.

Philadelphia traded D Braydon Coburn to Tampa Bay for D Radko Gudas and Tampa Bay’s 1st- and 3rd-round picks in the 2015 NHL Draft. (If Tampa Bay fails to make the playoffs in 2015 and ends up with the first overall selection, Philadelphia will receive the New York Rangers’ 1st-round pick in 2015, previously acquired, in lieu of Tampa Bay’s own 1st-round selection).

Pittsburgh traded D Robert Bortuzzo and its 7th-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft to St. Louis for D Ian Cole.

St. Louis traded C Joakim Lindstrom and a conditional draft pick to Toronto for C Olli Jokinen.

San Jose traded C Tyler Kennedy to NY Islanders for a conditional draft pick.

Tampa Bay traded RW Brett Connolly to Boston for Boston's 2nd-round pick in the 2015 and 2016 NHL Draft.

By Staff of and news services

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