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Kovalev to Montreal

By IRA PODELL, AP Sports Writer
March 3, 2004
NEW YORK (AP) -- When Alex Kovalev came back to the Rangers just over a year ago, he was the latest All-Star enlisted to return New York to the playoffs.

Instead, he turned into another reason why they haven't qualified for seven straight years.

Kovalev's second stint with the Rangers ended Tuesday night when the disappointing team with the NHL's highest payroll traded the underachieving forward to the Montreal Canadiens for forward prospect Josef Balej and a second-round pick in this year's draft.

"I guess you try to take too much into your own hands and try to do too much and it didn't work out,'' Kovalev said after the Rangers' latest loss, a 4-3 defeat to the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday. "There's a lot more guys here who are star players. I just didn't fit in.

"Maybe I'll fit in better with a younger team.''

A week before the NHL's March 9 trade deadline, the Rangers began the dismantling of the team that's all but eliminated from the playoff race.

New York general manager Glen Sather announced last week when he gave up his coaching duties that changes were about to take place, and he started with Kovalev. His latest stint in New York lasted just over a year.

"I expected that they were going to trade me,'' said Kovalev, who had only 23 goals and 32 assists in 90 games back in New York. "They talked about it a lot, rumors have been around for a while about most of the guys.
"I knew that eventually I was going to go somewhere, so I was ready for that. I tried to still play for this organization. You can't just stop playing, so I kept working hard. Now, I am just going to another team to do my best.''

Kovalev was acquired in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline, just like Pavel Bure was a year earlier, and Jaromir Jagr this year. All came to New York in a desperate attempt to get the Rangers into the playoffs. All were unsuccessful.

Kovalev, earning $6.6 million this season, can become an unrestricted free agent this summer. He was reacquired by New York from Pittsburgh on Feb. 10, 2003, after scoring 149 goals in parts of five seasons with the Penguins, playing much of the time with Jagr and Mario Lemieux.

"He's a good player, but for whatever reason -- whether it was the chemistry or the mix -- it just didn't work,'' Rangers assistant GM Don Maloney said.

Kovalev couldn't apply his scoring touch with the Rangers, the team with which he spent his first six-plus NHL seasons. His goal total back in New York over two seasons was less than each of his final four seasons in Pittsburgh.

"I have to do better than I did before,'' Kovalev said. "I came in and I was happy, and I wish I could have done better with this organization. But I guess it didn't work for me.

"Right now, I don't want to hurt a team anymore and I guess it's just time for me to move.''

So he heads to Montreal, which is seventh in the East, 11 points ahead of Florida for the final playoff spot.

"Our team has shown perseverance and strength throughout this season,'' Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey said. "The opportunity to support the pursuit of our goal of making the playoffs by acquiring a veteran NHL player was presented to us and we have taken on that opportunity.''

Balej, 22, has played 55 games this season with Hamilton of the AHL and has 25 goals and 33 assists. He led the Bulldogs in every offensive category and had a plus-19 rating. The Slovak was Montreal's third-round choice in the 2000 draft.

Kovalev's last game with the Rangers produced his last point, an assist on Dan LaCouture's goal.

This could be the first of many deals for Sather. His team is still filled with expensive chips, such as defenseman Brian Leetch and forwards Eric Lindros and Petr Nedved, that could be attractive for playoff teams.

Rangers trade Nedved, Markkanen to Oilers

March 3, 2004
NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Rangers traded center Petr Nedved and goalie Jussi Markkanen to the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday for forward Dwight Helminen, goalie Stephen Valiquette and a second-round pick this year.

It was the second move for the Rangers in two days. On Tuesday, they sent Alex Kovalev to the Montreal Canadiens for forward prospect Josef Balej and a second-round pick this year.

A week before the March 9 trade deadline, the Rangers began the dismantling of the team that's all but eliminated from the playoff race.

Nedved has appeared in 65 games for the Rangers this season, tallying 14 goals and 17 assists for 31 points, along with 42 penalty minutes.

Markkanen has played in 26 games with New York this season, posting a mark of 8-12-1, along with a 2.56 goals-against average.

Helminen was Edmonton's eighth-round selection in the 2002 entry draft. He has played in 32 games this season for the University of Michigan, scoring 13 goals and 10 assists for 23 points. Valiquette has played in 35 games this season with Toronto of the AHL, posting a record of 14-14-5, along with a 2.59 GAA. He also appeared in one game with Edmonton this season.

Looks like the Rangers are doing some salary dumping.
More Trades!

Sharks acquire Marshall for draft pick

March 3, 2004
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- The San Jose Sharks acquired defenseman Jason Marshall from Minnesota on Wednesday night for a fifth-round pick in the 2004 draft.

Marshall, a 10-year NHL veteran, split time between the Wild and their AHL affiliate in Houston this season. He has one goal and four assists with Minnesota.

He has played 491 career games with Minnesota, Washington and Anaheim.
Brian Leetch also traded to the Leafs. Great trade for the Leafs, this really helps them.

Canadians also got a lot better with Kovalov.

The Rangers are seriously unloading, you wonder if Jagr is going anywhere else.
Jim Dowd to the Canadiens

MONTREAL (TICKER) -- After picking up an offensively gifted player earlier in the week, the Montreal Canadiens grabbed a defensive-minded forward Thursday as they acquired Jim Dowd from the Minnesota Wild for a fourth-round pick in 2004.

Dowd had four goals and 20 assists with 38 penalty minutes and a plus-6 rating in 55 games with the Wild this season. The center was selected by Minnesota in the 2000 expansion draft and had two assists in 15 playoff games last season.

"The acquisition of Jim Dowd gives us the opportunity to add experience and depth to our group of centermen," Canadiens coach Bob Gainey said. "Jim's style of play and his characteristics as a player will be a good complement to our team and will help us in our efforts to secure a playoff spot. He was an important part of the growth of the Minnesota Wild over the past few seasons and has the attributes that we are looking for to continue our progression."

The 35-year-old Dowd has 54 goals and 144 assists in 497 career games with the New Jersey Devils, Vancouver Canucks, New York Islanders, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Wild. He was a member of the 1994-95 Devils team that won the Stanley Cup.
Bruins acquire C Nylander from Capitals

BOSTON (TICKER) -- After bolstering their blue line by acquiring Sergei Gonchar, the Boston Bruins again turned to the Washington Capitals on Thursday as they acquired center Michael Nylander for a second-round pick in the 2006 draft.

Nylander and Gonchar both are expected to play Thursday night, when Boston hosts the New York Islanders.

The 31-year-old Nylander missed the first 63 games of the season with a broken right leg and has two assists in three contests.

"Michael is a proven center who gives us an additional offensive threat," Bruins general manager Mike O'Connell said. "He has fullly healed from his injury and we look forward to having him on our team."

Nylander has played 633 games with five different teams and has 139 goals and 296 assists. In 24 playoff games, the 6-1, 195-pound Swede has three goals and 11 assists.

"Michael is a good player," Capitals general manager George McPhee said. "It's unfortunate that he missed most of this year with an injury, but he wanted an opportunity to play in the playoffs. Given the status of his unrestricted free agency this summer and our reluctance to enter into new contracts until we know what the new collective bargaining agreement holds, we felt it in his best interest to acquire an asset for Michael at this time."

On Wednesday, the Bruins acquired Gonchar from Washington for defenseman Shaone Morrisonn and first- and second-round picks in the 2004 draft. The Capitals have traded away Jaromir Jagr, Peter Bondra, Robert Lang and Steve Konowalchuk this season and have three first-round first picks in the 2004 draft.

The Capitals on Thursday also added a player, claiming defenseman Brad Norton off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings.

The 29-year-old Norton appeared in 20 games for the Kings, recording one assist and 77 penalty minutes.
Blues acquire C Sillinger from Coyotes for G Johnson

March 4, 2004
ST. LOUIS (Ticker) - Mike Sillinger is heading to his 10th NHL team.

The St. Louis Blues on Thursday acquired the veteran center from the Phoenix Coyotes for goaltender Brent Johnson.

Known for his efficiency in the faceoff circle, the 32-year-old Sillinger had eight goals and six assists in 60 games with Phoenix this season. He has won 434-of-771 faceoffs, ranking him 12th in the league at 56.3 percent.

A 14-year veteran, Sillinger has recorded 161 goals and 227 assists in 813 NHL games with nine teams. He had a career-high 44 points with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1999-2000.

The Blues are seeking to make the playoffs for the 25th straight season. They trail Los Angeles by four points for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Johnson, 26, has split the season between St. Louis and Worcester of the American Hockey League, playing 10 games with the Blues and posting a 4-3-1 record with a 2.43 goals-against average and .901 save percentage.

In his fifth NHL season, Johnson went 76-47-12 with a 2.26 goals-against average and 12 shutouts in 143 games with the Blues. In 2002-03, he became one of six active goaltenders to collect 10 or more shutouts in his first 100 games.

Also Thursday, the Blues recalled left wing Peter Sejna from Worcester and activated defenseman Alexander Khavanov from injured reserve.
Flyers acquire Malakhov, trade Therien

March 8, 2004
VOORHEES, N.J. (AP) -- The Philadelphia Flyers shook up their defense Monday, acquiring Vladimir Malakhov from the New York Rangers and trading Chris Therien to the Dallas Stars.

"Malakhov is much better with the puck and a better skater,'' Flyers general manager Bob Clarke said. "He can do things for the team that Chris couldn't.''

Philadelphia sent prospect Rick Kozak and a second-round selection in the 2005 draft to the Rangers for Malakhov, then dealt Therien to Dallas for a pair of draft picks.

Therien had spent his entire 10-year NHL career with the Flyers. He was the longest-tenured active athlete on any professional sports team in Philadelphia.

"He was a favorite of mine,'' Clarke said. "He played here a long time and he played pretty good.''

In exchange for Therien, the Flyers got an eighth-round pick in the 2004 draft and a third-round choice in 2005.

The deal will be finalized as long as Therien passes a physical Tuesday, which is the NHL trade deadline.

Both Malakhov, 35, and Therien, 32, could become unrestricted free agents on July 1. Malakhov makes $3.5 million this season, Therien $2.5 million.

"When you're in these situations, money becomes a factor,'' Clarke said. "To add a player, we felt we had to move a player. With Malakhov coming in, Chris might not always have been in the lineup. It's probably a real good opportunity for Chris.''

The Stars entered Monday fifth in the Western Conference, only two points behind first-place San Jose in the Pacific Division.

Malakhov recently missed about three weeks because of a sprained wrist, but he's healthy again. In 56 games, he has three goals and 15 assists.

He could provide an offensive boost on the Philadelphia blue line, which has been hit hard by injuries to Eric Desjardins (broken arm), Joni Pitkanen (concussion) and Denis Seidenberg (broken leg).

Still, the Flyers led the Atlantic Division and were second in the Eastern Conference, two points behind Tampa Bay.

"I've been traded to a pretty good team that's going to compete for the Stanley Cup and I'm pretty excited about it,'' Malakhov said. "I wasn't frustrated (in New York) but I haven't played in the playoffs in four years and that's the best time of year to play.''

The Flyers have been busy making moves this season, also adding center Alexei Zhamnov, goaltender Sean Burke and defenseman Danny Markov.

In an effort to begin rebuilding with younger players, the struggling Rangers have unloaded several veterans leading up to Tuesday's 3 p.m. EST trade deadline. They also traded Brian Leetch, Alexei Kovalev, Petr Nedved, Jussi Markannen and Chris Simon.

Forwards Martin Rucinsky and Matthew Barnaby, who can become unrestrictedfree agents after the season, could be next.


Flyers captain Keith Primeau, sidelined since Feb. 12 due to a concussion, is close to returning. Primeau passed his final neurological test Monday and practiced with the team for the first time since the injury. He could play Tuesday night against New Jersey. ``I want to play right away,'' Primeau said after a lengthy workout. ``But I'll have to talk with (head trainer) John Worley, doctors and the coaching staff as well. It's still about how I feel. I want to feel 100 percent. I'm closer, I'm still not there. It's important to see how I respond to today's workout.'' ... Jeremy Roenick (fractured jaw) skated with the team for the first time since he was injuredFeb. 12. ... Marcus Ragnarsson (shoulder) is expected back Tuesday night.
I think the deadline is tomorrow (Tuesday).
Capitals send Anson Carter to Kings

March 8, 2004

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Anson Carter's second stint with Washington lasted as long as his first one.

After just 19 games since rejoining the Capitals in the deal that sent Jaromir Jagr to the New York Rangers, Carter was dealt Monday to the Los Angeles Kings for forward Jared Aulin.

"It's something that I've dreamed about for a long time,'' said Carter, who makes his offseason home in Marina del Rey, Calif.

Carter also played 19 games with the Capitals during the 1996-97 season before being traded to Boston as part of the deal that brought Adam Oates to Washington.

It is the second straight year Carter was sent packing just before the NHL deadline. He was dealt to New York by Edmonton in March 2003.

"We were looking to add an offensive player because of the injuries that we've had,'' Kings general manager Dave Taylor said. "When it came down to it, for the price and the players available, we felt that Anson made a lot of sense.''

With New York, Carter struggled like the rest of the Rangers. He had one goal in 11 games with New York last year and has 15 goals in 62 games overall this season.

"I don't think Anson has played as well as he'd like, but he has had success in the Western Conference,'' Taylor said. "We think that we can get Anson going, and we think he can gives us a lift.''

Carter, who can be a restricted free agent after the season, joins Jagr, Peter Bondra, Robert Lang, Michael Nylander and Sergei Gonchar as veterans who were dealt by the Capitals since Jan. 23.

"We're not going to make the qualifying offer and we're not going to extend contracts until we know what's going on,'' Capitals general manager George McPhee said. "So rather than have him walk away in four weeks, we get a 21-year-old player that we like.''

To retain Carter's rights for next season, the Kings would have to match his $2.8 million salary.

The NHL trading deadline is Tuesday, and Taylor wasn't sure if he was done dealing.

"I wouldn't say we have anything hot or anything pending at this point, but we'll keep working the phones,'' he said.

Aulin, the 47th pick in the 2000 draft, has not played with the Kings this season because of a dislocated shoulder in training camp that required surgery.

"To think about it, we probably wouldn't have gotten him if he was healthy,'' McPhee said. "He'd probably be playing in L.A.''

McPhee hopes Aulin, who had two goals and two assists in 17 games for Los Angeles last season, can play in Portland -- Washington's AHL affiliate -- in a few weeks.

This is not expected to be the final move for the salary-dumping Capitals, who still might deal longtime goalie Olaf Kolzig, defender Brendan Witt and forward Mike Grier before the deadline.
T-Monay820 Wrote:I think the deadline is tomorrow (Tuesday).
Tomorrow (Tuesday) at 3pm
Carolina captain Ron Francis traded to Toronto

By MARGARET LILLARD, Associated Press Writer
March 9, 2004
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Carolina captain Ron Francis waived his no-trade clause and was dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.

The 41-year-old Francis, in his 23rd season, ranks fourth in NHL history in career points and second in assists.

The Hurricanes received the Maple Leafs' fourth-round draft pick in 2005.

Francis said Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford began talking to him about waiving his no-trade clause Monday, and he told the team he was willing to consider a move Tuesday morning.

By early afternoon, the deal was done.

"Certainly, they've got a good team and hopefully I can find a little niche to sort of help them out,'' Francis said. "I certainly know a lot about that organization and I'm looking forward to trying to help them.''

In 68 games this season, Francis has 10 goals and 20 assists. In 1,719 career games, he has 546 goals and 1,242 assists.

"It really wasn't important to me what we got,'' Hurricanes president and general manager Jim Rutherford said. "Quite frankly, if we didn't get anything for Ron Francis at this point to accommodate him ... that would've been fine with me. I told Toronto once Ron had said he would go that I'm not going to hold them up or squeeze them hard on a trade.''

Francis is moving to the team he rooted for while growing up.

"Every kid grows up dreaming of playing for them,'' Francis said of the Leafs.

With the uncertainty surrounding the NHL's labor situation, Francis said he wanted to make a final run at a Stanley Cup.

Toronto is fourth in the Eastern Conference with 86 points. The Maple Leafs also recently acquired Brian Leetch from the New York Rangers, another franchise player, as they prepare a push for the Stanley Cup.

Francis started his career with the Hartford Whalers, before being traded to Pittsburgh in 1991. He played on back-to-back Stanley Cup championship teams with the Penguins.

He returned to his original franchise for the 1998-99 season after the Whalers moved to Raleigh, and became the team's captain and elder statesman, known affectionately as "Ronnie Franchise.''

He helped lead the Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup finals in 2002, when they lost to the Detroit Red Wings. Carolina missed the playoffs last season.

This season, the Hurricanes are 12 points out a playoff spot with 14 games remaining.

Francis has been used mostly in a checking role in recent games, though he was fifth on the team in scoring, with 10 goals and 20 assists.

Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said there is no way to know how the team will react to the trade of their captain.

"For the most part, I don't think motivation will be an issue,'' he said. "It hasn't been all year. I think it's an opportunity for different people to step up. There's some veteran players, there's also some players coming up.''

Francis said he will always have fond memories of the Hurricanes' 2002 run to the finals.

"I don't think I've ever seen such a passionate display by sports fans for this team,'' he said.
Flyers shore up defense in trades

By Tim Panaccio, Inquirer Staff Writer

Alexei Zhamnov has known Vladimir Malakhov since the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France, when the two played for the Unified Team.

Zhamnov says he's aware of the stories of how the temperamental Russian is sometimes the best player on the ice and sometimes the most indifferent, depending on his motivation.

"He will be motivated here," Zhamnov said last night after the Flyers acquired the 35-year-old defenseman from the Rangers on the day they also sent veteran Chris Therien to Dallas for two draft picks.

Last night, Flyers general manager Bob Clarke and Rangers GM Glen Sather were in serious discussions on a trade that would also bring defenseman Greg de Vries here by today's 3 p.m. NHL trade deadline. Clarke acknowledged interest in the 31-year-old defenseman yesterday but said initial talks didn't pan out. However, league sources said de Vries could be traded to the Flyers by today.

Zhamnov said of Malakhov: "He told me he is excited to have a chance to play with a Stanley Cup contender. He will be great."

In getting Malakhov, the Flyers gave up 18-year-old right wing prospect Rick Kozak, who was a third-round pick in last summer's draft, along with a second-round pick in '05.

In exchange for Therien, the Flyers will receive Dallas' eighth-round draft pick this summer and its third-round pick in '05. Therien, who has a shoulder injury, has to pass a physical to complete the deal.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Malakhov is a 12-year NHL veteran known for crafty moves with the puck and his skates. Eric Desjardins' future is uncertain because of a right forearm injury, and Therien was not going to play in the postseason unless someone was injured. Malakhov will play, though he has missed 13 games this season with a wrist problem and told the New York Times that the injury was still bothering him.

"I think Malakhov is much better with the puck and a better skater. He can do things that Chris couldn't," Clarke said.

Malakhov earned $3.5 million this year, and there is a $4.25 million option for next season. The Flyers assume $554,878 this year, while saving $380,488 on Therien.

"I was frustrated not playing in the playoffs the last four years," Malakhov said yesterday. "I've been traded to a pretty good team that has a chance to win the Stanley Cup."

Malakhov also claimed he was misquoted about wanting to retire after the season. What he meant, he said, was that he would retire if the NHL held a lockout.

Therien, known as "Bundy" for the character Al Bundy in the TV sitcom Married With Children, had been a fixture on defense since 1994 and had the longest tenure of any pro athlete in Philadelphia - 10 years.

"A little bit surprised," Therien said of the trade. "I am going from one great organization to another. I'm excited about a chance to go there and help another contender with a chance to win the Stanley Cup. My tenure here, we've done a lot of great things. We just fell short, going to the Stanley Cup Finals once... . It hasn't been as enjoyable for me lately. I had some ups and downs. But I'm honored and proud to have been a member of this organization for 10 years."

Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock wasn't his biggest fan, often thinking Therien didn't use his 6-5, 235-pound size to his fullest.

"In some ways, it's tough for [Therien]," Clarke said. "He's been here so long. His wife [Diana] is from here. He and the coach weren't the best of friends. It was not a good situation here for Bundy."

Injury update. Captain Keith Primeau practiced for the first time since Feb. 12 and might play tonight in New Jersey. Jeremy Roenick, wearing a protective face guard covering his entire chin, also practiced with the club but remains weeks away from returning - if at all.

Primeau, who has been skating for weeks, passed his baseline neurological test.

"I want to play right away," he said, meaning tonight.

Hitchcock said Primeau has to be cleared to come off injured reserve. If the medical staff clears Primeau, he would play tonight, Hitchcock said... . Desjardins' return seems to have been pushed back to next week, as he has not been given clearance to practice.
Avalanche acquire goalie Salo from Edmonton

March 9, 2004
DENVER (AP) -- The Colorado Avalanche acquired two-time All-Star Tommy Salo from the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday, bolstering their goaltending for the playoffs.

Edmonton received unsigned prospect Tom Gilbert in the deal and sent a 2005 sixth-round draft pick to Colorado.

Salo is 17-18-6 with a 2.58 goals-against average and three shutouts for the Oilers this season.

Colorado leads the Northwest Division, while Edmonton is fourth.

Salo, drafted by the New York Islanders in 1993, has appeared in 521 NHL games, going 209-222-72 with a 2.56 GAA. He has a 2.59 GAA in 21 playoff games.
Leafs sign D Johansson for remainder of season

March 9, 2004
TORONTO (Ticker) - Defenseman Calle Johansson came out of retirement on Tuesday and signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the remainder of the season.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The 37-year-old Johansson announced his retirement last August after collecting three goals and 15 assists for Washington Capitals last season.

Johansson spent a team-record 15 seasons with the Capitals after being acquired from Buffalo in March 1989. He is the all-time leader among Washington defensemen with 983 points, 474 assists and 51 power-play goals.

Johansson had 119 goals and 410 assists in 1,101 games and 12 goals and 42 assists in 95 playoff games.

The native of Goteborg, Sweden played for his country in the 1998 Winter Olympics, 1996 World Cup, 1991 and 1992 World Championships and 1986 and 1987 World Junior Championships.
Senators acquire De Vries from Rangers
March 9, 2004
OTTAWA (AP) -- The Ottawa Senators added to an already strong defense Tuesday, acquiring Greg De Vries from the New York Rangers for defenseman Karel Rachunek and prospect Alexandre Giroux.

De Vries has three years and $8.8 million left on his contract.

New York, the busiest team leading to Tuesday's NHL trade deadline, has the NHL's highest payroll but is on the verge of missing the playoffs for a seventh straight season. The Rangers are dismantling their team, stockpiling younger players and draft choices.

The Senators now boast a top four defense of De Vries, Wade Redden, Zdeno Chara and Chris Phillips.

De Vries is a reliable two-way defenseman for the struggling Rangers this season, totaling three goals, 12 assists and 37 penalty minutes in 53 games. He had a career-high 32 points in 82 games last season.

Rachunek had one goal and 16 assists this season and will be a restricted free agent July 1.

Giroux, had 19 goals and 23 assists with the AHL's Binghamton Senators this season. He was Ottawa's seventh-round pick in the 1999 NHL entry draft
Stars sign free-agent defenseman Sekeras

March 9, 2004
FRISCO, Texas (AP) -- The Dallas Stars signed free-agent defenseman Lubomir Sekeras of the Swedish league on Tuesday for the rest of the season.

``This signing gives us eight capable defensemen as we head into the playoffs,'' general manager Doug Armstrong said.

The former Minnesota Wild player will join Dallas after completing his immigration paperwork, the team said.

The move came a day after the Stars acquired defenseman Chris Therien from the Philadelphia Flyers for two draft picks. Also Monday, Dallas added veteran offensive wing Valeri Bure from the Florida Panthers for a draft pick and a prospect.

Sekeras, 35, had four goals and 13 assists in 33 games with Sodertalje SK of the Swedish Elite League. He played the previous three seasons with Minnesota, scoring the winning goal last year in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals against Vancouver.
Blue Jackets get C Holzinger from Pens for LW Pirjeta

March 9, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) - The Columbus Blue Jackets obtained center Brian Holzinger from the Pittsburgh Penguins for left wing Lasse Pirjeta on Tuesday in a trade deadline deal involving teams that will miss the playoffs.

Holzinger had six goals, 15 assists and a minus-27 rating in 61 games for the last-place Penguins. The speedy 31-year-old also has played for Buffalo and Tampa Bay and has 92 goals and 145 assists in 534 NHL games.

Pirjeta, a 29-year-old Finn, had two goals and eight assists in 57 games with the Blue Jackets. He also played five games for Syracuse of the American Hockey League and had a goal and three assists.
Isles obtain D Karpovtsev from Blackhawks for draft pick

March 9, 2004
UNIONDALE, New York (Ticker) - The New York Islanders added depth on defense at Tuesday's NHL trade deadline, acquiring Alexander Karpovtsev from the Chicago Blackhawks for a 2005 fourth-round draft pick.

Karpovtsev has seven assists and a minus-14 rating in 24 games this season, missing 36 games following ankle surgery and another four contests due to a sore back.

The 33-year-old Russian broke into the NHL with the New York Rangers in 1993 and also played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, totaling 34 goals and 153 assists in 587 games.

The Islanders could use help on the blue line after Radek Martinek went down for the rest of the regular season with a broken left ankle in February. New York has a six-point lead over Buffalo for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
Sabres acquire RW Grier from Caps for C Klepis

March 9, 2004
BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) - The Washington Capitals kept dealing at Tuesday's NHL trade deadline, sending rugged right wing Mike Grier to the Buffalo Sabres for center Jakub Klepis.

Grier followed right wings Jaromir Jagr, Peter Bondra and Anson Carter and centers Robert Lang and Michael Nylander out of Washington as the Capitals trim payroll from a team that will miss the playoffs for the second time in three years.

"Mike Grier is one of the finest individuals we have ever had in Washington. It was difficult to trade Mike, but as we look to the future, we couldn't pass on the opportunity to acquire Klepis," Capitals general manager George McPhee said.

Grier, 29, has eight goals, 12 assists and a minus-19 rating in 68 games this season, his second with Washington and eighth in the NHL.

Klepis was taken by Ottawa with the 16th overall pick in the 2002 draft. The 19-year-old Czech was traded to Buffalo in February 2003 and has four goals and nine assists in 44 games this season with HC Slavia Praha in the Czech Republic.

"Klepis was one of the best players on the ice at the World Junior Championships this year and we project him to be a very productive player in the NHL," McPhee said. "He will fit nicely into the young core of players we now have."
Kings get LW Cowan from Thrashers for LW Brennan

March 9, 2004
LOS ANGELES (TICKER) -- The Los Angeles Kings made a minor deal Tuesday at the NHL trade deadline, acquiring Jeff Cowan from the Atlanta Thrashers for Kip Brennan in a swap of left wings.

Cowan, 27, has played 58 games this season, recording career highs with nine goals and 15 assists.

"Jeff is a big, physical winger who forechecks well and is strong around the net," Kings general manager Dave Taylor said. "We like his work ethic and feel he will be a real good fit for our team."

Brennan, a 23-year-old rookie, had one goal and 79 penalty minutes in 18 games with Atlanta. He also played two games with Mancester of the American Hockey League.
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