Welcome to Empty Netter semi-live trade blog. This is exclusive coverage from our couch. Pretty much, we're just going to sit here in Castle EN's misson control watching TSN's TradeCentre show, keep an eye on Twitter and write up the trades or any other transactions here on the blog. If the Penguins are involved in any transactions, we'll create an individual post for that. Enjoy:
9:56 a.m.: The Kings signed forward Justin Williams (right) to a four-year deal worth $14.6 million. He will have a salary cap hit of $3.65 million. Williams was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. In 62 games this season, Williams, 29, has 49 points (20 goals, 29 assists)
EN Says: Solid move for the Kings. They keep a top-six player under contract. And that's not a bad cap hit for a guy who is good for 20 goals a season if healthy. That said, that's a big IF. Williams has been relatively healthy this season after a few seasons of battling injuries.
10:32 a.m.: The Thrashers have signed defenseman Mark Stuart (right) to a three-year contract worth $5.1 million. He will have a salary cap hit of $1.7 million. In 35 games this season, Stuart has five points (one goal, five assists) Stuart, 26, was acquired earlier this month along with forward Blake Wheeler in a trade which sent forward Rich Peverley and defenseman Boris Valabik to the Bruins. Stuart was scheduled to become an urestricted free agent after this season.
EN Says: Stuart is a solid No. 5-6 defenseman who won't make or anyone's team. He's a physical force and will drop the gloves on occasion but he offers little in the way of offense. That's a slightly high cap hit for a player with limited offense.
10:38 a.m.: The Panthers have traded forward Radek Dvorak (right) and a fifth-round draft pick to the Thrashers in exchange for forwards Niclas Bergfors and Patrick Rissmiller.
Dvorak, 33, has appeared in 53 games this season and has 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists). Scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, Dvorak has a salary cap hit of $1.7 million.
Bergfors, 23, has played in 52 games this season and has scored 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists). Scheduled to become a restricted free agent this offseason, Bergfors has a salary cap hit of $900,000.
Rissmiller, 32, has played in one NHL game this season and has no points. He has spent most of the season with Lake Erie of the AHL. In 43 AHL games this season, Rissmiller has 30 points.
EN Says: This is exactly what the Thrashers need. Dvorak is a fantastic penalty killing forward and the Thrashers have the third-worst penalty kill in the NHL at 77.3 percent. He'll provide an immediate upgrade in that area. For the Panthers, they're clearly re-building and Bergfors is a legit top-six forward prospect who just didn't work out with head coach Craig Ramsay. He's exactly the type of player the Panthers need to build a new foundation. Rissmiller is a "tweener" NHL/AHL type.
11:38 a.m.: It's been an hours since the last trade. A pretty quiet day so far. Given the fact that so many major deals occurred int he past two weeks involving the likes of Tomas Kaberle, James Neal and others, there just aren't a lot of major deals to be made today. On top of that, there are only really six teams which are clear-cut sellers right now. So many teams believe they have a chance at the postseason.
11:45 a.m.: The Panthers have traded defenseman Dennis Wideman to the Capitals in exchange for forward prospect Jake Hauswirth and a third-round pick this summer. In 61 games this season, Wideman, 27, has 33 points (nine goals, 24 assists) and is a minus 26. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after 2011-12. He has a salary cap hit of $3,937,500.
Hauswirth has appeared in 37 games with the ECHL's South Carolina Stingrays and has scored 14 points.
EN Says: We like the move for the Capitals in that they don't give up a lot to get a good puck moving defenseman. And with defenseman Mike Green battling health issues in regards to his head, they need someone to pick up those minutes. But Wideman is not very good defensively. He a lite version of Green. If the Capitals can team him with someone like Scott Hannan, perhaps some deficincies in his defensive game can be nullified.
For the Panthers, it's more of the same, they're re-building. But they didn't get a lot in return. The draft pick probably has the most value. Hauswirth is a margainal prospect at best.
12:02 p.m.: A few minor waiver claims. The Thrashers claimed forward Robbie Schremp, 24, from the Islanders. In 45 games this season, Schremp (right) has 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists)
The Senators claimed goaltender Curtis McElhinney, 27, from the Lightning. The Lightning acquired McElhinney in a trade last week which sent Dan Ellis to the Ducks. In 21 games this season, all with Anaheim, McElhinney has a 6-9-1 record with a 3.43 goals against average, .890 save percentage and two shutouts.
The Flames claimed defenseman Brett Carson, 25, from the Hurricanes. In 13 NHL games this season, he had no points.
12:03: The Red Wings signed goaltender Jimmy Howard to a two-year contract extension worth worth $4.5 million. He will have a salary cap hit of $2.25 million. Howard, 26, has a 30-12-3 record this season with a 2.79 goals against average and .908 save percentage. He was scheduled to become a restricted free agent after this season.
EN Says: That's a really good cap hit for a starting goaltender on a Stanley Cup contender. That said, he still battles with consistency.
12:51 p.m.: The Blue Jackets have traded defenseman Rostislav Klesla (right) and forward Dane Byers to the Coyotes in exchange for forward Scottie Upshall and defenseman Sami Lepisto.
Klelsa, the first first-round in the history of the Blue Jackets, has appeared in 45 games this season and has 10 points (three goals, seven assists). Signed through 2013-14, Klesla, 28, has a salary cap hit of $2.975 million.
Byers, 24, is a forward prospect. In 48 games with the AHL's Springfield Falcons this season, he has 25 points.
Upshall, 27, has appeared in 61 games this season and has 27 point (16 goals, 11 points). He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He has a cap hit of $2.25 million.
Lepisto, 26, has played in 51 games this season and has 11 points (four goals, seven assists). Scheduled to become a restricted free agent this offseason, he has a salary cap hit of $800,000.
EN Says: We like this move for the Coyotes more than the Blue Jackets. The Coyotes are a little shorthanded on defense with Ed Jovanovski recovering from a head injury. Klesla, when healthy, can eat some major minutes. He competent in all areas of the game, but hardly stands out in any of them. He offers size at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds but his biggest minus is that he's injury prone. Interestly, Klesla is now one of two players on the Coyotes' roster signed past 2012-14.
For the Blue Jackets, they get an agitator in Upshall who has some scoring touch. Defensively, Upshall is a hard worker in the high traffic areas.
Lepisto is a small body (6-foot-0, 190 pounds) who can move the puck and eat minutes. He's not a strong presense in his own zone and tends to lose physical battles.
1:56 p.m.: The Blackhawks have acquired defenseman Chris Campoli (right) and a conditional seventh-round pick from the Senators for an forward Ryan Potulny and a second-round pick.
Campoli, 26, has appeared in 58 games this season and has scored 14 points (three goals, 11 assists). Scheduled to be a restricted free agent after this season, he has a salary cap hit of $1.4 million.
Potuln, 26, has played in three NHL games this season and has failed to score a point. In 58 games this season with the AHL's Rockford IceHogs, Potulny has scored 41 points. He is a restricted free agent after this season and has a salary cap hit of $500,000.
EN Says: We like the trade for the Senators. They unload a depth defenseman for a fairly high draft pick. Potulny is a decent throw-in.
Campoli is a depth defenseman with offensive abilities. The Blackhawks never really got over the depth they had to purge from their roster last offseason and with Jordan Hendry going down last night with an disclosed injury, the Blackhawks need healthy bodies on the blue line. At the very least, Campoli provides that.
Potulny is a depth player. He has produced points at the NHL level. He had 32 points in 64 games with the Oilers in 2009-10.
2:04 p.m.: The Hurricanes have acquired defenseman Bryan Allen from the firesale Panthers in exchange for forward Sergei Samsonov.
Allen, 30, has appeared in 53 games this season and has 12 points (four goals, eight assists). He is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after 2011-12. He has a salary cap hit of $2.9 million.
Samsonov, 32, has appeared in 58 games this season and has 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists). Scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season, Samsonov has a salary cap hit of $2.533 million.
EN Says: This is exactly the move the Hurricanes need. They aren't an overly big or physical team. Allen is a big body (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) and loves to mix it up. He can be a Hal Gill-type for the Hurricanes. He doesn't offer much on offense but the Hurricanes don't need that from him.
Something tells the Panthers had to take Samsonov in return just to clear salary. He's been relegated to a fourth-line role and he's entering the final year of his contract. He's definitely not part of the Panthers' future.
2:14 p.m. The Ducks added a little grit to the lineup by acquiring forward Brad Winchester from the Blues in exchange for a third-round pick this summer
Winchester, 29, has appeared in 57 games, scored 14 points (nine goals, five assists) and 86 penalty minutes. Scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season, Winchester has a salary cap hit of $700,000.
EN Says: Winchester is pretty much a third/fourth-line grinder with a little skill and will drop the gloves. Don't start planning the parade in Anaheim.
2:24 p.m. Here's a big one finally. The Oilers have traded forward Dustin Penner (right) to the Kings in exchange for defensive prospect Colten Teubert, a first-round pick this summer and a conditional draft pick in 2012.
Penner, 28, has appeared in 62 games this season and scored 39 points (21 goals, 18 assists). Scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after 2011-12, Penner has a salary cap hit of $4.25 million.
Teubert, 20, was a first-round pick (No. 13 overall) in 2008. In 39 games with the AHL's Manchester Monarchs this season, Teubert has 10 points.
EN Says: Great trade for the Oilers. They unload a player who just never worked out for them when the signed him as a restricted free agent in the 2007 offseason. In return, they get a defenseman who projects as a top-two blue liner and two fairly high draft picks. Teubert is a big (6-foot-4, 195 pounds) player who has a nasty edge to his game. He has some offensive protential, but his game is physical play.
The Kings had a ton of salary cap space ($22 million) before today and they used up a good bit of it in this deal. Penner is an immediate upgrade in terms of top-six skill. He's a big (6-foot-4, 245 pounds) power forward who can make life miserable for opponents in front of the net. On top of that, he has playoff experience having won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007. That said, the Kings paid a pretty big price for him.
3:00 p.m. The deadline has hit but a few trades always trickle in afterwards on account of paperwork.
3:04: p.m. And this is one of them. The Devils have traded forward Jason Arnott, one of the bigger names on the market, to the Capitals in exchange for forward David Steckel.
Arnott, 36, has appeared in 62 games this season and has 24 points (13 goals, 11 assists). Arnott is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. He has a salary cap hit of $4.5 million.
Steckel, 28, has appeared in 57 games this season and has 11 points (five goals, six assists). Steckel is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after 2012-13. He has a salary cap hit of $1.1 million.
EN Says: Nice move for the Capitals. They get a long-coveted No. 2 center and a player with playoff championship experience. At 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, Arnott is a big body who can create space for his winger but he's fairly beat up at age 36. This is not the same Arnott who was a legit No. 1 center with Patrik Elias and Petr Sykora 10 years ago.
The Devils get a little younger with the move. Steckel is a fourth-line grinder who is dominant in the faceoff circle.
3:15 p.m.: The Flames acquired forward Fredrik Modin (right) from the Flames in exchange for a seventh-round pick this summer.
Modin, 36, has appeared in 36 games this season and has 10 points (seven goals, three assists). Scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, Modin has a salary cap hit of $800,000.
EN Says: Interim Flames general manager Jay Feaster is familiar with Modin having won the Stanley Cup with him in Tampa Bay in 2004. Modin is very, very injury prone, but if he's healthy, a big IF, he's a solid playoff preformer. He turned it on for the Kings in a brief postseason run last season with four points (three goals, one assists) in six playoff games. In Tampa Bay's Cup run of 2004, he had 19 points in 24 games.
3:16 p.m.: The firesale continues in Florida as forward Chris Higgins (right) is sent to Vancouver in exchange for defenseman Evan Oberg and a third-round pick this summer.
Higgins, 27, has played in 48 games this season and has 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists). Scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after this season, he has a salary cap hit of $1.6 million.
Oberg, 23, has appeared in two NHL games this season and has failed to record a point. In 38 games with the AHL's Manitoba Moose, Oberg had 11 points.
EN Says: The Canucks needed some bottom six forwards to fill out their roster. That's pretty much what Higgins is. He's a tremendous penalty killer.
The Panthers are trying to re-build their team and they aren't messing around. They're moving anyone they can out of town. Oberg is a prospect. He's a puck mover who isn't particularly strong in his own end.
3:21 p.m. The Canucks added another bottom-six forward by adding Maxim Lapierre (right) and minor league forward MacGregor Sharp from the Ducks in exchange for forward Joel Perrault and a third-round pick in this summer's draft.
Lapierre, 25, has appeared in 59 games this season with the Ducks and Canadiens and has scored 11 points (five goals, six assists) with 72 penalty minutes. Scheduled to be a restricted free agent after this season, Lapierre has a salary cap hit of $900,000.
Sharp, 25, has appeared in 50 games with the AHL's Syracuse Crunch and has scored 13 points.
Perrault, 27, has appeared in seven NHL games this season with no points.
EN Says: The Canucks added another agitator to the lineup for little cost. On top of that, Lapierre had a solid playoffs performance for the Canadiens last season. Vancouver can stand to add anyone with playoff experience to its roster.
Sharp and Perrault are minor leaguers with minimal NHL potential.