Scott Burnside's instant analysis: No matter how much Canucks fans squint, Brown looks nothing like the injured Ed Jovanovski, Mattias Ohlund or Sami Salo. Still, Brown, 29, is a defenseman who isn't hurt, so that sets him apart. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound former first-rounder Brown couldn't crack the Devils and was made expendable by the acquisitions of Brad Lukowich and Ken Klee.
Scott Burnside's instant analysis: Lukowich is a character guy who's been on championship teams in Dallas and Tampa Bay. Along with Ken Klee, acquired Wednesday evening from Toronto, Lukowich will help fill the void while Richard Matvichuk's lower back heals. The Isles continue to stockpile picks for whoever takes over for Mad Mike Milbury.
Scott Burnside's instant analysis: Hours after acquiring a soon-to-be 37-year-old defenseman with great character but limited mobility in Luke Richardson, the Leafs give up a solid if unspectacular defenseman in exchange for a prospect with a moderate upside (Suglobov was the leading scorer for the AHL's River Rats when called up by the Devils in mid-January, but did not dress for the last six Devils' games). Both Richardson and Klee are set to become unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. Short-term, the Leafs take a small step back, while long-term they take a small step forward. That pretty much sums up the team's place in the hockey universe. In Klee, the Devils get a solid veteran who should have little problem fitting in to Lou Lamoriello's system.
Islanders get: D Denis Grebeshkov, LW Jeff Tambellini, conditional third-round pick
Los Angeles gets: RW Mark Parrish and D Brent Sopel
Scott Burnside's instant analysis: This move officially raises the white flag on the Islanders' season and Mike Milbury's reign of error. The reliable Parrish and the underrated Sopel will help a Kings team that has struggled at both ends of the special teams spectrum this season. This deal should help ensure a postseason berth for Andy Murray's Kings and may be a crucial factor in any playoff success the team has. In Grebeshkov, the Isles pick up the Kings' first pick, 18th overall, in 2002, while Tambellini, son of Canucks assistant GM and former Islander Steve Tambellini, was the 27th overall pick in 2003. These are two promising young players for the next Islander regime.
Scott Burnside's instant analysis: Funny, this is the kind of deal the Rangers used to make, but in reverse. The Sharks are a long-shot to make the playoffs, but by adding Nieminen, they bring in a player who won a Cup in Colorado in 2001 and went to the seventh game of the 2004 Cup final with the Flames. (The spirited agitator also may well be the best quote in hockey.) As for the Rangers, they continue to behave like a franchise with a plan -- they peeled off a fringe player and added a draft pick while looking toward a long playoff run. If the Sharks squeeze into the playoffs, this is a win-win deal.
As a big Kings fan back west were happy with this trade as of now only if we can sign Parrish long term. Grbeshkov has been a dissapointment so far and will not be missed, but Tambellini has a great wristshot and could be a force in as soon as two years.
Instant analysis: Wiemer adds toughness and grit to a forward unit that could use it. He'll be especially effective providing a little space for diminutive Devils forwards Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta.