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Breaking: 12 veteran NHLers hit the waiver wire

I thought it was trade deadline… not waiver deadline!? Plenty of options here for Cup contenders.

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In addition to our previous report in which it was revealed that Minnesota Wild veteran Chris Stewart and Ottawa Senators veterans Alex Burrows and Johnny Oduya had been placed on waivers, there are further developments around the NHL’s waiver wire this morning.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that Chris Breen and Paul Postman of the Boston Bruins, Jussi Jokinen of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cody Golobeuf of the Calgary Flames and Lance Bouma of the Chicago Blackhawks have also been placed on waivers.

Oh… and if that wasn’t enough, it was also announced that James O’Brien of the Senators, Mark Alt and John Muse of the Philadelphia Flyers and Chris Thorburn of the St. Louis Blues have also been placed on waivers.

Wow… that’s got to be a record, right? A dozen players on waivers… 

Of all the players mentioned, Stewart, Burrows and Oduya are probably the biggest names, but because of their contracts it’s unlikely that they get picked up. A more likely candidate for a new home though might be Bouma. It was thought that the Blackhawks 4th line grinder might generate some interest on the trade market, so it’ll be interesting to see if someone gives him a shot.

Or, how about Alt from the Flyers? Playoff teams are always looking for blue line depth at this time of year. Alt could be a cheap, even free, pickup for a team in need of defensive depth.

With all of the movement in the NHL today, it won't come as a surprise if more than one name is plucked off of this list before tomorrow's 3pm ET deadline. Stay tuned.

Jackets land Letestu in three-way trade

The Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired center Mark Letestu in a three team trade with the Edmonton Oilers and Nashville Predators.

In case you missed it, Letestu was traded by the Oilers to the Predators earlier today for forward Pontus Aberg. Predators general manger David Poile then flipped Letestu to the Blue Jackets in exchange for a 4th round pick.

To summarize:

Blue Jackets acquire: Letestu Oilers acquire: Aberg and a 4th round pick Predators acquire: 4th round pick

The 33-year-old Letestu was one of the biggest names on the rental market heading into tomorrow’s trade deadline, and with him, Derick Brassard and Tomas Plekanec now all off the market, things are getting tight for teams looking to acquire a center.

In 60 games with the Oilers this season, Letestu has eight goals and 19 points. This will be the veteran’s second spin around with Letestu, as he was a member of the club from 2012-2-15. 

Habs trade Plekanec

In a shocking development, the Montreal Canadiens have traded forward Tomas Plekanec to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a package of picks and prospects.

More on this deal to come.

UPDATE:

According to a report from TSN's Pierre LeBrun, the Habs have retained 50% of Plekanec's salary in the trade:

LeBrun is also reporting this morning that there were three teams in the running for Plekanec's services, but that the Leafs ultimately stepped up to pay the price:

The 35-year-old center who has played his entire career with the Habs' organization has just six goals and 24 points this season, but was a perennial 15-25 goal scorer for years in the NHL. He's just two seasons removed from a 54 point performance and could find himself reinvigorated playing for a young, fast and uptempo Leafs squad. 

As for the return, the Habs acquire two mid-level prospects in Kerby Rychel and Rinat Valiev.

The 23-year-old Rychel was acquired by the Leafs from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for defenseman Scott Harrington back in the summer of 2016. Since then, Rychel has played a season and a half for the Leafs' farm team the Toronto Marlies, but has yet to earn himself an NHL callup. The former first round pick (19th overall in 2013) has 10 goals and 30 points in 55 games with the Marlies this season. His AHL teammate, Valiev is a prototypical shut-down defender. The 22-year-old Russian has five goals and 15 points in 40 games with the Marlies this season.

Bruins land Nash

In case you missed it, the Boston Bruins made a splash on the trade market earlier today, acquiring star forward Rick Nash from the New York Rangers.

The Rangers acquire Spooner, Matt Beleskey, prospect Ryan Lindgren a 1st round pick and a 2nd round pick in exchange for Nash.

The 33-year-old Nash was perhaps the biggest trade target on the NHL's open market and with him accepting a trade to the Bruins, it's expected that other trade deadline dominos will fall within the next 24 hours. How does his trade affect the market for other rental players like Vancouver Canucks forward Thomas Vanek or Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green

While he's not the 40+ goal scorer that he used to be, Nash is still a very effective player. The veteran winger has 18 goals and 28 points in 60 games so far with the Rangers this season. While it's unlikely that he sees time with the Bruins' top line of Patrice Bergernon, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, Nash seems like a perfect fit to play alongside Bruins #2 center David Krejci.

It's believed, at this point, that both teams have retained salary in the deal, as well. Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman reports that the Rangers have retained 50% of Nash's salary, while the Bruins have retained 50% of Beleskey's salary.