It's been a while, yes ...

No problems. No issues. Just been busy with work and lazy with this.

So, the trade deadline came and went last ... not so you would have noticed. Just a slew of deals -- 31 of them -- over the final 48 hours and before the final bell at 3 p.m. ET this past Tuesday.

Almost every team did well, all but one.


N.Y. ISLANDERS -- Getting Edmonton's leading scorer Ryan Smyth for a pair of former middle-of-the-first-round picks and a future No. 1 will almost assuredly land the Isles in the postseason.

Getting a player with recent finals experience is also a bonus. Smyth helped lead the Oilers on an improbable run from eighth seed to Western Conference champion to fall one win short of the Stanley Cup.

ST. LOUIS BLUES -- Yes, they gave up a lot and don't have much immediately to show for it.

Leading scorer Bill Guerin was sent to San Jose after second-leading scorer Keith Tkachuk was shipped to Atlanta. What they got in return was a pair of No. 1 picks this (to go with their own lottery pick) and No. 1 in 2008.

This is where president John Davidson's hockey intelligence comes into play, though. The Blues will not make the postseason for a second straight year, but the rebuilding isn't going to take long either.

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS -- I would've put this down below based at first glance on deal that sent Peter Forsberg to Nashville. Scottie Upshall never has lived up to his billing as a top six draft pick while with the Predators -- 11 goals in 77 games over three-plus seasons.

So far with Philadelphia, he's had three goals including a game-winner to beat the Bruins in overtime. If Braydon Coburn, the eighth overall pick in 2003 by Atlanta and picked up for Alexei Zhitnik, pans out then the Flyers make out real well.

Oh, and getting Martin Biron from Buffalo gives them a reliable starting goaltender for years to come. Just an added bonus.


EDMONTON OILERS -- Actually, despite their unexpected success last season, that was when the trouble started: they gave up a No. 1 pick to get goaltender Dwayne Roloson from Minnesota.

After he led them within a win of the Stanley Cup, Edmonton signed Roloson for three years and $11.25 million. They should have focused on keeping Smyth, who was in the final year of a two-year deal. The face of the franchise since being picked sixth in 1994, Smyth was the heart and soul of the Oilers in the post-Messier-Gretzky-Kurri glory years era up north.

Reports said both sides were just a couple hundred thousand dollars apart on a deal that would have paid No. 94 more than $5 million a season. I find it hard to think that both sides couldn't have hammered out a deal when they're that close supposedly.

Smyth gave a tearful press conference before leaving Edmonton in which he said he will try to help the Isles win the Stanley Cup so he can bring it back to the city. He's an unrestricted free agent come July 1, but I think the sting of being dealt will still be too fresh.

How messed up would it be if the boy from Banff signed with Calgary?

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