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NHL trade deadline: St. Louis-Callahan deal highlight of busy day

Martin St. Louis told Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman more than once he wanted to play for another team.

St. Louis got his wish — hours before the NHL trade deadline — in one of 20 trades that involved 38 players Wednesday. The Lightning dealt its unhappy captain to the New York Rangers for their rugged captain, Ryan Callahan.

‘‘Are we better? I don’t know,’’ Yzerman acknowledged at a news conference. ‘‘We’re different.’’

St. Louis, who ranks among the league leaders in scoring this season, should help the Rangers’ chances of finishing among the top three in the Metropolitan Division to avoid falling into the Eastern Conference’s wild-card logjam.

Callahan joins a Lightning team that hopes his grit will help it be among the Atlantic Division’s top three when the regular season ends April 13.

Goalie go-round

The Central Division-leading
St. Louis Blues made a big splash late last week by acquiring goalie
Ryan Miller from the Buffalo
Sabres to perhaps improve enough to reach the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2001.

The Sabres acquired goalie Jaroslav Halak as part of the deal and dealt him Wednesday to the Washington Capitals, who hope he can help them close the regular season well enough to earn a spot in the playoffs.

The Florida Panthers are almost mathematically out of the playoff race, but they’re putting Roberto Luongo back in their net for the future after giving up on him in the past. After lots of talk about the possibility, the Vancouver
Canucks finally decided to part ways with Luongo. To make room for Luongo, the Panthers traded Tim Thomas to the Dallas Stars.

The Minnesota Wild also
acquired goalie Ilya Bryzgalov from the Edmonton Oilers.

Canadiens acquire Vanek

Some teams stayed out of the fray for big names because they didn’t want to pay a steep price for a player, especially one with an
expiring contract.

The Montreal Canadiens, meanwhile, made what seems to be a shrewd move. The Canadiens acquired high-scoring forward Thomas Vanek from the New York Islanders for a prospect, a second-round draft pick and a conditional fifth-round selection. Vanek has 53 points this season and 541 in his nine-year career.

Coming home

The Detroit Red Wings, who are without four players who could play center, brought David Legwand back to play next to his hometown of Grosse Pointe, Mich., as they cling to hopes of reaching the playoffs for the 23rd consecutive time.

If Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Stephen Weiss and Darren Helm were healthy enough to play, the Red Wings wouldn’t have needed to make a deal with the Nashville Predators for Legwand. Zetterberg, though, will miss the rest of the regular season with a back ailment, Datsyuk is going to rest for a few weeks in the hope that his left knee heals, Weiss has a lingering groin injury and Helm is out indefinitely with a concussion.

† Complete list of trades, Page 52.


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