Thirty-two players changed clubs in 16 trades in the hours leading up to yesterday’s National Hockey League trading deadline.
The Nashville Predators added scoring and bulk by acquiring right wing Andrei Kostitsyn from Montreal and 6-foot-5, 212-pound center Paul Gaustad from Buffalo.
The Tampa Bay Lightning, who are six points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, revamped their defense with three trades, adding defensemen Mike Commodore from Detroit, Keith Aulie from Toronto and Brian Lee from Ottawa.
“Defensemen are hard to find,” Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman told reporters. “We’re looking for young guys, and for guys whose contracts are appropriate. We’re obviously trying to find good players, and good players that don’t make a lot of money. And that’s not an easy thing to do.”
In exchange, Tampa Bay sent a seventh-round draft pick in 2013 to Detroit for Commodore, forward Carter Ashton to Toronto for Aulie and defenseman Matt Gilroy to Ottawa for Lee.
The Predators sent the Canadiens a second-round draft pick in 2013 for Kostitsyn, who will be reunited in Nashville with his brother, Sergei. The Predators also returned a 2013 fifth-round pick they received from Montreal as part of a swap that brought defenseman Hal Gill to Nashville on Feb. 17.
Andrei Kostitsyn had 12 goals and 12 assists in 53 games with Montreal this season, his seventh in the NHL. He will join the Predators in time for today’s game in Carolina, the team said in a news release announcing the trade. The Kostitsyn brothers previously played three seasons together with Montreal from 2007-2010.
For Gaustad, who ranks 10th in the NHL with a 56.8 percent faceoff win percentage, the Sabres received a 2012 first-round pick. Gaustad has seven goals and 10 assists in 56 games with Buffalo along with 70 penalty minutes, including four fights.
Canucks Get Pahlsson
The Vancouver Canucks obtained center Samuel Pahlsson from the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenseman Taylor Ellington and two 2012 fourth-round draft picks. The Blue Jackets are in last place in the NHL with an 18-37-7 record.
In other trades, the New Jersey Devils acquired veteran defenseman Marek Zidlicky from the Minnesota Wild for three players and two draft picks, and the New York Rangers added 6-foot-8, 270-pound defenseman John Scott from Chicago for a 2012 fifth-round pick. Scott has one goal, four assists and 231 penalty minutes in 140 career NHL games with Minnesota and Chicago.
The Boston Bruins were involved in two trades, adding forward Brian Rolston and defenseman Mike Mottau from the New York Islanders for minor-leaguers Yannick Riendeau and defenseman Marc Cantin, and defenseman Greg Zanon from Minnesota for forward Steve Kampfer, who had played 10 games with Boston this season.