The NHL trade deadline is February 26, but the Los Angeles Kings and Ottawa Senators kicked things off with a pre-Valentine's Day special Tuesday night. The Kings are now playing the Carolina Hurricanes. He began his National Hockey League career at 20 years old in 2005-06 with the Flames. The oft-injured Gaborik has just seven goals and 14 points in 30 games this season. With those 20 goals, Phaneuf broke the Flames' record for most goals by a rookie defencemen.
Phaneuf was pulled from Tuesday's game against the Penguins to be traded to Los Angeles, Bob McKenzie of TSN reports. Short-term, Phaneuf could really help and getting out of Canada will probably be welcoming for a guy who has taken a lot of abuse over the years. They outshot the Penguins 33-28 but were plagued by familiar goaltending problems, this time when starter Mike Condon was chased after giving up four goals on nine shots. Smith was also part of several Ottawa teams that have had success, but now he may be considered expendable with the Senators shifting gears.
With a solid core with playoff experience adding Phaneuf might be enough to keep them in playoff contention.
Phaneuf was getting the third most minutes on the Senators, but he was last on the team in relative CF%, meaning that the Senators were a much better team whenever he was not on the ice.
Phaneuf was pulled early from Tuesday night's Senators loss in Pittsburgh as a precaution to ensure completion of the NHL's most significant trade since November 30. So far this season, Phaneuf has three goals and 16 points in 53 games with the Senators.
Phaneuf had three goals and 13 assists season in 53 games for the Senators. Phaneuf is a former NHL All-Star.
Gaborik, who turns 36 on Wednesday, helped the Kings to the 2014 Stanley Cup as a rental acquisition.
The Kings trading Gaborik can be seen as a salary dump, but effectively Phaneuf's contract has a higher salary cap hit at about 1.25 million more than Gaborik's. Rather than make a qualifying offer to goaltender Petr Mrazek - at a price exceeding $4.5 million for next season - the Red Wings may try to move him.
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Vegas is 13-1-1 against Pacific Division teams during its remarkable inaugural season.
Thompson missed tonight's game due to injury and is expected to travel to Pittsburgh soon to join the Kings.
Mersch, 25, had 18 goals and 15 assists in 45 games with the Reign. However, Thompson was more expensive with another year on his contract and also much older. It carries a cap hit of $4.875 million per season. His possession numbers are 52.0 percent Corsi, and a relative Corsi of +2.1.
Also coming to Ottawa is Shore, who is poised to become a restricted free agent this summer.
Phaneuf will be a veteran stabilizing presence for his new club. He's 32 and he's played some tough minutes, a lot of them in a insane style of play that (sadly) just wasn't sustainable as he aged. Gaborik has three years and about $11 million remaining on his contract, but he reportedly could be a candidate for a buyout during the offseason.
Phaneuf spent two years and four days as a member of the Senators - arriving in a February 9, 2016 trade with Toronto that allowed them to dump the cumbersome contracts of Milan Michalek, Colin Greening and Jared Cowen for a net cash savings.