This year's NHL trade deadline maneuvering certainly didn't go as planned.
There were enough trades to keep fans interested, but the script was far different from had been expected.
It was supposed to be a soft trade market for goaltending, but 11 NHL goalies have moved since Friday. Vancouver's Ryan Kesler was on the trading block, but he wasn't dealt. But incredibly, Martin St. Louis was shipped to the New York Rangers.
Thomas Vanek was supposed to be the hottest name in the marketplace, but he wasn't dealt until minutes before the 3 p.m. NHL trade deadline. And the Islanders didn't get as much in return as they hoped.
In fact, as a rule teams paid less for rental players than they have in the past.
Here is what happened today:
5 p.m.: Stempniak to Penguins
Lee Stempniak is not the top-line scorer that the Pittsburgh Penguins were seeking to play alongside Sidney Crosby, but he'll provide secondary scoring.
He was acquired at a reasonable price as the Penguins gave up a third-round pick to the Calgary Flames.
3:40 p.m.: Sabres deal Halak, Moulson
Hard to believe. Another goalie moving. Jaroslav Halak going from Buffalo to Washington along with a third-round pick for goalie Michal Neuvirth and defenseman Rostislav Klesla.
Pending free agent Halak had been acquired on Saturday from the St. Louis Blues in the Ryan Miller trade and Klesla was acquired by the Capitals in Tuesday's Martin Erat trade.
The Capitals know Halak well because he upset them in the 2010 playoffs while a member of the Montreal Canadiens.
Matt Moulson, meanwhile, went to the Minnesota Wild, along with Cody McCormick, for Torrey Mitchell and second-round picks in the 2014 and 2016 drafts.
3:25 p.m.: Vanek to Canadiens
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin pulled off a major coup by acquiring winger Tomas Vanek for a second-round pick and prospect Sebastian Collberg.
The return on Vanek was not as strong as the Islanders would have hoped. Garth Snow had given up a first-round pick and Moulson to land Vanek earlier this season.
3:20 p.m.: Legwand to Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings have acquired center David Legwand to help them through their injury problems. The Michigan native waived his no-trade clause and joined the Red Wings in exchange for Patrick Eaves, a third-round draft pick and prospect Calle Jarnkrok.
The Red Wings are missing Henrik Zetterberg (back surgery) and center Pavel Datsyuk will miss time with a bad knee.
WHO MOVED ON DEADLINE DAY
3:10 p.m.: Diaz traded again
Raphael Diaz was traded for the second time this season, going from the Vancouver Canucks to the New York Rangers. The defenseman was traded by the Montreal Canadiens to the Canucks earlier this season.
3:03 p.m.: Mezsaros to Bruins
The Boston Bruins added Andrej Mezsaros with the hope that he can plug the defensive hole left by Dennis Seidenberg's season-ending injury. They give a third-round pick.
This is a very solid pickup for GM Peter Chiarelli, who has added a player who can slot into the second pairing.
3 p.m.: Deadline time
The deadline has now passed, and now we must wait to see what deals have been made, but not yet reported to the NHL.
2:50 p.m.: 10 minutes to go
It's hard to believe that Tomas Vanek, Matt Moulson and Mike Cammalleri are still available. But you have to believe that all three of these guys are going to be dealt within the next few minutes.
Remember it can take up to an hour after the 3 p.m. ET deadline for all of the trades to be reported.
2:40 p.m.: Nick Schultz to Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets, dealing with injuries to defensemen Fedor Tyutin and Ryan Murray, have acquired veteran Nick Schultz from the Edmonton Oilers.
Schultz isn't going to dramatically change the look of the team. But he can be a contributor for a team that is scrambling to make the playoffs.
2:35 p.m.: Sabres, Kings make swap
The Buffalo Sabres, looking toward the future, acquired former first-round pick Hudson Fasching, plus Nicholas Deslauriers for minor league defenseman Brayden McNabb and two second-rounders.
Fasching was a fourth-rounder, but his reputation has grown considerably. He is playing at the University of Minnesota. Deslauriers has been converted from defenseman to forward.
2:30 p.m.: Tim Thomas to Stars
The Dallas Stars, in a battle to make the Western Conference playoffs, have acquired Tim Thomas from the Florida Panthers to give the team an insurance policy against an injury to Kari Lehtonen.
Stars backup goalie Dan Ellis heads to Florida.
Thomas was available after the Panthers acquired Roberto Luongo on Tuesday.
The goalie market was considered weak, but Thomas is the eighth goalie to move since last Friday. The only available goalie who hasn't moved is veteran Martin Brodeur.
The Stars have a connection because team executive Mark Recchi played with Thomas in Boston.
2:05 p.m.: Ruutu to Devils
The New Jersey Devils landed Tuomo Ruutu from the Carolina Hurricanes for forward Andrei Loktionov and a conditional third-round pick. Ruutu has two years remaining on a contract paying him $5 million per season, with a $4.75 million cap hit.
The Hurricanes were looking to get out of that contract. Ruutu hasn't had a good season, scoring five goals in 57 games. Plus, he is in a slump with no goals in his last 11 games.
The 'Canes like Loktionov. "Andrei is a young, skilled forward who will play on our power play," Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford said. "Tuomo was a good player for the Hurricanes and we thank him for his contributions to our organization over the past seven years."
1:55 p.m.: Where things stand
The fact that neither Thomas Vanek nor Matt Moulson has moved yet would suggest that the New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres are still demanding a high price for those players.
Who will blink first? Certainly, there are teams still looking for scorers. Will the Islanders and Sabres lower their demands to be able to move those players? Or, will the bidding teams up their ante?
It seems as if the prices paid for rentals haven't been over-the-top rich, as they have been in the past.
1:50 p.m.: Goc to Penguins
Don't undervalue the Pittsburgh Penguins' acquisition of Marcel Goc. He quietly has had the best season of his career. He can contribute offensively and he's a very dependable player. The Panthers will get a third- and a fifth-round pick.
1:30 p.m.: Gaborik to Kings
The Kings, in desperate need of scoring, have acquired Marian Gaborik from the Columbus Blue Jackets for Matt Frattin, plus a second-round pick and a conditional third-round pick.
Gaborik was the Blue Jackets' big acquisition last season, but he ended up scoring nine goals in 34 games.
Only two seasons removed from winning the Stanley Cup, the Kings have the style of team that could be successful in the postseason. But they don't have nearly enough scoring.
The speedy Gaborik, who has six goals in 22 games this season, is a game-breaking offensive presence. He has been undermined by injuries during his career, but when he's been healthy, he has been a scorer.
12:50 p.m.: Dubnyk to Canadiens
Goalie Devan Dubnyk was on the move for the second time this season when the Nashville Predators dealt him to the Montreal Canadiens for future considerations.
He'll provide insurance for the Canadiens with Carey Price injured. The Predators had acquired him from the Edmonton Oilers earlier this season because of an injury to Pekka Rinne, who returned on Tuesday night.
12:30 p.m.: Hemsky to Senators
The Ottawa Senators made a solid move when they acquired Ales Hemsky from the Edmonton Oilers for a third-round pick in 2015 and a fifth-round pick in 2014. Hemsky is a skilled player who could end playing with Jason Spezza or Kyle Turris. This trade could reinvigorate Hemsky. How many years has his name been mentiioned in trade rumors?
This was a reasonable rental price to pay for a talented winger who scored two goals against the Senators last night.
12:15 p.m.: Chris Phillips re-signs
With Chris Phillips now officially re-signed (two years, $5 million), the lack of available defensemen becomes more pronounced. Buffalo's Christian Ehrhoff is the top prize, but the Sabres are asking for a strong return. Keep an eye on Philadelphia's Andrej Mezsaros.
12:02 p.m.: Waiver pickups
The Buffalo Sabres claimed Ottawa forward Cory Conacher, who played locally at Canisius College.
The Boston Bruins, seeking depth on defense, claimed Edmonton's Corey Potter.
11:25 a.m.: St. Louis for Callahan, picks
The New York Rangers have become one of the real winners on trade deadline day by acquiring Martin St. Louis for Ryan Callahan plus a first- and a second-round pick.
St. Louis is the defending NHL scoring champion, and he's a perfect fit for the up-tempo offense that Rangers coach Alain Vigneault uses. St. Louis will be reunited with his former Tampa Bay teammate Brad Richards.
Although St. Louis wanted to be traded, it is surprising that the Lightning would move him now when they have a contending team in an Eastern Conference that isn't very strong. It would have made more sense to make the deal this summer.
Callahan is an inspirational, heart-and-soul player, but he doesn't have the same of offensive skill that St. Louis possesses. This move affects Steven Stamkos, who's cleared to return from a broken leg, and the entire Tampa Bay offense.
The first-round pick is in 2015, and the second-round pick becomes a first-round pick if the Rangers reach the conference final. That could be possible with the help of St. Louis.
From the Tampa Bay perspective, the big question is whether the Lightning have any chance to re-sign Callahan. The contract talks with the Rangers broke down because Callahan wanted $39 million over six seasons. Would the Lightning give him that?
To appreciate Callahan's value to a team, you have to consider the intangibles. He's a strong dressing room presence, and he leads by playing with great intensity.
10:30 a.m.: Callahan update
Ryan Callahan is participating in the morning skate with the New York Rangers.
10:05 a.m.: Good news for Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning weren't expected to be a major player today, but they got good news with Steven Stamkos being cleared. His return from a broken leg is the equivalent of a major trade.
9:50 a.m.: Legwand update
Nothing seems to be happening with Nashville center David Legwand. He has a no-trade clause, and he will be an unrestricted free agent.
However, there's no contract negotiations going on between the Predators and Legwand's agent. As of last night, Legwand had not been presented with any specific trade scenarios to reject or accept.
9:45 a.m.: Kesler update
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Philladelphia might be in the best position to make an offer for Ryan Kesler that the Vancouver Canucks would find attractive. Those two teams could both offer a younger center as part of the package. The Maple Leafs could offer Nazem Kadri, and Philadelphia could offer Brayden Schenn or Sean Couturier.
Kesler is 30, and he has two more seasons left on his contract that pays him $5 million. That's a reasonable cap hit for a player with the potential to change the look of a team. He can be a force during a playoff series. The physical No. 2 center is one of the most difficult style players to find.
9:30 a.m.: Quick return for Luongo
For those wondering, you won't have to wait long for a meeting between Roberto Luongo and his former Vancouver Canucks team. The Canucks and Florida Panthers will meet in a 3 p.m. ET game on March 16 in Sunrise, Fla.
8:15 a.m.: Closing in on an extension
Chris Phillips was expected to be a hot property in the marketplace, but the Ottawa Senators seem to be tracking toward re-signing him. They are offering him a two-year deal and now they are just trying to agree on the money. He's a shutdown defenseman and there would be multiple suitors interested in acquiring him if the deal falls through.
8 a.m.: Five best impact players left
1. Ryan Kesler (Vancover Canucks): If he does indeed get traded today, he could have a significant impact on a contending team. He's the big, strong, physical center that every coach desires.
2. Thomas Vanek (New York Islanders): He's the best available scorer, and many teams are looking for scoring.
3. Christian Ehrhoff (Buffalo Sabres): He's an offensive-style defenseman with a favorable salary cap hit and contract.
4. Matt Moulson (Sabres): It's almost as if he could be the consolation prize in the Vanek sweepstakes. He's a three-time 30 goal scorer. Could be highly productive if he is playing with quality linemates.
5. Ales Hemsky (Edmonton Oilers): By scoring a pair of goals Monday night, Hemsky reminded everyone how skillful he is.
8 a.m.: The winners through Tuesday
1. St. Louis Blues: Upgraded their goaltending with the addition of Ryan Miller and added a playoff pit bull in Steve Ott. Paid a steep price (Jaroslav Halak, Chris Stewart, a prospect, first-round pick in 2015, and third-round pick that could become a first-rounder).
2. Florida Panthers: Created some excitement in their marketplace by bringing back popular goalie Roberto Luongo. They gave up young goalie Jacob Markstrom, but the jury is out about whether he will be an impact player.
3. Anaheim Ducks: Presuming Stephane Robidas will soon be ready, he is the the highly competitive force the Ducks need on defense. Plus, GM Bob Murray picked up two draft picks for goalie Viktor Fasth.
4. Washington Capitals: Dustin Penner's consistency has always been an issue, but he could help the Capitals. He's a potential linemate for Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. Don't forget that Penner has won a Stanley Cup with two different teams. Giving up a fourth-rounder to get Penner is a good value bet.
5. Edmonton Oilers: Replacing Ilya Bryzgalov with Fasth is an upgrade in net.