Thursday, March 6, 2014

St. Louis, Vanek Get New NHL Addresses

The biggest two transactions involving former NCAA players in yesterday's NHL trade deadline concerned a pair of New York metropolitan clubs.

The New York Rangers acquired Tampa Bay Lightning all-time leading scorer Martin St. Louis (Vermont) for Ryan Callahan and two high-level draft choices, while the New York Islanders shipped Thomas Vanek (Minnesota) to the Montreal Canadiens for Swedish prospect Sebastian Colberg and an exchange of draft picks.

St. Louis, who led Vermont to its first-ever NCAA Frozen Four in 1996, won a Stanley Cup with the Lightning in 2004, when he also won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, and made his New York City debut last night in a 3-2 loss to Toronto. Vanek, who was dealt to Long Island in October after spending the inaugural part of his pro career with the Buffalo Sabres, led the Golden Gophers to the 2003 NCAA title.

There were other former college skaters and netminders who received new NHL zip codes as well on Wednesday.

The Florida Panthers sent Tim Thomas (Vermont) to the Dallas Stars in exchange for fellow goaltender Dan Ellis (Nebraska-Omaha). Forward Matt Moulson (Cornell), who was dealt to Buffalo from the Islanders in the Vanek trade last fall, will now take up residence with the Minnesota Wild, who sent Torrey Mitchell (Vermont) to Buffalo in turn.

Lee Stempniak (Dartmouth) joined the Pittsburgh Penguins from the Calgary Flames, while fellow forward Matt Frattin (North Dakota) is now a Columbus Blue Jacket after having been switched out for Marian Gaborik. Defenseman Matt Taormina (Providence) went from Columbus to Tampa Bay in a multi-player swap.

Concerning current college players, Hudson Fasching (Minnesota) is now Buffalo property after his rights were traded from Los Angeles.

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