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Contenders swap goalies near deadline
Published March 9, 2006
NEW YORK - Tight playoff races, an earlier deadline and a new salary cap were supposed to slow down the NHL's wheeling and dealing.
Not so on the eve of the trading cutoff.
The most intriguing deal pulled off Wednesday night had Montreal trading former MVP Jose Theodore to Colorado for fellow goaltender David Aebischer.
Colorado has sought a strong presence in net since Patrick Roy retired in 2003.
"With this acquisition, we are convinced that we are securing our goaltending position for many years," Avalanche general manager Pierre Lacroix said.
Aebischer had been sharing playing time with Peter Budaj. Theodore, the MVP and league's top goalie in 2002, has struggled this season with a 3.46 GAA and .881 save percentage.
Theodore is out with a broken bone in his heel, but is expected back for the playoffs. He tested positive in December in random pre-Olympic screening for a drug that can be used as a masking agent for steroid use, but the test didn't affect his NHL status because the screening wasn't part of the league's new testing program.
The Islanders and Kings pulled off a swap that sent forward Mark Parrish and defenseman Brent Sopel to Los Angeles for defenseman Denis Grebeshkov and left wing Jeff Tambellini.
Edmonton made the first splash, acquiring goalie Dwayne Roloson from Minnesota, which committed to Manny Fernandez as its top netminder and headed off free agency last week with a three-year, $13-million contract.
Toronto got Luke Richardson from Columbus for a conditional draft pick, then sent another veteran defenseman, Ken Klee, to New Jersey for minor-league forward Aleksander Suglobov. Also, San Jose got left wing Ville Nieminen from the Rangers for a third-round pick.