The Ducks acquired center Matthew Lombardi from the Coyotes in a trade-deadline… (Mark Humphrey / Associated…)
Like the NHL season, the annual deadline-day trading frenzy was late in starting. But a flurry of deals in the hour before Wednesday's noon Pacific time cutoff changed the complexion of several teams and added depth to others hoping for long playoff runs.
The Ducks, seeking strength up the middle, acquired veteran center Matthew Lombardi from the Phoenix Coyotes for left wing Brandon McMillan. They also traded goalie Jeff Deslauriers to the Minnesota Wild for future considerations.
"The guys have a great team with depth," said Lombardi, who can become an unrestricted free agent after the season. "It's nice to go where they want you and I want to help any way I can."
The Kings didn't make any trades Wednesday. They made their big move Monday by acquiring rugged defenseman Robyn Regehr from the Buffalo Sabres for second-round draft picks in 2014 and 2015.
Deadline day had lost some of its impact because many prominent players were traded in the last few weeks. But the ambitious Columbus Blue Jackets spiced things up by acquiring three-time 40-goal scorer Marian Gaborik from the New York Rangers, with defensemen Steven Delisle and Blake Partlett, for center Derick Brassard, injured right wing Derek Dorsett, defenseman John Moore and a sixth-round pick in the 2014 draft.
Gaborik, who had been in Coach John Tortorella's doghouse, waived his no-trade clause to join a team that's on an upswing under General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen and hockey operations President John Davidson. The Rangers removed his $7.5-million salary-cap hit from their books, freeing them to re-sign core young players this summer.
"He's a good man and I'll miss him," Tortorella told reporters in New York.
The retooling Sabres traded team captain Jason Pominville to the surging Wild for two prospects and first- and second-round draft picks. Pominville, a six-time 20-goal scorer, should bring some punch to Minnesota's right side.
Also of note, the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Jussi Jokinen from Carolina for a conditional draft pick and planned to slot him into Sidney Crosby's spot. Crosby has a broken jaw and is out indefinitely.
The Philadelphia Flyers, eternally vexed by their goaltending, acquired Steve Mason from Columbus for Michael Leighton to be the backup for Ilya Bryzgalov, and the San Jose Sharks acquired abrasive forward Raffi Torres from Phoenix for a draft pick. Torres has twice knocked Sharks players out of the playoffs, with a blindside hit on Milan Michalek in 2006 and a hit that separated Joe Thornton's shoulder in 2011 when Torres was with Vancouver.
Two goalies reported to be on the move instead stayed put. Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff refused to waive his no-trade clause and will retire after this season, and Vancouver kept Roberto Luongo, who has nine years left on his contract at an annual cap hit of $5.333 million.
"I'd scrap it if I could right now," Luongo said of his contract during a news conference in Vancouver.