As we start the final countdown, I thought I would catch everyone up with some deals that came down during Monday night for those who have not read their morning paper or surfed the Internet.

The New York Islanders traded a 2007 2nd round draft pick to the Washington Capitals for LW/RW Richard Zednik.  This deal is fueling speculation that the Isles might move Jason Blake to a Western Conference team.

The Capitals traded former Ranger D Lawrence Nycholat to Ottawa for D Andy hedlun and a 2007 6th round draft pick.

The Los Angeles Kings sent D Brent Sopel to the Vancouver Canucks for a 2nd round draft pick and 4th round draft pick in the 2008 Draft.

The Canucks swapped a conditional 2nd rounder to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for C Bryan Smolinski.

The Blackhawks then took part in a three-way deal that saw them send D Lasse Kukonen and a 2007 3rd round draft pick to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for L:W/RW Kyle Calder.  However, Calder’s return to the Windy City was short-lived as Chicago sent Calder to the Detroit Red Wings for LW/RW Jason Williams. 

You have to give props to Flyers’ GM Paul Holmgren for trying to rebuild the mess that he inherited from Bobby Clarke and the mess he created.  Holmgren erased his mistake of acquitting Alexei Zhitnik from the Isles when he sent the veteran to the Atlanta Thrashers for D Brayden Coburn.  While the former first rounder has been slow to develop, Coburn does have major ability.  Even if he turns out to be a bust, Holmgren wins just by dumping Zhitnik.  I hope Glen Sather is watching and learning from Edmonton as he prepares for tonight’s festivities as the Oilers retire Mark Messier’s number 11.

TSN is reporting that Florida Panthers LW Gary Roberts has agreed to waive his no-trade clause and will be traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for D Noah Welch.  The deal is on hold until Roberts officially signs the waiver to his no-trade clause.

In Rangers news, Larry Brooks and Mark Everson reported a “POST Exclusive” saying the Blueshirts are offering around Jaromir Jagr.  Brooks writes, “While the Rangers placed Jason Krog on waivers yesterday, Glen Sather is said to have told potential trading partners that he’d consider trading Jagr if presented an offer that ‘knocked him out.’”   I will leave it to your imagination as to whether this talk is valid or not.

John Dellapina in the “Daily News” wrote that Aaron Ward’s days might be numbered and it could refer back to an on-bench argument he had with Jagr during the February 3 Rangers-Lightning game.  Jagr was upset that Ward dumped the puck in during the second period.  The captain played it off by saying that he had similar “disagreements” with linemates Michael Nylander and Martin Straka.

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