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Deadline day in the NHL was a dud

Leftovers from the dud known as the 2012 NHL trade deadline.

* Give the NHL's marketing team credit for turning the deadline into an event, but never before has so much hype produced so few results. Fifteen trades involving 31 players and 11 draft picks were completed Monday.

The reasons: Too many teams still in the playoff hunt and too few with cap room to land a difference-maker. The only way for high-spending teams to create room was convincing another to accept less value. The days in which a player such as Marian Hossa is certain to be traded on deadline day could be history.

* Darcy Regier pointed toward prospect Marcus Foligno as a player who played a similar style to Zack Kassian. No arguments here. Foligno is smaller at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, but he was the more polished player and more mature person coming out of junior.

So why wasn't the left winger, terrific for the past month in Rochester, summoned to help the struggling Sabres for more than a game? Kassian failed to score in his final 21 games for Buffalo going back to Dec. 7. And if they were showcasing Kassian, why did the Sabres promote Corey Tropp for their four-game road trip over Foligno?

* Owners should forget about fighting for an amnesty clause in the next CBA and concentrate on removing no-trade clauses for players. Amnesty, granted in the NBA, would allow teams to waive players without their contracts counting against the cap even though the players would still get paid.

Dumping no-trade clauses would provide relief for teams but only if they could find trading partners. Teams would be penalized for poor decisions. Every team in the NHL had at least one player with a no-trade clause. Calgary had 11 -- its six high-paid forwards, its four highest-paid defenseman and goalie Miikka Kiprusoff.

Contracts already are guaranteed. Players don't need any more stability.

* Rick Nash deserved the benefit of the doubt when saying his trade request was "the best thing for the team, the organization, and personally for my career" even though his list or priorities was in reverse order.

Nash has played 654 regular-season games for Columbus and lost each of his four playoff games. The challenge for him now is repairing his relationship with his teammates and fans after making the attempt to abandon them. Look for him to land in New York this summer no matter what happens with the Rangers in the playoffs.

* If you think the fourth-round pick Buffalo required to complete Paul Gaustad's trade mattered little, here are eight notable players Buffalo selected after the third since 1997: Gaustad, Ryan Miller, Brian Campbell, Nathan Gerbe, Patrick Kaleta, Ales Kotalik, Dennis Wideman, Jan Hejda, Chris Butler.

* Here are four pending unrestricted free agents who made $1.5 million or less this season and could help the Sabres next year: Travis Moen, P.A. Parenteau, Shawn Thornton and Brandon Prust.

* The Sabres talked about a shortage of centers in the NHL, but a few good ones were right under their nose.

Adam Henrique, a Calder Trophy candidate for the Devils, was taken 82nd overall in 2008. The Sabres took defenseman Corey Fienhage with the 81st.

Ryan O'Reilly, taken 20 picks behind Kassian in 2009, is leading Colorado with 50 points. Derek Stepan, considered an untouchable with the Rangers, was selected seven picks behind Luke Adam in the second round in 2008.

Buffalo has chosen four centers in the first round since 1997 -- Tyler Ennis, Marek Zagrapan, Jiri Novotny and Artem Kryukov. Zagrapan and Kryukov never played a shift in the NHL.

Ennis is the only one of the four who spent a full season in Buffalo.