Stars, Devils swing biggest deadline deal

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Two years after Jason Arnott took the Stanley Cup out of Dallas, the Stars hope he'll help them bring it back.

Arnott, who scored the Cup-clinching goal for New Jersey in Game 6 of the 2000 finals against Dallas, was traded to the Stars on Tuesday along with Randy McKay and a first-round pick for forwards Joe Nieuwendyk and Jamie Langenbrunner.

It was the biggest of 17 deals, involving 35 players, completed Tuesday before the NHL's 2 p.m. trading deadline.

The Devils returned to the finals last year, but lost in seven games to Colorado. This season has been a struggle for them and the Stars, who won the Cup in 1999.

"All those nostalgic things go through your mind, but you're just trying to do something for your team," Devils president Lou Lamoriello said of the Eastern Conference's seventh-place team. "We needed to make a change."

That's what Boston did as well, making three trades Tuesday.

The Bruins acquired defenseman Jeff Norton from Florida for a sixth-round pick in this year's draft; defenseman Sean Brown from Edmonton for defenseman Bobby Allen; and center Darryl Laplante from Minnesota for left wing Greg Crozier.

Florida also traded defenseman Darren Van Impe to the New York Islanders for a fifth-round pick in next year's draft.

The Islanders made another move with Anaheim to acquire center Dave Roche for right wing Ben Guite and the rights to right wing Bjorn Melin.

Philadelphia was lucky to have Tuesday to compensate for the loss of two key centers, injured the night before in a home tie with Tampa Bay.

The Flyers had enough time to secure play-making center Adam Oates from Washington, hours after Jeremy Roenick and captain Keith Primeau were lost.

Roenick, the Flyers' leading scorer, will miss 2-to-4 weeks because of a knee injury, and Primeau is expected to be out the rest of the week after hurting his ribs.

The cost to get Oates, an unrestricted free agent at season's end, was high. The Flyers, who entered Tuesday atop the Eastern Conference by one point, gave the Capitals goalie prospect Maxime Ouellet and first-, second-, and third-round picks in this year's draft.

Oates, who leads the NHL with 57 assists and is fourth with 68 points, will help Philadelphia's troublesome power play. Before recording a man-advantage goal Monday, the Flyers failed to score on 12 straight power plays and 25 of 26 over 10 games.

"Obviously he's a tremendous playmaker. He'll help our power play which has been very anemic," general manager Bob Clarke said. "He's going to help whoever he plays with because some of our better scorers have had trouble scoring recently."

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