Forgive me for being so late on this - I was insanely busy on deadline day then yesterday had to take a nap in the afternoon to survive seeing The Watchmen at midnight (My review - it's good).
So... has it sunk in now that Wiz is no longer a Hawk? Every thing that I've read has people coming around to the fact that the Hawks probably got to upper hand on this trade. Wiz was without a doubt one of the most likable Hawks. He was the type of player that you like so much off the ice that it's easy to overlook his production during actual games.
We didn't get to see much of Wiz this year as he started the season on IR and missed half of the season so far. In the 31 games he played with the Hawks this year he had 2 goals and 11 assists - so he's averaging .42 points per game. You're not going to sign Wiz as an offensive D-man though despite his hard, if inaccurate, slapshot.
Enough has been said about Wiz that I won't go in to much more detail. He'd lost his spot on this team with the play of the other blue liners really taking a step up but he'll still be missed by the fans here. Although anytime you lose an expendable guy on your favorite squad and add a guy who makes a fan of the other team write something like this - you've probably won the trade.
So Ducks fans - You're not getting one of the best players in the NHL but you're certainly getting one of the more likeable ones. And anyone who does this to Tootoo is someone worth having.
What about the other aspect of the trade though?
As for Kontiola - This seems to be the most puzzling aspect of the trade. The Hawks are weak down the middle, right? So they trade one of their better center prospects? They must be hoping they can sign Pahlsson
Last year Kontiola played his first year in the AHL and had 68 points in 66 games. He finished the season +17 and seemed like he was destined to get to Chicago at some point (despite only getting 5 points in 12 games in his cup of coffee with the Hawks). This year though he'd fallen off his pace and has only 53 points in 61 games with a big drop in his +/- (down to only +3). I don't get a chance to watch many Rockford games so I can't say how well Kontiola has played but as Sam pointed out, he barely got a chance in training camp and the Hawks obviously don't put much stock in him.
Personally, I quickly took over his spot in NHL '09 so he can't be all that good, right?
The Hawks also acquired Logan Stephenson in the trade and he's the man of mystery in this trade. The best info I could find on him is here. It could turn out that he's a big steal for the Hawks and I think we have to give Tallon some leeway here with his recent trades. Stephenson was a 2nd round pick (35th overall) by the Coyotes and adds some size that the Hawks need on the blue line - He's listed as 6'2" or 6'3" depending where you look. At just under 200lbs, you hope he's going to add weight but seeing as how he's still young and that could come in time.
Overall, if it weren't for the fact that Pahlsson has mono ( I once thought I had mono for an entire year. Turns out I was just really bored. ) I'd really be excited about this trade. On paper I think the Hawks have the clear advantage but with Pahlsson still weeks away from coming back to play it's unlikely he'll see much playing time with the Hawks before the playoffs. If the Hawks are able to sign him for a one-year low cost deal to see how he works out for the team, the trade will be a great success. Otherwise, I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens.