The New Jersey Devils added to their blue line on Monday afternoon, acquiring defenseman Niclas Havelid from the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for 24-year-old defenseman Anssi Salmela, as reported by TSN. And with that, the madness leading up to Wednesday's trade deadline has begun.
Havelid, 35, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent following the season, and has recorded two goals and 13 assists in 63 games for Atlanta.
It's a typical deadline move from Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello, who seemingly picks up a solid defenseman for a stretch run every year. It's not quite as sexy as Chris Pronger or a reunion with Scott Niedermayer, but it adds some depth to New Jersey's blue line.
As for Salmela, Hockey's Future has him rated as the No. 18 prospect in New Jersey's farm system, while he has some potential as an offensive defenseman. He's played in 17 games for the Devils this season, recording three assists.
It's Atlanta's third trade this season, as general manager Don Waddell continues to sell off his soon-to-be free agents in an everything must go type of firesale. Back in January, the Thrashers sent forward Jason Williams to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Clay Wilson and a sixth-round pick, while Mathieu Schneider was recently sent to the Montreal Canadiens for a pair of draft picks.