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Former Rangers No. 1 picks Al Montoya, Hugh Jessiman both traded today

And neither really has earned a spot in the NHL, even though Montoya, the sixth pick in the 2004 draft, will get plenty of work with the Islanders.

Montoya, 11-8-0 for San Antonio of the AHL, went to the Isles from the Coyotes organization for a sixth-round pick. With all the injuries in goal, the worst of which was announced earlier today with Kevin Poulin done for the year with a dislocated kneecap, GM Garth Snow needed a warm body for a very small price.

He got Montoya, who has washed out of two organizations now with only five NHL games under his belt. That will allow Mikko Koskinen to go back to Bridgeport after tomorrow's game with the Canadiens and Montoya and Nathan Lawson handling the goaltending workload for the rest of the year.

As for Jessiman, who was in the Hawks organization but was nowhere near the big club, he was a small piece of a five-player deal that brings Panthers forward Michael Frolik and Swedish goaltending prospect Alexander Salak to Chicago for Jessiman, young winger Jack Skille and 19-year-old wing David Pacan.

Jessiman, the 12th pick in 2003, is now in his fourth organization. He'll be 27 next month.

The crux of this trade is Frolik, who has struggled in his third NHL season after scoring 21 goals each of his first two years. He should help the Hawks.

And the run-up to the NHL trade deadline is in full swing, with the Francois Beauchemin deal earlier today and now Frolik to the Hawks.

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