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No big deals as NHL trade deadline passes

So much for another big hockey boost. The NHL trade deadline came and went with a thud instead of a bang.

Not that anyone expected yesterday's deadline to come anywhere close to the excitement of Canada's Olympic gold medal win over the United States three days earlier, but it didn't even generate the buzz of previous trading days.

There were dozens of little deals involving multiple players and draft picks completed before the deadline yesterday.

But big-name players such as Toronto defenseman Tomas Kaberle, Carolina forward Ray Whitney, and Islanders goalies Dwayne Roloson and Martin Biron stayed with their clubs that are trying to stay in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

The day wasn't a total bust as key players such as forward Raffi Torres, who went from Columbus to Buffalo, and defenseman Steve Staios, part of a rare trade between bitter Alberta rivals Edmonton and Calgary, found new homes in deals that could prove significant in time.

Before trading away the popular Staios for defenseman Aaron Johnson and a third-round draft pick from the Flames, the Oilers acquired U.S. Olympian Ryan Whitney from the Anaheim Ducks for fellow defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky. Edmonton also gets a sixth-round pick in this year's draft.

One intriguing deal yesterday involved a pair of players chosen in the first round of the draft. The Phoenix Coyotes acquired left winger Wojtek Wolski from the Colorado Avalanche for forward Peter Mueller and Kevin Porter.

The 24-year-old Wolski has 17 goals and 30 assists this season in 62 games. The 21-year-old Mueller has had a disappointing follow-up to his outstanding rookie season. He has four goals and 13 assists in 54 games. Phoenix also reacquired defenseman Derek Morris from the Boston Bruins for a conditional 2011 draft pick.

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