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At trade deadline, Wiikman and Owens out of Hartford


NHL Journeyman Anders Eriksson now plays for Hartford.
(Photo: Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

 At the NHL trade deadline, the New York Rangers have dealt away goaltender Miika Wiikman and forward Jordan Owens.

With both teams looking to make a push for the playoffs, Owens was dealt to the Detroit Red Wings for Kris Newbury. The 28-year-old Newbury has appeared in 52 games for Detroit’s AHL affiliate, Grand Rapids Griffins, registered 11 goals, 22 assists, and 144 penalty minutes. He was third on the Griffins in points and skated to multi-point performances in five games this season. During October and November, he had a seven-game point streak, totaling nine points over those games.

The 23-year-old Owens had 19 points in 50 games for the Wolf Pack this season.

The other trade sent Wiikman to Phoenix with a draft pick next season in exchange for journeyman Anders Eriksson. The journeyman 35-year-old Eriksson began his career as a first-round draft pick by Detroit in 1993. Over his career, he has appeared in over 560 NHL games, and played in Detroit, Chicago, Florida, Toronto, Columbus, Calgary and Phoenix. Eriksson was a skater on the 1997-98 Stanley Cup Championship team Detroit Red Wings.

Did I mention he’s played in Hartford before? Yeah, Eriksson played against the Whalers in his career.

In order for people to take a shine to these trades, both Newbury and Eriksson need to show up big in their first games. Eriksson brings the Stanley Cup experience, not to mention he’s been in professional hockey since most of the players on the current Wolf Pack roster have been on skates! Wiikman has been, statistically speaking, the worst goaltender for Hartford this season. As he spent the season traveling within the Rangers organization, Wiikman has spent seven games in net for Hartford, a 2-4-0 record, a 4.20 GAA, and a save percentage of 87%.

Newbury has played for Detroit this season, even scoring a goal in his first game for the Red Wings this year. That being said, Owens wasn’t as talented of a player….yet. He was only 23, and Owens was probably not going to make it to the Rangers roster anytime soon. However, he was a great player for Hartford, and will probably have a career as an AHL journeyman.

Hartford is eleventh in the AHL Eastern Conference, but only two points out of a playoff spot. In order to have a shot at making the playoffs for the thirteenth consecutive season, the Wolf Pack need to take advantage of their upcoming home stand. From March 13th to April 2nd, the Wolf Pack play a six game home stand, and two of the three games following that stand are also at the XL Center.

Sounds nice, right? Well before they can get to that home stand, the Wolf Pack face a four-game road trip, beginning Saturday against the Hamilton Bulldogs.


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