Coming to you from the Ed Whalen media lounge, where Flames GM Darryl Sutter is about to have a press conference. The big Flames move was acquiring Steve Staios from Edmonton for Aaron Johnson. This is believed to be the first time in history the two Alberta teams made a trade together. Staios won't play vs. the Wild tonight.

On the wall in this room are former Calgary Flames captains. Look at which captain is just over my right shoulder!

Doug Risebrough

I did a huge webcam last night, and it didn't upload apparently. Darnit. It was actually funny. The funniest thing was I told how it was actually Take 2. I did six minutes, then looked at my laptop and it said, "Start recording." I was talking to my laptop for six minutes and didn't start it.

In there I explained why the Wild wasn't a buyer. Hopefully that's been conveyed in the blogs and articles the last few days with Fletcher's words. Obviously the Wild's never-ending mission again will be to find a center, and that's not something that is typically done at the trade deadline. The deadline is about rentals. Very few hockey trades are typically made -- and the Wild wasn't interested in Peter Mueller.

By the way, I'll be on KSTP at 6 p.m. CT.

So, as you know, Eric Belanger to Washington for a second-round pick, which this season was the going rate for anybody and everybody. I mean, when Dominic Moore draws a second, ...

The way it's shaping up, it'll obviously be a very late second-round pick.

As for Belanger, he was disappointed he couldn't stay in Minnesota. He felt he earned a contract extension but was excited GM Chuck Fletcher sent him to a contender. Belanger said Washington came after him when he originally signed with Minnesota as a free agent.

The Wild wasn't interested in talking contract with Belanger for myriad reasons. Some include the question about whether he was a classic contract year player, his age (32) and a few other reasons.  

I'll miss the quote, that's for sure. 

The funny thing is I was doing an interview with NHL Live when Belanger walked to the ice for the morning skate. He stopped and jokingly asked me if he should continue. I said, "Go ahead," and he said, "It's just a matter of time, eh?" Fifteen minutes later, Richards left the ice to take a call from Chuck Fletcher. He returned with his phone, gave it to an equipment trainer and my eyes never left Richards.

He faked me out a couple times, gliding by Shane Hnidy and Derek Boogaard and a couple others. He finally skated up to Belanger and pulled him from the ice.

"Told ya," Belanger told me as he walked past. "I have to call Chuck. Traded to Washington."

In less than two hours, Belanger had to run to the hotel to get his luggage, get to the airport, clear customs and board a flight for Buffalo. He won't play tonight but is expected to debut at home tomorrow. He'll be on the same team with Jason Chimera, who spent the season whacking and hacking and going after Belanger in retaliation for hitting him from behind in the preseason. They also wear the same number 25, so that might be a cage match, as a friend texted me.

Belanger obviously played a lot of roles for the Wild, from faceoffs, to PK, to second power-play unit. For now, Andrew Ebbett will get the second power-play minutes. This is a huge opportunity for James Sheppard to finally prove himself.

Coach Todd Richards talked about seeing Ebbett perform offensively first hand last year with Anaheim (as San Jose's asst) and that Sheppard must now deliver. My question? Who besides Mikko Koivu wins a draw now? He might have to take 30 a game.

The lines tonight are Brunette-Koivu-Miettinen; Latendresse-Ebbett-Havlat; Nolan-Sheppard-Kobasew; Boogaard-Brodziak-Clutterbuck.

Obviously, the Wild must find a center this summer, and I think they plan to dangle Josh Harding to get that center because the free-agent centers are Brutal with a capital B.

As for Owen Nolan, there was a lot of interest, but Nolan wanted to stay and Fletcher decided to obide by Nolan's wish. There's a reason for that, which I'll tell you in tonight's blog after the game and Thursday's paper.