Trade deadline passes quietly for Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers were dormant as the 2011 NHL Trade Deadline passed as of 3 p.m. (et).

Flyers’ GM Paul Holmgren awoke from his slumber to make just one minor deal, acquiring prospect forward Tom Sestito from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for prospects Michael Chaput and Greg Moore.

Sestito will be assigned to Adirondack of the American Hockey League.

“Well, he’s a big kid, I think he’s got 30-some-odd points down there in the AHL…he was there last year on an entry-level contract. I like the fact that he’s got a chance to play at some point for us, if not later this year then maybe next year,” Holmgren said of the new addition to the franchise.

Sestito, a 23-year-old former third-round pick of the Blue Jackets in 2006, had four points in nine games with the big club this season.

Chaput, an 18-year-old native of suburban Montreal, was Philly’s third-round pick in last June’s draft. He tallied 55 points in 55 games this year with the Lewiston MAINEiacs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, his third with the team.

Moore is a 26-year-old native of Maine who was Calgary’s fifth-round selection in 2003. In 10 games with the Rangers (’07-’08) and Blue Jackets (’09-’10), he failed to record a point. In 16 games with Syracuse of the AHL, he notched five goals and 10 points.

As for the reasons why the club was not a player at the deadline:

“I get the impression throughout the day, watching it go down, that there weren’t a lot of deals out there that made sense for us. As I said all along, the moves we made in the Summertime, the players we added then…the trade for Kris Versteeg, we felt what we needed to do, and we’ll leave it at that.”

In the Atlantic Division, neither the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers nor the New Jersey Devils made deals to strengthen their respective teams.

Penguins GM Ray Shero was quoted as saying the price for what they needed was too steep, but the deals made late last week with Dallas that netted them forward James Neal and with Ottawa to snag Alex Kovalev prevented any additional trades.

New Jersey made the most eye-raising move today, shipping off veteran forward Jason Arnott to the Washington Capitals for David Steckel and a second-round pick in 2012.

It’s a curious move as the Devils have burned up the NHL standings to get within nine points of eighth-place Carolina with 6 weeks left after being in the league’s basement at Christmas. However, Arnott hinted at his frame of mind over the weekend, saying he was at the end of his career and didn’t want to play for a team battling for a playoff spot.

The Rangers, briefly rumored to be in the running for concussed Stars center Brad Richards, were also absent on deadline day but suffered a different setback when backup goalie Martin Biron suffered a fractured collarbone in practice. The New York Islanders, now stalled in last place, shed forward Rob Schremp via waivers to Atlanta.

“I get the impression that there weren’t many. I know Florida made a lot of deals today with players who were unrestricted. Because of our asset-contingent draft picks, we’re not as well stocked as a lot of teams,” Holmgren said when asked if other teams tried to take advantage of the Flyers’ position as the top team in the East on trade deadline day to fulfill their own needs.

“I kind of get the feeling that the prices were pretty high for basically nothing out there.”

Tim Panaccio of Comcast SportsNet tweeted on Sunday that the Flyers might have interest in third-line forward Marty Reasoner of the Florida Panthers due to his cap-friendly contract.

That did not come to pass, as Reasoner, also under the microscope by TSN of Canada as a possible pick-up for NHL-best Vancouver, stayed in Sunrise despite the Panthers’ near-fire sale Monday.