EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils closed out the NHL trading deadline Tuesday by acquiring veteran center Peter Stastny from the Quebec Nordiques for defenseman Craig Wolanin and future considerations.
Stastny, 33, has played his entire NHL career in Quebec, starting with the 1980-81 season after he and brothers Marian (now retired) and Anton (playing in Sweden) defected from Czechoslovakia.
Peter Stastny scored 40 or more goals five times, scored 100 or more points in seven different seasons and has played in six All-Star games. He played in 62 games this season, scoring 24 goals and 38 assists. He was Quebec's second leading scorer this year behind Joe Sakic.
'We feel we are bringing to our team an offensively fine player with several years left,' Lou Lamoriello, the New Jersey president and General manager said. 'We feel he will fit right in and will have a chance to go out a winner. He's also an excellently conditioned athlete. I envision him playing well here with anybody.
'We looked into the future and our organization and projected our needs. This year is very important to us.'
Wolanin, 22, was drafted by the Devils in the first round of the 1985 Entry Draft. He was limited to 56 games last season due to a knee injury. He scored one goal and had 7 assists this season, including 47 penalty minutes.
'He (Wolanin) is a young player who was under a lot of pressure in New Jersey because he was asked to be a leader in defense. We will only ask him to do his job and not necessarily ask to save our organization.'
Quebec GM Maurice Filion talked all weekend with the Buffalo Sabres, who said Filion wanted too much in return for Stastny. Also, Filion did not want to 'see Stastny come to Quebec four times a year,' so the Nordiques dealt Stastny to a Patrick Division team.
'When you trade your captain, it's very hard for everyone in your organization,' Filion said. 'We will never forget the years he gave us. But we have to rejuvinate our team and leave sentiments aside.
'Stastny did not want to leave Quebec but he could no longer play with a team that loses on a regular basis and that's why we sent him to a team that will go farther in the playoffs.'
The deal was not announced unitl after the first period of the Devils-St. Louis Blues game. According to Lamoriello there were certain technicalities that had be cleared up.
'Evidently, there was an influx of trades at the same time to the NHL's Central Registry,' Lamoriello said. 'There were things that had to be checked out on both sides. These were extenuating circumstances over which we had no control.'