They saved the best for last.
The hours leading up to the National Hockey League trade deadline crept by slowly on Wednesday, but in the final hour before the doors closed at 3 p.m. ET, there was a flurry.
The Columbus Blue Jackets, just one point out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference, acquired forward Marian Gaborik from the New York Rangers and shipped goalie Steve Mason to the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Minnesota Wild, which added Zach Parise and Ryan Suter as free agents last summer, traded for Buffalo Sabres captain Jason Pominville.
And the San Jose Sharks finished the day’s dealings when they picked up winger Raffi Torres from the Phoenix Coyotes.
The day’s news was just as big with the players who were not traded.
Goalie Miikka Kiprusoff informed the Calgary Flames in the morning that he would not accept a trade, leaving the Toronto Maple Leafs in the cold. And Roberto Luongo was not traded by the Vancouver Canucks.
Other players who were rumoured to be on the block but were not involved in deals included Mark Streit, Dan Boyle and Keith Yandle.
Of course, many sigificant players were on the move in the days leading up to the deadline. Jarome Iginla, Jaromir Jagr, Brenden Morrow, Derek Roy, Robyn Regehr, Ryane Clowe, Jay Bouwmeester and Jordan Leopold were among those changing their addresses as clubs bulked up for the final month of the season.
WEDNESDAY'S NHL DEALS ...
April 3 – Columbus trades G Steve Mason to Philadelphia FOR G Michael Leighton and a third-round pick in 2015
Skinny: Since winning the Calder Trophy in 2009, Mason mostly has struggled, especially in the past two seasons. The 24-year-old is 3-6-1 with an .899 save percentage and a 2.95 goals-against average this season ... Mason was made expendable by the play of Sergei Bobrovsky, who was traded to Columbus by Philly last June.
April 3 – N.Y. Rangers trade F Marian Gaborik, D Stephen Delisle and D Blake Parlett to Columbus FOR F Derick Brassard, D John Moore and F Derek Dorsett and a sixth-round draft pick in 2014
Skinny: Gaborik will try to revive his scoring touch in Columbus. He has nine goals this season and just two in the past 22 games ... Brassard was third in Jackets scoring with seven goals and 11 assists in 34 games ... Moore has one assist in 17 games ... Dorsett has a fractured clavicle and could return for playoffs.
April 3 – Buffalo trades F Jason Pominville and a fourth-round draft pick in 2014 to Minnesota FOR G Matt Hackett, F Johan Larsson, a first-round draft pick in 2013 and a second-round draft pick in 2014
Skinny: Pominville, now the Sabres’ former captain, has 10 goals in this shortened season has been a consistent producer, scoring at least 20 goals in each of the past six years ... Hackett largely has been unable to crack the Minnesota roster, spending three seasons with Houston of the AHL ... Larsson was third in Houston scoring with 15 goals and 22 assists in 62 games.
April 3 – Calgary trades F Blake Comeau to Columbus FOR a fifth-round draft pick in 2013
Skinny: Since scoring 24 goals in 2010-11 for the Islanders, Comeau has done little of substance since ... Had nine goals in 91 games over two seasons with Calgary ... Jackets needed depth after getting Gaborik from Rangers.
April 3 – Phoenix trades F Raffi Torres to San Jose FOR third-round draft pick in 2013
Skinny: The Sharks become the seventh NHL team for Torres, who has five goals and seven assists in 28 games this season ... Hard open-ice hitter who could help San Jose in playoffs as long as he plays within the rules.
April 3 – Colorado trades D Ryan O’Byrne to Toronto FOR a fourth-round draft pick in 2014
Skinny: Leafs get depth on blueline and another right-handed shot ... O’Byrne at one time was partnered with John-Michael Liles in Colorado and could be reunited in Toronto ... Has 19 games playoff experience, all with Montreal.
April 3 – Phoenix trades F Steve Sullivan to New Jersey FOR a seventh-round draft pick in 2013
Skinny: Sullivan started his NHL career with the Devils in 1995-96 ... Has five goals in 33 games this season but Jersey’s hope is that he adds a little punch in the playoff stretch.
April 3 – Phoenix trades F Matthew Lombardi to Anaheim FOR F Brandon McMillan
Skinny: Lombardi was dealt to the Coyotes from the Maple Leafs in January and had eight points (four goals and four assists) in 21 games ... McMillan has spent most of the season with Norfolk of the AHL, but has played in 91 games with Ducks.
April 3 – St. Louis trades D Wade Redden to Boston FOR a seventh-round draft pick in 2014
Skinny: Busy year for Redden, who was bought out by the Rangers and signed by the Blues ... Had five points in 23 games with St. Louis and will add insurance/depth to Bruins blue line.
April 3 – Ottawa trades G Ben Bishop to Tampa Bay FOR F Cory Conacher and a fourth-round pick
Skinny: Lightning GM Steve Yzerman hoping he finally gets it right in Tampa net ... Bishop has put up good numbers in Ottawa this season, going 8-5 with a .922 save percentage and a 2.45 goals-against average ... Conacher has had a solid rookie season for Tampa, scoring nine goals and adding 15 assists in 35 games.
April 3 – Nashville trades D Scott Hannan to San Jose FOR a conditional sixth- or seventh-round draft pick in 2013 draft
Skinny: Depth move for Sharks ... Hannan has one assist and is minus-11 with 20 penalty minutes in 29 games for the Predators ... Hannan, 34, played for the Sharks from 1998-2007 after he was picked 23rd overall by San Jose in 1997 ... Pick becomes a sixth-rounder if Hannan plays in one playoff game this spring.
April 3 – Florida trades F Jerred Smithson to Edmonton FOR a fourth-round pick in 2013
Skinny: The 6-foot-3, 209-pound Smithson will provide a bit of substance on the Oilers’ third or fourth line ... Veteran of 578 NHL games, mostly with Nashville ... In 35 games for Panthers this season, has two goals and three assists. Minus-4 with 10 penalty minutes ... Smithson reportedly was on the way to have his wife induced for birth of their first child when he learned of the trade.
April 3 – Carolina trades F Jussi Jokinen to Pittsburgh FOR a conditional sixth- or seventh-round pick in 2013
Skinny: Jokinen represents a $3-million US salary cap hit next season, but the Hurricanes are retaining a portion of his salary ... Jokinen is regarded as a top-notch shootout performer, but is just 4-for-16 in the past three seasons and no attempts this year ... Jokinen has six goals and five assists in 33 games.
April 3 – Boston trades F Maxime Sauve to Chicago FOR F Rob Flick
Skinny: Minor-league swap ... Sauve, 23, has 10 goals and 14 assists in 52 games for Providence of the AHL ... Flick, 22, has five points and 97 penalty minutes in 51 games for Rockford of the AHL.
April 3 – Nashville trades F Martin Erat and F Michael Latta to Washington FOR F Filip Forsberg
Skinny: It didn’t take the Capitals long to give up on Forsberg, who was taken by Washington 11th overall last June ... Erat has 21 points (four goals and 17 assists) in 36 games with the Predators ... Latta is second in scoring with Milwaukee of the AHL, recording 34 points in 67 games.
April 3 – Anaheim trades G Jeff Deslauriers to Minnesota FOR future considerations
Skinny: With Hackett involved in the Gaborik trade, the Wild needed goaltending depth in the organization and got it with Deslauriers, who originally was drafted in 2002 by Edmonton.
April 2 – Sharks trade F Ryane Clowe to Rangers FOR pair of 2013 picks and a 2014 pick
April 2 – Avalanche trade D Cameron Gaunce to Avalanche FOR F Tomas Vincour
April 2 – Blackhawks trade F Philippe Paradis to Lightning FOR D Kirill Gotovets
April 2 – Lightning trade D Marc-Andre Bergeron to Hurricanes FOR F Adam Hall and a 2013 pick
April 2 – Capitals trade F Matt Clackson to Coyotes FOR F Joel Rechlicz
April 2 – Stars trade F Derek Roy to Canucks FOR D Kevin Connauton and a 2013 pick
April 2 – Stars trade F Jaromir Jagr to Bruins FOR F Lane MacDermid, F Cody Payne, and a 2013 pick
April 2 – Capitals trade D Garrett Stafford to Oilers FOR F Dane Byers
April 2 – Kings trade D Davis Drewiske to Canadiens FOR 2013 pick
April 1 – Sabres trade D Robyn Regehr to Kings FOR a 2014 pick and a 2015 pick
April 1 – Flames trade D Jay Bouwmeester to Blues FOR D Mark Cundari, G Reto Berra and a pair of picks
April 1 – Shaks trade F Michal Handzus to Blackhawks FOR a 2012 pick
April 1 – Flyers trade F Harry Zolnierczyk to Ducks FOR F Jay Rosehill
March 30 – Sabres trade D Jordan Leopold to Blues FOR a pair of 2013 picks
March 30 – Red Wings trade D Kent Huskins to Flyers FOR 2014 pick
March 29 – Oilers trade F Tobias Rieder to Coyotes FOR F Kale Kessy
March 28 – Flames trade F Jarome Iginla to Penguins FOR F Ben Hanowski, F Kenneth Agostino and 2013 first-round pick
March 25 – Sharks trade D Douglas Murray to Penguins FOR a 2013 pick and a 2014 pick
March 24 – Stars trade F Brenden Morrow to Penguins FOR D Joseph Morrow and a 2013 pick
March 22 – Blues trade F Matt D’Agostini to Devils FOR 2015 pick