1) Its conventional for any hockey blog, especially one like ours that specializes in trade talk/discussion/rumors, to analyze the days events and try to discern who helped themselves, and who did not.
- Montreal: Our first reaction was" What the hell is Gainey thinking!?! Now a full 24 hours later our position is " What the hell was Gainey thinking!?! Why did BG feel he needed to move his # 1 goalie a few weeks before the playoffs? If Price is ready, great, but wouldn't it be nice to have a veteran with impeccable stats there to back him up? Its not like the Caps gave up a king's ransom to acquire Huet. Will that late 2nd round pick make such a difference? Sorry, unless Price leads the Habs to at least the conference Finals(2 playoff series wins) this deal will prove to be a loser in Montreal. Additionally, they couldn't land Hossa and didn't trade Ryder. The Canadiens overall are no stronger, and we feel overall are weaker today than they were yesterday
- Pittsburgh- OK, we can't argue with the Hal Gill pick up. They needed a guy like him on the back line. However, and from what we've read so far we're a minority in this opinion, the Hossa deal will be a bust in Pittsburgh. Was the Penguin weakness in scoring? If not, how will Hossa make them much better? In our opinion losing guys who are hard working role players who can chip in offensively/are well liked by team mates is an intangible negative that shouldn't be overlooked! Has Hossa in his NHL career shown to be a clutch playoff performer? Almost all agree that this is merely a rental. If he fails in the post season (at least the Conference Finals) it was a colossal blunder! Marion may suddenly turn out to be the missing link, but we wouldn't bet on it!
- TampaBay- Probably their biggest move was the one they didn't make(yet): The firing of John Tortorella. Its no secret that about 75% of the team would murder him if they knew they could get away with it. He needs to be replaced. Torts is the primary reason that Vaclav(Vinny) Prospal needed to be dealt. The Boyle contract is another head scratcher. Yes, Dan is a very good offensive defensemen that would be hard to replace, BUT at 6.6 mil for another 5 years, he will have a hard time living up to that money. As a result Feaster was forced to deal Richards. We feel what he received back for the star forward is a mere pittance of what he should have received. Perhaps Mike Smith will become a legit starting goalie, but if not, the deal was a huge bust!
- Dallas- (See above) The Stars improved their offensive depth considerably with the Richards signing. They already were one of the better scoring clubs, and now they are officially a playoff threat!
- San Jose- The missing piece of the puzzle as they say for the Sharks was a legitimate puck moving defensemen who can quarter back their power play. With the reemergence of Cheechoo, the Sharks seem to be poised to challenge the Ducks and the West
- Washington- First the positives (Its 90% good). Excellant swindle (see Montreal above) of the Habs for a younger, better option to start in net. Kolzig, despite his recent surge has not been the same goalie he's been in DC the past decade. This acquisition shocked almost everyone in the NHL. Not the least of which were caps fans accustomed to deadline snooze. Additionally the addition of Fedorov should bolster a forward lineup that was hurt by the Nylander and Clark injuries. It remains to be seen how much 'Feds' has left in the tank. Another positive is the Cooke addition. He's a player who has an edge. An aspect the team was missing. The only negative is the 3 goalie situation is going to be awkward. Huet will have to play the lions share of remaining games. Can Ollie be effective as the #2 guy? GMGM should have dealt him as well to dispell any potential locker room issues!
- Colorado- Some have whimsically thought that the Avs were trying to reassemble the 2001 team with the additions of Forsberg and then Foote. Had they been able to land Blake it may have been a bigger story and room for additional conjecture of when Roy and Bourque would return.; ) Seriously, the Forsberg addition got the most ink, but the additions of both Foote and Salei are the biggest moves the Colorado sextet made yesterday. It solidifies their shaky backline and together with a healthy group of forwards should propel the team into the playoffs where they will go as far as their goaltending can take them.
- Buffalo- They got the SJ first round pick and a solid young forward in Bernier, but its NOT enough to alleviate what fans in Buffalo must be wondering. Can we ever really compete? They have now lost Briere, Drury and now Campbell in less than 8 months. Wasn't the salary cap supposed to allow small market teams to compete? Guess that's not how it works?
- Anaheim- Picked up a couple of French hyphenites in M-A Bergeron, and J-S Aubin. Both are merely depth players who will see limited action barring injury. The biggest thing Burke did was nothing. Like last year he resisted the urge to make a big splash in the rental sweep stakes. It worked for him last time around, why not take this approach again. Therefore after all is said and done we feel the Ducks are still the favourites to win the Cup.