Monday, March 9, 2009

Draft day Winner/Losers

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. Its been a few days so the dust has settled:

The Winners:

  • Calgary- The Flames landed probably the biggest name at the deadline in Ollie Jokinen. Jokinen will get quality minutes and will either thrive or whither under former coach Mike Keenan after a disappointing year in Phoenix. Jokinen has never played in any playoff games in his career. He'll get his chance to show that was merely a coincidence? The other addition of Jordan Leopold bolster's their backline. We believe these deals make the Flames a legit Cup contender.

  • Pittsburgh- Although we believe the best move the Pens made was the firing of Therrian, Shero made some very nice deadline additions with the acquisitions of Chris Kunitz and Bill Guerin. Now they have 2 very potent scoring lines with wingers who can score. Suddenly if we were a team in the East we'd want to avoid the defending conference champs.

  • Chicago- Sam Pahlsson may seem like a minor addition, but we feel it may be one of the more savvy acquisitions. He adds a component that may have been lacking in Chicago. A nice defensive center. If they stay healthy these Hawks might surprise this spring. Also probably a smart move to keep both Huet and Khabibulin for the playoffs. We wonder if Khabibulin had been 100% healthy if he would have been moved?

  • Florida- Others have written that the panthers were 'losers' for not trading Bowmeester. We disagree. By keeping their roster intact it gives Florida a legit chance to make some hay in the very wide open Eastern Conference. Are they good enough to win, perhaps not, but if they unloaded J-Bow, its unlikely Martin would have received enough in return to keep the team as strong. They also added underrated Steve Eminger to their defense.

  • Rangers- Probably made their 2 biggest additions PRIOR to the deadline in Tortorella and Sean Avery. 'Torts' abrasive (Keenanesque) style will work in the short term to revive the sputtering NY denizens. Avery likewise will infuse energy into the lineup. They added another enigmatic Russian named Nik, Antropov to go with Zherdev. They will either be stars or quickly go to Tortorella's chateau bow-wow. We like the addition of Morris, but perhaps overpaid a bit much for him. Overall the Rangers are a far better team now than they were 2 weeks ago!

  • Phoenix- We believe that GM Don Maloney did a good job in a tough situation with a struggling team that also needed to unload payroll. Through deadline deals mentioned above they added Nigel Dawes, Dmitri Kalinin and Petr Prucha from New York and Matthew Lombardi, a top prospect Brandon Prust and a first-round pick from Calgary. They also unloaded Daniel Carcillo on Philadelphia for the more polished Scottie Upshall. Add those pieces to a already solid young up and coming corp, and we like the Coyotes future(on the ice anyways!)

  • Boston- Their biggest positive move was NOT getting Keith Tkachuk! GM Peter Chiarelli added a couple of solid, players in defenseman Steve Montador and pernnial playoff rental, forward Mark Recchi. Good job by the B's adding these two without disrupting their future. Despite their recent lackluster play, the Bruins are still the Eastern favourites, and these moves only improved their chances.

  • San Jose- With few apparent weakness the Sharks added two Cup winners from Anaheim in checking forward Travis Moen and defenseman Kent Huskins. We particularly like the addition of Moen. 'The fawcet' can play the role of shut down forward and can handle himself with the rough stuff too. He adds an element of grit the the Sharks who will need that edge in the very tough, competitive West.

The Losers:

  • Washington- Stood pat. We can understand to a point as they are a top 3 team, but how/why would GM McPhee allow East rival Pitsburgh to add Guerin, especially if all it would have taken was a 3rd round pick? They also would have been a better/tougher team to play against if they had acquired Carcillo instead of the Flyers as this team does not have that gritty, tough forward that teams need in abundance for the long playoff grind.

  • Islanders- To some degree GM Garth Snow was snake bit with the injuries to potential trade bait in Doug Weight and Mike Sillinger, but we expected a better return on Bill Guerin than a 5th (possibly 4th) round pick. Toronto got a 2nd rounder for Dominic Moore! Additionally the trade of Campoli for a late 1st round pick was a lateral move in our opinion as its unlikely that the player they ultimately acquire with that pick will be any better than Chris, and it will take 3-5 years to get that far.

  • Toronto- Unloaded Moore and Antropov for 2nd round picks, but for all the bluster, Brian Burke was quiet on deadline day (except for the Tampa Bay salary dump disguised as a trade). Burke still has quite a bit of work to do to transform the Leafs into a legit NHL contending team once again, and we didn't see much in their deadline moves to propel them in that direction. More to be done this draft day for sure!

  • Philadelphia- Despite the Carcillo addition (who could be the next Milan Lucic) we feel Philly didn't address their biggest weakness, on defense and especially in goal. The rumoured moves to acquire Jay Bowmeester and/or a legit #1 goalie never materialized. Making Philly still a formidable playoff opponent, but not distinguishing themselves from the rest of the pack.

  • Montreal- For all the noise that big moves were soon to come from Montreal Bob Gainey was silent on trade day. He did nothing to address their need for size and skill down the middle, or to replace the injured Robert Lang and/or perhaps the lack of experience in goal. The Schneider pick up was decent, but not a difference maker. Its a shame as this squad was a piece or two from being a contender.

  • Detroit- Might seem strange to place one of the top 1-2 teams (and current Cup champs) in the entire NHL as draft day losers, but they didn't address what is becoming a very evident weakness, their goaltending. We don't care how many rings Chris Osgood has, he and Ty Conklin (who has played 1 playoff game ever) have been below average at best. Is this team still good enough to carry them?


PowerPuff said...

As a fan of Phoenix but living here in calgary I agree with you that the trade helps both teams here. Ollie wasn't helpin gus to win so there was reason to keep him. i think that if the Falmes don't win it all they may regret picking up all that salary next season.

jonobolona said...

Power- I don't think Sutter much cares about next season right now. he sees the window that this team has to win a Cup closing soon and believes these moves can win now. You are right though that the Flames will have salary cap issues if the cap doesn't go up again next year as most are saying.

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