February 26, 2008

Trade Deadline Thoughts

I find NHL trading deadline day to be as fascinating as it is overwhelming.

I'm not going to spend too much time on the deadline deals. Others more prominent than I have weighed in on all the pros and cons. Check out TSN.ca, Globe & Mail and of course good ol' Spector for all sorts of wonderful analysis.

Here's a few of my thoughts though:

Pittsburgh lands the biggest fish in Marian Hossa. But they paid a whole lot for an unrestricted free agent to be. Colby Armstrong is a real character guy and said to be the glue of that young nucleus. Which is fine if they can resign Hossa, but can they? Crosby is slated to earn $8.7M next year, with Marc Andre Fleury and Ryan Malone due to this year and Evgeny Malkin and Jordan Staal due up the year after. Can they afford the $7M to $8M it might take to keep Hossa and keep those 5 nucleus guys? It's not going to happen. Plus I really think they need to upgrade their blue line. An interesting move, but I can't help but think they would have been better off going after a stud d-man at some point. But kudos for the Pens on swinging for the fences.

Washington makes a real push, going after Cristobal Huet, Sergei Fedorov and Matt Cooke. Good for them, because that market really needs a playoff berth. All three are UFAs to be, but it did not cost them much. The playoffs are more valuable than Matt Pettinger.

Detroit gets Brad Stuart. I can't decide if Brad Stuart is terrible under-appreciated or horribly overrated. Regardless, if Detroit's blue line is healthy, they might have the best group of D in the NHL.

Colorado reacquires Adam Foote after reacquiring Peter Forsberg. Judging by Joe Sakic's comments, the team is jumping for joy to see these two old warriors coming back. I don't know how effective Forsberg will be, but look out western conference, the Avs are making a sprint for a playoff spot.

Montreal does nothing. When I heard they moved UFA to be Cristobal Huet, I figured something big was coming in Montreal. But nothing ever came. They were supposedly in the Hossa hunt, but failed to bring in anyone, including a veteran goalie to back up rookie Carey Price in the playoff race. Bob Gainey said it best when he said he was taking a gamble here. And seriously, Huet was only worth a 2nd rounder in 2009?!

Brad Richards goes to Dallas. I like Brad Richards. A lot. And Dallas is really a great fit for him. But I can think of 7.8 million reasons why I'm glad my Vancouver Canucks did not land Richards.
Tampa finally breaks the salary cap log jam. Lecavalier wants to stay. St. Louis' contract gets more favorable with every passing year. Dan Boyle is all locked up. Mike Smith, Jeff Halpern and Jussi Jokinen give the Bolts some depth. And presumably now they can be aggressive in the goaltending free agent market this summer. I just hope Doug McLean doesn't start meddling with this team.


Eighty-Two said...

RE: The Penguins - Hal Gill isn't a "stud d man?"

Anonymous said...

Hal Gill was past his prime before he even saw his prime.

Regarding Huet, I was surprised to see him only garner a second-round pick (especially when Adam Foote returns a first-rounder) but his durability is in question (season high of 42 games including his professional career in Europe) and the market for good goaltenders is already saturated.

When Ilya Bryzgalov can't get traded and gets claimed off of waivers, that says something to me.

vdkhanna said...

With respect to Foote and Forsberg returning to Colorado, I'm a bit skeptical about their abilities at this point in their careers to serve as impact players. I am also afraid that they risk tarnishing their reputations by coming back in an era in which the Avs are no longer an elite, perennial Cup-contending team. Just my two cents.