Phoenix Coyotes v Dallas Stars

Thoughts on Thoughts” is a feature that looks at Elliotte Friedman’s terrific weekly post “30 Thoughts.” Justin Bourne selects his 10 favourite tidbits, and elaborates.

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Friedman’s column, April 2nd: Dallas is team to watch at NHL trade deadline


Over the next 24 hours, the Dallas Stars may be the team to watch.

Friedman barely got his column out on time. His opening stressed the fact that the Dallas Stars are likely to be deadline sellers, and within hours, they had moved both Derek Roy and Jaromir Jagr.

In Toronto, Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis won’t trade impending free agents Tyler Bozak and Clarke MacArthur for draft picks.

“I couldn’t go into our room and look our players in the eye if we did that,” he said last week. “If we trade them, it’s for something that we can use now.”

No doubt Nieuwendyk would love to do the same, but he’s going to get good offers. Very good offers. When it comes to rentals, he’s got good stuff to sell. Boston, in particular, craves Jagr.

It will be hard to say no.

In the end, he wasn’t able to. I say he made the right call. Gotta be honest about where you’re at as a team, and the Stars aren’t “there.”


2. Now that Jay Bouwmeester is a Blue and Ladislav Smid is a newly signed Oiler, defensive attention turns to Mark Streit and Dan Boyle. The Islanders have been working to complete a three-year deal with Streit, but it’s not done. It’s a big decision for Islanders GM Garth Snow if that doesn’t happen. Detroit, among others, would love to get him. Obviously, it depends what offers are out there, but if New York can’t close it now, how much weight will be given to keeping him and going for it? John Tavares has one of the most team-friendly superstar contracts in the NHL. Take advantage while you can. Create a fresher mentality.

If you’re the New York Islanders, and you see Douglas Murray fetching a couple seconds and Jay Bouwmeester and his massive cap hit fetching a first plus two “prospects” (I use quotes because they seem more like projects, but whatever), you have to realize you can get quite the haul for Mark Streit and his $4.1M hit, yes?


Nope. Nope, they’re blinded by the playoffs dangling like a carrot from the string in front of them.

Okay, so the best case scenario is we (my thoughts on saying “we” about your team, by the way) make playoffs, lose in four games to the Pens, and forfeit a valuable trade chip for nothing. Worst-case scenario is we keep him, miss playoffs, then lose him for nothing.

This is the essence of being an Isles fan: would you like to get kicked in the bag and punched in the face, or just kicked in the bag?

5. The Flames are not done. They will discuss anyone not named Sven Baertschi. They have told pursuers they prefer to keep Mark Giordanoand Curtis Glencross, although teams are asking about them, so you never know. The New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators, in particular, are believed to be big Glencross fans. Sooner or later, maybe Calgary gets an offer it cannot refuse.

Maybe I’m biased towards an ex-teammate, but I feel like Glencross is pretty unheralded for a guy whose last three seasons have seem him score 26, 24, and 14 in 32 games this season. Guys like that aren’t exactly easy to come by, and dude only makes $2.55M through 2015. Any team would LOVE to have a guy like that, yet for some reason he seems to fall into the “meh” category, while teams climb all over each other trying to sign Lee Stempniak. Glencross even runs guys over now and then. If you’re rebuilding, he seems like a pretty big chip from where I sit. Get him somewhere decent, Feaster.

8. As reported on Hotstove Tonight, the Leafs already said no to trading a first-round pick for Kiprusoff. Some questioned whether their interest in him was a smokescreen, but I think it was very real. You cannot doubt his competitiveness and it is possible that, because he didn’t play during the lockout and then got hurt, this is a blip rather a complete meltdown of his career. But can you take that risk in the short term? His save percentage (.868) is on pace to be the lowest for a starter since Mario Gosselin in 1987-88.

I tried to make this case for Kiprusoff on the podcast just to play a little devil’s advocate, and you can at least get close to a conversation. As Friedge said:

* Didn’t play during the lockout

* Got hurt

* 2.35 goals against, .920 save percentage just last year. Do we believe a guy just up and got terrible – no middle ground, terrible – since then?

* How could you be motivated on that team? Maybe a fresh start would help him find his old form.

There’s no reason for the Leafs to trade for him, realistically. But I do think that writing Kiprus-off at this point is a little premature.

Update: Here you have it:

Apparently he won’t waive it, and he plans to retire after this season. So…there it is.

9. Nonis had another interesting quote besides the one mentioned above. He said he would not trade his young players unless the deals were “age specific.” For example, and I stress this is just me making the point, not an actual trade rumour, if Toronto was ever to trade Jake Gardiner, my bet is it would be for a player like Jonathan Bernier, for argument’s sake. Youth for youth.

I’ve got no beef with that. I’m not opposed to making real trades – you have a young asset at a position we have a need and vice versa – you just worry about moving a guy with potential for someone like Kiprusoff (as an example – any old “we needed veteran leadership and experience!” type guy) because you’re so blinded by playoffs and a name player.

By the way, Friedge also made this point a bit farther down:

Bernier, by the way, strikes me as a draft-day deal, not a deadline one. Kings still need him.

Totally true. A cold goalie can mean an early exit, so it’s nice to have a crutch to lean on heading into playoffs.

13. I’m not buying the Ales Hemsky to Boston rumours. The Oilers were one loss — last Tuesday in St. Louis — from surrender, but four straight wins bring new life. Even if they’d sold, I don’t think the Bruins were serious about Hemsky.

I tweeted this after the Oilers beat the Canucks.

This has felt like a talented team that just needed to “find it,” whatever the hell that means, and lately it’s felt like they have. Four straight wins, as Friedman notes. They’re now one point out of eighth (behind St. Louis, while Detroit and San Jose are a few more points ahead), and starting to find their stride, which should make a lot of teams in the West nervous. If they make so much as a single decent deal today and improve, I’d be pretty confident in that tweet. Most likely that the Sharks fall if anyone, I think.

15. Roberto Luongo: Wherever he did or didn’t want to go before, there’s no doubt he wants to go now. He’s worked hard to make the best of it, but we’ve moved from sharing the net to losing it entirely. He’s not going to be picky, but are the Canucks willing to make this deal if it doesn’t lead to a significant addition at centre? That’s always been the idea.

It’s getting to be one of those situations you just want over with, even if it ends poorly (see: Phoenix Coyotes ownership situation). Uncertainty is the worst thing for some people (that’d be me – I’d much rather get in a scrap with the wife than be told she wants to talk later), and for Luongo, it’s not a game, it’s his life. As much as the Canucks want to ensure they get a good return for him, keeping him doesn’t seem fair, especially in the face of how cool he’s been about it all.

That doesn’t mean I think they won’t keep him – they probably will – but this situation isn’t as fun as it was earlier in the year, and as much as Luongo clowns around about it, there has to be a huge piece of him that’s ready to pull on a new sweater. They gave the team to Schneider, and it’s time to let Luongo go.

18. I cannot believe for a second that the Philadelphia Flyers will trade Sean Couturier without getting some kind of cornerstone in return — a game-changer like a top defenceman.

I’m not sure if Elliotte is doing some dancing here, or if he was just bang on, but this has been kicked around a lot today:

And really, it makes sense for the Flyers (actually, both parties). Yandle is an absolute stud of a defenseman, and that’s exactly where Philly is at its weakest. And the Coyotes get another year of a top six forward for cheap, along with the option to extend him if he looks like he’s becoming to be the player they hope he can.

The Flyers, despite their failings this season, aren’t lacking that badly up front, but man, that defense…Yandle is definitely a player worth moving Couturier for.

19. A couple of weeks ago, Kings GM Dean Lombardi explained that every decision he makes is with an eye on Dustin Brown, who is two years from unrestricted free agency. I have to think the Flyers are the same with Claude Giroux, who can be extended this summer. That will not be an inexpensive contract.

If there are two players I consider on the same plane, it’s Dustin Brown and Claude Giroux.

Obviously I’m joking, but I’m surprised to hear the Kings are that concerned about Brown. I know they would and should want to keep him, but is he going to cost much more than 5-6 million? Wasn’t he supposedly on the trading block at the deadline last year? I guess ensuring you have room is a worthy consideration, but it’s not like they’re going to owe the guy Malkin money.

21. It does seem like the group is worn down by the constant ownership question. A couple of opponents said Phoenix is not “as lively” a team as it used to be. Coyotes GM Don Maloney and head coach Dave Tippett are not signed for next year, which is their choice. Amid a ton of skepticism, two groups claim they are interested in buying the team. One of the frontmen, Darin Pastor, said the NHL “has a timetable of May or June.” I do believe we are in the endgame here.

The Coyotes situation is gross, and that sucks to say as a guy who grew to love the team down there. It’s just toxic at this point. Maloney and Tippett spend the majority of their time turning chicken shit into chicken salad, and it has to be frustrating that the best thing they can ever offer is chicken salad. Has to be tempting to say “I’ve proven myself, I’m ready to upgrade my tools.” Aside from the cash, which they could likely get elsewhere (Tippett for sure, given the rate coaching jobs turn over), what’s the incentive to stay?

24. Renaud Lavoie of RDS reported that Mike Ribeiro turned down a three-year, $14-million extension in Washington. That’s consistent with Ribeiro’s desire for a five-year term. They’re still talking, but what happens if nothing gets done? If the Capitals are to make the playoffs, their power play (second in the NHL) will be a major reason. Ribeiro has 17 extra-man points, tied for fifth overall with Sidney Crosby andAlexander Ovechkin. Can they give up on that?

Ribiero is a fine player, but he’s in prime “get overpaid and shut it down” position. I’ve said this before: not all players are worth giving long-term deals to, regardless of finances, and five years isn’t short. I’d almost rather overpay on a short deal with someone like Ribiero, because quite frankly, sometimes I question his ability to self-motivate. If told he doesn’t need to pour pucks in to get paid for five years, do you get the same guy we’re seeing in a contract year?