You can download it here,
And listen to it here: Read the rest of this entry »
You can download it here,
And listen to it here: Read the rest of this entry »
The 2014 iteration of the NHL trade deadline was just a touch more exciting than last season’s. Who was traded last year? The ghost of Tim Thomas from Boston to the Islanders so they could hit the salary floor? I think maybe Erik Cole moved from Montreal to Dallas? Regardless, this season gave us a zillion rumors with big names, and whaddya know, a few of them were even asked to swap jerseys.
One at a time now, here’s some quick reaction to every deal from the last two days, two sentences at a time.
A 35-year-old low-pairing defenseman for a pick in a round that becomes a legit NHLer less than 10% of the time. Weaver’s solid enough that you can use him, where maybe Douglas Murray isn’t, so sure, good for Montreal
Ilya’s a wildly unpopular guy in the dressing room – he’s now hit Anaheim, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Edmonton and Minnesota – and he’s a fairly middling goaltender. If the Wild were looking for a solution in net, I’m not so sure they made a great call.
Garth Snow played deadline roulette, put the Islanders money on black and red, and the ball landed on the double-zero greens. For those of you unfamiliar with that analogy: the Isles managed to lose on deadline day when it was legitimately a hard result to accomplish.
At the start of the year, Long Island had Matt Moulson, a highly coveted asset heading to UFA. They traded him and a first round pick (2014 or 2015), and a second round pick (2014) for Thomas Vanek, and a better shot at playoffs. Eventually, they knew they would be flipping Vanek at the deadline – he said he wouldn’t re-sign, favoring unrestricted free agency instead – so they waited until the last second, and turned Vanek into…a second round pick and a mediocre prospect (Sebastien Collberg). The kicker is, if the Habs make the playoffs, the Islanders send back a fifth-rounder (if they miss, no picks are involved in the deal. Just Vanek for Collberg).
As in, New York lost Moulson for nothing. More accurately, they paid to get rid of a talented forward.
If you’re not picking up the vibe, the Montreal Canadiens won today, and won big. If you look around the Eastern Conference, it’s pretty wide open, and making a move like acquiring Vanek pushes home ice advantage in the post-season to near-lock status. No roster players lost, a great player gained. While the Habs won’t be able to re-sign their new acquisition (all signs point to the Wild this summer), that’s a pretty small cost to pay for a great rental. Especially when you consider what others have fetched – heck, Doug Murray cost more at last year’s deadline.
The Islanders have established a trend – they want to be a salary floor team, and they want to do that by trotting out prospects (preferably on entry-level deals) and waiver claims, then turning those players into more picks and prospects the second they come to flower and want money. And, to get to that salary floor, they have guys like Rick DiPietro, Alexei Yashin and in some cases, deals like Tim Thomas’ last year (no money out of pocket, but with a cap hit) still on the payroll.
The Habs come out looking pretty good in all of this. And of course, the Islanders, once again, look like an organization that belongs in Nassau Coliseum.
DEAL: Marian Gaborik to Los Angeles for a second round pick and a conditional third.
The Los Angeles Kings are in dire need of scoring, and it wasn’t a fact lost on them. Their current scoring clip is just over two goals per game, which barely bests the two worst-scoring teams in the NHL, Calgary and Buffalo. Enter Marian Gaborik.
The name Marian Gaborik, at this point, is a lot sexier than the player himself. He’s tallied just 14 points in 22 games this season, a mere six of which are goals. I’m not a big fan of avoiding talent because the talent has had bad injury luck in the past, but Gaborik seems really prone to getting hurt, which is a scary concept in playoffs. And, when you’re a scorer who’s made his hay in large part thanks to being speedy, age can be a real drag.
In short, I’m not sure the Kings found the guy they’re looking for. He’ll definitely provide some offense, but on a team that dines on its team defense, I’m skeptical that it’ll be worth it.
Going back to Columbus is Matt Frattin, a second round pick, and a third round pick (conditional). For a team on the brink of playoffs like Columbus – to whom making playoffs would mean a great deal – it seems like a waste to ship out one of your legitimate NHL talents for future picks. I’m almost always in favour of getting something rather than nothing for a player going to UFA, but I’d have rather have seen Columbus consider him a rental and make a playoff push than do the “smart” thing in this case.
The Blue Jackets haven’t had Gaborik much of the year and they’ve been fine, so maybe that’s Jarmo Kekalainen’s line of thinking, but I would’ve preferred to see them look at this season a bit more aggressively.
I can see what both GMs were thinking, but I’m not sure either one got what they needed here.
I was joined by Thomas Drance and Scott Lewis to discuss the days biggest trade to date – Martin St. Louis to the Rangers for Ryan Callahan, a first (2015) and a second (2014). The second can become a first if the Rangers make the Conference Final.
It’s 6:36 minutes long, hope you enjoy. Download here,
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DEAL: Martin St. Louis to the NY Rangers for Ryan Callahan, a first (2015), a second (2014) that can become a first if the Rangers make the Conference Final.
Yesterday I wrote a blurb on the New York Rangers that implied they were one big piece up front from being a legitimate contender in the East. Well, here we are.
Adding Martin St. Louis gives the Rangers one the best top-sixes in the Eastern Conference (possibly the best, actually) to compliment their quality d-corps and great goaltending. While they haven’t exactly torn it up so far this season, their roster suddenly looks like one you could see in the Cup Final. The East is definitely still up for grabs.
I’m pretty sure the reaction is going to be that the Lightning got fleeced, and while they certainly didn’t get better this year, Steve Yzerman seems to have a plan. I believe he looked at his roster, and recognized that they aren’t a Cup contender. I also believe he learned enough in Detroit about building a team that his goal isn’t to be sorta good for a long time – it’s to get to that shiny silver thing. Building a team like that takes patience.
Knowing that, I think he put more value in the picks than the actual return of Callahan. If the rumors are true and he doesn’t intend to sign the Rangers (former) captain, he’s got himself a rental that can be a part of the puzzle as his team gains experience in playoffs, and he can hopefully draft a few more of the missing pieces he believes they need to get over the top.
And, we should probably also remember, he was dealing with a disgruntled player in Martin St. Louis whose value was never going to be higher that only wanted to go to one team. He was going to lose him in the summer of 2015 anyway, so it’s not so terrible to get good return before it’s too late.
The Rangers improved, and the Lightning got worse…for now. The team making the push just became an immediate threat, while Tampa’s future got brighter. At the very least, the deal makes sense for both sides.
1) Will Ryan Kesler get traded?
The Canucks seem to be sincere about writing this season off and looking towards the future. If that’s the plan, and for some reason they’d like to part with a big, talented, mean center with cheap term (wait, why is this happening again), they might as well do it sooner than later to maximize return.
So… *peanut vendor cadence* ”Kesler here…piping hot Ryan Kesler, who wants some Ryan Kesler…??”
2) What are the Ducks plan?
While it’s been reported that Thomas Vanek is going here, there, and everywhere, it sure looked like Bob Murray was clearing out the roster space and salary cap for a big addition like the Islanders’ playmaker. Whether he goes there or not (rumors say San Jose), I’d be really surprised if they didn’t use the cap space they’ve been banking all season to add another piece. They’re leading the NHL in points by five right now, and they can smell another shot at the Cup. You don’t expect them to stand pat, do you?
3) Do the Islanders get back what they gave up for Vanek?
When the Islanders acquired Thomas Vanek, they moved Matt Moulson, a first in 2014 or 2015, and a second in 2015. There’s a good chance they’d like to at least recoup those picks for the talented Austrian, and more. The Islanders really, really don’t like paying actual hockey players, so it wouldn’t be too shocking to see the main part of the return be picks, but with Brooklyn not too far off in the horizon, you’d think they’d like to exit the rebuild phase sooner than later, so…who knows. We’ll find out what they’re after soon enough.
4) What do the Toronto Maple Leafs think they are?