Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thoughts on the Draft and the trades leading up to the UFA season

-The top 3 picks went as expected with John Tavares, Victor Hedman and Matt Duchene went 1,2,3 respectively.

-5 out of the 6 Canadian teams (with Calgary being the exception) made very good picks.

Now the juicy stuff,

Chris Pronger was dealt to the Philadelphia Flyers for Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa and two first round picks: Well I wouldn't want to be a team in the eastern conference next year, especially one in their division. The battles between the Flyers and the Penguins next year are going to be epic. The Flyers now arguably have to be considered to power in the east if Ray Emery can get back to his 2007 form. With a defensive top 3 of Pronger, Tiominen, and Coburn to go along with Richards, Carter, Briere, Gagne, Giroux and Hartnell. But on the other side the Flyers gave up an absolute kings ransom for Pronger. In Lupul they lose potentially 30 goals, Sbisa was their top defensive prospect and two first round picks make it a very steep price to pay so Pronger better damn well pay off.

Jay Bouwmeester's negociating rights were traded to the Calgary Flames and then he signed a 5 year, 33 million dollar contract: What a blue line the Calgary Flames are going to have next season! With JBo, Phaneuf, Regher and Cory Sarich as their top 4 it's going to be hell trying to get anything done in Calgary's end and the former 2 have 60 point potential. Jay is only 25 years old and is just heading into his prime so Calgary now has the potential to have 2 of the top blueliner's in the league on their roster for a very long time. However don't expect this team to have any depth considering all the money they have sunk into star players. Not only that but this team's window could be closing with Olli Jokinen slated to become a UFA next year, the expected plunge in the salary cap and Daymond Langkow and Jarome Iginla are starting to gain some tread on their tires so this is a win now trade as well.

Scott Gomez and two minor leaguers were traded to Montreal for Chris Higgins and prospects Ryan McDonaugh and Pavel Valentenko: The Montreal Canadiens get a potential #1 centre who comes with some issues however and give up a chronic underachiever who thinks he's better then he is along with one top end defensive prospect in Ryan McDonaugh and one who abandoned the Habs AHL team to go back to Russia in mid-season for more money in the KHL. Scott Gomez is a player who could very well put up massive numbers but he'd need someone else to play with which is an oppurtunity he had in New Jersey but never in New York. So he could turn back into a really good centre or he could be the 7 million dollar a season bust he was in NY. Chris Higgins is a player better suited for being a defensive forward but he thinks he's a natural goal scorer who can pot 40 (not a chance in hell). I won't really miss him and his probable future hellacious contract negociations or Pavel Valentenko and his bolting to Russia but Ryan McDonaugh could turn out to be a very solid top 4 defenseman. This deal could go either way for both teams.

Dany Heatley has been traded to the Edmonton Oilers for Andrew Cogliano, Dustin Penner and Ladislav Smid: The Edmonton Oilers have finally gotten their first pure scoring winger since Jari Kurri left for Los Angeles all those years ago. He has the potential to score 50 goals every year and hopefully he's paired with Sam Gagner to speed along his developement instead of Shawn"The Anchor"Horcoff. However Heatley does come with the baggage of demanding a trade off his team for the second time now and apparently their were dressing room issues with Heatley in Ottawa so we'll see how Pat Quinn handles him. The Oilers actually managed to rid themselves of Dustin Penner and his outrageously brutal contract but they do lose ultra-fast goal scorer Andrew Cogliano and tough as nails defender Ladisalv Smid. Ottawa gains those two along with expensive reclamation project Penner who Brian Murray believes he can save.(Update: Heatley has decided to sleep on waving his NTC till tonight because it appears he wants GM Bryan Murray to work on trading him to San Jose or New York)

1 comment:

  1. July is certainly an exciting month for hockey with upcoming trades and the signing of free agents. Keep up the good work with your updated highlights and keen insights!