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scuttlebutt: ulcer edition (nhl blah blah)

patri©k

TRIBE Member
hey guys...

here's a scuttle that I put together yesterday evening and finished it off earlier this morning. I know that things may have changed since I wrote this so bare with me. I put this together at about 4:30pm. Enjoy.. and I'll be putting out another complete edition later this week.

TRADES

To Colorado: Darby Hendrickson & 8th round pick
To Minnesota: 4th round pick
Looks like Colorado is trying to solidify their 3rd and 4th lines now after adding grit and depth on the blueline (with Bob Boughner and Kurt (Sweet &) Sauer). Great pickup by the Avs, like always.. By making three trades within a week, don't think that Colorado is finished yet - they always surprise the pants off of the other NHL teams around the trade deadline (by adding Fleury, Bourque, Kasparitus, etc..) Notice how Colorado is picking up some of the names that led their respected underdog teams last year through the playoffs last year (Sauer was a force in the playoffs as Hendrickson played an integral part for Minnesota). Lacroix - got to hand it to him....

To Detroit: Robert Lang
To Washington: Tomas Fleishman, 1st round pick & 4th round pick
Wow - didn't think they had the draft picks left to pull off such a trade but I stand corrected. This move solidifies the present as well as the future. Detroit is generally an older team and if there is a lockout next year, which is widely speculated, you could see a few current Red Wings probably hang them up (Yzerman, Chelios, Hull, Steve Thomas) after this year. Lang is signed for another 2 full years after this year and to add to the youth that they currently carry (Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Hurdler, Fischer) this team will be quite potent for years to come. This is a win, win situation for Detroit and not only will strengthen the future of the organization, more importantly, it will help in this year's Cup run. Fleishman is apparently an "A" prospect where the player is currently tearing up the Western Hockey League (WHL) and will one day be a bonafide NHLer and the picks? Well, Washington needs them - and badly... Great signing by the Wings - Kenny Holland is trying to match the wit of his Western counterpart, Pierre Lacroix from Colorado.

To New Jersey: Viktor Kozlov
To Florida: Christian Berglund & Victor Uchavatov
Florida was looking for a two-way centreman and that's exactly what they receive in Viktor Kozlov, although personally, I believe they picked up the wrong guy. Kozlov is good when healthy, but when he's not on his game, he's horrible.. For a big guy (6'4"), he plays like a guy who's 5'10" and does not bang the body too much. New Jersey was rumoured to be in the hunt for Rod Brind'Amour, which I think would be the PERFECT fit for Pat Burns but maybe that's why I'm not a GM.. The key to the deal is the young stay-at-home defenceman in Uchavatov. Only 20, Uchavatov should not have troubles making a sorry Panthers squad as he would if he stayed in Jersey.

To Los Angeles: Nathan Dempsey
To Chicago: 4th round pick & future considerations
If you asked me what Chicago was doing, I couldn't tell you. My brother and I were trying to figure out the logic in this one and we're still wondering why this went down. We'd understand if Dempsey made $5m but he doesn't. This wasn't a salary dump (since Dempsey does not make a lot) and it's not a "last chance at a cup" since Dempsey is under 30 - so why? I praise Dave Taylor (LA GM) for this move but I shake my head in disbelief over Chicago's mentality. They said they weren't done (after trading Sullivan and Zhamnov) but no one presumed it was going to be Dempsey, their leader in ice-time per game.. Remember, they still have 3 that could be gone - Berard (an easy candidate at nearly $2m), the oft-injured Potsie (Karpovtsev) and Michael Nylander - but you never know with Chicago (which is evident here)...

To Boston: Sergei Gonchar
To Washington: Shaone Morrison, 1st and 2nd round draft picks
Finally the rumours have been put to rest - but the BRUINS? Great pickup for them but kind of surprised me when I heard it was them since they are quite frugal when it comes to the loot. Morrison? Same age as Colaiacovo and was drafted the same year (a few slots higher) but was the sticking point the extra "2nd" round draft pick? Colaiacovo is rated higher than Morrison, prospect wise but Morrison is a little tougher than Colaiacovo. So what happens to Gonchar next year when he commands close to $7m a year? Does Boston let him walk like they did with Berard last year and Khristich a while back? Makes me wonder....

To San Jose: Jason Marshall
To Minnesota: 5th round draft pick
Simply a depth move - trying to fill in the holes on the 3rd and 4th lines. Too many "bigger" trades so I'll give my fingers a rest with this one.

To Montreal: Alexei Kovalev
To New York Rangers: Jozef Bulaj and 2nd round pick
With Kovalev scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this year, this is simply a rent-a-player move, and a very shrewd one at that. Montreal has NEVER been known to big splashes at the deadline but this is also the first year that Bob Gainey's been in town. Classic Gainey. In Kovalev, Montreal gets an offensive powerhouse that will definately help this team that lacks the scoring touch like all the other powerhouses in the East. With New York - let the firesale begin.. They receive a soon-to-be second liner in Bulaj and also a high draft pick to help them rebuild while at the same time, get to pare the payroll (which was never a concern but....) Montreal gets an offensive weapon and didn't have to touch any of their "core" prospects (Komisarek, Hainsey, Andrei Markov, Ryder, Ribeiro or Marcel Hossa). Great move (for both teams) but I have to give Gainey the kudos he definately deserved. I heard that Kovalev was on his way to Buffalo for Satan but I guess not)..

To Toronto: Brian Leetch & Conditional draft pick
To New York Rangers: Maxim Kondratiev, Jarkko Immonen, 1st and 2nd round draft picks
Waaaaay too much. I like Leetch and all but Toronto gave up way too much to land this 36 year old veteran rearguard. Even though Kondratiev will only be a 5th or 6th defenceman at best, look at all the possibility of youth they are letting go with the 2 high draft picks. What Toronto really needs is a stay at home defenceman, not more firepower from the point. Toronto is third in the league in scoring by defencemen but give up too many goals as well. Leetch is a better all-round defenseman than Gonchar, can still move the puck like a 30 year old but he's still no Keith Carney or Brendan Witt. The best part about this? Toronto didn't have to unload any of their core youngsters (Colaiacovo, Antropov, Stajan, Ian White, Brendan Bell, Kyle Wellwood, etc..) and still have the possibility to add more players by offering some of the above mentioned names.. Never know - JFJ seems sneaky. I don't believe Toronto is done just yet and atleast one of the names of the "core" youngsters will be moved.....

To Edmonton: Petr Nedved & Jussi (Juicy) Markkannen
To New York Rangers: Stephen Valiquette, Dwight Helminen (who?) and a 2nd round draft pick
What is Edmonton doing? I think they are the only ones out there that actually think they can sneak in the playoffs being so far behind. These guys should be sellers, not buyers. I know Sather and Lowe are close, but come on... Don't expect Nedved to stay an Oiler for too long - a couple more losses and Edmonton will be in selling mode and Oates, Nedved and Ryan Smyth will be the first candidates to go. As for the Valiquette for Juicy swap - this just means that Salo is probably playing his last year as an Oiler. Ty Conklin has had a much better year than him and Markkannen is a fantastic backup so... Will Salo get traded BEFORE season's end? I believe so - and if they do, look for Colorado swoop in and land him for a prospect or three...

To Montreal: Jim (Wellen) Dowd
To Minnestota: 5th round pick
Montreal isn't done yet? Simply a depth move to pick up a veteran when it comes to the playoff push and didn't have to give up much at all. 3rd/4th line filler - smart...

To Boston: Michal Nylander
To Washington: 2nd round draft choice in 2006
This marks the second time in two days that these two teams have traded to each other. Nylander brings some size and offensive punch to a team that relies too much on their top line. Thornton and Murray can't do it all. Boston gives up another draft pick, but this one is for 3 years down the road so basically, this is a 2004 rent-a-player only (unlike Nedved and Leetch).

To St.Louis: Mike Sillinger
To Phoenix: Brent Johnson
Weird move if you ask me but there might be more to this than meets the eye. Sillinger brings St. Louis a quality faceoff centerman who can put the puck into the net, something they have been lacking since they let Mike Eastwood go. The faceoff part atleast. But to give up your supposed "goalie of the future"? And why did Phoenix take Johnson since Brian Boucher is supposed to be the starter or is Johnson just brought on to be the backup? Word had it Toronto was interested in Johnson but you just never know where rumours start. If this is the case (Johnson being the backup) than where does Zac Bierk fit in? He was too good to be a 3rd string behind Burke and Boucher but with Burke now gione and Johnson comes in, they're still going to be in the same dilemma as before. Maybe Phoenix will flip Johnson out to a playoff contender for youth? You just never know until it happens..

To Calgary: Chris Simon & 7th Round Pick
To New York Rangers: Blair Betts, Jamie McLennan and prospect Greg Moore
Simon will add a touch of scoring along with some much added toughness. Simon has been one of the lone bright spots on the Rangers this year, one of the few members of the team that ended up being in the "+" category - and for him to be a fighter? Says enough. Jamie McLennan is a very capable backup goalie and Blair Betts and Moore are too early in their career to actually "rate". Good shrewd move by Calgary. Rumour has him playing on a line with Iginla and Craig Conroy...

To Philadelphia: Vladimir Malakhov
To New York Rangers: Prospect Rick Kozak & 2nd Round Draft Pick
Knew Philly wasn't done just yet, mostly when their Defencemen are going down quicker than the Titanic. Still don't think they're done - I see them adding some more offensive prowess to go along with their physical defence. Malakhov is past his prime - I still think they should have went after Zhitnik - or are they still interested?



TRADE RUMOURS

Nashville is on the prowl for another D-Man so they can make a strong push for and in the playoffs.. Will Nashville be the 2004 Anaheim? Many observers believe so.. Sean Hill, Lyle Odelein and Vladimir Malakhov's names have been mentioned..

Is Tampa Bay looking to re-acquire Vaclav (Vinny) Prospal from Anaheim? Sources say it's true - just not sure who the Lightning would give up for such a deal though. The only sticking point? Anaheim wants the $4m they gave Prospal as a signing bonus in the summer. Funny part though? Prospal only makes approximately $2.25m whereas the Lightning offered him approximately $2.75m in the summer - imagine getting him for cheaper than originally offered? Slap in the face...

To Edmonton: Karel Rachunek
To Ottawa: Jason Smith
I can see Ottawa pull this deal off just so it is one less physical stay-at-home defenceman that the Leafs, Flyers and Devils can't get. Personally, I believe Edmonton will be looking to Ottawa to better this offer in order to land their Captain. Rachunek is young and looks good but this time of season is the time where non-playoff bound teams empty the wallets of those that believe they have a legitimate chance of winning Lord Stanley. And Ottawa is one of those teams.. Throw a 3rd round pick and the mix and I can see Edmonton taking the bait.

To Ottawa: Curtis Brown
To Buffalo: Shane Hnidy
Seeing how the trades have been going down the past couple of days, this one doesn't seem like a "stab-in-the-dark". Ottawa is looking to add a little skill and strength to their speed and finesse. If someone told me this rumour in October, I would have laughed it off but doesn't seem so odd now seeing the asking prices that have been received for other players. Buffalo wants to rid themselves of some salary since they only have an outside chance of making the playoffs and Hnidy is a rugged defenceman who would be added to a defence corps that thrives on physical play. Ottawa will now probably look to add more grit with the latest additions from competing teams in the East.

Big E is returning Saturday and it looks like the Rangers will "rush" him back in order to showcase the Big E in a potential trade before Tuesday's deadline. The asking price has never been lower for Lindros due to the (ongoing) health concerns but many observers believe that it will be either Detroit or Toronto landing the Big E, although the Habs have been inquiring. If Lindros does indeed get traded, look for it to go down to the wire before the deadline and whoever offers more, retains Lindros' services. Either way, I fully expect Toronto to sign Lindros in the off-season (IF there is a season) so I can see them landing him now, since many of the guys might not return the next year and with Eddie the Eagle not getting younger, the Leafs want the cup now and they want in bad! Yzerman is pushing GM Kenny Holland to try and land Lindros to play on their 4th line (for 8 to 10 minutes/game) but if it's Toronto that lands him, look for him to form a line w/ Nolan and Tucker. If you are Pat Quinn, do you feel comfortable going into the playoffs against some big teams with a tandem of Matt Stajan and Robert Riechel? No knock against the young and promising Stajan and Robert (NyQuil) Reichel, but expect Quinn's arm-pulling of JFJ to solidify the 3rd/4th line.

To Toronto: Jeff O'Neill and Sean Hill
To Carolina: Nik Antropov and Karel Pilar
Am I the only one noticing Pilar playing everyday over Bryan Marchment? Believe it - the reason Pilar is playing every game and Marchment isn't saying squat (5 games in a row in the press box) is the fact that the Leafs are trying to showcase him (and maybe Aki (Ice)Berg). I personally believe it will take a little more to land these two players (maybe an added 2nd round draft pick or prospect Kyle Wellwood) but that's why they're called rumours...

Wingers Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne are lobbying Pierre Lacroix to bring in Steve Rucchin as their second line center (if Peter Forsberg doesn't return from various injuries). Anaheim is considering "selling" their high-priced assets but Rucchin? He's the heart and soul there with Keith Carney. Colorado is not done - trust me..... Maybe if Rucchin lands there, Kariya and Selanne will actually start putting up some respectable numbers (since they haven't looked that great and have been dissappointing all year). The Avs didn't sign this pair to only play average - they broke the bank to win the Cup - and that's what they'll keep doing until Tuesday @ 3pm.. If or when Peter Forsberg comes back, imagine the third line of Rucchin, Konowalchuk and Dan Hinote (with Nikolishin, Worrell and Hendrickson as a 4th line)??

Igor Larianov said he will waive his "no-trade" clause to get traded back to Detroit... Do they want him though? If they were looking at Messier, why not? Larianov can still win faceoffs..

To Colorado: Eric Daze
To Chicago: Derek Morris
Colorado won't give up such a young talent in Morris for the oft-injured Daze. If they did - I'd be VERY dissappionted.. And that's not Lacroix's style..

To Toronto: Martin Gerber (b/up goalie for Anaheim)
To Anaheim: One of these three - Nik Antropov, Alexei Ponikarovsky or Darcy Tucker
Will the Leafs make a "precautionary" move to ensure good playoff goaltending if Belfour's back woes continue? Wouldn't be a bad idea. I like Tellqvist and all but he's not ready for NHL playoff action just yet. Gerber is a great young goalie that one day will be a fantastic number 1 goalie (he almost took over for Giguere early in the season). But at the expense of Antropov, Tucker or Pony? I'd send a 4th round pick to Dallas for Tugnutt first - if they don't bite, I'd take some of my other youngsters (like Wellwood or Brendan Bell) and offer to Anaheim. Shouldn't touch the "core" players in my opinion..

To Philadelphia: Chris Pronger
To St. Louis: Simon Gagne, Pitkonen and 1st round pick
Won't happen - Philly apparently gawked at the asking price (which is like Coliacaovo, Matt Stajan and a 1st rounder). Would look great on a team like Philly or Toronto.

To Ottawa: Chris Pronger
To St. Louis: Chris Phillips, Martin Havlat, 1st round pick
Guess what - Ottawa gawked at the asking price... Surprise, surprise.. Won't be going anywhere anytime soon (in my opinion).


PLAYOFF TEAM BREAKDOWN

DETROIT RED WINGS
Wants: Veteran forward help (Messier) and a sniper (Satan)
Needs: To stay young
Bait: Matthew Dandeneault, Jason Williams and Boyd Devereaux

NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Wants: Stay @ Home D-Man (Carney, Sean Hill or Brendan Witt) and a faceoff specialist (Perreault? Conroy?)
Needs: To get tough on D (since Scott Stevens return is still up in the air) - irreplaceable... As well, getting a faceoff specialist wouldn't hurt either).. If going the cheap route, why not look at Mike Eastwood from Pittsburgh?
Bait: Youngsters in the system - David Hale and Adrien Foster

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Wants: A rock-solid stay @ home D-Man (Carney, Hill, Jason Smith, etc..) and possibly a Backup for Belfour (Gerber or Dafoe).
Needs: Solid D-Man (Jason Smith, Carney or Witt) and maybe a backup goalie for insurance purposes (Gerber or Dafoe)? What about Tugnutt?
Bait: Nik Antropov, Carlo Colaiacovo, Kyle Wellwood, Darcy Tucker, Tomas Kaberle, etc............. The list goes on...

COLORADO AVALANCHE
Wants: Who knows.....
Needs: Proven backup goalie - maybe Tugnutt? Why not. Maybe another grinder to spice up the 3rd and 4th lines. Also need to stay healthy..
Bait: If it's a BIG move, expect Derek Morris to be packaged in a deal.. If no big deal in the works, look for some picks and/or prospects for some "tinkering".

OTTAWA SENATORS
Wants: To be even grittier up front (like Barnaby) and a solid D-Man for depth (Witt, Carney?)
Needs: To be grittier if they plan on beating Philly or even Toronto. Barnaby would be nice...
Bait: Karel Rachunek or picks & prospects

VANCOUVER CANUCKS
Wants: Top 6 forward to play with the Sedin twins
Needs: A top-6 forward to play with the Sedins (Cassels?) Won't go anywhere with Cloutier - why haven't they realized this yet? Hedberg's an awesome backup but keyword is backup....... THEY NEED A TOP-NOTCH GOALIE!
Bait: Youngsters Ryan Kesler, Alex Auld and RJ Umbergher's names have been brandied about..

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Wants: Another solid D-Man (Carney, Odelein) and another top-6 forward (talking with Anaheim re: re-acquiring Prospal)
Needs: A little more veteran leadership (how about Adam Graves? Lyle Odelein?) and a touch of grit (possibly Barnaby?)
Bait: Freddy Modin's name has popped up all year - is the end finally near for the big Swede in the Sunshine State?

MONTREAL CANADIENS
Wants: A big centerman (Lindros, Arnott) to center newly-acquired Kovalev
Needs: A team that can get along
Bait: The ever-so-popular Patrice (Breeze By) Brisbois and if a large deal is being discussed, look for Mike Komisarek or Ron Hainsey to be packaged. Remember, Kevin Lowe LOVES Komisarek.

DALLAS STARS
Wants: D-Men for Depth and to get yet younger
Needs: To stay young
Bait: Pierre Turgeon, Scott (Not So) Young, maybe Tugnutt?

LOS ANGELES
Wants: To get healthy and for top 4 players to get back to the line-up (which is unlikely) and maybe some forward depth
Needs: To get healthy
Bait: Not much - only young prospects in the system..



SELLERS

Here's a list of players from non-playoff teams that have the potential to become expendable come March 9, 2004. Time to pare payroll and look towards the future..

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Is there anyone actually left worth trading for? A couple...
Mike Eastwood - Strong checking center w/ playoff experience. Montreal and St. Louis interested.. Where is NJ?
Dick Tarnstrom - Offensive D-Man could be had for a decent prospect or early round draft pick. I see him landing in Nashville of all places...
Kelly Buchberger - Available but apparently no teams interested...

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
With Zhamnov and Sullivan already gone, Chicago is looking quite bare. Franchise not looking healthy at all. Only positive sign? The team is VERY young!
Alexander Karpovtsev - Stay at home D-Man with an offensive upside yet oft-injured. Nashville, San Jose interested?
Bryan Berard - Still VERY young and has a huge offensive upside - how come there hasn't been much talk about him?
Eric Daze - Colorado is calling.... How's the back?

NEW YORK RANGERS
When will they learn?
Eric Lindros - If healthy, can dominate the game. Not healthy though. Montreal is VERY interested as well as Detroit, but probably not so much now since they traded or Lang. Keep in mind that Stevie Y has been lobbying Detroit management to take a try on the Big E. Don't think they're interested though. Quinn still likes him....
Matthew Barnaby - The games biggest pest has been looked at by two teams in particular - Toronto and San Jose.
Tom Poti - Still underachieving - making over $3m. I still like Boston as a destination (since they've admitted making offers for Gonchar and Leetch). Boston needs an offensive D-man and Poti is originally from the Boston area........

WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Rebuilding - will turn out to be the NHL Chicago Bulls, without the Championship rings..
Olaf Kolzig - Rumored to be on the way to Colorado - but will Colorado want to pay a backup goalie $6.5m next year? Don't think so.. Why hasn't Vancouver looked into this? I'm sure McPhee would flip Kolzig for Cloutier, one for one..
Brendan Witt - Getting rid of Witt would dismantle this already thin blue line corps.. But, they'll probably do it anyways..

CAROLINA HURRICANES
Never been the same since their Cinderella run to the Cup a couple of years back.. Looking to rebuild (starting with Justin Williams) and have quite a few assets that could leave many teams salivating over..
Ron Francis - Has been pursued but doesn't want to go anywhere since he's already won a couple of Cups.. Boston remains interested though..
Rod Brind'Amour - May not find any suitors since Jersey chose Kozlov instead - but knowing Lou, he's probably still interested in this grinding, faceoff specialist..
Sean Hill - Is being courted by Montreal but many teams could use his services like Tampa Bay, Toronto, New Jersey and Nashville. Don't expect him to be on the Hurricanes blue line for much longer..
Jeff O'Neill - Is available but the price is steep. A good young talent in the organization and possibly a first round pick and O'Neill could be yours. Boston, Toronto and St. Louis are still eyeing O'Neill regardless of the price..

ANAHEIM MIGHTY DUCKS
Still have a solid-young core but GM Bryan Murray doesn't want to dismantle the team after such a horrible season.
Vaclav Prospal - Has been rumoured to be heading back to Tampa Bay. Could be a valuable 2nd line center for any team that's interested (Vancouver)?
Keith Carney - If he really has been told my management that he won't be traded - why are the rumours still persisting he's available? Toronto, New Jersey, Nashville top the list vying to add Carney's rough, rugged dimension to their game.
Martin Gerber - Backup Swiss Goalie has been called by two teams - one being the Leafs. Looks very impressive at such a young age - could very well end up as Belfour's backup for the playoffs (and will eventually supplant Belfour next year if Belfour doesn't resign).
Steve Rucchin - Colorado is calling...... Kariya/Selanne/Rucchin reunion in the works?
Vitaly Vishnevski - Big D-Man has been subject to rumours all year - is the end near? Would look good in Nashville, San Jose or Philly


WHO WILL GO AND WHERE?
This is my list of guys that will go and their "predicted" destinations....

Miro Satan - After losing to STL on Sunday, Buffalo is seeing their playoff chances slip by them. I can see one of 2 teams pickup up this sniper. Philadelphia and Detroit will make a pitch. Talk of the town has the NYI (who Buffalo is trying to catch) would love to see Satan in the Blue and Orange. Detroit lost out on Kovalev - why not Satan? LA needs some sort of "name" in their line-up (who's not on the DL). You guys like the "E.T. phone home" move he did on Saturday after the (lovely) short handed goal he scored? Apparently he was taking a call from his Agent to say he's been traded... Toronto will remember..

Sean Hill - Long list of teams wanting this rugged D-Man but he waived his No Trade clause for three teams - those teams? Ottawa, Jersey and Toronto? Toronto has my pick..

Alex Zhitnik - If he does (finally) get traded, I see him joining the rugged Philadelphia blueline corps

Matthew Barnaby - Three teams have said to be interested in Barnaby's "pestering" services. Toronto, Vancouver and San Jose. Personally, I think Vancouver should grab him but my gut tells me Vancouver...

Lyle Odelein - Rugged D-Man has been courted by several teams. New Jersey, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Nashville, etc... I think he'd fit in great in Nashville...

Martin Rucinsky - Dallas, St.Louis, Vancouver and Toronto interested. Would fit great with Vancouver but I feel he'll end up back with St. Louis..

That's it... may you all enjoy today and what it brings. :)


GO LEAFS!!!!!!!!
 
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