Friday, September 29, 2006


Canes deal Johnson; Konowalchuk retires

Two surprises when I belatedly got on today -- though perhaps neither should have been:

1) Carolina deals Jack Johnson and Oleg Tverdovsky to L.A. for Tim Gleason and Eric Belanger

Johnson's been seen as inevitable trade bait since half of the Hurricanes' defensive corps broke in two after the Cup finals -- I'm more impressed that they managed to find someone to take Tverdovsky and his contract off their hands. It's been greeted with the standard level of sanity on the message boards (one poster calling it "one of the most lopsided trades in NHL history" -- uh huh), but for all the talk of Jack Johnson being the next Scott Stevens, he's not yet and perhaps never will be. The Hurricanes are looking to win now; I can't really fault them for making this trade. Johnson wasn't gonna help in 2006-07, Gleason (who is, honestly, a pretty good young defenseman in his own right) will. More hurdles for the Thrashers this year -- fabulous.

2) Steve Konowalchuk retires

Really sad to see him go, both because I liked him as a player and the Avalanche depth was already not something to get too hyped about. But I'm glad he's playing it smart. I've got a heart irregularity and know how scary it can be, and I'm not doing anything more strenuous than lying on the couch with the computer or walking to the pubs. I get nervous every time I hear Jiri Fischer talking about wanting to play again -- for his sake, I'm glad Konowalchuk played it cautious, painful as it must be.

Nothing against Tim Gleason, but that trade has me thinking "That's it?!". I figured the Canes could just get...more...

As for Kono, he's one of the few Crapalanche that didn't suck. I was a big fan of his back in his Crapitals days, and it's better that he retires now before he has an on-ice incident.
This trade blows for the Canes. The blue line stinks right now, but I think in time it would have come together. Trading away a blue chip prospect like Jack Johnson is folly. I'll be surprised if he doesn't sign an NHL contract within 6 or 7 months and I believe he will develop into a Norris trophy calibre defensemen that the Canes are going to regret trading away for years to come.
Steve Konowalchuk is one of my favorite players. He's a heart and soul guy and this makes me soooooo sad. That being said, he's doing the right thing because he's had a great career and his life and family have to take precedence. As a 'Canes fan, I was glad to see him go to the Av's from the Caps cuz I hated seeing his big body in front of "my" goaltender. As an Av's fan, I was delighted to see him there.

Happy retirement!
1) Sorry to hear about Kono'. He's one of hockey's good guys
2) As far as Johnson. From what we have heard, there was a near altercation with Rutherford over the suymmer that was never reported. This cemented Johnson's departure.
3) Time will tell if this was a huge nistake or not. If the kid stays in college the full4 years the Kings lose his rights anyway.
Like you, Jess, my first reaction was one of "what else?". Okay. Actually, it was my second reaction, but who's counting?

Jim Rutherford knows a lot more about JJ's intentions than any of us. He's also met with the kid a number of times, and without saying so, he pretty much said that he doesn't like him as a person. His pop hasn't made any friends over here either.

Anyway, at the end of the day, It sounds like JR knew that JJ would never be able to help our organization. Either he didn't want to play for the Canes, or he was dead set on staying in college all four years. I suspect the latter. Either way, though, the Canes wouldn't be able to sign him.

The Canes really ended up dumping a player and salary commitment that they weren't pleased with, and threw in the Jack Johnson wild card. Will those rights mean anything, or will he re-enter the draft after graduation? The Canes needed to address an immediate defensive need, and they get that in Gleason. In Belanger, they're getting what ought to be Matt Cullen-like numbers.

Johnson will probably turn out to be a great player, but it probably wasn't going to happen in a Hurricanes sweater. Tverdovsky was a wasted roster spot and a huge salary. We're glad to be rid of that.
As a Canes fan, I'm glad to hear your level-headed opinion about the Johnson trade. Gleason was a first round pick himself a few years ago. Belanger is supposedly a pretty good forward, from what I've heard. Good get, in my opinion. I'm happy to have them even if they are traded when/if Stillman and Kaberle come back.

The Canes GM isn't stupid.
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