Thursday, March 09, 2006


Assessing the Deadline Day Deals

While James Mirtle and Paul Kukla were providing great on-the-fly news and analysis throughout the madness, the rest of us have regular jobs and can't blog 30 times a day.

(How evil is Sweden? I'm blogging to ABBA's "Waterloo". It's true.)

Like the accountant I am, I prefer to let the dust settle, the bodies dry up, and the cleaning crew start their work before I assess the damage.

I'm just glad to see that the salary cap hasn't killed Deadline Day madness and the desperation of GMs around the continent. As useless as deadline deals can be for clubs, I love seeing deals done as much as most fans do.

Now, doesn't it seem like a weak draft plus the lowered value of draft picks would actually lead to more rental deals? Teams certainly were eager to part with those draft picks for a rental veteran just as much as they always were. So much for the New NHL having a tame deadline (Not that I believed it, but some rhetoric flying around was about the league trying to make the use of rental trades decline).

Break it down. Hammer time!

Vancouver Canucks

I was quite nervous given Dave "No News" Nonis' history as GM of the Canucks. Given the situation the Canucks were in with injuries, a lack of tradeable assets, and salary cap restrictions, I'm quite happy with the Canucks' moves. Nonis plugged the gaping holes on the roster, didn't give up a ludicrisp amount to plug those holes, and got the Canucks some pretty solid talent.

Before any moves were made, it was necessary to note that the Canucks have a very good top-4 defense with Allen, Jovocop, Salo, and Ohlund. Any newcomers must be able to play well and also add something when these dudes return (Salo's injury may be worse than originall thought, though).

Keith Carney, even the older and slower version, is a great pickup for the Canucks. He's always been criminally underrated as a defensive defenseman and will really give a boost to a weakened defense. Weinrich has been very solid for a poor Blues team this year and is a good skater. If the Canucks get their 6 d-men back and healthy, we'll have one of the better units in the whole league.

The price? Well, the upcoming draft is weak and today's freer market does mean that picks aren't worth quite so much as they used to. Steve McCarthy was just awful here and Tomas Mojzis never seemed to be in the Canucks plans.

Oh, It doesn't surprise me that the Canucks traded the lone Slav on their roster >:(

Mika Noronen? A little expensive but necessary. Coach Crawford has as much confidence in Maxime Ouellet as American bankers in have in their own economy. Noronen provides a good backup netminder for the short and possibly long term. A tandem of Auld/Noronen lacks experience but not talent. This will allow the Canucks the option of dealing Dan Cloutier for a bag of pucks in the offseason.

Florida Panthers

Mike Keenan had himself a pretty good trade deadline, and he really didn't do much trading (Crappy prospect Taticek for crappy defenseman Ric Jackman). First, he re-signed Chris Gratton to a 2 year deal at $1.5mil a season. Gratton isn't the great shakes he was in his first few seasons in the league, but he's provided 30 points in 57 games and some size up front for the Panthers. At this price, he's a good signing.

Keenan wasn't done there, as he answered a lot of rumours and questions by re-signing Olli "Pig Face" Jokinen to a 4-year deal for $21mil total. Jokinen has turned himself into a fine offensive player (66 points in 62 games!) plus he's big and very strong defensively. Jokinen is one of the more complete players in the game, and he's good value for the contract he signed. This deal should also help to convince goaltender Roberto Luongo that the Panthers don't intend on sucking forever.

Colorado Avalanche

I don't feel sorry for Avalanche fans, who must want to jump off that bandwagon they've been on for the past decade after what's gone on over the past 48 hours. I won't rag on the Theodore deal again, but I will mention that Marek Svatos is not the guy with the shoulders you ever want to put the weight of the world on.

''Marek sustained a fracture in his right shoulder, which was discovered during an MRI and the subsequent result is that he will require surgery,'' said Avalanche Head Trainer Matt Sokolowski. ''We expect him to make a complete recovery in four to five months.'' Sokolowski added: ''It's important to note that this injury is to the right shoulder while both of his previous shoulder injuries were to his left shoulder.''
*sigh*, Poor Marek.

Ottawa Senators
They made a good move today in trading the frustrating, but talented, Brendan Bochenski and a second round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks for Tyler Arnason, one of the few players on that team that doesn't suck.

Arnason is a Oklahoma boy. As Oklahoma boys are prone to be, Tyler is kind of a lazy, pudgy doofus.

Still, he is offensively talented and fairly productive. He had 41 points in 60 games for a poor Blackhawks team and he will have lots of talent in Ottawa as he slots in as the second line center.

Sens fans should be fairly familiar with Arnason as he's basically a clone of a young Brian Smolinski, albeit 2-3 inches shorter. Arnason is only 26 and entering his prime, so it's not as if the Senators are getting just a rental.

Both guys are late round picks that proved the naysayers wrong and have been productive throughout their pro careers. Both players are frustrating for various reasons. Ottawa needed the upgrade now and got a proven producer at the NHL level. The Hawks can start over and hope Bochenski can explode in a new environment. Given that Arnason has proven himself at the NHL level and Bochenski hasn't yet, I'll give the edge to Ottawa.

Edmonton Oilers
You know, I was a little harsh to Kevin Lowe before. Sure, I'd never have him run my NHL franchise, but the guy is a stone cold playa. Gone are the days when poor Oilers fans had to watch almost every player with some measure of talent (save for Ryan Smyth) go elsewhere due to 'budget' restrictions. Now, the Oilers have been able to play with the big boys with names like Pronger, Peca, and now Sergei Samsonov. The Oilers acquired the oft-injured, but uberly talented forward in exchange for Marty Reasoner, Yan Stastny, and and 2nd round pick.

I remember Reasoner from his days as a Bluenote and he always struck me as lazy garbage. He had the smug smirk on his face all the time and never did anything productive. Yan Stastny has good bloodlines and was good in the German league, but has struggled a bit in the AHL. He may become a good player yet, but when you get a proven master of disaster like Sergei Samsonov for this price? You deserve kudos. I think Sergei will love the fast ice in Edmonton and will happy to be out of Boston.

(Edit: I forgot that Sergei is set to be a UFA, so this could be a pricey rental. Still, Reasoner is garbage and the Oilers are better off by dumping him. >:] )

Nashville Predators
I like Brendan Witt, although not nearly as much as I used to. He was once a pretty damn fine defensive bruiser, although he relied heavily on the skill of Calle Johansson to cover for his forays into Bodycheckland. Witt was grumpy and wanted a trade, and he got it. It's too bad Witt is not nearly as good as he thinks he is, or as good as he once was, because Nashville paid an awfully high price for a rather average-at-best defenseman who takes quite a few bad penalties.

I could see the justification for the Oilers giving a 1st round pick up for Dwayne Roloson. The Oilers wouldn't have a chance in hell with the goaltending they had, and they gambled to fill a glaring hole. The Predators aren't going to get the same boost the Oilers expect to get, so adding Witt for that price was just too expensive.

Anaheim Mighty Ducks
Tom Benjamin puts it much better than I could:

Brian Burke's actions were even more unfathomable, given that his team has a chance to make the playoffs. He made five trades, sending out Keith Carney, Juha Alen, Sandis Ozolinsh, Joel Perrault and a 2nd round pick to get back Jeff Friesen, Brett Skinner, Sean O'Donnell, a 3rd round pick and a 2nd round pick.
I can't imagine why he would help Vancouver by coughing up Carney. To gain what? Knowing Burke there is method to his madness, but I can't see it. Surely he doesn't think he helped his team this year. How has he helped himself going forward?
My guess is that this will help Anaheim's payroll a bit, which was the main reason behind dealing Fedorov earlier in the season. Burke must think his club has no change to win the cup, so he's tweaking his roster a bit to prepare for the future. If I don't look confident in that assessment, it's because I'm not. Maybe Ducks fans can shed some light on WTH Burkie is doin?

Carolina Hurricanes
First, what the hell happened to Doug Weight? 1 assist in 10 games heading into tonight is hard to fathom for a guy who usually gets 5 assists in that time frame merely by accident. Since when did he turn into Jan Hlavac?

Second, acquiring Mark Recchi was a good move for a team that really does have a good shot at taking the East.

The price? Krys "Konkussion" Kolanos, who they won't miss, Niklas Nordgren, who is Swedish and won't be missed, and a 2nd round pick. Forget Recchi's +/- rating, he's been a soldier for the Penguins this season and has put up 57 points in 63 games. He isn't the same type of player as Eric Cole, the guy he'll replace, but he'll add a similar level of skill and perhaps rediscover Doug Weight's missing offensive touch. "Rex" has usually been money in the playoffs, which will really help the Canes who know Cory Stillman will probably disappear in a month's time.

Now that the deals are done, we can sit back, try and get used to see SAMSONOV on an Oilers sweater, and gear up for the playoffs. (Unless of course you live in Chicago, where by the time of year, you are probably getting pumped about the White Sox or Cubs instead)

Ducks fan here. No clue what the hell Burke is doing.
First, what the hell happened to Doug Weight?

It's the same thing that happened with Ronnie Francis when he signed with the 'Canes in '98--an adjustment period, where the guys are still adjusting to him and he's adjusting to them.
I bet you don't even know any Oklahoma boys.
pah admit to overpaying for weight at least! lol, a guy pointing better than weight, wanted by the same number of reported teams , AT THE DEADLINE EVEN, and two below average prospects net him? that was a bargin for the canes. good job. wow! why the pens even do that? i'll tell ya why, mario likes his wallet full, the other teams likely offered people with contracts :)

ok the blues view (as if anyone cares)

larry pleau is a well known idiot. he bollucked a deal cos his crayon broke and he missed the deadline

as for visor, he became the target of the local fans ire. the visor has a lot of experience, had some talent, but he is well past it, especially in a leadership (on ice) role (which due to injury he was put in here). he is the canucks problem now. they MIGHT be able to effectively use him if they stay out of the trap of giving him more ice time than he earns because of their injuries. but don't be shocked if he ends up earning oh.. 2 minutes a game or so (serving bench minors and the like)

kt is a bastard, during an american national televised game two days before the deadline he was smug and cocky and unconcerned cos "he had a no trade clause, so this was nothing to him". dude! at LEAST have a little respect for the others on your team about to go. whatta a--

the avs deal makes a sick sort of sense when you consider they're current coach and his past selecting his "go to" net guys. how much was pleau? how much was q? how much was laurie? no one knows, but q just hopped himself aboard a train wreck so he certainly isnt blameless there OR here.
Apparently Rutherford had been scouting Recchi for weeks, so he shouldn't be considered Cole's replacement(even though that is what I thought before I heard about the prior 3 weeks of evaluation). Rutherford would've made this deal even with Cole healthy.
a guy pointing better than weight, wanted by the same number of reported teams , AT THE DEADLINE EVEN, and two below average prospects net him? that was a bargin for the canes

The running gag on the 'Canes boards is that it was Craig Patrick's way of apologizing for what happened to Cole.

Hey, I'll take it.
...Niklas Nordgren, who is Swedish and won't be missed...

Dude.... I absolutely knew that one was coming, but it still caught me off guard. I did a classic spit-take (with Sprite) on my monitor. A nice sticky mess.

Good job!!!
Reasoner may have never lived up to 1st round expectations, but he is in no way lazy. In fact, he's an awesome character player, who was probably one of the most well-liked players by Edmonton fans and in the Oilers locker room. I mean, just last week he basically had his ear blown off by a Chris Pronger slapshot (30 stitches), blocked a shot and received a bruised lung, and still didn't opt to sit out any games, ridiculous head bandage and all.

That said, he will never be anthing better than a decent but unspectacular 2-way player. Just so you know. :)
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