Trade Winds: Jeff Carter

February 6, 2012

No Trade Clause No More...

Jeff Carter has been the hottest topic of conversation in the NHL the last few weeks.  The speculation surrounding Columbus is that General Manager Scott Howson is very much open to making enormous and sweeping changes in the organization.  It sounds like he would like to retain his long time captain, Rick Nash, but he did not sugar coat the reality that Jeff Carter is available for a trade.

I don’t think it’s really necessary to talk about the reasons that Carter may be available.  They are pretty obvious at this point.  The Jackets are dead last by a country mile and their organization is veering dangerously close to being an embarassment.  With a massive payroll not living up to expectations, changes must be made. Read the rest of this entry »


Miscues in Montreal: Part One

October 25, 2011

Montreal is off to one of their worst starts in many years and the fans are growing impatient to say the least.  Failure is not tolerated for long in Montreal.  To be honest, I am mildly surprised that St.Catherine’s didn’t burn after Saturday’s loss to the Maple Leafs.  It was an overtime heartbreaker with the death blow delivered by the stick of former Hab, Mikhail Grabovski.  The losses are piling up now, and nearly every facet of the team is struggling to find success.

The problem for the Canadiens starts at the top of the chain.  One need only examine the past few years of managerial decisions to figure out how things suddenly got so bad.  Nearly every traded player has helped the opposing team, while the acquired player or draft pick has amounted to nothing in a Habs jersey, or been allowed to walk for nothing.  The problems date all the way back to Bob Gainey.  Allow me to take you through the last few seasons of mishaps with this Top Ten list: Read the rest of this entry »

Miscues in Montreal: Part Two

October 25, 2011

In Part One of this blog series we looked at some of the errors in the Bob Gainey administration, and how those mishaps trickled into the thought process of Pierre Gauthier’s group upon gaining control of the team in 2009.  Despite the glaring mistakes and obviously bad trades, the situation in Montreal has not looked troubling until now. In fact, due in large part to the positive media vibe surrounding the team, the Habs have managed to stave off any serious criticism for their poor judgment over the years.

Now that Carey Price is having a hard time holding the team together all on his own, those poor decisions are coming to light. It was not a single bad move, or even a couple that has put the Canadiens in a precarious situation to start this 2011/12 season. There has been a long history of bad moves that have made a terrible mess only to be swept under the proverbial rug by the lustrous play of a star goalie – first Halak, and most recently Price.  Now that the cat is out of the bag though, and these deficiencies have been exposed, it’s time to explore some of the past moves that have crippled the current Habs. Read the rest of this entry »

Prediction Time: North East, Pt.1

October 6, 2011

The Bruins Will Look to Defend Their Championship

The North East is probably the most covered and media scrutinized division in all of hockey.  With three Original Six teams, the rivalries here go deep.  The Habs and Bruins are currently the most important of them, since they have met in the playoffs several times of late, and their encounters have been nothing short of epic.  Chara, with his dominating size, towers over the diminuitive Canadiens – but (and it pains me to say this as a Leaf fan) the Habs have played their part in the classic David vs. Goliath rivalry well, and made their fans proud.  This year, the Maple Leafs look to jump back into the rivalry conversation.  They hope to continue their 4-0 streak against the Bruins, and make their battles with the Canadiens something to remember once again.  They think they have the horses to make a go of it now, at last.  Meanwhile, under the noses of the Original Six trio, a new power has emerged in the division, as Ryan Miller and the Sabres look to challenge for an Eastern Conference title, and maybe more. Read the rest of this entry »

Prediction Time: North East, Pt, 2

October 6, 2011

Turning Over A New Leaf?

At one point, this was the greatest rivalry in hockey; nay, sport.  Since the cap era though, the Leafs have been an outright mess, and the Habs have found success even when seemingly outmatched.  While one team waxed, the other waned, and the contests between the two, while still heated and always close, have become much less important.    This year though, a playoff berth could very much be on the line every single time the two clash.  The Habs crumbled towards the end of last season and lost some key pieces of their defense over the summer.  The Leafs surged in the second half of last season, posting home ice advantage numbers, and then added several quality NHL’ers to their roster over the summer.  For the first time in a long time, this rivalry could mean something again in 2012. Read the rest of this entry »

Odds on Richards: Part Two

June 16, 2011

In The Hunt

Montreal Canadiens (10%)

 What a dagger in the heart of Leaf’s Nation it would be if Brad Richards decided to sign with the slightly off-the-board selection Montreal Canadiens.  When the Habs were eliminated from the playoffs this year, there was rumors and discussion about the possibility of the team buying out the contract Scott Gomez.  His underwhelming play has dragged on for two seasons now, and while he had some heartfelt things to say about wanting to get back to a high standard on the ice, management may have already lost their patience.  Whether Gomez is on the roster or not though, the Habs have the cap space to chase a big name like Brad Richards.  They have among the fewest players in the league signed for next season, and some have speculated that it is because of the design of GM Pierre Gauthier.  On the surface, the Habs appear closer to a championship than some of the other options out there.  That said, the thought of Richards wearing the bleu, blanc et rouge is too painful to think about.  Suffice to say there is a decent chance he lands there.  Read the rest of this entry »

A Leaf Shopping List

May 27, 2011

Puck Moving ‘D’: Part 1

Any Leaf fan with a pulse knows that the number one priority for the summer of 2011 is to find a number one center.  The team simply cannot afford to waste another year of Phil Kessel’s talent by pairing him with inadequate and inexperienced pivots.  In no way should that read as a shot at Tyler Bozak, who is a talented player with an above average hockey IQ.  However, he is not ready to be the man, front stage center, for the most scrutinized team in the sport.  Read the rest of this entry »