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 »
He has probably been the most talked about potential trade commodity all year. Fans from all over the league are salivating at the idea of adding him to their blue line. They have convinced themselves that Nashville cannot afford to have Pekka Rinne under contract at 7 million dollars per year, and also fit their captain Shea Weber and his side-kick Ryan Suter into their budget. On the one hand, this is a completely justified stance to take – Nashville is a budget team and they likely don’t have the cash to make those contracts work. On the other hand, a lengthy playoff run might provide the kind of revenue necessary to make the dollars and cents add up in their favor. Read the rest of this entry »
Paul Maurice getting fired got pushed to the backburner during the coaching-firing-spree that took place last week. With the higher profile Bruce Boudreau getting axed as well, Maurice was a bit of an after thought. In truth, neither firing was truly shocking. Both teams were struggling, and both coaches had been identified as potential hot seat candidates. However, because the expectations on Boudreau were greater, and his relationship with league superstar Alexander Ovechkin was growing increasingly strained, his was the more interesting story.
A coaching change might light a fire under ‘The Great 8’. He might reverse his subpar season and start lighting the lamp like crazy again under the tutelage of Dale Hunter. No one is going to think George McPhee is a genious if the situation unfolds that way. It hasn’t to date, but it may yet. At the end of the day though, Hunter is working with top notch talent. His job is to come in and be a new voice. All he has to do is make great players play well. While the final results expected are extraordinary – nothing less than the Stanley Cup -the immediate task at hand is not a difficult one. Read the rest of this entry »
Rumors are swirling that if Jonas Gustavsson continues his strong play, he could be traded when James Reimer is ready to return to the net later next week. However, ‘Monster’ has been providing solid netminding for the last few games. In the last two, the Leafs managed to outscore their opposition by a total of 14-2. Even with Reimer in the net, Leaf fans are not accustomed to blow out wins and top notch save percentages – and certainly not both in the same game. So if there is interest in Jonas Gustavsson, the return would probably have to be fairly substantial for Burke to be willing to toss away what looks like a very nice insurance policy.
That said, I doubt there are any managers out there willing to deal a lottery pick for a hot-and-cold goaltender like Gustavsson. Burke was a little late to the party if he wanted Greg Sherman to bite on that kind of deal. Still, a good prospect or a high pick (2nd rounder) might be enough to entice the Leafs GM. Read the rest of this entry »
Earlier this week, Mike Modano suggested on his Twitter account that Rick Nash should seek a trade:
Rick Nash please ask for a trade..!
For a few seasons now, I have found myself continually shocked at the obvious comparisons between the post-lockout Leafs and the current Flames. The Leafs relied on Sundin’s heroics as much or more than the Flames lean on Iginla. Just as the Leafs could not find Sundin a proper winger, the Flames continue to be unable to find Iginla a center. Both had horrendously bad prospect pools. Both had mediocre forward line-ups with some marquee, but overpaid defenders (Bouwmeester, Regehr, Giordano vs. Kaberle, McCabe, Kubina). Both teams’ stars refuse to leave, and simply won’t give up on their team. They are both true captains. At the end of the day though, the Leafs lost Sundin for nothing. If the Flames aren’t careful, the same may happen with the aging Iginla. The league may soon have a new laughing stock unless Jay Feaster opens his eyes and moves the franchise player. Read the rest of this entry »