Trade Winds: Mike Komisarek

February 9, 2012

Could there be interest in Mike Komisarek?

A lot of hockey fans would scoff if you told them that Mike Komisarek was a name worth talking about at the trade deadline. After all, Komisarek hasn’t really been himself since he left Montreal and the media has worked very hard to make that readily apparent. Playing alongside Andrei Markov, inside a tight-trapping, defense-first system, Komisarek was once a defensive juggernaut – considered to be worthy of donning the ‘C’ in the post-Koivu era. In Toronto however, injuries and a fast-paced system that doesn’t play to his strengths in the least, have slowly eroded his reputation. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

Trade Winds: Ryan Suter

February 4, 2012

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 »

Maurice Fired, Problems Remain

December 7, 2011

Time For A Change...?

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 »

A Monster Trade?

November 25, 2011

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 »

Will Rick Nash Request A Trade?

October 23, 2011

The Losses Mount, and the Bills are Piling Up in Columbus.

Earlier this week, Mike Modano suggested on his Twitter account that Rick Nash should seek a trade:

9modanoMike Modano
Rick Nash please ask for a trade..!

The word of Mike Modano obviously isn’t going to be the deciding factor for the Columbus captain, but it is a good reason to start the discussion, and begin churning the rumor mill.  After all, when a legend like Modano speaks out publically and implores you to explore your options, I think it’s safe to say that the thought has at least crossed Nash’s mind.  If watching Nash struggle in Columbus is painful for veterans just watching the game – even when they have no particular emotional investment in the team or the player –  imagine how Nash himself must feel.
Dating back to last season, the Blue Jackets have been without a regulation win for 30 straight contests.  Granted, in that time span they have picked up some shootout victories, but in reality, these are gimmick wins that a team cannot rely on with regularity.  To put into perspective just how bad this team has been, consider that the expansion Winnipeg Jets who entered the league in the late 1970’s once went on a 35 game winless streak.  They were basically a minor league team playing in the NHL that year, and yet the Blue Jackets are coming dangerously close to drawing even with that horrendous record.  Their next 4 contests are against the Red Wings, Sabres, Blackhawks and Ducks, three of whom have recent Cup wins to their name. Read the rest of this entry »

Prediction Time: North West Division, Pt. 1

September 26, 2011

Are the Flames Doomed to Repeat the Mistakes of the Past?

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 »