Author Archives: Trade Man
The Columbus Blue Jackets are dropping plenty of hints that the organization is going to shake things up. One of the most recent hints, albeit not surprising, will be changes to the roster. Pending free agents Ethan Moreau, Chris Clark, and Craig Rivet have all been notified by the Blue Jackets organization that they will not be returning to the team next season. Each of the (now former) players were brought in by Jackets management with the intention of bringing veteran leadership. In fact, each one of these players was the captain on their previous team. The announcement that each of the players will not be offered contracts could signify a change in philosophy for the team who only has one playoff appearance in franchise history.
Is it possible that Boston goalie Tim Thomas could still win the Conn Smythe Trophy if the Bruins lose to the Canucks, like J.S. Giguere in 2003 with Anaheim and Ron Hextall with the Flyers in 1987 when he carried Philadelphia to Game 7 against the Oilers? Absolutely. He has only given up six goals in his last six playoff games. Only four losing goalies have been named playoff MVP since ’65. Glenn Hall and Roger Crozier were the others in the 60s.
Brian Burke’s search for a first-line centre will not be accomplished without great difficulty. Of the top 10 scoring centres in the NHL, only Brad Richards is available come July and he’s likely looking elsewhere. Of the rest of the Top 30 scoring centres, Jeff Carter is available, but rumours have him going to Columbus and there is the possibility that Jason Spezza or Vinny Lecavalier could be had, because of bad contracts, but after that, what?
For Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman, the heavy lifting began Thursday, when he really got down to the business of signing Tampa Bay’s free agents.
Yzerman said he is working off a list “because every contract I do is going to affect the next one.”
No surprise, then, the list begins with the players who will command the most money: center Steven Stamkos and top-four defenseman Eric Brewer.
While the new franchise in Winnipeg continues to take shape, Atlanta Thrashers head coach Craig Ramsay remains in limbo.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ramsay was contacted by a representative of the Winnipeg organization for the first time on Thursday but still does not know if he will be back next season.
“It’s very unnerving not knowing what the future holds,” Ramsay told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.