Author Archives: Trade Man
I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley. It seemed pretty evident at the the beginning of July that 95%+ thought the Rangers needed a shutdown defenseman and that their defensive corps would surely be lacking. [Even in an article 2 days ago] 5. Well the regular season has virtually passed as I write this with almost every team played the full 82. I plan to analyse this season of the Rangers and address other bold predictions I made.
If you thought the Washington Capitals were going to make the playoffs when the regular season started, you are lying to yourself. Sure Backstrom had a great freshman year, the deadline pickups of Cooke, Fedorov and Huet have improved the team and Bruce Boudreau’s coaching has been instrumental, but without Alex the Gr8, the Caps would be in the hunt for Stamkos, not Stanley.
With the Oilers going from Game 7 of the Stanely Cup Finals to not making the post season for the second straight year i think its safe to say there needs to be changes.
The Ottawa Senators don’t know the worst yet but Head Coach Brian Murray said they are both significant injuries and would be out for a while.
What does this mean for the Sens?
Sadly, the Edmonton Oilers’ amazing run to reach the playoffs has ended with a devastating loss to the Flames courtesy of Owen Nolan. Concurrently, the Nashville Predators found themselves down 3-0 against the St. Louis Blues, only to have a bunch of their grinders step up and take over as the Preds came back to win 4-3 in OT. A little later, the Canucks were up 2-0 against the Avs and looked in a solid position to strengthen their playoff bid… only to let in 4 unanswered goals.
Take a look inside for the Final 2 games of each playoff and division battling team.
The Phoenix Coyotes have signed Kyle Turris from the Wisconsin Badgers, their first overall pick. He should compliment an already fine group of rookies in Mueller, Hanzal, Carcillo, and Weller. Hopefully Blake Wheeler from the Minnesota Gophers will soon follow as the Gophers are finished for the year.
Assuming the Senators squeak into the playoffs, which could be anywhere from 4th to 8th place, are they still even a threat in the playoffs? Many people will look to their experience and past ‘success’ (especially last year’s Final’s appearance) as evidence that they are still to be feared. They still have plenty of offensive production, as seen by their 252 goals to date (2nd best in the NHL, just four goals behind Montreal), but their goaltending has been questionable. They are 12th worst in the East, 25th worst in the NHL and worst among all playoff teams for Goals Against. Worse still, their record of late has been appallingly atrocious. They are 1-4-1 in their last six games and have won only 13 of 37 games following a 29-10-4 start.
Everyone was praising the Montreal Canadiens because they were one of the healthiest team in the NHL. Since March its seems as if they were dropping like flies…
Saku Koivu has a fracture in a “small bone” in his foot.(That is how the news papers describe it)
How will it affect them in the post season?
Since Kevin Lowe got the ball rolling last summer with his play on Dustin Penner, it looks like the restricted free agent market this year could be even hotter. There are many teams desperate to grab a superstar, or potential up and coming superstar, and the offer sheet has become a great way to achieve this. This is even more true for teams who have difficulty attracting unrestricted free agents.
Another fantasy scenario from yours truly. Sit back, relax, sip from a cup of tea/coffee and read knowing that all of this is a just-in-fun analysis of the Leafs. Clearly this is a best case scenario that does not involve any buyouts and DOES require the next GM and coach to actually consider benching those high priced vets who do not perform up to their contract (what a concept!). In any case, to say this upcoming offseason won’t be exciting or an immense amount of hope for Leaf fans is ludicrous.
First in the eastren confrence is up for grabs and they are in the race for it. You gotta belive they will get it and this is why…
I always hear commentators and Leaf fans saying on this site about how the Leafs should look into Restricted Free Agency as well into somehow acquiring more young talent. I have heard a little since the lockout had ended about the new CBA and restricted free agency, but I still do not understand the full meaning of the rules about restricted free agency.