Blockbuster Summer: who made the smartest moves?
This summer was full of big trades and huge free agent signings. This seems to be a reocurring theme in the NHL, come summertime, 25-30 players swap jerseys. The question is, which moves appear to be working out best and for who?Here are a few players who changed teams in the offseason with a short analysis on how they will adapt to their new teams.
Bobby Holik(NJD-NYR) Holik should fit in well with the star-studded Rangers. He is a hard worker and a physical forward with decent playmaking skills and a decent shot. The question is really where he is going to play? The Ranger’s current #1 center is Petr Nedved, a classic underacheiver who has all of the sudden woken up and started to play hockey. The question is, will Holik take the second line role and play less, or will the Rangers deal Nedved? This depends on the play of both.My Prediction: Nedved plays well till about mid November and returns to his old ways. He will be dealt, the pressure will then be on # 16.
Tony Amonte(Chi-Phx) Tony Amonte jumped to a very young talented team when he signed with the Phoenix Coyotes. Although the Coyotes parted with talented center Michal Handzus for another goalie, Amonte will have plenty to work with in Phoenix including bruiser Shane Doan, sleek Daniel Brierre and a powerful defense to back him up. I think this move will work out well. So far the Coyotes haven’t been anything special but i think a few midseason moves might spice this team up. They could use a little more veteran assistance, they might want to deal Brian Savage to solve this problem. My Prediction: Amonte and the Coyotes are headed for the playoffs.
Curtis Joseph(Tor-Det) Cujo made a wise move going from Toronto to Detroit. Detroit is still a contender because they have Cujo. However I don’t think that they will post the numbers that Hasek did last year. My Predicition: Detroit could be a 2nd or 3rd place team if they improve their 4 5 and 6 defensemen spots. They won’t finish first again though.
Dmitri Yuskevich/Robert Svehla(Tor-Fla)(Fla-Tor) This was one of the more interesting stories of the summer in my opinion. Robert Svehla actually retired, then unretired and requested a trade to Toronto. I think this will work out interestingly for both teams. Svehla provides a veteran awareness on the blueline that the Leaf’s have lacked in recent years, Yuskevich gives someone to help cover for Sandis Ozolinsh so that he can jump into the play like the madman that he is. My Prediction: Florida isn’t going anywhere fast with their current team. They have very little offense though Yuskevich will boost their defense a great deal. Svehla could help the Leaf’s on the other hand who are going to need all the help they can get, unless the Eagle takes off again.
Which brings me to..
Ed Belfour(Dal-Tor) The Eagle has landed in Toronto, and may remain landed for awhile. Just a couple games into the season, he injured his finger while removing his pads..Eddie.. Now that the Leaf’s have Trevor Kidd whethering the storm while he heals up. Belfour just doesn’t have it anymore, and if he gets it back i’ll be the first to give him credit, but he hasn’t played well at all. One team that benefits from his moving is Dallas, Marty Turco is awesome! My Prediction: Belfour may be doomed to a backup role if he doesn’t shape up soon, not that Trevor Kidd is a valid starter..
Theo Fleury(NYR-SJ-Chi) Fleury’s move to the Blackhawks seemed like a good move at first. That was until he was suspended without pay for violating his drug treatment program. This guy is a risk, and now the Blackhawks now it, and he hadn’t even played in a game yet. My Prediction: Fleury will never put up his old numbers with his attitude and his baggage.
Bill Guerin(Bos-Dal)This move baffled me. The Boston Bruins finished first place in the eastern conference last season. They got their butts handed to them in the playoffs by a soaring Montreal team, but still , they were good. That has all changed. They failed to re-sign this guy. Though the B’s appear to be surviving without Guerin and Dafoe(who remains unsigned). Dallas is thriving with him. Guerin is a perfect fit for the high octane offense of the Stars who also added Veteran Scott Young and Defensemen Phillippe Boucher. My Prediction: This team has the potential to nab the cub this year!
Chris Drury/Derek Morris(Col-Cal)(Cal-Col) Being an Avalanche fan, I was not happy to see Chris Drury go. He was second in team scoring and he was becoming somewhat of a leader both on and off the ice. However with the departure of Darius Kasparaitus, Ray Bourque, Rick Berry, Pascal Trepanier, Jaroslav Obsut and Jon Klemm, the Av’s need defense. Morris fits in well with Colorado’s powerful blueline and other additions Jeff Shantz and Dean McAmmond also boost the Av’s strong offense. Drury on the other hand is a perfect boost for Calgary’s offense. With Jarome Iginla, Craig Conroy and the rest, Drury could do some serious damage. My Prediction: Morris becomes the Av’s #3 franchise defenseman, Drury becomes the new leader in Calgary.
Robert Lang(Pit-Wsh) Lang jumped off the sinking ship in Pittsburgh as the re-retirement of Lemieux looms over their heads. Most thought this would reunited Jagr and Lang who both were Pen’s just two years ago. However Lang play’s with Peter Bondra. My Prediction: This deal could bolster the Cap’s offense a little, i don’t see any chemistry between Jagr and Lang however.
There have been several other deals..feel free to let me know your opinions..