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Fedorov’s losing his Wings next season?

Canucks looking to trade _____?HTML:TSN.ca

Viktor Fedorov, father of Red Wings’ star Sergei Fedorov, says this will probably be his son’s last season in Detroit.

http://www.canada.com/vancouver/sports/teams/canucks/story.html?id={A564B69C-E3B9-4E43-AF9F-ED1F19CB8B09}

Many people running NHL teams are heavily into self delusion at the best of times but just prior to the start of the season is probably the zenith of this affliction.

There are all sorts of opportunities to make improvements to your team, given the movement of players and the need for teams to get down to the appropriate roster size.

There are players available who could help some teams in the league, yet the general managers of these teams are so concerned with their own roster — half the time containing stiffs who can’t play — that they ignore what’s out there. The Canucks, for instance, have been madly trying to trade Jarkko Ruutu for obvious reasons.

They have a bevy of pretty serviceable forwards and this stunning performance of Fedor Fedorov has made one or two expendable.

General manager Brian Burke is on the record as saying he’d like to move a player or two in the next little bit and he almost certainly has people who could help other teams.

A guy like Ruttu is clearly capable of injecting a little snarl up front.

The Finn is not coach Marc Crawford’s favourite player and we know how those scenarios play out, yet so far the GM can’t seem to find takers, although that could soon change. The Rangers took a pretty serious look at Ruutu last week, given their shortage of left-wing help but decided to go with Ronald Petrovicky instead, via the waiver draft.

Other teams are interested and other players are doubtless being considered, yet these GMs are so cautious, deluding themselves into thinking this year will be different.

Perhaps the Canucks are engaging in a little of this themselves, and we won’t even bring up the goaltending in this discussion.

Do they really think they have a deep enough defence to get themselves through this season in the position they’d like to find themselves, which must be the top four in the conference.

Do they really think Bryan Allen is the answer? Because if they do their opinion is different from many, many others around the league.

If he stays healthy, Sami Salo will almost certainly help the back end. If he develops some chemistry with Ed Jovanovski, so much the better. But no matter who he plays with ultimately, if he can stay healthy he’ll help. But with relatively inexpensive help in free agents like Cory Cross and Jiri Slegr just sitting there on the unemployment line waiting for an offer, wouldn’t it make sense to add the depth now? You can always trade somebody later and deal from strength in numbers. When has there ever been a year when there haven’t been at least five teams crying out for defencemen at some point in the season?

Even though he would love to play here, Slegr won’t be coming because he’s loathed from an earlier movie starring Burke as Pat Quinn’s right-hand man and an off-beat Calgary agent named Tony Kondel. But Cross can do most of the things they think Allen can do, replete with considerable high-level playoff experience.

Burke has shown the ability to make midseason adjustments to fix problems. But with the competition in the West so cut-throat, you’re well advised to make those moves sooner than later.


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