Intriguing Draft Weekend

Hello hockey fans! An all new season of my articles is up. I have been quite busy the past months with education (MBA), but hockey season is back on for me now. So not a whole lot to talk about other than the draft, but it’s not the draftee that makes the weekend intriguing, but rather the potential headliners. Such as? Find out…For one, I cannot believe that I am turning 26 on Tuesday. Isn’t that something? I’ve been on HockeyTradeRumors since I was 18….19. Time flies, doesn’t it? Yet, it’s all been fun on here.

Moving on to what makes the draft intriguing.

As I frequent Panthers message boards, I stated on the day when the Panthers hired Pete DeBoer that I had this gut feel of an Olli Jokinen departure. This past week Jokinen rumors have been buzzing like crazy and for the first time ever I will say this:

Olli Jokinen will be traded

Now, of course it may not happen pending on team to team negotiation factors, but there is not doubt in my mind that Olli will be traded. Now, this is what is troubling to some. Why would the Panthers trade their best forward?

Here is why. Jokinen’s market value could not possibly go any higher than it already is, and Jokinen most definitely has no plans of re-signing with the Panthers unless Jacques Martin gets fired, which to me does not seem likely. So what’s the point of keep a guy who will definitely not re-sign with you within the next two seasons? Jokinen said he wanted to see an experienced head coach, and while DeBoer is an experienced bench boss, he is an NHL rookie coach. Jokinen may even end up losing the captaincy role on the team. What does this spell? TROUBLE. It could be possible that trouble may very well be on the horizon for the Panthers if they keep an unrested Olli Jokinen. In result, the Panthers will find themselves trying to trade a disgruntled forward whose market value would go downard slope.

What will it mean for the Panthers when they trade Olli Jokinen? Fans will be upset, just when the team lost Roberto Luongo; however, I do not expect to see such a bad trade occurring. Jacques Martin has already turned down a lot of deals at the trade deadline, some that were most likely top value. It made no sense to trade Olli then, but now it does. This also means that the Panthers, pending on who they acquire from the deal, free up cap space and GM Martin has made it clear that he wants to do $plashy $plashy in July. This also means that the Panthers may end up getting a top 15 1st rounder, which they lack, and improve their prospect depth. This also means that Jay Bouwmeester may not re-sign with the Panthers.

This team could be one of the busiest, if not the busiest, this summer. Jokinen could be dealt, and if so Bouwmeester may decline to re-sign with the club unless it is for one year, which would then make him a UFA player and therefore makes no sense.

But, maybe Bo will sign a long-term deal, who knows? Time will tell.

Martin has come out saying that he won’t ignore a Jokinen trade offer when he hears the name of a puck moving defenseman and a first rounder. I took the time to look at each team and see which team could negotiate with the Panthers. I ranked them in order of draft position.

1) TB: Forget it
2) LA: Nope
3) ATL: Forget it
4) STL: They don’t have a puck mover
5) NYI: Lacking puck mover
6) CBJ: A possibility with Klesla, or prospect Kris Russel who has all the tools to me an offesnive d-man. Jacks need a center, badly.
7) TO: No.
8) PHO: Keith Ballard is a possibility, maybe even Morris. Not sure if they will be willing to lose their 1st rounder though.
9) NSH: Weber and a 1st; maybe Zidlicky too but not too fond of his defensive abilities.
10) VAN: Ohlund and a 1st?
11) CHI: Doubt it, but they are thin up front. Keith, or possibly Barker? Seabrook not a bad idea.
12) ANA: No puck movers available.
13) BUF: Paetsch, or Sekera… Paetsch is intriguing though.
14) CAR: Nope.
15) NSH: Same as above
16) BOS: Wideman? Not a fan of his… he makes so many bad plays.
17) CGY: No puck mover….
18) OTT: Doubt it.
19) CBJ: Same as above.
20) NYR: They seek a puck mover.
21) NJD: Paul Martin? Not a bad idea, very smart d-man.
22) EDM: They won’t trade Gilbert after signing him long-term, though anything is possible? Grebeshkov hasn’t shown enough offensive ability. Pitkanen? At this point, this one would make sense as they may not even re-sign him.
23) WSH: Nope
24) MIN: No available puck mover.
25) MTL: Nothing
26) BUF: Same as above.
27) PHI: No available puck movers.
28) DAL: No available puck movers.
29) ATL: Nope.
30) DET: They don’t need Olli.

The three main teams I am looking at from the above are Buffalo, Columbus, and Edmonton. Who knows, it could be a huge blockbuster trade with Edmonton involving Jokinen and Bouwmeester, for Pitkanen and Gagner and whatever else?

This is what makes the draft intriguing, such possibilities. Other teams may be looking to move up in the draft, other teams are also rumored to make trades, such as Patrick Marleau to the Blue Jackets.

Anyway, that’s it for today. Next week I’ll put up my free agent article. Some people say hockey is over once the Stanley Cup is won. Naaaaaa. Hockey season continues later in June and first half of July. Now August…that’s a different story. Talk about things being dead by then.

Thanks for reading,

Micki Peroni