More Rumors – June 21, 2010
Mike Ribeiro to the Wild makes sense for both teams
Tampa Bay will not trade Vincent Lecavalier
This isn’t a rumor. This isn’t blind speculation on a trade that is “in the works.” This is merely analysis of a potential trade that would make sense between two teams.
Get used to this, as we gear up for the NHL Draft next weekend and then NHL free agency right after that. As teams jockey for space under the salary cap we’re likely to see more trades than normal at this time of the year, especially considering how dire this free agent class is outside of the goaltenders.
There are a few names that keep being brought up, including Tomas Kaberle , Jason Spezza , Kris Versteeg and Nathan Horton . Another name that has been mentioned, but not as prominently, is Dallas center Mike Ribeiro .
Ribeiro has been great for the Stars since the team acquired him in one of the most lopsided trades in recent history but with the team facing payroll restrictions and looking to move in a new direction under Marc Crawford, Ribeiro has become expendable.
Ribeiro enjoyed another productive season last year, but it was evident that he just isn’t a good fit in the system that Crawford is hoping to put in place in Dallas. The Stars were caught between being an aggressive offensive team last season that pushes the pace of the game and a team that wants to slow down and keep the game in one half of the ice. The result was a wholly inconsistent team, and Ribeiro was right at the center of the Stars’ struggles.
While the Stars were looking to push the pace of the game, Ribeiro prefers to slow the game down. Watching the team in person a number of times last season it was apparent just how much Ribeiro stuck out in Crawford’s system. This isn’t to say that Ribeiro has lost a step or is struggling offensively — he’s still a great talent with the puck — but he just doesn’t appear to fit what the Stars are hoping to build moving forward. And the Stars are desperate for defensive help.
With Jamie Benn emerging as a game-changing center, and with Brad Richards likely to stay, the Stars have the chance to move Ribeiro in order to get some much needed defensive help and to ease up on payroll. Ribeiro has three seasons left on his contract at $5 million per season, and there are a couple of options that might give the Stars the chance to bolster the blue line without taking on extra salary.
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal suggests that the Minnesota Wild are putting defenseman Brent Burns on the market while on the lookout for a top line center. A trade that would sway Ribeiro and Burns would make sense for both sides, as the Stars would gain a talented defenseman and free up salary while the Wild would get the top center they desperately need.
Tampa Bay will not trade Vincent Lecavalier
“We’re going to challenge him to be better,” Yzerman said.
But Yzerman also apparently assured the captain, who is coming off two disappointing seasons, he still is part of the plan.
“I’m not going to go out and start shopping Vinny Lecavalier around,” Yzerman said recently at the St. Pete Times Forum.
That was welcome news to Lecavalier , who said he came out of a recent meeting with Yzerman believing he can finally relax after two years of trade rumors.
It should be noted Lecavalier’s contract includes a no-move clause, which means he must approve any trade.
Even so, Lecavalier said, “After I left the meeting, I was very happy. It’s been tough the past two years wondering what’s going to happen and if the rumors were true or not. Those things were distractions, and now it’s over. I’ve always said I wanted to be in Tampa, and they definitely reassured that to me.”
Now it is up to Lecavalier, 30, to show he again can be an elite player after three consecutive seasons of declining goals after his league-best 52 in 2006-07. The center’s 24 goals last season were his fewest since 2001-02.
With the team committed to an additional $70.3 million in long-term deals and buyouts, center Steven Stamkos expected to sign a rich contract extension to start in 2011-12 and defenseman Victor Hedman to get a substantial salary boost in 2012-13, the organization might have tough roster decisions to make.
Yzerman was clear that equation and the responsibility
for carrying the team “isn’t all about Vinny.”
UFA Hamhuis traded for Parent; what might we (Ottawa) get for Volchenkov?
After the Philadelphia Flyers traded young defenceman Ryan Parent to the Nashville Predators in exchange for unsigned pending UFA Dan Hamhuis , I’m quite certain one thing popped into the minds of most Ottawa Senators fans: Does this set the asking price for any trade of Anton Volchenkov’s free agent rights?
Certainly, most fans would prefer Volchenkov stay in a Senators uniform for next season (and the rest of his career), but an acceptance that his asking price is higher than the team will be able to commit has settled into most of the fanbase. Without getting too excited about his seemingly imminent exit, fans have also suggested trading away Volchenkov’s rights to make sure we don’t lose another star player for nothing. Initially, I was skeptical; Jay Bouwmeester got the Florida Panthers a conditional draft pick last season, sure, but Bouwmeester is a much different player than Volchenkov.
But with the Hamhuis/ Parent swap (read more on From The Rink, On the Forecheck, and Broadstreet Hockey) this past weekend, that may have changed. Hamhuis is the same age as Volchenkov , with a similar skill set (slightly better offence, significantly lower defensive statistics), and he garnered a decent prospect for the Preds. What might Ottawa get for Volchenkov , a more sought-after asset who, according to Yahoo!, is the third-ranked UFA in this year’s draft class?
Comparing Volchenkov to Bouwmeester would be folly–the two play a completely contrasting style, with the only real similarity being the position they’re listed as on the roster. Comparing the former to Hamhuis , however, is a different story.
The two are virtually the same age, the same height, and a negligible difference in hitting proficiency. Hamhuis has slightly more offence to offer, while Volchenkov has significantly more shot-blocking. Hamhuis plays more ice time, but also takes more penalties. Volchenkov has a better shooting percentage (ha!).