Observations from the Couch

I have been away from HTR for a while now, basically just soaking in the new NHL and figuring out where I stand on everything. The past month or so, I have noticed an increase in the trade rumors floating around the net, and on tv. Here are a few observations and speculations that I see.

Trading Todd Bertuzzi

With a salary of $5,269,333, adding Big Bert to the mix of most NHL clubs will require sending at least one roster player back to Vancouver in return to make things comfortable under the cap.

Losing Bertuzzi would create a hole on Naslund’s left wing. With a mediocre tandem manning the pipes, I figure the Canucks would be best in seeking a trade for a goal scorer to play with Naslund, and a goalie to help Cloutier out. Trading away Cloutier would be a mistake. Instead, running a tandem similar to Fernandez/Roloson would be, in my opinion, highly effective for the ‘Nucks.

A team often left out of rumors, but in need of a superstar to lead their youth movement is the Washington Capitals. Bertuzzi would be a real nice fit alongside Ovechkin. Vancouver would have the opportunity to acquire some cheap prospects that give them both cap-space for the future, and youthful enthusiasm for the playoffs, which in my opinion, outside of an Al McInnis and Barrett Jackman powerslam, are worth more than Bertuzzi’s services in recent playoff memory.

Luongo is staying put

I am no psychic, but Roberto Luongo will not be traded. Neither will Nathan Horton, Stephen Weiss, Jay Boumeester or Anthony Stewart. This is going to be the core that elevates the Panthers to the next level in the next two or three years. Losing Hagman and Huselius will only benefit the Panthers, as they are quite replaceable. Keenan has been around a long time, and is aware that the Canucks are a young team seeking both identity and confidence. Having guys like Roberts and Nieuwendyk around will only help the process. Soon we will see the Florida Panthers steam rolling teams. Mark my words. They are following a similar formula that the Nashville Predators used, and look at the spot they are in now!

Sidney and Team Olympique

With so much speculation as to who will be replacing the legendary shoes of both Steve Yzerman and Mario Lemieux, I feel it necessary to bring some logic and common sense to the issue that I have heard from, sadly, to few analysts and commentators.

Sidney Crosby does not belong on the Canadian Olympic team I can’t refute the fact that this kid is going to be something special in the coming years, but it comes down to numbers. For the same reasons Eric Fehr (2004-2005 WHL Scoring Leader) was left off the junior team last Christmas, Crosby should be left off the Olympic roster this go around.

An Olympic hockey team should not be used as a marketing tool to give the international sporting community a young face for the new NHL, or to give the Pittsburgh Penguins one more bargaining tool with the Pennsylvania government regarding the construction of a new arena. The Olympics is about suiting up the best team/athlete your country has, and competing against the rest of the world. Sadly the pure competition and fellowship that made the Olympics a universal icon-event has been overthrown by corporations and broadcasting networks looking to make the big bucks, regardless of the level of competition.

Fact of the matter is, Crosby is good, but he is not there yet. Hockey fans and the NHL are putting the cart before the horse here. If they’re not lucky, this kid is going to crack under the pressure. Eric Staal, Jason Spezza, Brad Richards and Joe Thornton all deserve roster spots more than Sid the Kid.

I am not saying that Crosby is a bad hockey player. He is unreal, but a) he has not spent enough time at the professional level to play at the Olympics at a level that every athlete needs to be at. b) he hasn’t paid his dues yet. For the 25 years I have been around the sport, hockey has always been about respect and earning your keep. Why does Crosby get the preferential treatment. Mind explaining that to Eric Staal, the leading Canadian scorer behind Simon Gagne?

Next Time

Belfour on the way out of Toronto, along with a centreman?

Bobby Orr, the greatest player ever

Groin Injuries: I probable explanation to why there have been so many this year.

Until next time


44 Responses to Observations from the Couch

  1. raine_kalisz says:

    I look forward to seeing Belfour leave. His contract is too big and Tellqvist has had much more success than he has and has played consistently. The only thing Belfour does consistently this year is give the puck away or screw up when he leaves his crease.

    Bertuzzi won’t leave. He’s too attached to the guys on that Vancouver team and if he leaves I doubt Naslund will return. Bert is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, reason that Naslund resigned with the Nucks instead of staying in Sweden.

    Luongo, although I think he is staying put, I wouldn’t be too sure of it just because at the end of the year he will be a UFA and I doubt he will want to stay put when there are so many other successful teams out there waiting for a goalie like him.

    I think the odd man out at the olympics may actually end up being Spezza. Although he’s had great success this year he’s never produced greatly come playoff time, not even last year in the AHL. That and his success may not be weighed so much on his play but that of Alfredsson and Heatley, but we’ll see.

  2. Komisarek says:

    Luongo will be a RFA for ONE more year. That’s why Keenan took the arbitrator road last year, he knew he still had one year to sign Luongo to a long term deal….if he wants to.

  3. SDG says:

    Nice post. I agree with your stance on Crosby. I also think he will an elite NHL player, but this year Staal should get the nod over Crosby.

    Keep posting, your observations are needed with some of the stuff we have to endure on this site.

  4. The_Cramp says:

    Some people really beleive it when guys like Naslund and Kowalchuk say they’ll play in europe ???!! Its true for young guys like Malkin or Ovechkin but for established nhl stars this is all negotiation leverage! Its a negotiating tool!

  5. morrissey says:

    The olympics is such a short tourney and we’ve all seen superstar teams in every sport that just don’t gel with the right team chemistry, there’s no time to fool around here and figure out working line combos, that’s why I say go with successful pairings that we know work well together already. Spezza and Heatley should both be there & playing togther, same goes for Lecavalier/Richards & St-Louis. Obviously you can’t get every line like this but I believe it will produce a better “team” even if it’s not the 20 best players out there.

    Tanguay – Sakic – Iginla

    Heatley – Spezza – Bertuzzi

    Gagne – Thornton – Doan

    Richards – Lecavalier – St-Louis

    Staal, Sullivan

    If ever Nash is ready to play, I’d put him with Thornton and move Gagne to replace Tanguay

  6. morrissey says:

    I don’t see any future for Luongo on that team, first chance he gets he’ll fly… Keenan will have to move him before then…

  7. FoppaFlyers21 says:

    I agree about Crosby… not just because i don’t like him. Also, I look forward to hearing about Bobby Orr… I too think he is Top 3 if not the best.

  8. Viller02 says:

    I agree a 100% with that.

    Luongo holds a grudge against Keenan for not giving him the contract he wanted, even if this summer he is offered what he wanted last summer, I dont think he’ll take it. Wich would be smart in my opinion since hes has been carrying this team for a couple of years and what happenned to him was kinda disrespectful.

    Montreal gave Theodore whatever he wanted and he sucks ass, Luongo is one of the best up and coming goaltenders and got about half of what Theo got. (Just shows Montreal respects their players and acknoleged that he is the biggest part of the team, both of them not showing it right now though.)

    I think Luongo just needs a change of scenery to really show what hes made of… Being traded to Philly, Vancouver or Colorado would make those teams instant cup contenders.

  9. LeafsJaysRapsBillsManU says:

    You have essentially the same forwards I was thinking about, with a couple of exceptions. I would put Staal there ahead of Tanguay and my 13th forward would be Draper for his defensive adroitness, as well as his leadership qualities. I won’t even bother organizing them into line combos, as many guys will be playing out of position at certain points. As for Nash, you hafta consider putting him in there somewhere if he’s healthy, but is he?

  10. LeafsJaysRapsBillsManU says:

    Oh, one more thing: you have 14 forwards there. I’m pretty sure they can only take 13. I love Stevie Sullivan too, but I seriously doubt he makes this squad.

  11. LeafsJaysRapsBillsManU says:

    While I agree with your assessment of the Panthers operating in a mold like the Preds to some extent, there’s one big difference: Mike Keenan. David Poile has been more than patient with some of his young guys (eg. Dave Legwand) and some are finally starting to really pan out. Mike Keenan has rarely, if ever, possessed this kind of patience and I can’t see him starting now. As you’ve mentioned, Florida has a plethora of young talent with guys like Roberts, Nieuwendyk, and Gelinas to compliment them, but I just don’t see Iron Mike ever operating with a later rather than sooner mentality. I can’t see him even tendering contracts to guys like Roberts, Nieuwendyk, or Gelinas if he didn’t think they’d be winning in the reasonably immediate future. I think it would be a mistake to pull the trigger on anything this quickly, but it’s Keenan, so sound logic isn’t always part of the equation here.

  12. Mullet says:

    I am a huge canucks fan but the rumours I’m hearing are that Toronto might want to make a trade with us. Bertuzzi and Cloutier to Toronto for Ed Belfour who would like to play for his hometown team, Jason Allison and Justin Pogge who is a minor league goalie for the Leafs and sounds like a pretty good one.

  13. Gretzkin says:

    You say it as if Belfour wants to play for his home team…

    He’s from Carman, Manitoba…

  14. 92-93 says:

    both teams would be insane to make this trade –

    Belfour (from Manitoba) is past his prime (and Auld is playing well for the Canunks) but he’s way better than Cloutier when push comes to shove.

    I never want a guy like Bertuzzi playing in the NHL let alone in Toronto (and his contract his huge – I know, equal contracts must be exchanged in this cap era). Allison won’t be traded until the deadline if he is traded at all and there is no way Toronto should be trading any of their top prospects – especially Pogge!!!

  15. Gretzkin says:

    The only way the Canucks would trade Bertuzzi, would be if he had asked for a trade before reinstatement. Sort of a fresh start , good will move more than anything, as they wouldn’t actually want him to leave.

    That time has come and gone. Look forward to Big Bert remaining with the ‘Nucks till at least the end of this year, if not till the end of his contract.

    I agree with your take on Florida, except for the Luongo bit.

    If Florida is out of the Playoff picture, which they are now, I think they’ll deal Luongo away at or near the deadline for some picks, or young substance.

    To go in the direction of the Preds, perhaps, but you need a hot-shot goalie to save your arse to do that with success…

    As for Sid the Kid.

    He will not make Team Canada this time around.

    It would be good for the Crosby story. Perhaps priming him for the future. Letting him gain International experience around all the seasoned veterans, before the bulk of them disappear.

    But the Future is Now!

    There’s no time to develop prospects for the future with this team, since we can build a winner in the now.

    He’d be fine on the team, I’m not saying that it would be a very bad thing, but likesay, there’s guys in front of him that would be more of an impact.

    I’d take Spezza or Staal before Sidney, if it were my call.

    I think I’d pick Spezza. He’s a better set up man than Staal, and he can put the puck in the net as well.

    Staal is more of a pure goal scorer. He doesn’t bring much more to the table than that. Which isn’t such a bad thing.

    Belfour will stay in Toronto.

    With Telqvist playing so well (as of late), I’d keep Eddie around to mould the young man further. Maybe give Telly a bit more action.

    The new rules have hurt Belfour a lot, I think. He’s one of the best puck handlers around, but his domain was towards the corner, and that’s been taken out. Now he goes for it, and then totally spazzes. It’s sickening to watch.

    That, and I think the new equipment is killing him as well.

    McGuire said that Eddie mentioned he can’t keep the puck in his new gloves, and that was evident in Saturday’s game.

    Put it this way, even if you got Bertuzzi on the Leafs in the trade you mentioned, why would they want Cloutier?????

    That guy sucks. When it comes to the playoffs, he chokes hard. His parents should have named him ROMAN.

    Bobby Orr, the greatest player ever?


    I’d put him in the top 3 maybe.

    Greatest offensive defenseman, yes.

    But we all know who the greatest player of all time is.


    He’s untouchable.

    Take away all of the what ifs, and you’ve got your answer.

    If Bobby Orr had a chance to play out his career, he’d have been a contender, no doubt.

    Same goes for Lemuiex.

    But facts are facts.

    #99 is the Greatest player ever.

    And as for the Groins, it’s all about conditioning. A great deal of these guys started the season in less than average shape.

    I think it would be a good experiment to compare who the groin injuries have fallen upon, and what they were doing in the year off.

    And in closing.


  16. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    Nonis would be retarded to make that trade. Why the hell would he want 55 yr. old Eddie “The Seagul” Belfour? Auld is playing like a #1 so why not have cloutier back him up. Doesn’t Cloutier make like 2-3 million a season? Why would he want to pay Belfour 5 million to be a backup?

    PS: The only way “The Seagul” gets to play for his hometown team is if they resurrect the Winnipeg Jets.

  17. jonnybnimble says:

    that is the WORST prediction ever… vancouver isn’t that stupid.. belfour is too worn out for what he’s getting paid in the new nhl. It’s gonna be luongo or no go.. and i doubt bertuzzi is going anywhere cause that would piss off naslund

  18. jonnybnimble says:

    bertuzzi is staying put.. if anyone goes it will be morrison cause he’s expendable and anybody can play on that line and produce points.. it’s just that good. I wish they would trade the sedin twins, i can’t stand those two guys… they get points but i just don’t like them at all.

    as for crosby, he sees the game at a whole nother level; i wouldn’t be shocked to see him on team canada; age will be the only thing that prevents it, because the way he’s played in past big events he’s proven himself more than enough

  19. Neely4Life says:

    Crosby will be on the Olympic team, not because he deserves to, which he doesnt, but because Mario has a lot of pull. Im sick of hearing about this kid, its all about him this new NHL, when he has been arguably the 4th or 5th best rookie this year.




    Lundqvist or Crosby (tied for 4th)




    Panthers, who cares, that team should be disasembled and the weaker teams should get dibs on their players, or let them all become free agents. Same with Atlanta.

  20. toronto77 says:

    leafs are not giving up pogge

  21. Gretzkin says:

    Crosby and Ovechkin are in a bit tighter than that.

    They’ve got almost the exact same stats.

    The teams they play for could be the difference in judgement.

    Ovechkin is alone, and Crosby is on a deep (yet sucky) team.

    Svatos is definitely 3rd, as he is nipping at their heels.

    Phanuef rules, and he’s going to be amazing.

    Steen is going to be huge one day as well, but after that?

    Mezaros? He’s in good company. That’s it.

    His stats don’t measure up to the rest of these guys.

    His plus/minus (24) is the most impressive of all rookies, but that’s just Heatley and Spezza doing that.

  22. Neely4Life says:

    meszeros has stepped up these last 2 weeks with redden out, and looks close to an all-star right now. Got them goign last night, fisher just put in the rolling puck, tied up the game in Van to get them a point, this kid is solid, and has been a top rookie so far, he looks good in good company.

  23. Gretzkin says:

    Agreed, actually I thought you were talking about Bochenski.

    My mistake.

    Although, he’s looking pretty sharp as well.


    He’s killing the rest of the Rookies in that department.

    Being a D-Man, that’s partially his responsibilty, so yeah, he’s definitely one of the top boys.

  24. 93213 says:

    Interesting but unlikely. I can see the Canucks wanting Belfour for a strong playoff run this season and then lets Auld take over next year after Eddie retires.

    But what use would Cloutier be in Toronto? The Leafs are ateam that rely too heavily on goalie heroics to allow this chump to start.

    I world love to see a Bertuzzi – Sundin – Lindros top line though, man would that be fierce.

  25. Neely4Life says:

    Borchenski has had a hot two weeks, the begining of the season hurt him, soooo, not too sure how to feel about him, Patrick Eaves has looked great to while being up. Sens have 7 rookies playin right now, and are still winning.

  26. ranford4life says:

    Crosby WILL be on Team Canada for 2 reasons:

    1) Gretzky loves him, and the is Gretzky’s team. Also, don’t forget about the pull that Lemieux probably has on the situation.

    2) Crosby can paly the wing and is better in his own zone than Staal or Spezza. Canada has 4 guarantees at centre (Thornton, Lecavalier, Sakic, and Draper), so they’ll be in the market for a winger, likely to fill out the third line. Crosby isn’t afraid to get his nose dirty, and is a tremendous goal scorer. Remember how he looked on Bergeron’s wing at the WJHC last year?

    Spezza and Staal are great players, but they don’t fit as well into the roles needed by the team.

  27. Kraut182 says:

    If you’re worried about cracking under the pressure, then I’d definitely take Crosby over Staal. Crosby has had all the pressure in the world placed on him ever since he was 16, and he has always come through. Staal was a high draft pick, but he never even played for Canada at the Juniors. Staal plays in Carolina with low expectations and limited media coverage, Crosby was on friggin’ Leno before the start of the year.

    You can argue to me that Staal’s a better player, and I’ll listen, but don’t try to tell me he’s paid his dues and is ready to deal with pressure better than Crosby.

  28. SensfanVone says:

    Good Post can’t wait till part 2……Im wondering if Spezza will make team Canada….even though I am a huge fan of Spezz I think the fact that Crosby is on Lemieux’s team and Gretzky and Lemieux are buds gives Crosby an unfair advantage…..Oh well….we’ll see.

  29. wingerxxx says:

    A very nice article, and I agree with the major points presented in it. Except for Orr being the greatest ever. But we all have our opinions there. I definitely agree that Crosby should probably not be on the Olympic team. I would really like to see Staal go, as he is carrying the Hurricanes and is playing very strong hockey. Crosby has unreal skill, and I feel sorry for him that he is playing in a pretty bad system in Pittsburgh. He will have plenty of Olympic shots in the future. Those four centers though, all definitely deserve to go more than Crosby at this point in time. If he does go, it should be as an extra skater.

    Trading Bertuzzi has never made a lot of sense to me. Nor trading Luongo. Unless they both adamantly demand trades, I don’t see why you would do it.

  30. Gretzkin says:

    What does LMAO mean?

  31. habs79 says:

    Crosby is a -8, and he is suppose to be good in his own end? His own linemate at least for a time Christensen is a +4. As for him playing the wing, like Canada is missing depth on the wing especially the LW where Crosby plays. Heatley, Gagne, Tanguay, Symth, Nash, Morrow.

  32. Marky2Fresh says:


  33. Marky2Fresh says:

    Bertuzzi is probably playing so bad because of all the attention the Canucks get. So why trade him to Toronto where the attention is 2 or 3 times greater?

  34. Marky2Fresh says:

    So is Steen Canadian or Swedeish?

  35. GaryPuck says:

    Here are my predictions:

    To Toronto: Fleury and Gonchar

    To Pittsburg: Belfour and Berg

    To Florida: Savard and 1st round pick in 2006

    To Atlanta: Luongo

  36. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    yes what a fair trade the first one is. Toronto pretty much down grades there defense more. they dont need another Power Play quarter back either. and florida is going to want a goalie in return for luongo guarnteed.

  37. Air33 says:

    I agree with your comments about Crosby.

    Whats the big rush to play him in the olympics? He has a whole career ahead of him.

  38. Gretzkin says:

    Steen is Canadian.

    His Dad, Thomas Steen is a Swede who was pretty amazing for the Jets.

    Little Wonderful Alex was born and bred in Canada.

    The biggest confusion is the fact that he came to the Leafs from playing IN Sweden. Frolunda, I think…

  39. Gretzkin says:

    Gretzky is selecting players from their natural positions, apparently.

    Therefore, if Sidney doesn’t make it as a Centerman, which he will not. Especially over Staal or Spezza. One of them might make it as a “Popcorn” eater, but I think that would be Spezza if that is the case.

  40. BigCanuck says:

    Hey boys, don’t forget about that kid Prucha. He is one of the hottest PLAYERS right now, never mind rookies. Watched him last night against the canucks, and WoW. Great release, and in the right spot all the time. He got a late start this year, but I think he has a chance to be up there at the end of the year.

  41. penguinos66 says:

    team canada:








    brodeur (duh)


    turco or joseph???

  42. penguinos66 says:

    obviously neither of those trades would ever happen. especially the 1st one

  43. penguinos66 says:

    even if he does miss this year’s olympics, he’ll still play at least 5 olympics, 6 if he plays till he’s 42

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