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

-MJ-