Odd Man Out

   Since I liked Micki’s article on which players will be traded from each team in the Atlantic Division, I thought I would share my thoughts in respect to the entire NHL.


These aren’t necessarily going to happen, but are simply my opinion as to who needs a ticket out of their respective towns.


PS. Since I don’t have time to do this all at once, I’m going to do it in smaller intervals. I’ll finish all the teams I have time for today, and then do the rest later. Thanx.


ANAHEIM


People say that Paul Kariya needs a trade, and sooner or later I might agree, but frankly, Paul Kariya is the only real asset this club had left. My opinion is that, in order to resurrecthis career, Steve Rucchin needs a new team. Rucchin isn’t exactly #1 center material, but he could fill in nicely on a team weak in that area, and Anaheim still needs quality defensemen.


Possible trade: Rucchin, 2nd rounder to Chicago for Boris Mironov, 1st rounder.


ATLANTA


Lets face the facts: Who wouldn’t want out of Atlanta? I think the guy who needs a new start is Damian Rhodes. Rhodes was so close to being the undisputed #1 netminder in Ottawa, and then he got dumped onto the Thrashers. He just might be a good fit in Vancouver, and his return value is still fairly high.


Possible trade: Rhodes, 4th rounder to Vancouver for Denis Pederson, Jason Strudwick.


BOSTON


Boston has quite a solid team, and there’s no one who, at the time, really needs out. Bill Guerin is a name being thrown around, but he’ll perform, eventually. Still, Guerin and backup John Grahame are two guys who, right now, would like out of Beantown, and both can still play very well.


Possible trade: Guerin, Grahame to Tampa Bay for Brian Holzinger, Nolan Pratt, Kevin Weekes, 1st rounder.


BUFFALO


It’s almost time for Maxim Afinogenov to put out or get out. This super-skilled youngster has petered out, all the way down to a -9 so far this season. He’s a defensive liability, obviously, but a lot of teams would kill to have his skill. One team that might be willing to take a chance on him, and could use his skill, are the Calgary Flames, and the asking price for Affy might not be that high, actually.


Possible trade: Afinogenov to Calgary for Jeff Cowan, Igor Kravchuk, 6th round pick.


CALGARY


Well, the way the flames are burning right now, no one would want to play anywhere else. However, Clarke Wilm has been a bit of a disappointment the last few years. Also, Mike Vernon would probably like more playing time, even though he’s too old to earn it.


Possible trade: Wilm, Vernon to NYR for Manny Malholtra, Sylvain Lefebrve.


CAROLINA


Carolina is another surprisngly good team this year. That said, the ‘Canes could use another solid D-man, which is the exact opposite of Sandis Ozolinsh, a huge defensive liability, but an awesome powerplay quarterback.


Possible trade: Ozolinsh, 5th rounder to Pittsburgh for Darius Kaparitus, 4th rounder.


CHICAGO


Wow. I always figured that if anyone needed out of Chicago, it was Jocelyn Thibault, but this year, he has proven me wrong in spectacular fashion. With the emergence of Kyle Calder, as well, the odd man out may be Michael Nylander. Nylander is still a solid scorer, but may need a chance elsewhere. Also, Boris Mironov needs out.


Possible trade: Nylander, Mironov, 4th rounder to Montreal for Jan Bulis, Sheldon Souray, Gino Odjick, 3rd rounder.


COLORADO


My team. I know, Steve Reinprecht was a “steal” from LA in the Rob Blake trade, but he hasn’t proven to me that he was worth anything. I made a suggestion earlier today that Colorado might want to send him back to LA, where the fans loved him.


Possible trade: Reinprecht, 4th rounder to LA for Bryan Smolinski.


COLUMBUS


Last year, I thought this was an up-and-coming team, but now I’m not so sure. I don’t know what went wrong, but one guy who never really fit in anyways was Robert Kron. This guy has great speed, but still can’t score. He might fit in on a team where he could at least rush and get something started. Edmonton plays a high paced game.


Possible trade: Kron to Edmonton for Domenic Pittis, 7th rounder.



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