Reviewing the Situation || Updated (2/25)
Hello hockey fans. Our time has come! The Trade Deadline is three full days away and what are we exactly looking at now? Have things changed? Find out!What is happening right now? Point your finger at Don Waddell of the Atlanta Thrashers to have pressed the panic button and raised the prices on defensemen. Alexei Zhitnik for solid prospect Braydon Coburn? Are you kidding me? ALEXEI ZHITNIK for a top prospect in the organization? Don Waddell, you flunked flank, so get the flunk out of here.
Sheldon Souray puts GM Bob Gainey in the driver’s sit?
Absolutely not. Yes, the price for defensemen has gone up, but Sheldon Souray will be nothing more than a rental player. Zhitnik is still under contract, so his price is more valuable. So no, Habs fans, you ar enot going to get Ryan Getzlaf or Corey Perry. You may get Matt Carle for sure, however.
Struggling Rangers; buyers or sellers? I would sell after a ridiculous loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, but there is NOTHING to sell. The Rangers will not sell Martin Straka, Michael Nylander, and-or Jaromir Jagr. Too big of an immediate change, and expect to see an uprise in the City if that happens. Maybe Michael Nylander can be traded, mmmmmmmaaaaaaaybe. Tough to tell. Expect the Rangers to buy since Brendan Shanahan is most likely out for the rest of the season. Ridiculous? Yes, but…it’s the Rangers.
The Carolina Hurricanes will not go after the American power forwards, Bill Guerin and Keith Tkachuk. Anson Carter was it.
The Buffalo Sabres may actually get in between the Georges Laraque to Pittsburgh rumor as they are in need of a fighter, but more than a fighter, they need a hard hitter, who can score, and has playoff experience. After the troubles with the Senators, the Sabres must become Ottawa’s nightmare. What is Ottawa’s nightmare come playoff time? GARY ROBERTS.
What’s going on in gorgeous weather South Florida? The Panthers are just pondering right now, especially when it comes down to Eddie Belfour. He’s been hot, and Alex Auld is also out for the season, most likely, (wow, talk about bad luck in the Luongo trade). So who are the Panthers going to start in goal if Eddie Belfour is traded? Craig Anderson may be given a chance, but quite unlikely. It’s either going to be a three-way deal with the Panthers, Eddie Belfour stays and re-signs, or the Martin Biron rumor may actually happen. Chris Gratton may also be shopped. Teams are looking for size, strength, grit, with some offensive upside; and, as Trademan said, Gratton appears to be a deadliner.
Brian Burke just set himself up for a trade bound to happen within the last three days prior to the deadline. He has acquired a 1st round pick from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Most likely this is a trade for either Keith Tkachuk, Bill Guerin, Ryan Smyth (still no contract after a week?), Jason Blake, or todd Bertuzzi. Why Jason Blake if the Isle’s are looking to buy? The Isle’s may want to part ways with a grumpy Jason Blake, therefore possibly acquiring a 1st rounder and trading youth assets of their own for Bill Guerin/Keith Tkachuk. Why Todd Bertuzzi? Maybe Burke wants to keep youth and has added more youth assets for the future to trade one of a bit lesser value for Todd Bertuzzi.
The Maple Leafs may add the muscle up front. They are not wealthy in youth and cannot afford to give up too much away; therefore it’s doubtful that they will outbid other teams. Gary Roberts seems like a good fit, a great fit. Zednik, or maybe Zubrus could be cheaper to get.
The San Jose Sharks look too shaky defensively; absolute buyers some time soon.
The Calgary Flames may be a little nervous with their recent struggles. Another move has been ordered for shipment.
The Atlanta Thrashers placed all of their chips in for Keith Tkachuk, so now what? Well, people may look at a Western team to place their chips in for Bill Guerin now, such as the Anaheim Ducks. Will they? I think they will, but it will be an Eastern team to match or outbid the Ducks. The Thrashers just shook the teams still in the race. The Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, and the New York Islanders will bite. Do not rule out the Pittsburgh Penguins as well.
Still nothing new on the Ryan Smyth contract talks with the Edmonton Oilers. If the Oilers really want this guy back, they should have offered him a contract that would be very close to Smyth’s demand. If Ryan Smyth really wants to stay, he would have accepted an offer. Does GM Kevin Lowe risk of losing Ryan Smyth for nothing? Yes. He may pull the same trick that the St. Louis Blues have pulled. Trade Smyth and give him what he wants on July 1st. Buyers? The Anaheim Ducks, if they lose out on the Guerin sweepstakes. The New York Islanders, if they also lose the Guerin sweepstake. The Toronto Maple Leafs, likewise. The New York Rangers may pull a deal with the Oilers, but highly doubtful that Smyth would not re-sign with the Rangers as they would satisfy his contract demand.
Good call by HTR.com member Uncleben stating the possibilityof Danius Zubrus to the Rangers as a possibility. Slats may want to go big and get Smyth, or just subtle and get he likes of Zubrus, Richard Zednik, Petr Sykora, Jozef Stumpel, or, as he likes to gamble with players, he’ll go for Todd Bertuzzi if he just wants a wild card shot.