Rookie Watch, Free Agents Progress, Fedorov Trade, GM's Panic?

It is all about the Sid Kid, the next Russian Star, two solid defensemen and the next wave of young goalies.

How have the 2005 Summer free agents performed thus far in the Eastern Conference?

The Fedorov trade, plus Scatchard…. more trades to come?

Leading to…… general managers panicking?With the lucky lottery system, Sidney Crosby finds himself playing with one of the best hockey players in history, Mario Lemieux.

There is no doubt in my mind that Crosby is a great talented player, but has he really been THAT good?

Yes and No. It is Mel Brooks’s theory of Yes and No; to anyone who watched his movie version of Dracula, starring Leslie Nielsen.

Yes, he has been impressive as far as skills and I am amazed at his grit as well. He’s got an attitude. But, could it be that his stats are actually…. “helped”?

I am trying to imagine Alex Ovechkin wearing the Penguins jersey and put Crosby with a Capitals jersey. Talk about a major difference. Do you actually think that Crosby would have 21 points with the Caps, and Ovechkin would have 9 goals with the Penguins? I just swapped their numbers.

I believe that if Ovechkin was with the Penguins, and if Crosby was a Capital, then Ovechkin would be miles away from Crosby. The Russian has 15 goals in 19 games. Talk about insanity! When was the last time a rookie scored these many goals? And, he is playing with a team made up of Halperns, Wilsies, and a decent Zubrus.

Now picture Crosby playing with those guys. Would he even be close at 24 points? He’s got 9 goals, not like he has been a key goal scorer (more of an all-round player), but I think if Ovechkin was a Penguin, he’d be the leading goal scorer and would have shadowed the Sid Kid.

I am not saying anything against Crosby, just that his numbers are much assisted by his linemates.

Nonetheless, the rookie is a great player and will be a point leader in the future..

Ovechkin will bring great goal scoring to the NHL. Finally we are seeing the next wave of stars that many of us will grow up with. Ovechkin, Crosby, Nash, Staal, Kovalchuk, Heatley, and possibly more to come. Geroge McPhee has been given a gift, now he has to build around that gift. While the Steel City has its young star, D.C will find itself with a new era of Capitals hockey with their Russian star.

And finally the last rookie forward who is an MVP on his team, Marek Svatos. Talk about a typical Czech player with quickness on his skates and on his stick. He leads the Avs in goals and has a nose for open spaces. While not near the class of Ovechkin and Crosby, Svatos is that typical Avs draft pick that comes from out of nowhere and becomes a top NHL player.

I have mentioned his name before and I will say it again, this defenseman is set to become the next best defenseman in the league. Dion Phaneuf is an amazing defenseman that comes with a complete package from A to Z as far as potential. His physical form, perfect. His mental form, excellent. His skills, splendid. Smooth skater, hard hitter, and one of the best shots I have ever seen in a young defenseman. Are we looking at the next Chris Pronger? I’d say quite possibly, and I also say… most likely. The reason why I watch the Flames? In hopes to see the Flames go 5 on 3 powerplay with Phaneuf on the point. Oilers fans should know what I am talking about if they remember that great 5 on 3 Flames PP where Phaneuf was shooting non-stop on Jussi Markkanen.

The other defenseman also plays in the Western Conference. His name….. Brent Seabrook. The first time I watched this guy was in one of the first Hawks games of the season. I liked his style and as soon as I saw he had 4 assists in just a few games, I picked him up right away in my fantasy league. A well poised defenseman and very determined. Plays for a weak team, which has been better of late. Seabrook is playing like a pro. His stats are good, but it’s his defensive play that is noticeable. What an awesome pick for the Blackhawks. If you are in a keeper league, this is the guy to get.

(speaking of fantasy leagues, starting December 17th my column will be posted each week with a fantasy hockey league segment, and my colum will be open to all who would like advice, or want to ask questions for opinions. I am an FHL fanatic and willingly to help out anyone to win)

The young net guards are starting to come around. In the past few years the only young star goalie to ever be recognized as great has been Robert Luongo. But now, things have changed where Martin Brodeur is not even in the top 30 in GAA. Though Hasek is doing great, behind a great team, his days towards real retirement are getting closer. Eddie Belfour is not as sharp as he used to be. And, of course, I miss good ole Patrick Roy….and so do the Avs fans.

So now, the next wave of young goaltenders is starting to build up. First up…

These two goaltenders have been drafted by the Rangers. One loves to eat pasta, and the other….well…. he’s got a rock band. Jason “Gonzo” LaBarbera has been a surprise to many, specifically me. Without brag, I feel knowledgable when looking at young goalies and making some judgements. With honesty, I admit I may be wrong about LaBarbera. I liked him with the Pack and said he’d be a mediocre starter-at-best goaltender, but a solid back-up goalie. Well, he has been a solid starter. He is big, and sometimes reminds me of Roman Cechmanek, but LaBarbera has proved me wrong thus far.

I think the LA Kings have found a goalie they will hope to be their starter for the next few years. He’s got a great winning attitude, he is competitive, down to earth kind of guy. I think he is capable of establishing himself as a top 10 starter in the league. While everyone talks about Crosby, Ovechkin, and the big free agent signings, Jason LaBarbera is by far the steal of the UFA market in 2004, for now. Great deal for the Kings.

Now, people are asking themselves…”Why did the Rangers let him go?” First of all, LaBarbera earns $750K, which the Rangers would not have wanted to spend. Second, with Lundqvist, Montoya, and Holt being surprises, the Rangers felt they had no need to keep him. Thirdly, the best offer the Rangers could have made to LaBarbera meant that a two-way clause was involved, which LaBarbera would have declined.

Now on with the second Ranger goalie is Henrik Lundqvist, who has been stellar thus far. Most likely the starting goalie for Sweden in 2006, Lundqvist has won the support of Rangers fans. He leads rookie goaltenders in GAA, Save-Percentage, and Shutouts. And, he has earned those numbers behind a Rangers team that should not even be in 1st place. A 7th rounder, the Rangers may have found their next goalie star, after sadly losing one of the best ever in Mike Richter. By the way, Lundqvist should consider the fact that the Rangers also have Al Montoya in the minors. Although injured for about 5 weeks, Montoya has been solid with the Pack, even by winning a game making 51 saves. Rangers future goaltending? Appears to be set.

Of course, had Ryan Miller been healthy, he’d also be worth a talk. So in place of the injured goalie, who needs a hair cut, is Peter Budaj from the Colorado Avalanche. David Aebsicher, step aside! Quenneville should go with the winning goalie, and Budaj has been better than the Swiss goalie.

The summer of 2005 was a joy. Remember that great day when the lockout ended? That tense day with the NHL draft lottery, and draft day itself with Crosby? And how about August 1st, the start of the most intriguing off-season ever?

Great days, eh?

Well, let’s see how well that UFA summer went so far for the Eastern Conference.

Atlanta: Peter Bondra, has been a significant factor in Atlanta and shame on McPhee to not keep him in Washington. Bobby Holik, a disappointment. He does his job on face-offs and quite good at checking, but he just does not fit as a top two line center in the New NHL.

Boston: Brian Leetch smiled when the Bruins decided to spend $4M on him this season. Started slow, but just as he was about to pick it up he got injured. Scatchard was a failure in Boston as he got traded. Zhamnov has not yet played a game. And, McEarchen….. another disappointment. The team overall has been disappointing, but this is what O’Connell should have known. I’m a Rangers fan, I know what it is like to have too many free agents on the team. It just WILL NOT work out.

Florida: What a disaster! Joe Nieuwendyk is injured, Roberts cannot do too much anymore. Gratton is still the same Gratton from previous years. And, Josef Stumpel has been a huge bust. Most likely to get traded.

New Jersey: Malakhov was the worst free agent signing of the year. Plays inconsistently, disinterested…. then again he was about to retire, what would you expect? Also, who would turn down a $7M deal in two years over retirement? Mogilny has not been that bad, although 5 goals in 15 games is not looking good for what he is getting paid for. Also, Dan McGillis is having a tough time as a Devil. This has been the worst off-season for the Devils in the past 10 years.

New York Isle’s: I still say Satan was an excellent pick up for the Isle’s, and I’ll expect better from him in the 2nd half and next season. He has picked up his game as of late. Zhitnik and Lukowich have also been very solid additions. Though they are not making the Isle’s as good…these are solid free agent additions. No busts.

New York Rangers: Malik is a solid addition to the team. Yes, a hefty price but damn worth it for the rebuilding Rangers, especially when you see their penalty kill ranked #2. Rucinsky was also performing at the top of the league scoring more than a point a game before injured. Solid addition for the Rangers to get him again, and he is needed soon.

Philadelphia: Forsberg is piling up assists just as people up north have been piling up leaves. I thought he would not fit in, but this guy is a Flyer and is playing great Flyers hockey. The only scare is that he is injury prone, but as long as he plays in the playoffs… the Flyers have a chance to win the Cup. Rathje and Hatcher have been quite good. Rathje with the better +/- rating. This is a playoff team. First or 8th in the standings, it does not matter. They have a chance to win it all.

Pittsburgh: Gonchar has been a major disappointment. LeClair has been ok…., and Palffy is a solid winger for the Pens….but not scoring many goals. Still, I think he will be explosive in the 2nd half depending on the health of the team.

Toronto: It’s nice to see Lindros in a Leafs uniform, it fits him well and he plays Leafs hockey well. Pretty good with the scoring, but I believe he has lost his offensive power. Still, he is a player to have, great pick up. Allison…. for the money he is getting, I still think he is worth it for the Leafs.

I still think that Ducks GM Brian Burke could have traded Sergei Fedorov for more. A great salary dump and he managed to get a useful player in Tyler Wright, but a 1st line center for next to nothing? Questionable. I think B’jackets GM Doug McLean is close to getting fired if the team does not show any improvement by February. It was a no-brainer for him to acquire Fedorov for such a price, and once Nash comes back healthy…. a line of Nash-Fedorov-Zherdev should give them a real 1st scoring line in franchise history.

The next trade also comes from a struggling GM, Mike O’Connell. I’ll say this again. Making up a team with too many free agents is not going to work out. Twenty games into the season, the Bruins are last in their division, under .500, bad defensively…. and O’Connell hits the panic button to trade a player that he signed. That’s a big ouch! Ownership should take note of this. In my opinion, a GM that signs a free agent to then trade him 20 games into the season is a GM who admits he made a mistake. And making a mistake with money is not something that Jacobs will ignore. I think the Yotes got the better end of the deal. They get a much needed center who should be inspired to play under Gretzky. He may even be the one to turn the season around for Shane Doan and Nagy. Keith Ballard has also been worthy of notice, and most likely the one to make Tanabe expandable.

The Bruins need offense, but defense as well. How is a -54 player going to help your defense? I cannot answer that.

Does this open up the trade market?

I believe it does, which is contrary to what Jim McKenzie said. Yes, he is right in a way, but wrong in the other. True, almost half of the 30 NHL clubs have high payrolls, but what about the other teams? They don’t. And, this is a league where anyone has a fair shot.

Much like the 2005 off-season, it took someone to make his first signing. The others followed. GMs sit back to analyze how the New NHL is forming and what kind of market is available, and…. how the market has changed. Draft picks are much more valuable now than they used to be.

I think with two noticeable trades occuring this week, more will follow. You got San Jose in desperate need of offensive help, especially on the blueline. The Panthers need help. The Isle’s need to trade unhappy Niiniima. The Oilers are still looking for a center (knock on Keenan’s door and ask for Stumpel, Lowe). Toronto may be looking for a change. The Caps have yet to trade Witt.

Trades will happen, it just takes time to adjust, and it takes someone to make a first move for others to follow.

That leads to GMs panicking. The owners are no longer stupid. They see this as a competitive league where any team has a chance. After watching the surprise party of the Hurricanes, Rangers, Predators, and the Kings…. owners understand that GMs face a big challenge.

Doug McLean is on the hot seat. O’Connell as well. Milbury has a lot of thinking to do. Bob Gainey loses Kovalev and loses to a struggling Devils team. In need of a scoring forward? The Bolts not nearly as good, Feaster needs to fix their PP…. who gets traded? The Blues and Pleau are having a bad time. Where does he trade Weight? Is his job on the line where the Blues do not even have a good farm system? Oh wait, he’s got no one to really fire him yet. Hawks GM Tallon is seeking a scoring forward….will he panic and make a bad trade overpaying for one?

There is a lot more intensity for general managers who have expectations from ownership.

If the craziness of the first 20 games keeps pace in the NHL, I believe general managers will panic.

And, that’s not a bad thing for us fans!

Thanks for reading,

Micki Peroni

P.S If you are interested in the business world, specifically international business, with some politics, check out Some interesting things if you are interested in those topics.

82 Responses to Rookie Watch, Free Agents Progress, Fedorov Trade, GM's Panic?

  1. Hockey_Fan_99 says:

    Lets do some math for a sec 1 extra minute a game plus 20 games = 20minutes there is ALOT a player can do in 20 minutes it adds up man

  2. Hockey_Fan_99 says:

    it is undeniable that off of the ice they sure are going to be a big help but on the ice he plays with palffy, christensen, Jackman, and poapst for 80% of his ice time and sometimes he may be paired with recchi but ive only seen lemieux and crosby on the ice together once this year for over a minute he BARELY plays with LeClair and Gonchar is just now starting to become good old gonchar again the first say 12-15 games he was no help on the ice

  3. habs79 says:

    How many 50-60 point guys do you think deserve anywhere near $9 million a season?

  4. Pucked says:

    Sharks do need some offensive help and forgive me, “Balls” to go to the net. But, the good news is that they have some solid backup goaltending. Shaefer from Cleveland proved to be a solid performer, winning 5 games in relief of Nabokov and Toskala. Toskala can be a good backup. With these two solid trade-bait, and a need for good goaltending in the league, I think the Sharks can pick up the help they need.

  5. mikster says:

    None, but he also won face offs, killed top lines, had two Cups… at that time he was worth that much money to the Devils, Rangers, and even the Leafs.

    Lamoriello should have signed him to a 5 year deal at $6M each when Holik wanted to re-new his contract. Rejecting that idea pissed Holik off and raised his price at $8M.

    Holik is a very smart guy. He looks dumb, but he is very smart….. he can even be a future gm.

    He’s getting paid by the Rangers… 2/3 of his contract, plus the $4M by the Thashers. You can’t blame him for it….. you’d do the same thing; a smart thing.

  6. tacitus says:

    I say Crosby will have the better career and will end up being the better player. I think right now Ovechkin is currently better but Crosby can pass him this year or next. When Ovechkin was drafted he was touted as being possibly the best Russian player of all time. Considering its Larianov thats pretty dam good. But Crosby is suppose to be the next gret so i dunno, Imagine Ovechkin on a good team?? Id trade Hossa and a 1st rounder just to put Ovechkin and Kovalchuk around Savard. I think over time too crosby will play to win and Ovechkin will play for money. Crosby will mature faster and will get a cup faster and will definitly leave Pittsburgh when hes a UFA at 27

  7. NjDEVSFN says:

    Sure, Malakhov wasn’t the greatest signing, but he wasn’t the greatest player to trade for in 2000. he is inconsistent and just look at his career to see it. the Devils hoped that malakhov would be the same player from 2000. he isn’t and were stuck with him (i actually agree with you there Mik!)

    McGillis has played much better as of late and he had a nice hit vs Smolinski the other night.

    Mogilny was 2nd on the team in points before he was scratched then received the concussion. Sure, he wasn’t scoring but he was helping. The Devils have never been known as a scoring team, but Mogilny wasn’t hurting the team.

    At least the 06 offseason can only be better!

  8. AHLoldie says:

    I have been following hockey for a little over 56 years and I have to make a statement that will surprise and amaze everyone. I lived in Indianapolis when Gretzky was a rookie with the Racers, and saw every home game he played. I moved back to Pittsburgh and saw every home game and most of the road games that Lemieux played as a rookie. I’ve seen every game that Crosby has played as a rookie. Crosby is the best of the 3. He is by far the best, strongest and fastest skater. He is second to Lemieux in shooting, but not by much. He is a much better defensive player than the other 2. They are all good passers. Remember this…Gretzky played on a tremendous team from the start. Lemieux played on a pathetic team and made them much better. Crosby has only lately started playing on the power play, and he has been a force to be reckoned with. I offer this only as a comparison in their rookie year. He may turn out to be just another good player, but I doubt it. He is already scaring the opponents to death when he steps on the ice. As for Ovechkin; He’s a good player, but he’s a Russian, and they tend to be underachievers. If anybody has seen all three of these players in their rookie seasons, please comment.

  9. WYflyerfan says:

    Why don’t you put down that crack pipe. I can’t believe you would bring up Clarke in you comment about crosby. He didn’t say anything about crosby and all Ken said was he didn’t notice him. You sound as dumb as crosby’s coach. As for crosby that overhyped Jack A$$, it is surprising he has time to play hockey with him spending all his time complaining and flobbing all over the ice.

  10. WYflyerfan says:

    So you can do you math right why don’t you use the correct time. The cry baby crosby gets 29 seconds less.

  11. Hockey_Fan_99 says:

    Malkin > Crosby > Ovechkin

  12. bernie1parent says:

    no, crosby strikes me as the type to play for money instead of the cup and i cant back anything that i say about ovechkin b/c i havent heard an interview with him

  13. habs79 says:

    I never blamed him. I never blame the players, I always blamed the GM for overpaying. Honestly he was never worth that much money. When you see a guy getting 60 points making that much. Can you really blame the top point getters for wanting more?

  14. habs79 says:

    Yes and when a player is the “next one” it always works out. Right? How many have their been? I know Lindros and Spezza where once considered the “next one”. Yet as good as Spezza is, I still think the Thrashers did the right thing by taking Kovalchuk instead. In fact there are alot of common things when you compare Ovechkin and Crosby to the talk about Kovalchuk and Spezza. Would have really been something if Ovenchkin and Crosby where in the same draft. The main difference between the players in both situations. Spezza and Crosby need the goal scorer to put their passes into the net. Kovalchuk and Ovechkin can just put the puck in the net on their own.

  15. habs79 says:

    True, however when you see a forward get the Calder. It’s the leading scorer. So his ability to kill penalties, will in all likelyhood not count for much if anything.

  16. penswincup says:

    GET OVER IT! Crosby is the real deal. He takes out Hatcher with a legal check, Hatcher retaliates in his usual dirty way, using elbows and stick, and Crosby gets accused of diving. Just think, playing 8 games a year, you have at least 120 regular season games, plus playoffs, seeing Crosby embarrass the Flyers not only with his his talent, but with his CLASS, which is a word not used when referring to ANYTHING from Philadelphia.

  17. penswincup says:

    I might just agree-as great a Crosby looks, Malkin, only a year older at 19, is literally tearing up the Russian Super League, leading in goals and points. He is scoring at greater than a point-a-game pace, which is virtually unheard of in that league. It is almost unanimous among those watching the Superleague that Malkin is ahead of Ovechkin, and might be the best player among the two. With Crosby and Malkin, and the prospects that have WBS at 16-0-1, the future is indeed bright for the Guins.

  18. Mikeyribs says:

    Its called greed.

  19. Tweek says:

    I bring in Clarke because philly fans are whining about crosby’s whining, its irony! Clarke and Hitch complain about just as much as anybody in the league and philly fans are pissed at crosby for whining? Look at your own bloody organization!

  20. Hockey_Fan_99 says:

    O really……… the Pens vs Caps game ovechkin played 25minutes crosby got 19minutes

  21. Hockey_Fan_99 says:

    what are you smoking? Crosby is only 4 goals behind Ovechkin his goals may not be as pretty but he sure the hell can score

  22. Maximus says:

    People are making posts about which player Ovechkin or Crosby is making bigger impacts on their team.

    AGE: Advantage Ovechkin

    Crosby is only 18 years old. Ovechkin is two years older. I do not think an 18 year old had this much impact on a team since Wayne Gretzky. Those are two extra years to mature and develop. Crosby’s numbers will be unbelieable.

    Teammates: Advantage Crosby

    Sure Crosby has Lemieux, Rechi, Leclair, Palffy, but do you agree…Crosby is the best of the bunch? Crosby is the best Penguin right now. If Ovechkin was a Penguin…he too, would be the best. Lets not cut up the Washington Capitals….That is one hard working team. The collective will always defeat the individual. I also think both Ovechkin and Crosby are making their teammates better players. I think Pittsburgh’s problem is that they have more talent but they are not working hard as a team.

    Minutes: Advantage Ovechkin

    Ovechkin will get considerably more minutes this year playing for Washington. The linemates that the article mention that Crosby has will cut away at ovechkin’s time. Crosby has to share the ice time and the puck with Lemieux, et all.

    Leadership Advantage Crosby

    After the Philedelphia game, I believe Crosby has the makings of a great Captain. The Penguins were without Lemieux. Their goalie was injured in warm ups. They were playing against one of the top teams in the league. Crosby was being pounded physically. Yet, he scored the winning goal, set up another, and opened the scoring. He did this at 18. Unbelievable. I also think Ovechkin will be an unbelievable leader too. He does not complain. He wants to win. He wants the puck at critical time.

    Excitement: Advantage Ovechkin

    Great wheels and great drive. He may be already the most exciting player in the NHL. Crosby is Gretzky exciting. He make passes that are incrediable. He will score clutch goals. He is also fun to watch.

    Ovechkin and Crosby: Advantage NHL and Hockey fans. I think it is great people are getting all worked up about who is a better player. In reality, both Pittsburgh and Washington are lucky to have two great players. It reminds me of the debates people had about Lemieux and Gretzky….

  23. Viller02 says:

    “I have mentioned his name before and I will say it again, this defenseman is set to become the next best defenseman in the league. Dion Phaneuf is an amazing defenseman that comes with a complete package from A to Z as far as potential.”

    Although he will be very good, I have to disagree that hes gonna be the next best dman… The next best dman will be Joni Pitkanen for sure, hes only 22 and has 21points in 21games and +17 I think. Thats pretty god damn amazing if you ask me.

  24. Bishop7979 says:

    I’ve only gotten to see a handful of cap games, and I’ve been to all but 2 of the pens home games so its hard to make a true comparison. But from what I’ve seen skill wise Crosby is far and away the more complete player, and therefore the better player.

    Where AO is a perfect pure goal scorer with great wheels, crosby is a pure offensive force being able to do it all. He may not have the wheels that AO has, but he can skate better than 90% of the league, at 18.

    He may not have the sniping skills AO has, but have you seen some of his goals? He turned Theodore and Kolzig inside out with breakaway moves whiel sending the waterbottle 8 feet in the air. I dont remember seeing a player who could use the backhand so well come along in 10 years.

    AO may be seen as a stronger grittier player, but for his size Crosby has gone through more players to make plays, and fought through more checks ect than I ever thought possible. To question Crosby’s grit and physical play (clean physical play) is to say you havent watched many of his games. He’s knocked guys like Hal Gill on their asses to make plays, and Crosby is 5-10.

    AO is a scorer, but ontop of being able to put the puck in the net Crosby has better vison and better passing skills. I’ve seen the kid throw blind passes from his knees that have gone through defenders feet only to land on palffy’s tape infront of an open net. The kid is one of the leagues best passers right now.

    And the thing about linemates. Well first off, he has spent the last 10 games playing right wing with fellow rookie Erik Christensen and Palffy. Granted Palffy is a better talent than Zubrus, but both he and AO are on their teams top line getting top line minutes, at this point Crosby only having 45 seconds less ice time than AO on average, and now has 11 goals and 16 assists vs AO’s 15 goals and 8 assists.

    If anyone has seen Mario play night in and night out vs crosby you would see that Crosby has been the teams best player by far. Leclair is playing 3rd line duty with Pirjeta and rookie Oulette and Mario has been taking up space and pulling down the game of Recchi while playing with anouther rookie center matt Hussey. The pens, like the Caps are a young team.

    Yes they may have some good vets like Mario, Recchi Palffy Leclair and Gonchar on the team, but for the most part they havent been consistant contributors to this team night in and out. The pens right now have 10 players on their roster who are in their first or second year of NHL hockey, with the exception of Palffy and Jackman most nights it looks like its the kids who are keeping this team afloat, so to call out the teammates as a reason for crosby’s success is wrong. Its Crosby, Christensen, and Whitney along with Palffy and Jackman who are leading this team.

    And finally there is the age/development isssue. Crosby turned 18 a couple weeks before the opening of his first NHL season. AO is a 20 year old player who got the chance to play in a russian super league during a time when it was heavily populated by legit NHL players. Crosby on the other hand was thrown directly into the fire form jrs to the NHL.

    And while i think overall crosby is the better player, I also think that given the team, some teams would rather have AO and some would rather have Crosby. Teams such as Columbus and Atlanta who already have great young goals scorers would probably pick crosby to help guys like Nash and Kovalchuk set up plays. But teams such as Boston who have more all around or set up guys like zhamnov bergeron and thornton would love to have a guy like AO on their squad to help slam dunk some goals. And thats what brings me to my final point.

    Comparing these two is kinda pointless outside of the calder because they are different players. It would be like trying to compare forsberg in his prime to kovalchuk. Both are great players, but they are different players completely.

  25. Mullet says:

    Look for these players to be the most likely to be traded before the deadline:

    Ana: Sykora, Salei, Carney

    Bos: Gill, Isbister, Samsonov

    Buf: Biron,McKee,Drury


    Col:Blake, Sakic, Aebischer,Liles

    CLB: Denis, Prusek

    Dal: Guerin, Arnott, Barnes

    Edm: Conklin

    Fla:Luongo, VanRyn, Bouwmeester, Roberts, Nieuwendyk

    LA: Miller


    Min: Roloson

    NJ: Mogilny, White, Elias

    NYR: Poti, Kasparaitis, Weekes

    NYI: Jonsson

    Ott: Havlat, Smolinski

    Phi: Handzus, Esche

    Pit: Palffy

    Pho: Comrie, Mi. Johnson

    STL: Brewer, Jackman, Weight, Tkachuk

    Tb: Richards,Burke

    Tor: Allison, Berg, Klee, Antropov

    Van: Cloutier, Jovanovski, Kesler, Bertuzzi

    Was: Kolzig, Witt

  26. cecilturtle says:

    I always thought McGillis was one of the better D-men in the league. For year I wanted the Rangers to trade for this guy to play along side Leetch. I just have a feeling their games would complement eachother enough to become the best D-pairing in the league.

    Cecil Turtle

  27. Beckfan5 says:

    NYI: Jonnson.


    Yeah, maybe theyll trade LaFontaine too.

  28. Beckfan5 says:

    With that move in the shootout the other night id put: Malik > Crosby > Ovechkin.


    Thats what I thought it said at first thats why.

  29. Kraftster says:

    Wow! Very interesting perspective, one that I’m sure not many others are so lucky enough to have. Thanks for the input and unique perspective. Great to hear as a die hard Pens fan. As someone who grew up on Lemieux, I think its tough to compare them just yet, but I was very young when Lemieux broke into the league so its tough for me to make the comparison that you have.

    I think undoubtedly if people that are commenting on Ovechkin being better than Crosby had the luxury of watching him play every game, that they would change their mind in one second. Crosby has been far and away the best Penguin on the ice. I’ve been to 6 games thus far this year, and thats blatantly obvious to me. The only player I’ve seen this year that has compared in my opinion is Kovalchuk, who was so impressive to me with the puck.

  30. Mullet says:

    I meant Niinima, Don’t ask me why I put Jonsson down, sorry for the mistake!

  31. JeffBurnz09 says:

    Dallas is two points out of first in their division and looking good. The Arnott/Morrow/Guerin line has been great. All me crazy, but heading into the playoffs you may want to hold onto your better players.

    If they fall out of the race all together, they might try to move Guerin’s big contract, or possibly Barnes, but I don’t see them making any big changes. Barnes is the only person I could see being moved to make a trade to improve the team, but they’re not touching Guerin as long as they’re winning.

  32. JeffBurnz09 says:

    Ovechkin is better, at least so far. Crosby has fewer goals, but more assists. He’s also playing with Leclair, Ziggy, Mario, and Recchi. Anyone could get a few assists being on the ice with those guys and playing on the power play with those guys. The Pens have scoring power. How many of Crosby’s assists were on goals that he really set up? That were the result of what he did. And how many were someone scoring a goal on a great effort after he gave them the puck, or he gave the puck to someone who gave it to them? There are great playmakers in hockey, but assists can be meaningless.

    Ovechkin scored more goals, and has done it on a team that’s almost nobody but him. He’s not getting points from what others are doing, he’s getting points on his own.

    Crosby has looked good. He plays hard and is going to be a huge star in the future, but the fact is, so far, Ovenchkin has been better. The rookie of the year award was decided when Crosby was drafted, which is unfair.

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