Some Predictions as to What we'll be talking about in March
The 2005-06 season will be very interesting, and after seeing a few games, here’s what I think we’ll be looking at in March at the deadline1. Philadelphia
7. New Jersey
10. New York
11. Long Island
12. Tampa Bay
2. San Jose
10. Los Angeles
15. St Louis
The standings will change a bit from then to the playoffs, but that’s the basic playoff picture. Toronto is the only team I can really see being too much different from where I put them. All things considered they could be anywhere from winning the cup to winning Phil Kessel.
Who will be available at the trading deadline?
The only team that can’t afford to literally pick up any player they want is Detroit, but right now, because there are only 2 pay checks after the deadline, that’s 2/13 of any salary, the highest payed player is 7.8, and 1.2 would get counted against your cap, every team except Detroit can afford to pay that, and even a paycheck before the deadline still all other teams could afford.
Los Angeles Kings Centre Jeremy Roenick
-Roenick will be available for sure, the Kings won’t be in a playoff position, and he’s a UFA at the end of the season any ways, might as well get a pick or something for him. Expect Ottawa, Toronto, and Philadelphia to be in the running. Philadelphia would want him back cuz Clarkey loves the guy, Ottawa would love him because he’s got alot of skill, and aside from Heatley they got no one with any grit, not to mention he’s a centre, which they don’t have alot of. Smolinski really is a 3rd liner, and they should just hope Spezza can score alot of points this year. Toronto would want him because JFJ loves north Americans, and would love to burn the Flyers with the guy they threw away for Forsberg.
-Chicago Black Hawks Left Wing Eric Daze
The Black Hawks are tired of his injury woes, who is a minus two early in this season. I can see Montreal being interested in him. Gainey knows the importance of French Canadians in this city, and would love to add a skilled player with a scoring touch. Florida may be able to use a winger if Roberts goes down.
-Detroit Red Wings Left Wing Brendan Shanahan
A Similar situation to Roenick here, if the Wings fail to meet my expectations, then I can see Shanahan traded so they can at least get a pick or something for him, and maybe re-sign him in the summer.
-Washington Capitals Goalie Olaf Kolzig
The Capitals really are rebuilding, and he’s a UFA at the end of the season. I can’t see why the Capitals would spend the money to keep him if they’re out of it by March.
-St Louis Blues Centre Doug Weight
Dougie Weight I beieve is a UFA at the end of the season, and has done almost nothing for the Blues since he got there. Often the joke is made about the Blues “dead Weight” which got louder when Keith Tkachuck was suspended by the team because he was over weight. I think he’ll go to a team with plenty of cap space and looking to go deep in the playoffs. The Oilers seem like a great situation, they still love him there, they don’t have much depth at centre, and really, can you imagine him with Smyth and Dvorak? I could see them making a second or maybe even third round appearance if they could get him or a bigger name, depending on who they face.
-St Louis Blues Left Wing Keith Tkachuck
I think the situation for him is very similar to Doug Weight. I can see him in Calgary, they need to load up on the Wings, Amonte is good, and Iginla is a star, but two wingers can’t do it alone. Imagine Weight vs Tkachuck, former line mates, and team USA team mates facing off in the battle of Alberta? Weight and Smyth, vs Iginla and Tkachuck. I’d still have to pick Calgary in that battle though.
Just a sample of what we may be talking about six and a half months ago.