Teams looking to upgrade for the playoffs should look to Carolina

Carolina potential available players: O’Neil, Hill, Boughner, Wesley, Irbe, Brind’Amour, Francis, Hedican.With the Hurricanes obviously going to miss the playoffs this season, and having a good bunch of talented guys who are veterans making money, Carolina will be busy from now until the March trade dead-line looking to unload salary and bring in youth (or for some cases just draft picks will probably do).

Forwards:

-The forward who has been getting a lot of attention is Jeff O’Neil who is having one of his worst seasons at 11 goals, 18 assists for 29 pts in 58 games. Contending teams looking to add a tough guy who can put the puck in the net should keep an eye on him.

-Rod Brind’Amour hasn’t been mentioned in any rumors as far as i know but at age 34, the veteran centre would be a valuable trade commodity.

-Finally Ron Francis has been mentioned in the news apparently if he agree’s to be traded. He only has 7 goals this year, but would bring in veterenship.

Defense:

-Glen Wesley is a solid 3rd Defensman good for any playoff team needing some depth on defense (which is most teams)

– Sean Hill has also been mentioned, and with 7 goals and 24 points this season (on the lowest scoring team in the league) he could prove to be very valuable to a contending team.

-Bob Boughner has been much talked about and is a reliable, hard-hitting guy on the blue line.

-Bret Hedican hasn’t been mentioned in any trade rumors as far as I know, but at age 34 you can’t count him out as the Hurricanes are looking to decrease their salary and pick up quality young players.

Goaltender:

-Arturs Irbe has been called up. Although it apparently wasn’t to showcase him for a trade, many assume it was.

So Here is where I project they could end up:

All of them in Toronto….

Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way:

O’Neil – Vancouver and Detroit were both linked to Alexei Zhamnov, now that he’s off the market, why not look at Jeff O’Neil. I realize he’s a different kind of player, but he still add’s another strong Centre to the line-up. I think the Canucks should persue him as a depth move to keep up with Colorodo, and Detroit as one of the contenders in the West.

Brind’Amour – Although there is a chance he could stay right where he is, he could easily move also. If the Dallas stars are looking for an offensive tough guy, He looks like a good fit there, although they have quite enough centres, Arnott is apparently on the way out and could be dealt for a winger, O’Neil takes Arnott’s spot in the middle, and Arnott’s replacement plays the wing. Or Stu Barnes can play wing if he needs to.

Francis – Because he isn’t really producing this year, he doesn’t offer much in the way of offense. But brings a lot of veteran leadership. I think the Calgary flames should add him as a 2nd/3rd line guy, if they only need to trade a draft pick or mediocre prospect to get him. He would be good in Calgary and fit right in as Conroy along with others have been struggling offensively for the Flames. He would have fun, and have a chance to play a playoff series or two. (or 3 or 4, who knows?) and would be a guy who young players on Calgary could learn from, Calgary is overall a very young team.

Wesley – The Toronto Maple Leafs. He played a tough 7 game series for the Buds last year, and was close to signing with Toronto in the off-season. Ferguson Jr. is obviously looking to upgrade the Defense and Glen Wesley would be a welcome addition.

Hill – Buffalo Sabres. Their offense is clicking lately, and they could use a solid guy like Hill on the blue-line. He would fit in with Buffalo and help their special teams. (A deal bringing Hill to Buffalo depends on Buffalo’s performance from now until March 9th, as well as the performance of Montreal and Long Island.)

Boughner – Lots of teams could be interested in him, and if St.Louis picks it up a bit and are looking okay by the deadline, I think he would help take some of the load off Pronger. If St.Louis falls a bit and is not a buyer Boughner could end up pretty much anywhere as everyone is looking for a solid defesman and I don’t think Carolina expects much for him.

Hedican – Don’t know that he is going anywhere, but maybe Toronto or Nashville would want a mobile defensman like him. Other than that, see my post St.Louis Boughner comments.

Irbe – New York Rangers are the team reportedly interested. Sounds okay to me. However, if Colorodo is looking for a back-up upgrade, it probably wouldn’t take much at all to get the 2.5 million dollar goalie off Rutherfords hands, and would be a decent back-up in Denver.

So that’s it, my Carolina available players guide. Hope you liked it.


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