The Latest Rumors, Devils on Thin Ice, Moby Wang

We’re closing in on August and you ALL know what’s going to happen in August, right? Good, because I got no clue. What’s up with these rumors that come from Canada’ mental institutions?

The Devils are on thin ice! Scotty Gomez’s arbitration hearing will add more problems to the Devils cap issues. What could Lou end up doing?

Steven Spielberg’s next happy, non-depressive movie will be another major disaster with Long Island getting hit with a huge Snow storm, and it’s all because of his new created creature called….. Moby Wang. Only hybrid engine battleships will stop this creature.So, what’s going to happen in August? TRADE RUMORS! Yay! Aren’t you people excited? We’ll get to hear TheFan670 WXKRGHTRAVEPUBDOCPOXK from Aberdeen, Saskatchewan….. a big city with an amazing population of around 535 human beings (at least, we think…..they….are?) report trade rumors such as Tom Glavine signing with the Senators. The former hockey player wants to play again after such a long baseball career.

Anyway, the free agent season has cooled down a lot and now journalists, after facing a huge tragedy of 200,000 deaths ever since the trade deadline passed; no trade rumors to report caused great suffering, will revive the trade rumors.

So now we got Gomez going around places. The Quebec media insists that Simon Gagne must play for Montreal. Toronto is now looking to worsen the Blackhawks team by reporting a trade rumor that will send a bunch of whos in return for a bunch of whats. Rangers fans went cocoa for cocoa puffs (I used to eat those, pretty good), with free agents and with the latest addition of Adam Hall, all the sudden Petr Prucha is expandable.

Next thing we know, Nikolai Zherdev will become a Maple Leaf because Leafs fans think so and it will be once again a package involving Nik Antropov.

But, seriously speaking, the month of August will be interesting as arbitatrion hearings come to conclusion, teams figure out their payroll, and it’s really the second half of the off-season. Also, late August and September bring training camps and pre-season games where trades will be inevitable.

The Devils will be facing some issues. Their current salary commitments for this upcoming season total to abour $43M for 18 players. You figure Gomez will go for around the $5.5M margin, which puts the payroll way up to around $49M. Then, do not forget Brian Gionta will also be re-signed, which will push the payroll above $50M.

So, what are Lou Lamoriello’s best options? I think the Devils will always be a solid defensive team even with 2nd tier defensemen and a bunch of depth defensemen. Lamoriello knows the club has little depth on offense, and losing Gomez will be a huge blow.

That could give Lamoriello the option of diminishing the defense to keep Gomez. So yes, Brian Rafalski would be the guy to trade at this point. I’m estimating $52M payroll with both Gomez and Gionta re-signed, and subtracting $4.2M from that (Rafalski’s salary), does not help much, but it’s a start nonetheless. So now we’re down to approximately $48M.

Who is next? To me, this guy is overpaid. Johnny Madden is a great checking line center, but at about $3.9M, he is not a one of a kind checking line center. Teams are looking for depth down the middle and there will be takers to get Madden. Who are buyers with cap space? Blues, Caps (***especially after losing Halpern***), Kings, Flames would give a look, Yotes. Devils need to beef up their farm system and taking young talent in is much needed. So, the payroll would drop to basically $44M. Yes, Madden is a bad loss but give a shot at Parise and maybe, a big bold maybe actually, Travis Zajac may be able to help out as well.

The Devils could then dump a useless player like Jason Wiemer and they would be under the cap. Complicated? Yes. But, they keep their offensive weapons and could still keep a solid inexpensive defense.

The easier way would be to trade Scotty Gomez. If I were Lou Lamoriello, I’d try to make it a three-way deal. You don’t want to be in a position where you have to dump Scotty Gomez’s salary and it gives the GM acquiring him so much control in negotiations. Get two GMs involved in this deal where no party will have so much more power over the other. Plus, it could give Lamoriello the ability to trade more than just Gomez, maybe even Paul Martin, and he acquires value from two teams.

Now, I don’t know how much more the Coyotes are willing to spend, especially with Ladislav Nagy unsigned. Gomez would be a brilliant addition for them, but do they have enough to trade? I don’t believe GM Barnett is such a smart fellow, and I could see the guy making a blockbuster deal where Gomez and Martin go to Phoenix, and a forward and Keith Ballard go to New Jersey. Ballard should be untouchable. But, then again…it’s Barnett.

The Oilers are also said to be in the hunt. If they want to make some splashy splashy in the off-season, Gomez would be the guy to get, a much needed center, but at what expense? Raffi Torres? Ehhh, tough to guess, but my best guess would be Lamoriello wanting Robbie Schremp. That would be an interesting scenario, Gomez to Edmonton.

‘Hawks GM Tallon wants to win, and he wants to win NOW! Except to me…that NOW is more like in a few years. Out of desperation, the guy traded to get Havlat and ridiculously locked him up for $6M/y for three seasons. Traded Mark Bell away and may want to get rid of Calder, which should interest the Devils.

In the end, no one will know where Gomez will end up, if he ever gets traded in the first place. While there are rumored teams, I say the team that is least expected to get Gomez ends up acquiring him. I say the Washington Capitals will end up acquiring him. Gomez and Ovechkin? Like…d’uh?

I was so ready to make a title of Eddie the Pantheagle, but apparently that may no longer happen, even though GM Mike Keenan said he is still negotiating. While the Red Wings are still looking for a goalie, it is possible they will have one by next week. Now, Martin Biron is the best one to get, and I agree. I’ve always been a Biron fan; however, the Red Wings gave me to what I interpreted as a hint that they pretty much want a one-year goalie, a gap filler. After all, their first attemp of acquiring a goalie was one-year deal Eddie Belfour. It would be time for the Wings to give Stefan Liv and Jimmy Howard a chance to spin the wheels in Motor City. Some goalies were mentioned, including Kevin Weekes of the New York Rangers.

Good idea/bad idea? I say bad idea. Rangers goaltending is no sure thing yet. Lundqvist had a fine rookie year and he shined a lot like a franchise goalie, but it was just one season. Weekes is definitely not a back-up goalie, he gets way out of shape after not playing a stretch of games. Although that would be the logical reason for the Rangers to trade him, you have to ask….what if Lundqvist has sophomore jinx? What if he can’t play as well? What if he gets injured for a long stretch of games?

This is a well built Rangers team. They changed the aspects of it by injecting more North American blood and some good grit with Hall, Shanahan, and Ward. It’s a team that could be tough to beat in the playoffs, and may surprise. Hey, how many people bet Oilers playing Game 7 of the Finals? So, you have to ask yourself…would it be in the Rangers best interest to have two starting goalies? I’d say yes. I know it will be frustrating for Weekes, but if he will be truly needed for a number of games, especially in the playoffs, then he is worth to keep. And don’t forget this, back-up goalies in this year’s playoffs kicked ass.

Moby Wang

Now, that’s not to be confused with a white ugly blow fish, like Bruce Garrioch. Moby Wang is a new breed coming off the coast of China. It’s yellow, it has evil eyes…, and it’s made in China, for just 55 cents; contsructed by 12 year old kids getting paid 8 cents an hour……… Charlie Wang himself, who comes from Mongolian descent, which is not to be confused with mongoloid…like Al Strachan.

I really scratched my head when I saw Neil Smith getting fired. I mean, what is going on here!? Isle’s fans should be rioting outside Nussau. I am a rival of the Isle’s and of course I detest them, but I respect Islanders Hockey. They have a history, they have a culture, they have traditions and great legendary players. After so many years of being out of the playoffs and becoming such a disrespected team, the Isle’s made short lasting progress with the three years they made the playoffs.

I gave two thumbs up to the hiring of Neil Smith and Ted Nolan, foreseeing that Neil smith would have established the Islanders new era by acquiring a big name player.

Yet this…somewhat human being little person managed to embarass the organization, made it the laughing stock of the league where even Flames GM Darryl Sutter made fun of them. He just brought back disrespect for the Islanders. I’m wondering how Brendan Witt will last on that team. What a disgrace. You know, I think I should be laughing at the Islanders and going “ha ha” at Isle’s fans, since I am a Rangers fan, but this is just such a disgrace. I am a hockey fan first and this is outright pathetic. I’d start boycotting if I were an Isle’s fan.

And you know, it’s not so much about Garth Snow either. We don’t know what he can do. Who knows, he may be a good general manager, so it’s nothing against him. I just think the gesture performed by Moby Wang is just so disgraceful. Pat LaFontaine didn’t deal with it, he resigned. If I were Bryan Trottier I’d badmouth Wang; calling him an embarrassment to Islanders Hockey. This is just horrid. Good God, forget about buying the Penguins. Someone, please, buy the Islanders away from this disgraceful creature.

I wish GM Garth Snow the best of luck, and especially Ted Nolan. I mean, poor guy finally gets a chance back in the NHL and he ends up being part of a pathetic owner. I wish them the best of luck, but on the other hand I wish the very worse to Wang where everything to blame for gets pointed in his direction. I feel bad for Mad Mike (Milbury) that he had to deal with this sorry pathetic excuse of a human being. Well, he looks like one, but from now on he is Moby Wang.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Micki Peroni