What All NHL Teams Need to Do After the Olympics
Here are some suggestions on all 30 teams on what they need to do after the olympic break and before the trade deadline.What teams need to do after Olympic break….
These are only opinions, and I would like to be corrected if I am missing anything.
Anaheim Mighty Ducks:
Paul Karyia needs to go, for the Ducks’ benefit as well as the recipient. They need something to build around, and Karyia won’t be there for the long-term future of the team. They clearly aren’t going anywhere now, and need to rebuild. Karyia and Oleg Tverdovsky can be sent out for some picks/prospects to get the ducks going. Steve Shields is also unneeded there with a much younger Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Jeff Freisen can probably be shopped as well. This team is going nowhere now, and is going to continue to nowhere if they continue this way.
Danny Heatly and Ilja Kovalchuk are the future of the franchise. They will get one or two more low low picks before the highly talented rookies pick them up from the basement. The key will be having this small market team keep these kids in Atlanta, and keeping the Russian kid motivated. He is one of the most talented players I have ever seen, but so far he suffers from what I call Sergei Federov disease: an super-talented player that has made his name and thus made his money and no longer plays up to his potential. A young, promising goalie could help the Thrashers (maybe one of their next picks).
This team needs an offensive defensemen badly. Almost as bad as they need to re-sign Byron Dafoe and Bill Guerin, as these two are what makes Boston a Stanley Cup contender. Their offensive depth in Guerin, Joe Thorton, Sergei Samsonov, Brian Rolston, Martin Lapointe, Glen Murray, and Josef Stumpel could all be top six forwards on any club (oh, yea and there are 7+ of them). If they can get Tom Poti from the Edmonton Oilers, I think they could contend with powerhouses like the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers. The real problem is that their 3 top defenseman are all physical stay at home guys (Hal Gill, Kyle McLaren, Sean O’Donnell). Maybe a Mclaren and a low pick for Poti would work?
First of all, this team is in dire straits. The only real assets they had are now gone, and they have nothing to show for it. The Mike Peca deal was ok, but it left them with a gaping hole in their franchise. Dominik Hasek was THROWN away. Vyacheslav Kozlov isn’t the answer to the Sabres’ offensive problems. Maxim Afinogenov and Miroslav Satan are coming along, and are ok, but they need an offensive superstar to carry the load. If they offer Alexei Zhitnik to a contender, who is an excellent, yet underrated defensemen, they might be able to make a deal that can correct their talented forward deficiency. Richard Smehlik will probably leave, and they could get something from Detroit in return for him. Alexei Zhitnik and Chris Gratton to the Sharks for Teemu Selanne maybe, as the Sharks could use another center. Gratton supposedly wants out as well, playing on the 4th line.
Sign Jarome Iginla to a contract extension ASAP. This guy is the type of guy a team like New York would steal from them. Mike Vernon needs to go, but I will personally slap any GM who takes this guy voluntarily. He makes $2 million a year and can barely finish a game. Nobody is going to re-sign this guy, and it’s time to retire after he sucks this last $2 million out of the small market Calgary team. Giving Roman Turek his money was a good idea, but it was too early and things just went downhill from there.
Thank God they get a free playoff ticket because there is no decent team in their division. They have an average team, and only made it more average by dealing “Ozo” (Sandis Ozolinsh) to the Florida Panthers. I think they could have dealt him to Boston and lured out Bill Guerin, making them an above average team. Ozo would have helped Boston who lacks a true offensive defensemen. Needs: someone to not make them average.
DO NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Signing Tony Amonte would be great, but dealing him would screw up their season. It’s a shame the owner in Chicago is such a jacka$$, but they can’t touch what they have going for them. Alexei Zhamnov has shown his true form, and Eric Daze has bloomed. They just need to hang on to Tony Amonte as long as possible.
These guys are good, and they know what they are doing and know what to do with their money. They need another forward to go somewhere in the playoffs, but they won’t make a playoff rental. They will invest in something like “Vinnie” (Vincent Lecavalier) from the Tampa Bay Lightning and reap the benefits down the road. Chris Drury is a gem, a true playoff guy, and he won’t leave Colorado anytime soon. The only problem I see for the Avs is when Patrick Roy calls it quits, as that is going to be an ugly situation.
Columbus Blue Jackets:
Not much they can do, they suck and they always will suck. Maybe try to switch to the MLB (their players would be just as successful there) and get contracted. They are a small market team that is never going to improve. No offense to Columbus fans, if there are any, but teams like this are a drain on the NHL. Columbus and Nashville should be kicked out of the league. Neither seems to have any knowledge of the game, and will never spend any money in free agency. All teams like this do is spread the talent in NHL thinner around the league.
Hire a real coach; there are a few good candidates out there. I agree with firing Hitch***** (Ken Hitchcock), he was a problem, but not having a real coach is a bigger problem. Wait for the free agency period and spend some of their money on a scoring winger. Shopping goalie Eddie Belfour would be a great idea; there are too many teams that are better then Dallas for them to make a run at the Stanley Cup now. The playoffs would be a valuable experience for Marty Turco, and maybe look to try to win it one or two years down the road after restocking in free agency/draft.
Detroit Red Wings:
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I really think Detroit should stay how it is. “Kaspar” (Pittsburgh Penguin Darius Kasparitus) is too expensive and wants to play on Long Island (New York Islanders). The wings can win the Cup as it is, and no real changes are needed to Scotty Bowman’s well-oiled machine. Letting go of Domonik Hasek after this year is a good idea, and then making a move on either Ed Belfour or Curtis Joseph in free agency. Manny Legace can be like Chris Osgood was for them a few years ago: A decent goalie that you can win the Cup with, but doesn’t win it for you. Or they could save their money and re-sign Sergei Federov who will be unrestricted at the end of next year.
Tom Poti needs to go, and the brass in Edmonton knows what they are doing. They constantly turn higher priced talent into young, cheap talent through trades. Bill Guerin for Anson Carter and Roman Hamarlik for Eric Brewer are two fine examples. They will ride players like Ryan Smith, Anson Cater and Mike Comrie till they become too expensive to hold on to. Tommy Salo really embarrassed himself the other day at the Olympics, but he is a number one goalie regardless. The Oilers will do exactly the same with him, and deal him when he becomes too expensive. The Oilers will always be a decent team because they have their priorities strait, and even with a low budget like theirs it sets them above the rest of the small market teams.
Rumors in Detroit go that Sergei Federov wants to move down there to watch Anna “Pornikova” or whatever her name is. Sergei is absolutely obsessed with her, and will follow her into the hell known as Mike Keenan and his sub-par Panthers. The cause of this is of course Pavel Bure, the other rich Russian hockey superstar that Anna has been screwing around with. Sergei might pull an Eric Lindros next season when he is going to be a free agent to be, and say he won’t sign with any team but the Panthers. Other then that, the Panthers don’t have a whole lot of talent to make deals with. Free agency is going to be the only ticket, and Mike Keenan is going to want Bill Guerin.
Los Angeles Kings:
They used up their blockbuster deal already this year in Jason Allison. Along with Ziggy Palffy, and Adam Deadmarsh, they have a decent scoring punch. Felix the “Cat” is going to have to be the key. If he gets hot, they can go to the second, maybe third round. If he is not the Felix Potvin we saw last year the Kings don’t have enough to carry themselves. Dealing Jamie Storr would be a good idea for a decent forward. The Toronto Maple Leafs have a ton of sub-par forwards, and they could use a good backup as well as a safety net if they can’t sign “Cujo” (Curtis Joseph).
The Wild have a good set up in Minnesota. They sell out almost every game, even though they have a small budget this year. They key will be to spend some money in free agency and turn this team into a contender. Marian Gaborik is part of their future, and they need to keep him there, as well as happy and motivated. Minnesota isn’t ready yet, but they have the potential to turn into a large market franchise.
The glory days of Patrick Roy are behind them now, and they need to get moving into the future. They have more than a solid goalie in Jose Theodore and more than a good backup in Jeff Hackett. Saku Koivu and Donald Audette make them a decent team, but I keep hearing rumors of Paul Karyia being traded to Montreal. This would revive a dying hockey franchise, and if they add another top three defensemen they could become a legitimate contender. Oleg Tverdovsky could be the answer, as part of a deal for Karyia. Dealing Jeff Hackett for some depth would help them, but Jeff is in the between stage of #1 goalie and backup. Toronto seams to be the only team that really needs one of these, maybe Dallas could use him if Marty Turco gets into trouble after Belfour leaves.
Read Columbus above. This team has done only one thing right in getting Mike Dunham, but they are not a hockey city and will never be a big market franchise. Teams like this are a drain on the NHL.
New Jersey Devils:
Another smart hockey franchise led by penny pincher Lou Lamoriello. Bobby Holik is going to leave in free agency, as it isn’t Lou’s style to make that sort of trade. Don’t kid yourselves about Teemu Selanne, as long as Lamoriello is there Teemu won’t be. Lou is as cheap as they come, and he isn’t going to pay Selanne the $7 or $8 mil a year he is going to want. He will wait for next year’s draft to find another offensive gem, sign someone from Europe, or maybe make a trade for a low priced winger.
New York Islanders:
They spent some money, and thus they became a must better team. Unless you’re the Oilers or New Jersey, you’re not going to be good without money. Chris Osgood is a goalie that keeps the team in contention, and doesn’t win it for you. They need to get Teemu Selanne, Tony Amonte or “Kaspar” (Darius Kasparitus) to push them into being a contender. Brad Isbister can go, and with their past goalie deals I won’t be surprised if Rick DiPietro is dealt in one of them.
New York Rangers:
It’s time to lose Mark Messier, the guy has had it. Let him have his surgery, and let him finally retire. Lundmark in their farm system would be a bigger contributor then Messier at this point. Thereon Fleury ( I think this guy is a clown and makes our league look stupid) is a New York type overpaid player, and they will probably pick up the option on his contract. Keeping Eric Lindros and Mike Richter healthy will be the key, and if they are they might get to the conference finals.
This is a team that will probably do nothing at the deadline. They have strong offensive and defensive depth. Patrick Laliame is solid #1 goalie, and they may finally make a move in the East if he is hot.
Philly looks to be the strongest competitor for the Wings right now. They have two cup capable goalies in Roman Chechmanek and Brian Boucher. Jeremy Roenick, Jiri Dopita, and Keith Primeau are as strong as they come down the middle. John LeClair, Mark Recchi and Simon Gagne are three of the best wingers in the league. They have a great set of blueliners, mostly big, defensive-minded ones. That is probably Philly’s downfall: their football team frame of mind. Anybody that disagrees with me on this can look at their latest deal with Jan Hlavac.
Wayne Greztky’s franchise has a promising future, and they are riding Sean Burke for now. Bringing in Brian Savage was a good idea, and this team will begin to take off in a few years. This is a perfect example of a smaller market team can become a good franchise. Nashville, Anaheim, and Columbus pay attention: this is how you build a strong franchise in the NHL.
This team is going downhill fast, sorry to say. Mario Lemiuex is wearing out his welcome: he is just too old and fragile. “Kaspar” (Darius Kaspiritus) and Robert Lang going to leave after this year. Lang will pull a Martin Lapointe type deal, and sign a big contract with a rich team. Kaspar will most likely do the same or be a playoff rental for a contender. It’s now time to be like the Edmonton Oilers and deal these two for younger replicas of themselves for a cheaper price. Johan Hedberg will be their goalie for seasons to come, but eventually they need to do the same with him, along with Alexei Kovalev. Going to arbitration every year with these guys isn’t the answer.
San Jose Sharks:
Another smart team that has made themselves a large market team in the NHL by spending some money and establishing themselves. Teemu Selanne for Bobby Holik would make them a strong playoff contender. Selanne isn’t the answer in San Jose, and Scott Gomez needs a guy to pass to. Lou Lamoriello decided not to pay Alexander Mogilny, now it is time to bite the bullet to keep his team in contention.
St. Louis Blues:
This team needs a goalie badly. What about Ed Belfour? He could probably come pretty cheap if they throw in Freddy Brathwaite for the stopper if Marty Turco gets into trouble. This is the year for the Blues to make a smaller run at the Cup, as Al MacInnis’ time as an elite defensemen is running out.
Tampa Bay Lightning:
Trade Vincent Lecavalier before he loses all value. He isn’t improving in Tampa Bay, and his trade value decreases with every game he doesn’t produce in. Trade him to someone that will help this franchise in the future. Lecavalier should be a franchise player, but he isn’t going to be it in Tampa. Kevin Weekes should also be moved to add other young talent or picks.
Toronto Maple Leafs:
Toronto isn’t going to make any big moves anytime soon. They are going to stay as it as, and all this bulls%#@ about getting Paul Karyia, Tony Amonte, Bobby Holik, Teemu Selanne, Bill Guerin and Ed Belfour for Nik Antropov and all that, nothing like that will happen. One problem of this organization is that Pat Quinn is neither good enough to be a head coach or a General Manager in the NHL, yet he is both (With some of the trade rumors I see, I doubt the leafs fans know what I am saying here, but basically it’s not good thing).
This team should have traded for Chris Osgood before he was given away to the first team that could take him. Osgood is #1 goalie in the NHL, and the Canucks lack one of these. They could have gotten him for a 5th round pick or something. Peter Skudra and Dan Cloutier are not legit #1 goalies, and the Canucks could be a playoff lock with a real goalie. What about Jeff Hackett?
They need to just wait their injuries out, and get going for next year. Spend the money on a free agent this off-season, and this team could be a favourite for next year. Jeff Halpern, Steve Konowalchuck, and Calle Johansson are a big part of this team, and when they get them all back this is a very good hockey team. Firing Ron Wilson and getting a real coach would be a good idea, finding the right guy to motivate superstars Jaromir Jagr and Peter Bondra at the same time is key.