Where will Kovalev go? Palffy on the move? Which GM will fish Nolan out of the t

This Kovalev story is becoming an unsolved mystery. Who will be the one in guilt to steal Kovalev?

Where will Palffy Zig-Zag?

Where will the Great White Shark go?

Rumors from the Rangers is that they might clear up their roster if they fail to make the playoffs. My take on that.When Craig Patrick wants to trade his top players, he appears to be a kid writing a Christmas wishlist letter to Santa Claus. ‘I want this, that, those, and these.”

Apparently, sources mention that Craig Patrick requested Lundmark and Blackburn from the Rangers, and Zetterburg and Fischer from the Red Wings.

Now, Patrick will not get anywhere with those kinds of requests. I know he has to get the best deal, but this way of doing business makes other teams lose interest in negotiating with Patrick.

But anyway, let’s talk about the former Stanley Cup Champion. I like Alexei Kovalev, I actually hated Neil Smith trading him away for Nedved. Rangers needed a center, but Neil Smith could have gotten more than Nedved for a younger precious talented Russian player. However, Kovalev’s game changed during his stay as a Penguin, he turned out to be a great offensive player, but weak defensively. As said by the ABC commentators, Kovalev loves to play for the Penguins since they let him play his style. To me, that is a weak move by the coach and that is a way of spoiling a super star. Once Kovalev joins the real world out there, he would have to adjust to what most teams play…a defensive style game as well. Even back checking is required nowadays. Heck, if Bure can do it, I think anyone with speed can.

A team that will land Kovalev, will get a sharp scorer, good power play upgrade, and adds depth….especially if put on the 2nd line. Obviously, the risks are the turnovers from his stick handling from his end of the ice up on the opponent’s blueline.

What is he worth? Depends what the team has.

Forget the Avalanche. They are in need of a center, especially when trading Drury AND Yelle. With the loss of Sakic, acquiring Kovalev is out of hte question. Also, Patrick would obviously ask for Skoula, and the Avalanche are in no shape or form to lose ANOTHER defenseman. They already needed a defenseman when Morris was healthy. Also, inexperience behind the bench might not handle a player like Kovalev. Lecroix is autodestructing the Avalanche. You CANNOT have two inexperienced coaches (one the Head the other Assistant) coaching a veteran team.

New York Rangers, I see them as a long shot since the business relationship between Sather and Patrick is not going all too well. Sather didn;t want to give up too much for Jagr, and same with Kovalev. Give me a break, Lundmark AND Blackburn? It is a long shot. But, will the media blame the Rangers just as they did with the Jagr saga if they “miss out” on Kovalev? Oh that’s right, they won’t make up their mind, they’d blame them both ways.

Toronto Maple Leafs are an interesting team. They have the right “stuff” and Pat Quinn has the right idea. His team isn’t in such need of Kovalev at such a high trade value price. Actually, Quinn may acquire a top scorer elsewhere, if he is on the block for real. Quinn is NOT a bad GM. No stats prove that. Key stats for a GM: Playoffs. He has made the playoffs enough times to call him a good GM. Also, a good coach!

Anyway, my opinion is that the media is looking too much at the playoff contenders. I think any team that CAN afford him financially would make bids.

Remember when I was discussing about Quinn and his hunt for another scorer? How about Ziggy Palffy? Trade value is MUCH lower than Kovalev’s, however…he is more expen$ive. Quinn can let the media insist on Kovalev to Toronto rumors while eh works on another deal. Big question is, “IS Ziggy Palffy available?” I think he would be depending on L.A’s chances of sticking in the playoff hunt. Hey, you never know!

Owen Nolan, the Great White Shark, might be on the block. The Sharks might as well part with Nolan. Who says Mike Ricci can’t be their next captain! Nolan is the kind of player that would fit like a velvet glove on a team like the Flyers. Just imagine Nolan giving a dirty elbow wearing a Flyer uniform. Fits right, doesn’t it? The price tag on him could be quite too high, though. Obviously the first name to pop up is Simon Gagne. With Handzus down, things could change. The Philly-Inquirer had a pretty exciting article today:

http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/sports/hockey/nhl/philadelphia_flyers/5038265.htm

Hitchcock and Gagne not on the same page. Just a small detail to point out. In my opinion, this is the THE BEST SEASON FOR AN EASTERN CONFERENCE TEAM TO WIN THE CUP. Colorado is weak, Kings are falling out, Sharks might not even make it, Blues could be tough, but very beatable, Detroit is beatable and same with the Canucks. The best season for the East to win the Cup. I say GM Clarke must take a chance at this, acquire Nolan even if it means giving up Gagne, and make sure that his team is playoff compatible. They also need a quarterback defenseman on the point.

And that brings me to…

Once again, and I will lose count soon, the Rangers might miss the playoffs. The only positive out of this season so far is Dunham, Holik and Barnaby, and the fact that their minor league system has depth; even better next season. They can still make the playoffs. Montreal lost Hackett, Islanders lost key players, Hurricanes are fading away and trying to pull the Panthers as well. Pittsburgh is a 2 cylinder engine (without Lemieux) running at maximum rpms. This is the best chance for the Rangers to take advantage of. So, chances are still alive. Not bad seeing a $45 million dollar team on the ice for a lengthy part of the season.

If the Rangers don’t make the playoffs, it is rumored, and believed, that the Rangers will (THANK GOD) finally dismantle their team. Rangers have trade bait, and defensemen are their strength for trade bait. Weird eh? Mironov could be traded, as well as Malakhov. Flyers, Red Wings, Avalanche, or Maple Leafs could very well use a defenseman like Malakhov. Brian Leetch could be gone as well. COuld be a big change for the Rangers, and I am all for it!!! I would rather see the Rangers with a younger team from their organization and a lower payroll. But, the rich fans and Hockey Ignorant Jim Dolan will mostlikely NOT accept that.

Anyway, that’s all.


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