Where Will They End Up? Players From Teams A-M Edition.

After having a look at the deadline from a team-based point of view in the Buyers and Sellers articles, I’ve decided to look at it now from the players perspectives and determine where I think some of the big name players may be playing after Deadline Day this (March 10th Australia time) March 9th.

KEITH CARNEY

Profile: Stay at home defenseman

Currently: Ducks

Post-Deadline: Ducks

My Pick: Ducks

The Ducks have openly said they will not trade away their core players ala Kariya in the offseason. Carney is indeed one of those, being the central defensive asset for the struggling Ducks. He will be well sought after but staying put.

BYRON DAFOE

Profile: Goaltender

Currently: Thrashers

Post-Deadline: Thrashers, Maple Leafs or Avalanche

My Pick: Avalanche (if he’s uninjured)

There was a time when Dafoe’s play was so poor he had no market value at all. Nowadays he may have some but for his back injury. If the injury is still bad at the deadline, he’ll remain a Thrasher, otherwise, expect teams such as the Leafs and Avs to be making inquiries as a cheaper backup alternative than Olaf Kolzig.

ALEXEI ZHITNIK

Profile: All-around defenseman

Currently: Sabres

Post-Deadline: Maple Leafs, Avalanche, Blues, Flyers or Predators.

My Pick: Avalanche if price on Gonchar is too high, otherwise Blues or Sabres.

Expect someone to bite at Zhitnik, however also expect for the Western Conference teams such as the Preds, Blues and Avs to have priority. Zhitnik would be a good pickup, and depending on injuries, may suit the Flyers. The Leafs on the other hand may look at some others (notably Gonchar and Smith) before considering Zhitnik. I doubt he’s still a Sabre in mid-March.

MIROSLAV SATAN

Profile: Sniper wing

Currently: Sabres

Post-Deadline: Sabres, Devils or Redwings.

My Pick: Sabres

Miroslav Satan has the capacity to be one of the big name acquisitions come deadline day. With the Sabres now out of contention, they may trade some of their bigger, more expensive players, such as Satan. The Devils, in need of some scoring, may go after a goal scorer such as Satan, but right now their more pressing needs which are a faceoff man and filling in D may take priority. The Redwings may not make any more moves now that they have Lang and he’s slotted straight in (3A vs Flyers in his first game) but Holland has said he may not be done yet, now that’s scary news.

DENNIS GAUTHIER

Profile: Tough defenseman

Currently: Flames

Post-Deadline: Flames, Rangers, Devils, Maple Leafs, Blues and Predators

My Pick: Flames

The only way I see Gauthier being moved is if the Flames have packaged him in a deal to further improve their chances. The Flames have a fairly solid D, which may make Gauthier expendable, and teams such as the Devils and Leafs who have obvious holes in their D right now, or the Preds who want more depth at D may make a run at him.

JEFF O’NEILL

Profile: Goal scoring power forward

Currently: Hurricanes

Post-Deadline: Avalanche, Flyers, Canucks, Blues, Kings, Canadiens or Devils.

My Pick: Canucks

O’Neill may conjure up some of the greatest interest from other teams this deadline, with there being almost a guarantee that he won’t be a Hurricane after the deadline. Whilst the other dubious Hurricane players seem secure, he will be moved…but where? Maybe the Avs will want him, but they’ll probably look to a backup and another dman. The Flyers, well it all depends, but I doubt it because apparently the news on JR and Primeau may not be absolutely tragic. With all the others there is a real chance. The Habs need some strength which he would bring in, the Canucks need a second line RW which he can bring in, the Blues were rumored interested in both he and Bondra, so with O’Neill still available there may still be some interest. The Kings have said they may be buyers if someone at the right price emerges, and with as many injuries as they have, there are gaps in LA that O’Neill could fill. And the Devils, well they need scoring and O’Neill may help there. He’s the biggest sweepstakes of the deadline.

ALEX KARPOVTSEV

Profile: Stay at home defenseman

Currently: Blackhawks

Post-Deadline: Devils, Predators

My Pick: Predators

The Blackhawks are in mini-firesale mode and Karpovtsev seems like the next natural progression after Sullivan and Zhamnov. Teams like the Leafs will look to make bigger splashes than him, so look for the Devils or the Preds who are looking for depth dmen and solidarity not the big prize to be the main players here.

JASON SMITH

Profile: Stay at home defenseman

Currently: Oilers

Post-Deadline: Oilers, Maple Leafs or Islanders.

My Pick: Maple Leafs (JFJ knows what he’s doing)

Jason Smith for mine is THE defender of the deadline. Forget Gonchar, unless offense is a serious deficiency of your defense my advice to teams seeking D would be consider Smith first. The Islanders wish to have the best defensive group in the league it seems and are interested in Smith, whilst for the Maple Leafs he would provide that tough, solid defensive bit that they are lacking right now. Perhaps the Gonchar deal hasn’t happened for a reason…hopefully for the Leafs sakes, the reason is cause JFJ is going after Smith.

RYAN SMYTH

Profile: Goal scoring gritty forward

Currently: Oilers

Post-Deadline: Oilers, Canadiens or Devils.

My Pick: Oilers

Unlike O’Neill, teams such as the Canucks who are in the same division as the Oil won’t have a shot at Smyth. In fact my take on Smyth is that he’s being groomed as the next Oiler leader and that he’s either staying put, going to the Habs or GM Lou and the Devils will make an offer the Oilers can’t resist for him.

LYLE ODELEIN

Profile: Stay at home ageing defenseman

Currently: Panthers

Post-Deadline: Panthers, Devils, Maple Leafs, Blues, Islanders or Predators.

My Pick: Devils

Like Karpovtsev, Odelein may be one of the more cost-effective, low-risk potential dman acquisitions at the deadline. For that reason I think teams like the Preds and Devils who are looking at defense from a depth point of view may be the biggest players for Odelein. He may stay as a Panther, particularly if the Panthers keep winning heading into the deadline, and I wouldn’t expect the Leafs to merely settle for him. The Isles are looking for a number 4/5 dman and he could fit that bill, whilst the depleted St Louis Blues may pick him up for cheap.

MANNY FERNANDEZ

Profile: Goaltender

Currently: Wild

Post-Deadline: Wild, Avalanche, Maple Leafs or Rangers.

My Pick: Wild

Fernandez was an important part of the fairytale Wild run last season, but has been it seems ousted from the tandem of starters by a more consistent Dwayne Roloson. With that dream seemingly over, Fernandez may indeed be available this deadline. Teams perhaps interested in having him as insurance/a backup include the Avalanche (deal might be halted by division status), the Maple Leafs (though no rumors have suggested so) or the non-playoff bound Rangers, despite the fact no deals including him going to the Rangers seem to make sense.

YANIC PERREAULT

Profile: Faceoff winning center

Currently: Canadiens

Post-Deadline: Canadiens or Devils

My Pick: Canadiens

I really don’t see Perreault being moved unless the Devils make a play at him to help them win more draws in the post season. The Devils need D to fill in for Rafalski and Stevens more right now, but their lack of faceoff winning middle men is also a glaring problem that the likes of Perreault may be able to fix.

SAKU KOIVU

Profile: Playmaking center

Currently: Canadiens

Post-Deadline: Canadiens or Avalanche.

My Pick: Canadiens

I highly doubt Koivu gets moved, as he, along with Souray and Theodore is the heart and soul of the Habs franchise. In saying that though, rumors involving him with teams such as the Avalanche aren’t totally inconceivable considering the uncertainty of Forsberg’s future, whilst he could even be helpful for teams such as the Kings or Devils if they wished to pursue him. Don’t get your hopes up though.

That will do for now, sorry if I missed any major players from the teams starting A(naheim) through M(ontreal). Soon the N-W edition will surface, with a lot of Rangers and Capitals expected to feature.

Until then…

Ross Byrnes (Nothingman)

Vice Admin of Wowhockey


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