Monday, February 25, 2008

Deadline Day Approaches

With rumors flying and a good chunk of the Southeast Division potentially on the move, these next 18 hours could prove eventful...or they could fall far short of expectations. My guess is it'll be somewhere in between.

Here in DC the rumor mill is pretty quiet; we've already heard it straight from GMGM that the Caps, barring a fantastic bargain that will help the team, are standing pat with the team we've got. And given the crop of players available I have to say at the risk of repeating myself that it's a great idea.

So who is out there? In the past few hours we've found out that Mats Sundin and Alex Tanguay will not be on the move but Brian Campbell and Marian Hossa almost certainly will. Peter Forsberg has returned for another run with the Avs, while Brad Richards is on the "maybe" list - along with any number of players heading into their unrestricted summer.

A few of the notables :

Marian Hossa - This slippery winger (read: puck hog) seems to want to have nothing to do with the Thrashers and contract negotiations have ground to a halt, so ol' Hoss is definitely hitting the road. He's similar to a Yashin or a Semin in that he needs strong linemates to open up space and allow him to play. With 30 points in 22 games against the Caps over the last three years, I don't think anyone will miss him around here. Rumored destinations: Montreal, Ottawa, Detroit

Brian Campbell - If you caught the Sabres/Flyers game this evening you may have had the chance to catch Campbell's last game in a Buffalo uniform. The All-Star defenseman's camp is reportedly "unhappy" with the latest deal coming from the Slugs and it looks like he's out of there, although nothing is certain. Want him? Sure, he's a high-scoring guy with a knack for the power play, but he's also a defensive liability - which, for a defenseman, isn't exactly what you want. Sayonara, Soupy. Rumored destinations: Unknown

Brad Richards - Of the "big three" in Tampa, Richards lifts out with the least worry and the most benefit to the team in the long run. On pace for just under 70 points, he's never really regained his form that he displayed during the Cup run - and especially not the form displayed in, surprise, his contract season. At almost $8 million a year and with three years left on his contract, he's an expensive risk to take; even more expensive because the Bolts will probably require a huge return of prospects and cheaper players in return. Rumored destinations: Columbus, Vancouver, Dallas, Chicago

Vaclav Prospal - It's no secret that "the other Vinny" has been in the middle of some tension recently with head coach John Tortorella...of course, who hasn't? The bigger reason Prospal could be on the move, though, is that pesky UFA status this July; Tampa is probably on the cusp of a rebuild right now and they're just not going to pay him the big bucks to stick around. On pace for 70+ points, he'll be a good rental for a playoff bound team looking for a little flash on the wing and some veteran presence. Rumored destinations: Unknown
Update: Just as this is about to be posted...we find out that Prospal has been traded to Philly.

Dwayne Roloson - With the rebirth of Mathieu Garon out in Edmonton, Roli finds himself the odd man out and is reportedly requesting to be moved. Obviously goaltending is at a premium this time of year, but at 38 years old and with 8 wins in 30 games Roloson is no longer "premium" quality. Might be a good pickup for a team looking for a semi-solid backup guy in net...and will probably garner little more than a bag of pucks in return. Just what an ailing Oilers team needs. Rumored destinations: Tampa Bay

Michael Ryder - Ryder took on the characteristics of fan scapegoat this year after starting the season slow. Think molasses on skates slow. But recently things have picked up for Michael, pride of Newfoundland and once the hot young thing in Habsland, so it's up in the air as to whether he gets moved or not. He'll be a UFA this summer, though, and the Habs are lousy with young talent. A move to the Southeast isn't out of the question... Rumored destinations: Atlanta, Edmonton, Tampa Bay

Patrick Marleau - Marleau hasn't known any other team besides San Jose, but that could all change tomorrow. He's the captain of the Sharks and is definitely well-liked, but a pending UFA status and a disappointing season - he's a -21, a mark better than only 4 players in the entire league - provide the perfect ingredients for a rental player move. Rumored destinations - Atlanta, Florida

1 comment:

Carol in NoVa said...

Does Huet qualify as a fantastic bargain?