2.27.2007

Interesting trades

Well, well, it seems I'll have some writing to do before the deadline.
- The Atlanta Thrashers have just acquired some key pieces, yet guys like Adam Proteau say the Thrashers will bow out early. I object.
Keith Tkachuk is a key scoring player, and that should allow even more pressure to lift off of Kozlov and Hossa. However, there may be some controversy as to which left winger moves. Tkachuk, Kozlov, and Kovalchuk (talk about irony in all those 'k' pronunciations) are all natural left wingers. It will probably come down to one of Tkachuk or Kovalchuk moving, as Hossa and Kozlov have shown great chemistry as wing-mates. Tkachuk can play center, and Kovalchuk can play right wing. Who knows, though. It may become a major controversy.
As for the Zhitnik trade, it should help re-beef the defense corps. Zhitnik essentially replaces Vitaly Vishnevski, who went to Nashville for depth center Eric Belanger. Zhitnik was a key defenseman for Buffalo, especially in the playoffs, and that may have been the reason the Thrashers gave up Braydon Coburn for him. However, he has slowed since the lockout, and the fact that his playoff experience was before the lockout could be a worry.
Speaking of center, that is the only place, in my opinion, that Atlanta truly needs help. They should have pushed harder in the Forsberg race, and Belanger brings almost nothing. The names of this franchise's current centers sound good; Holik, Rucchin, Belanger, Slater, and Kapanen. But, Holik has lost a step, and Rucchin was good when he centered two stars in Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne, but hasn't showed that kind of chemistry with Hossa, Kozlov, or Kovalchuk.
- In another trade, Craig Rivet went to San Jose for youngster Josh Gorges. Rivet brings a steady veteran presence to a Sharks defense that lacked of a veteran. Scott Hannan and Kyle Mclaren are good, but Rivet brings something the Sharks have been missing since Brad Stuart left for Boston.
- Richard Zednik was acquired by the New York Islanders, and is expected to boost the offense from the 3rd line. However, I think the trade was almost worthless. Zednik struggled last year with the Canadiens, and he hasn't exactly been Marian Gaborik this year, even though he had a groin injury.
- My SuperPens just picked up two good players in Georges Laraque and Gary Roberts. Laraque's job is obvious, he will surely get a role as enforcer so as Sidney Crosby doesn't get a Koivu-esque playoffs. Roberts, though, will also help the SuperPens a great deal. Roberts could provide Crosby with a sniper, although, if he doesn't, the he will allow John LeClair to go down to the 3rd line, and either way this should boost the Pens goal-scoring.
I will give a final team-by-team analyisis of every trade this season later.

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