1.23.2007

For Future Reference

For Future Reference, I will try to write specifically about each of the following:
- Phil Kessel's intriguing story
- Why the All-Star game really matters
- The Oldies but Goodies players
- And a lot more

Public Trade rumors are quiet, but are out there

OK, I guess later wasn't really that long. But just because the GM's won't talk doesn't mean that trades aren't likely. Here's a list of each team and a player they would trade.
Anaheim- No one really, but they could trade a guy like George Parros for a draft pick so they won't pick 35th overall.
Atlanta- Sure, Niko Kapanen just got here, but he's still a disappointment. Unless he has a monster 2nd half, expect to see his name on the trading block.
Boston- Again, there isn't really an individual to blame for Boston's mediocre season, and they've already tried to help the offense with Stanislav Chistov. The B's do have the option of putting one of their hot blueline prospects on the trading block for a UFA if they end up in the playoff push.
Buffalo- Darcy Regier will focus half of his mind on trade offers from other teams, and the other half on signing his UFA's. IF Buffalo makes a trade, the other team will initiate it.
Calgary- The Flames are in the hunt once again, and this time they might deal off one of Jeff Friesen or Andrei Zyuzin, or even Roman Hamrlik for some key playoff pieces.
Carolina- With all the success the Canes had last year when they picked up rentals Doug Weight and Mark Recchi, this time Carolina should focus on getting a solid backup for Cam Ward, so that the playoff pressure won't have to get to him a second straight year.
Chicago- Boy, oh boy, would the Hawks want to acquire some key players like they did with Martin Havlat. Maybe, they could return JR to his rookie team and see if it sparks him there. Hey, I know, let's give the Hawks a struggling JR and a modest Tony Amonte and pair 'em up in Chicago for more that just a season or so.
Colorado- The Avs would love to grab a couple of players, but the list of players to give back doesn't look to good. Hello, Pierre Turgeon and Patrice Brisebois, Brett Mclean and Tyler Arnason. Arnason and Turgeon have been good, but not now. Brisebois was never more than a bottom 4 D-man and Mclean, well, Mclean is as good as he will get.
Columbus- Nikolai Zherdev has received publicized criticism for not giving enough effort, and the team could ship him off for a UFA boost.
Dallas- Nobody on Stars management will come out and say it, but Matthew Barnaby needs to go. He's a constant healthy scratch and Steve Ott and Niklas Hagman provide enough grit.
Detroit- Hmm...not much here to deal away, but Kirk Maltby isn't so hot. Will he be dealt, or will the fact that Kris Draper is his best buddy keep the pair in Hockeytown.
Edmonton- Defense, defense, defense, defense. The Oilers need a good, solid, first pair defenseman or they won't be going to the playoffs soon.
Florida- Todd Bertuzzi, Rostislav Olesz, Branislav Mezei, and even Olli Jokinen have popped up in the same sentence as 'another team'. I doubt it for Jokinen and Olesz, but, you never know.
Los Angeles- Derek Armstrong deserves more ice time, and with Craig Conroy struggling, he might get it. Conroy misses Pavol Demitra, and the pair worked well together. What if Minnesota put another big name on its roster?
Minnesota- See above.
Montreal- Can you say any of the following- Alex Kovalev, Sergei Samsonov, Mark Streit. It's not as if they are terrible, but the team can afford to deal any of these three.
Nashville- Scott Nichol, Jerred Smithson, Alex Henry and maybe David Legwand could use a change of scenery if necessary, but the Preds seem satisfied.
New Jersey- This roster is tight, the only possible guys that I can think of would be Jim Dowd or David Hale.
NY Islanders- Who's the next guy to go to the Flyers? Could it be Arron Asham, or Robert Nilsson? Probably not.
NY Rangers- Sandis Ozolinsh, one of the cap-munching defensemen on the Rangers, is the only one who hasn't stepped up to make a contribution after being criticized, unlike Darius Kasparitis or Marek Malik.
Ottawa Senators- Everyone. Well, except Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza, Chris Kelly, Chris Neil, Chris Phillips, Ray Emery and Patrick Eaves. Then, everyone else.
Philadelphia Flyers- Everyone except Simon Gagne and Antero Nittymaki. Well, maybe Antero too.
Phoenix- Jeremy Roenick, Curtis Joseph, Jeremy Roenick, Georges Laraque, Jeremy Roenick, JR and... you get my point.
Pittsburgh- Jocelyn Thibault hasn't done so well as a backup, and they could get a decent return for him.
San Jose- Everything is going smooth, only prospects have a chance of being traded.
St. Louis- How many teams could I say everyone for? Although Manny Legace and Curtis Sanford are doing okay in goal.
Tampa Bay- I hate to say it, but the Bolts might have to let go of Vinny Lecavlier to get some good depth.
Toronto- Again, nearly everyone.
Vancouver- Marc Chouinard and Dany Sabourin come to mind.
Washington- Whoever isn't named Alex Ovechkin, Olaf Kolzig, or Chris Clark.
There, now start the trade talks.

NHL could recognize more on ice talent

Recently, I went over all the awards that THN would give at the mid season mark. They made sense, but it got me thinking, how about some new awards. Some are good, and others clearly wouldn't happen. Here are my choices to award more talent.

The Ken Dryden Trophy- Awarded to the best rookie goaltender. The NHL could use an award like this to help Calder voting get to be more on the skaters. When Andrew Raycroft won the Calder in '04, people in Montreal and Long Island were wondering what happened to Michael Ryder and Trent Hunter. Last season, when Alex Ovechkin deservedly won the trophy, Buffalo and Carolina fans quietly whispered displeasure about why Ryan Miller and Cam Ward didn't get enough votes. With the Dryden Trophy, young goalies could finally be recognized. Heck, I like that idea so much I'll give out the award yearly.

The Bob Probert Award- Given to the player who best shows that fighting and skating go well together. Sorry Sean, you won't get my vote for this one. This award could recognize guys who are famous for grit, but their scoring is admired as well. Someone like Niklas Hagman or Chris Neil could easily get this award, or even someone like Mike Grier. Specifically, a guy who can score 15+ goals a season and account for the team lead in PIMs. Maybe once Keith Tkachuk starts scoring, he could make it his annually.

The Neil Smith Trophy- For the best GM that doesn't get to stick around. Smith would not only win it this year, but it should be named after him so that way people who won't always remember can. At some point I'll lower the qualifications and include coaches (I'm staring at Mike Kitchen).

The Alexei Yashin award- This one goes to the most underachieving player of a high stature. I know, I know, Yashin has really picked it up this year, but it's in honor of his past. Maybe I should name it the Alexander Daigle award. No, that's up next. Jeremy Roenick, you are the first two-time winner of this award. Last year in L.A. was totally wrong, and you aren't doing to well with the 'Yotes either. Pick it up or it'll go to you personally, just like Frank Boucher and the Lady Byng.

The Alex Daigle award- To the next draft pick bust who retires just as his career gets to be respectable. Daigle scored 51 and 37 points in his last two years, and now the Wild will likely never see him again. I can't wait to see when I actually get to give this to someone, because I can't remember any other bust that recently came on.

Well, that's my awards that the NHL needs. Later folks.