2.23.2007

Carter joins Canes, and the perfect trades

Before I get to my main subject, I will note that the Carolina Hurricanes have acquired Anson Carter, one of the most inconsistent scorers ever (he had 33 goals last year, but just 10 as of today) for a draft pick. This will help the scoring issue that I previously mentioned the Canes had, and leaves room for another deal involving one of Carolina's 10 defensemen.
Now, my main subject. I have thought of some 'perfect trades' that NHL teams could make. It wouldn't benefit the teams much, but it would be just a matter of swapping players that play almost exactly the same.
Garnet Exelby/Nick Schultz: This trade would do no more than have two players switch teams. Exelby and Schultz both are 2nd pairing defensemen with 1st pairing capability. They only slightly contribute to the offense, but are good defensively and both play physical. Neither of these teams would trade these players to a different team, but in this kind of deal, it would neither benefit nor downgrade either team. The only real difference this year has been Exelby's injury trouble.
Mark Smith/Kevyn Adams: These guys are less similar then Scbultz and Exelby, but would still make a good trade. Both are responsible defensively, and each had a career high offensive years last year. Adams, however, has been struggling this year while Smith should still reach 20 points or so. Again, each of these players is valuable to his team, and probably wouldn't trade them (although Adams was already traded from Carolina to Phoenix).
Christian Ehrhoff/Trevor Daley: These two guys match better than Smith and Adams, but less than Exelby and Schultz. Both are in their 2nd full season, and are relied upon despite being youngsters. Each can hold his own on defense, but both have unexplored offensive potential. The offense shines a bit more out of Ehrhoff, while Daley is relied upon more defensively. Both are considered future stars by their respective teams, and are probably untouchable.
Steve Sullivan/Kristian Huselius: The only reason I can include Huselius in this trade is because of his play this year, because otherwise he has been streaky, according to others. They are within 2 points of each other, although Huselius has played more games. They are both second fiddle behind star players, yet continue to gather accolades. Huselius has quietly put together a career season with 28 goals, 30 assists, and 58 points, while Sullivan should easily pass his career best 31 goals and 75 points, as he has 22 and 60 already. Each player has been brilliant beyond most expectations, and provide a solid secondary scoring. Both are likely untouchable unless a good deal is offered.
Martin Biron (of this year)/Johan Hedberg (of last year)- Hedberg and Biron have almost the same story. Last year, Hedberg went 12-4-1 in 19 games, and Biron has gone 12-4-1 in 18 games this year. Both are former starters with reasonable reputations, and have each won as many as 25 games before, and have a career GAA under 2.9 goals. Biron has actually requested a trade, and may be dealt before the deadline, but Hedberg is happy as Atlanta's backup and this trade will not take place.
Those are my 'perfect' trades for now, I may think of more later.

Sabres clash, Lighting strikes, and much more

Well, lots of stuff to write today. Let's check the NHL.
- The Buffalo Sabres, one of the NHL's best finesse teams, had one of the largest battles of the new NHL last night against the Ottawa Senators. The fight was started after the Sabres' leading goal-scorer Chris Drury was hit from behind by Ottawa's Chris Neil. On the next play, fights broke out all over, with the most significant being Martin Biron vs. Ray Emery, and Ray Emery vs. Andrew Peters. All 12 players on the ice at the time fought, and Biron, Emery, and Peters were each ejected from the game. I wasn't able to watch a replay of any of the fights, but I decided to watch some old Sabres fights instead. What surprised me most wasn't actually in the video, but that all the fights were under 'comedy'. These fights aren't necessarily funny. Sometimes guys actually hurt themselves pretty bad. Steve Ott might have ended his season getting an ankle injury while fighting Tom Kostopoulos. Going farther back, Brian McGrattan got stunned pretty hard while fighting Andrew Peters, and way back, John Ferguson and Bob Probert used to damage guys bad when they fought. Fighting isn't a comedy thing, but it provides spirit to a game.
- The Tampa Bay Lightning, originally predicted to finish out of the playoffs, are currently first in their division thanks to a 5-4 overtime win against Atlanta. The key players on the Lightning, at least to me, are Vincent Lecavlier, Johan Holmqvist, Martin St. Louis, Danny Boyle, and Ruslan Fedotenko.
Oops, I thought it would be long. Oh well, I might write more later.