But here's some math not talked about in the media that will play a factor in the trade deadline: every time the Canadian dollar rises by one cent, Canadian NHL teams see a cashflow increase of about $450,000. This is because revenues from tickets, of which more than 75 percent go to salaries, are in Canadian funds. Salaries are paid in U.S. funds. Simply put, the Canadian dollar has risen about 20 cents in the past year, and Canadian-based NHL teams are armed with about $9 million of unexpected cash. This makes Canadians buyers instead of sellers for the first time in years, and it will also allow Canadian teams to hang on to some of their superstars.
If only this economic shift had happened a few years earlier, radio personality Steve Czaban wouldn't have had to rename my favorite baseball team the San Juantreal Expos.
Enough math, back to Bondra.
This deal gives the Senators the most potent offensive depth in the Eastern Conference. The Senators already lead the NHL with 196 goals. Adding Bondra to that lineup just gives them yet another weapon to come at opposition goalies with. Bondra, a left-shooting right winger, will almost certainly end up playing the left side as the Senators are already loaded on the right side with Daniel Alfredsson, Marian Hossa and Martin Havlat.
On the surface, what stands out about this deal is Bondra's goal scoring. Only Jaromir Jagr has more goals than Bondra over the last 10 years. Since 1990, the only players with more goals are Jagr, Brett Hull and Brendan Shanahan. But look beneath the surface, and the deal is an even better one for the Senators.
First of all, Bondra is a brilliant power play point man and will give Ottawa two equally strong units. This will allow Jacques Martin to roll his units more quickly, and Ottawa's power play production should be even stronger than it already is. The Sens currently lead the NHL with a 22.8 power play success rate. Daniel Alfredsson and Wade Redden play the blueline on Ottawa's first power play unit. Bondra will play on the strong second unit with Slovak national teammate Zdeno Chara. The 6-9 Chara has a blistering shot from the point and is having a career year in goal scoring. Adding Bondra will only make him that much more dangerous.
Beyond the numbers, Bondra is an excellent fit on and off the ice. Chara is not his only Slovak national teammate on the Senators, as Marian Hossa is more than familiar with Bondra. He also comes to the team with a highly overlooked tendency to put up strong numbers down the stretch and to perform at a higher level in the playoffs. Bondra should be a Hall of Famer when he is down, but in his 14 years in Washington he reached the Stanley Cup Finals only once. In Ottawa, nobody will play with more motivation than Bondra.
The Capitals moved Jaromir Jagr to the Rangers earlier and their next move is expected to involve Sergei Gonchar and Robert Lang. The pair of Caps' All-Stars are rumored to be headed to Ottawa's major rival, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Nik Antropov's name has come up more than a few times in a return package that will undoubtedly be centered around prospects.
My gut feeling says that the Caps will hang onto Olaf Kolzig, a fan favorite in Washington. And although it looks like the Capitals are throwing in the towel, they do have arguably the best prospect depth in hockey after two very solid drafts. Adding prospects like Brooks Laich just gives them more depth for the future, which looks very bright if you can look beyond the current talent implosion.
Nashville makes a move
The trade I wanted to focus on this week before the Bondra deal went down was Nashville's pick up of Steve Sullivan from the Blackhawks. You're probably sick and tired of this drum that I've been beating all year, but if Tomas Vokoun can put a player-of-the-month string of games together at the right time, Nashville is this year's Anaheim when April and May roll around.
Sullivan was a brilliant acquisition for them, as his speed and scoring touch are a perfect fit for this great young team. The team also committed to keeping Scott Walker, another underrated fantasy star, as they build for their future. In his debut Wednesday, Sullivan had three goals and an assist and Walker had a goal and three assists. Marek Zidlicky, who came to Nashville gift wrapped courtesy of the New York Rangers in the Mike Dunham deal, had five assists from the blue line (insert weekly Bobby Holik cheap shot comment here).
Barnstorming Todd White. The hometown kid has a broken foot and will miss a month. Teammate Chris Kelly is also out with a broken knee cap. ... Markus Naslund was digitally remastered by a Steve Moore flipper Monday night. Naslund will be out for at least a week with a concussion, and more importantly, his absence breaks up what is the best line in the NHL (Todd Bertuzzi and Brendan Morrison). ... So what is the best line in the NHL right now? It has to be Mark Recchi, John LeClair and Michal Handzus in Philadelphia. They had combined for 50 points in 14 games heading into this week's action. ... Ed Belfour was expected to return Thursday, but his return has been delayed. He did practice Wednesday but did not face any shots. ... Ladislav Nagy's dream season has come to an end. The Coyotes' star winger has a dislocated wrist. ... Another dream season is on hold, as Montreal's Sheldon Souray will be out for about six weeks with a knee injury. ... Shayne Corson is back in the NHL and has joined the Dallas Stars. ... Arturs Irbe is back with the Hurricanes after spending most of this season in the ECHL. ... Alexander Mogilny is expected to return to the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night. He has been out since Nov. 20 with a hip injury. ... One of the favorite players of this column, Bill Muckalt, may be facing the end of his career. Billy injured his shoulder early last season after a blistering start that saw him score five goals in six games. Let's hope for the best for one of hockey's good guys. ... Owen Nolan is red hot for the Leafs. In his last six games, Nolan has five goals and four assists. ... Jarome Iginla is also on a tear, as he has scored five goals and is a plus-5 in his last four games. ... Sergei Zholtok of the Wild has three goals in his last three games. ... Two Western Conference All-Star starters, Todd Bertuzzi and Mike Modano, are both pointless in their last four games. ... Memo to everyone who has e-mailed me this year because I'm not on the Sean Burke bandwagon - the new Flyers goalie is 1-2-0 in his last three starts with a 4.00 GAA and a save percentage of 85.5. Okay, so I admit Pasi Nurminen, Felix Potvin and Jeff Hackett aren't exactly burning it up right now either, and I had a first class ticket on all three of those bandwagons. ... If you haven't seen Miracle yet, for God's sake lad, go! go! go! ... And if you've got a litre of Diet Coke, a bag of Funyons and you're killing an evening surfing the web, the NHL has actually launched a site called NHLCBANews.com to give you everything you need to know about collective bargaining and hockey.
That's all for now. Until next week, I'll be somewhere in the 80s, when scoring was up and there was no trap, listening to my A-Ha CDs.
Prescott, Ont. native Jeffrey Morris is a former NHL beat writer who is the V.P. of Marketing at Pacific Trading Cards in Lynnwood, Wash. He can also be heard breaking down hockey regularly as "Ice Rink" on the Tony Bruno Morning Extravaganza. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.