Greetings all. Pretty quiet in the hockey world. Hope we can find some stuff to talk about. Now, where were we?
Do you believe the recent free agent additions for the Penguins could undo an unbelievable cohesion on this team?
Ron; Not one bit. Both Brenden Morrow and Jarome Iginla were captains and Olympians. Douglas Murray was an extremely popular player in San Jose. They know about chemistry and my sense is none are coming in under any illusions about their roles. They're not coming in to dislodge players from their roles but to augment them.
The Pens really didn't give up as much as you would have expected for Jerome Iggy, nor did the Rangers for Nash last season. Is it clear if you try to trade a star player with a no trade clause you aren't going to a whole lot in return?
Zack; I would quibble with the Nash characterization. I think the Rangers badly miss some of the parts that went to Columbus in the Nash deal. But your point is well-taken. When a player controls his own movement it makes moving him that much more difficult. Or rather, moving him might not be hard but getting good value can be nigh on impossible. Jay Feaster is living proof of that today.
Did Ignla pretty much set the deal as the team to take was Pittsburgh? Not even relating to the trade offers values from Pitts, LA, and Boston.
Doug; Exactly. Bruins could have offered Dougie Hamilton, Tyler Seguin and Cam Neely's old shin guards and if Iginla didn't want to be a Bruin or rather wanted more to be a Penguin that was the deal that had to be made.
So if the Pens get bounced early in the playoffs, you gotta think Bylsma might get the boot, no?
Drew; I would think it would be extremely bad for job security.
Sj has already dealt Murray and are expected to deal Clowe and maybe Boyle. However, with games in hand and a heavy home schedule the rest of the way (only 1 regulation loss), they likely make the playoffs and possibly as a 4-5 seed. Do you think that more trades is the smart move for Doug Wilson?
mike; I think Doug Wilson is determined to alter the make-up of his team and that means moving some pieces. Clowe and Boyle are definitely in play. He did well with what should be two second-round picks for Murray. And you're right they're playing well (when they play at home at least) and could end giving a higher seed a rough go in the first round. Don't think the recent level of play changes Wilson's mind about what he wants to accomplish before the April 3 trade deadline.
who do you see the blues picking up at the deadline and who do they offer up. or does the current funk that they are in scare away top end talent ie players with no movement clauses.
wit; I think the Blues would like to add a defenseman, especially a left-hander to play with Pietrangelo or Shattenkirk. Jay Bouwmeester perhaps? And I don't think their up and down season would scare players especially rentals. Part of this will be whether the Blues would be willing to take on any/much salary next year with the cap going down. Might preclude them from being in on Bouwmeester although I think he'd be a good fit.
Do you feel that the Bruins losing out so far at the trade-dealine is the beginning of a player backlash against Jeremy Jacobs for his stance during the CBA process? At least with Morrow and Iginla who likely had much more say in where they were being traded to?
Brad; That would be a nice irony for those inclined to think that way if the Bruins are denied good players because of Jacobs' strident views during the lockout although I think players are thinking more about a fit for them, their families and the best chance to win. I'm sure Donald Fehr would like to believe this is a statement avoiding the Bruins but hard to imagine that's really a significant consideration if it was a consideration at all.
I know the Isles have a bunch of young talent coming next year...They are not going to get a rental player with cap space to burn this off-season, but can they package okposo with nino for B. Ryan?
chris; I think Bobby Ryan ends up staying in Anaheim. Isles are in an interesting spot, though, just two points back of 9th. Puts a little more pressure on Garth Snow vis a vis players like Lubomir Visnovsky and Mark Streit who can walk this summer as UFAs.
Who do you think will be the Bruins most likely targets now?
Paul; I would think Boston GM Peter Chiarelli has San Jose GM Doug Wilson on speed-dial now in the hopes of landing Ryane Clowe. Good fit for the Bruins. And Ryan Whitney would be a good fit, too, as a depth defenseman provided he can stay healthy. Lots of ties to the Boston area which may or may not be a good thing but after bouncing around a bit might be good for Whitney to come "home".
If the wings land Dekeyser and/or another D man in a trade, do you see Ian White getting moved for a pick, or does he not have value to other teams needing depth on the blue line?
Jay; I'm not sure what kind of value White would have on the market. Plus, even if you do add one thing teams always need is as much defensive depth as possible. If I'm Ken Holland and unless I think I can get a decent draft pick (3rd rounder, something like that?) I hang on to as many of D-men as possible.
The conferences seem to be coming down to two team races -- Pens and B's in the East, Hawks and Ducks in the West -- Outside of those 4 teams, who else is a LEGIT cup contender?
Chris; Ducks have lost four in a row so not sure I'd put them in the same bracket as Chicago. I'd consider the Kings as the co-favorite in the west right now. But let's not dismiss the red-hot Minnesota Wild who are getting plenty of scoring which has always been their issue and Vancouver where Cory Schneider is hot and the Canucks have won five in a row. The east is different. Montreal is for real but are they too young to topple a Boston or Pittsburgh in seven games? What about the Rangers? Can't be ignored. If they make it at all.
If Jagr doesn't re-sign, would/should Bergevin trade for him since he has great chemistry with Plekanec? What would it cost? I certainly would not give up a 1st round pick for a rental
Bill; Imagine Joe Nieuwendyk will try and move #68 if he can't sign him just as I expect Derek Roy will be moved. Agreed on a first-round pick for Jagr and I like him in Montreal. Never mind Plekanec Jagr is great with young players. They love him in Dallas from what I understand and he was much-loved in Philadelphia.
Do my Kings make any moves or are they looking out for a cap squeeze this summer? Would they rather trade Bernier for NHL talent or prospects?
Jim; I think Dean Lombardi would like to add some depth along the blue line. Would he trade Bernier? I think if the right deal came along. But he's been getting terrific play from homegrown kids like Voynov and Muzzin and you don't want to deny those kids a chance to grow.
will lou lamiorello move one of our 10000000000 defensemen for a winger that can score?
Doug; Ha, ha. The Devils do have good organizational depth along the blue line. And with Kovalchuk out getting some offense would be a good thing. If I am Lou Lamoriello (and it's the rare day when I pretend to be) I would be trying to get David Clarkson under contract given how few free agents stand to hit the market in July.
What SHOULD the Hawks add to bolster their roster? What WILL/DO YOU THINK they will add?
Imre; Glaring need to add a center who could play on the second line. Maybe Derek Roy. What about Paul Stastny? One more year left on an expensive deal ($6.6 million). Mike Ribeiro might be in play although the Caps are close enough to make George McPhee wonder about moving Ribeiro. Other question is are they tough enough/big enough to play a grinding team like the Kings? So, skill down the middle and some size/toughness. And yes, I think Stan Bowman will get it done.
Scott, I hear rumors about a possible trade brewing between Buffalo and Tampa Bay in exchange for Ryan Miller? What would you think Tampa would have to give up to land Miller?
Mikey; Saw something to that effect as well. Miller has one year left on his deal with a $6.25 million cap hit. But are the Sabres certain they want to part company with Ryan? Likely a new head coach in Buffalo this summer. Quite likely a new GM. If I'm Terry Pegula the owner I want to be pretty cautious unless you can get a couple of good young players and I'm not sure Steve Yzerman will doing that. Miller's future will certainly be one of the big storylines in the off-season if nothing happens between now and next Wednesday. According to Capgeek.com Miller has limited no-move clause and can name eight teams he will not go to. My guess if he goes is that he wants to go west.
Scott,Any rumors of the Rangers making any deals by the deadline?
John; Rangers have been linked to Brian Boyle of the Sharks but not sure that's going anywhere. Some offense along the blue line and some glue/depth players up front but the Rangers have worked hard to re-stock the farm team shelf so am guessing they will be very cautious about spending those assets.
With the canadiens in first at the moment, what are there plans on adding someone at the deadline to boost there position or make a run in the playoffs?
Shane; With Marc Bergevin working instant magic in his first year as GM I'm not sure he'll be looking at doing anything major. He's got a lot of good young players assuming significant roles. Maybe a big, depth forward along the lines of Brandon Prust. Having added Michael Ryder early in the going I am guessing a quiet time for Bergevin leading up to the 3rd.
The Wild have won 7 in a row. I think they shoulkd stay pat and not do anything before the trade deadline. Have you heard anything about them amking a move before the deadline?
Lonny; I think owner Craig Leipold will just hold up the cancelled checks for Ryan Suter and Zach Parise totaling just under $200 million if GM Chuck Fletcher asks for more cash. But seriously, this is a team that is playing its best hockey of the season and both Suter and Parise seem finally to be fully in the groove with coach Mike Yeo. Fletcher has worked hard to assemble some good young assets even if it's taking guys like Granlund more time than some thought to get the NHL game. He won't be messing with that. Just a thought but maybe a veteran back-up for Niklas Backstrom?
What are the Bruin's chances of singing St.Louis?
A.J.; Some talk about the Lightning possibly moving Martin St. Louis who has two years left on his deal ($5.625 million cap hit) but I can't understand why Steve Yzerman would contemplate such a move given St. Louis' production and his importance to the team. In fact I'd be shocked if he's even given it a moment's thought.
I like derek roy as a player, but the last thing the hawks need is another guy with no size. what do you think it would cost them to get stasny?
Luke; I think that is the exact impediment to bringing in Roy. Stastny's numbers aren't all that great but he's more physical and does have skill. Hawks won't make any move that costs them a position player or even anyone who's helped out significantly from Rockford. Package of lower round picks would be my guess or a package of prospects well down the depth chart.
Scott - is Jay Bouwmeester available? I'd love for my Wings to make a play for him.
Bruce; Bouwmeester has likely been the Flames' best defenseman this season (talk about damning with faint praise) and has one more year at $6.680 million against the cap. Do the Flames want him to be part of the solution? Doesn't seem likely and there would be a good market for him given how much he plays and how well he skates. And for sure Detroit is interested. But guessing Feaster will want a high draft pick or at least one almost ready NHL prospect. Will Ken Holland spend that much? Bouwmeester also has a no-trade clause to that will complicate matters as well (see; Iginla).
If Phx gets relocated to Quebec City, doesn't that mess up the divisions in the realignment? It looks like we'd have 17 east teams and 13 west and would QC be stuck playing the West like Winnipeg is in the SE right now? I think it'd make more sense to locate to Seattle and remain in the same division Phx was slated to be in.
Ben; You are right on (and they would never go 17-13 it's a stretch already to have 16 in the east and 14 in the west next season). No arena plans that are guaranteed in Seattle which is a huge problem. A big mess, in short, if the league can't find an owner in Arizona.
So Penguins and the Blackhawks in the finals?
Bennie; I had St. Louis and Pittsburgh in the final at the start of the year. And on paper, yes, Chicago/Pittsburgh looks like a good bet. Kings will definitely have something to say about that too, though.
Are the leafs in the mix of any heated goalie discussions?....or will they stay put?
Doug; Unless Vancouver GM Mike Gillis drops his asking price for Roberto Luongo or Miikka Kiprusoff makes it clear to the Flames (and Leafs) he would agree to go to Toronto (even though his no-movement clause ran out last summer) I would guess the status quo is the way the Leafs will end up going.
Wouldn't it be interesting if Ottawa ousted the Pens in the playoffs?
Nick; Now that would be an upset of epic proportions especially if the Sens are still without Craig Anderson and Jason Spezza (he should be back before those two teams would meet in the playoffs) and of course Erik Karlsson. If you're looking for a storyline though how about the Pens and the Capitals for a rematch of the '09 classic.
In the last decade the Avs have gone from one of the best-run franchises to one of the worst-run. What are they doing still employing Sacco? Are they just hoping and praying for Seth Jones? Is ownership committed to the Denver market long-term? Things sure seem bleak despite the nice talent up front.
Matt; Agreed that the Avs are a perplexing not to mention disappointing group. I thought they would be much better and might be one of those teams that snuck in at a 7/8 spot in the conference. The whole Ryan O'Reilly contract situation was baffling and badly misplayed. And I think it's fair to question ownership's commitment to the team. I will be shocked if there isn't a coaching change in the off-season. But also agree there are lots of interesting elements to that team, elements that haven't come together in the least.
Any truth to the rumor of Ovechkin going to San Jose?
Dustin; On vacation maybe. But no, I can't imagine a trade involving #8.
Okay folks, thanks as always for dropping by. The ESPN.com hockey gang will be in Bristol next week for trade deadline action so drop by and see how all this turns out. Until then.