The On Deck Circle

The unofficial home of Real Talk

NHL Trade Deadline - Anything Happening?

Posted by Blake Murphy on February 20, 2008

This article has been submitted by Alex “don’t call me Al” Snyder.

The question on everyone’s mind with the trade deadline is approaching is, are there going to be any blockbuster trades come February 26th? Usually it seems we never see a superstar ever getting traded, only role players. This year, however, should be different. There are going to be a few big names getting dealt. Some teams are looking for that little (or big) piece to put them over the top and make them a legitimate contender. Some teams are looking to deal players they know they can’t re-sign and some are just trying to rebuild. Here are some pretty high profile players who have been discussed in a possible trade and their teams’ concerns.

Marian Hossa, RW, Atlanta Thrashers
Hossa in all likelyhood will be traded by the 26th. They say Hossa’s agent and Thrasher management have been talking about a long term extention after this year (he becomes an UFA), but I think that’s media fluff and they’re just trying to get his stock higher. Hossa doesn’t want to play in Atlanta and the Thrashers know they can’t give him the type of money he wants because they’re going to have to invest so much in Kovalchuk and Lehtonen in the next few years. So the question now becomes, where will he go? I don’t really have the answer for that, so we’ll wait and see. There’s obviously a few teams interested.

Mats Sundin, C, Toronto Maple Leafs
Will the Leafs do it? Will they make a deal that betters the franchise for the future? Probably not. They will probably follow in traditional fashion and pick up some 40 year old who was an all-star ten years ago. I hear Trevor Linden is available Cliffy! But seriously, if Sundin cares about the Leafs like he claims to, he will tell them to trade him because he can re-sign with the blue and white in the offseason. It makes sense: some team will overpay and give a quality young player and one, maybe two first rounders. The Leafs should also trade Darcy Tucker. That grinder will help some playoff team and he’s vastly overpaid, so getting him off the books will help the team long-term. I also hear that they may trade Tomas Kaberle. I don’t think so on that one. Leaf nation thinks Kaberle is the best defenseman since Bobby Orr. He is easily the most overrated defenseman in Southern Ontario history. This occured, however, because the Leafs nation hasn’t seen a true top tier defenseman since…..I can’t think of any, you tell me. Considering the Leafs need help in so many areas, the rebuilding needs to start now.

Rob Blake, D, Los Angeles Kings
He’s an unrestricted free-agent at the end of the year and is on a last place team. His chances of getting traded are as high as Snoop Dogg. The Kings have a good young foundation of players and need to get some good role players in return. They need some guys who can help mold their young players, yet not come with a steep price. The Kings desperately need goaltending as LaBarbera and Cloutier are as useless as a woman with no tits. There have been rumours about the Kings trying to aquire Ray Emery, which would make a lot of sense, except Emery would probably go all Jeremy Roenick Hollywood and be more interested in the LA life than playing (Compton?). Whatever they do, they need a goalie cause they aren’t going to accomplish much without one and Jonathan Bernier isn’t going to be NHL ready for two years still.

Olli Jokinen, C, Florida Panthers
Every year they say Jokinen is going to get traded and he never does, but here we go again. He’s not happy about the management in Florida and wants to play with a winner. Can you blame the guy? He’s been probably the only consistent player in that organization the last five years, excluding Luongo. Is Jay Boumeester ever going to be a great NHL defenseman? I know he’s good and all but I, like many others, thought he’d be the next Chris Pronger watching him as a 16 year old in the World Juniors. He’s still young and has amazing potential but every time I see him he looks like a deer caught in headlights out there and I’m losing faith that he’ll ever be great. Nathan Horton has also been a big time disappointment so far, even forgiving the injury problems.

Brian Campbell, D, Buffalo Sabres
Campbell has been trying to get a deal done with the Sabre brass now for months but neither side wants to budge. The Sabres don’t want to give him the kind of money he wants and I don’t blame them. Is he good? Sure. Is he top 10-15 defenseman in the league good? Hell no, and that’s what kind of money he wants. The Sabres are going to shop him around since he’s an UFA this off-season and see what they can get. The Sabres have been playing better hockey of late and my boy Thomas Vanek is finally playing the way I thought he would all season. Ryan Miller has been playing very well of late too so don’t be surprised if they make a splash in the playoffs this year.

Vaclav Prospal, LW, and Dan Boyle, D, Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning are still kicking themselves in the nuts for that Brad Richards deal. He’s getting like what, 7 million a year??? Wow, can you say overpaid? With so much money tied into the big three ( Richards, St. Louis and Lecavalier), they are looking to dump some other guys who will command big cash. Prospal is a UFA after the year and should get at least a couple 2nd rounders in return. Boyle’s a really solid D-man and will draw a lot of interest from many teams, especially those needing power play help. The Lightning are a team that isn’t going to be good for a while because nobody is going to take Richards’ contract on and that will cripple them in the near future. They also have goaltending that plays as good as Rita McNeil looks naked.

And as an added bonus, here’s a quick look at how I feel the Final Standings will finish as of now and what will happen in the playoffs (keep in mind a lot will change from now to when the playoffs start):

This article has been submitted by Alex “don’t call me Al” Snyder.

4 Responses to “NHL Trade Deadline - Anything Happening?”

  1. Blake Murphy Says:

    What?? No Leafs in the playoffs?? That’s news to me…

    Seriously though, good article AlEX. I’ve heard so many conflicting NHL rumors from ESPN and TSN I’m basically just waiting for actual news at this point. I’ve heard Sundin linked to 24 NHL teams plus an AHL team and a few Russian teams, and I’ve heard Hossa rumors ranging from “he will be traded, 100% for sure” to “there is absolutely no way he will be traded” all citing ‘reliable’ sources.

    What do you think is the most likely destination for Sundin?

  2. stu Says:

    Campbell to the Sharks in a deal that includes The Devin Setoguchi.

  3. Erik Says:

    Add Dan Boyle of T-Bay to that list, I think he’s a solid player that can help a contender. The bolts have got to be as eager to sell as the leafs.

    I also agree with your assessment of the West. I think San Jose is legit, but they need another scorer and they need to find a way to win some f’ing home games. They’re dangerously close to losing their playoff spot. As for the Wings, they have too much riding on their top line and the goaltending has gotten soft… FAST. Two-headed-goalie-monsters are always great when you’re winning and the worst thing imaginable when you’re losing. (See Philly, Ottawa, Montreal, Anaheim ‘06/’07, San Jose ‘06/’07, etc etc etc)

    As far as the East? What a mess. Anyone could win there. No more than 3 weeks ago, I looked online at Stanley Cup Futures Odds and the Sabres were 50-1.

  4. Erik Says:

    I’m an idiot. Dan Boyle already is on the list.

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