Five things: Only two of which even tangentially connect to the Flames

Ryan Lambert
July 25 2012 03:26PM

1. Now things are moving

Shea Weber? Locked up. Rick Nash? Finally traded. Shane Doan? Came out and set a deadline for the Coyotes to figure everything out or else he's gone.

The logjam that existed when I wrote about the stagnant trade market last week is now no longer an issue, and one suspects that will get everyone up off their asses and onto the phones, as teams now seek frantically offload some of their unwanted contracts before someone else starts giving out offer sheets or trading largely inconsequential pieces for regular 30-goal scorers. We now have about two or three premier free agents left on the market, one of whom no one will sign because he's Alex Semin. The second Doan signs with the Flyers or the Rangers, pretty much every team will be more or less set with their rosters as far as major free agent transactions are concerned.

Thus, all that stuff about the Flames not being able make moves because no one is interested in doing at this time so should be out the window. And it's then that we'll see just how committed Jay Feaster is to keeping the roster as is, which he's said he's comfortable with.

Given what Nash fetched, or rather, failed to fetch, one supposes that the trade market is more profitable for buyers rather than sellers these days, and given the number of teams looking for defensive help, can a Jay Bouwmeester bidding war be especially far away?

And okay yes, this is all harping on Bouwmeester, but the reason he's been talked up is that he's the one big-ticket contract on the Flames besides Miikka Kiprusoff, Mark Giordano, and Jarome Iginla, who are under lock and key, that wasn't a Feaster acquisition. Cammalleri, Tanguay, Hudler, Cervenka, Wideman. All Feaster guys.

And okay yes, there's also Anton Babchuk and Matt Stajan, but it's important to be realistic about people wanting these contracts. No one wants these contracts and for very good reasons: They — both the players and the deals — pretty much stink.

At least Bouwmeester has demonstrable value. There's a lot of talk from teams around the league about how "we won't trade our guy unless someone really bowls us over." But if the Flames don't get rid of him given an even good offer, they're making a huge mistake. If that's what Rick Nash pulls, home-run deals aren't going to happen. Get used to it.

2. Okay here's something about that Doan deadline

As mentioned above, Doan came out and said earlier this week that the Coyotes have until Friday to get their ownership situation sorted out at least to the point where he could receive assurances about their viability in the desert.

Hope he wasn't holding his breath.

I do believe that Doan wanted to stay with the only franchise he's ever played for earlier, and he's right that, at some point, enough has to be enough. He's been taking meetings with interested teams for a while now and it's hard to imagine at least one didn't knock his socks off with an offer that's for too many years, too much money and, most realistically, both.

But on the other hand, going from, "I want to see how this vote plays out on July 8," to, "If you don't have this sinking ship back up to full speed by Friday, I'm gone," seems a bit much, no? It's like the drill sergeant in a bad military movie who messes up your perfectly-made bed right in front of you, then screams at you to make your bed like he told you.

Now that Doan has seen what's out there, I can't imagine a return to the desert, regardless of the Jamison bid's future — because let's be honest, how many of these things have we seen already — will be the best possible idea for him as he seeks his cash-out contract.

You can't blame the guy for wanting out, but the way he wants out sure is crummy.

3. Poor Tim Erixon

Hahahahahahahahaha.

4. Some quick thoughts on Rick Nash

I theory, I like the idea of the Rangers going out and getting Rick Nash. They gave up relatively little for a guy who could be a dominant top-line winger alongside a great playmaker like Brad Richards and another goalscoring threat like Marian Gaborik. That top power play unit could be terrifying. It also fleshes out the Rangers' one true weakeness last season: A mediocre top-six.

(Yeah, Nash is on a really bad contract but the Rangers are basically a plaything for a terribly rich man who can afford to bury tens of millions of dollars' worth of bad deals in the minor leagues because, well, who cares? If it comes to it, Rick Nash could finish out his Rangers career riding the bus for all anyone cares.)

And with Nash, the Rangers instantly become a team with more credibility than they already had and, given that they already won that division last season, don't seem less likely to do so again given that every other team in the division is now worse (Flyers, Devils) or in stasis (Penguins, Islanders). This feels very much like an arms race against no one in particular, which, I suppose, is a good way to improve an already very successful team.

I know it's kind of rote to say the Rangers are favorites in the East and will likely compete for the Stanley Cup next June, but, well, look at them. Good team, money to spend, just went out and got a great wing. I don't know how Glen Sather does it.

5. Don't cry for me, Shea Weber

I love love love that Shea Weber is now crying poor because the Predators may or may not give him the no-trade clause the Flyers were going to. Boo hoo it really sucks having $110 million dollars. This is the worst day.

Hey Shea, if you wanted all that money and to get locked in with Philly for the next decade and a half, maybe you should have just demanded a trade instead of signing an offer sheet. The Flyers (and a few other teams) apparently thought a trade was possible before Paul Holmgren said "screw it" and just slid him the offer sheet instead. I don't recall hearing anything about a trade demand, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

I get it from his end: He wanted a big deal before the CBA expired so he could maximize his earnings. He wanted to go to a city that he knew would spend big money and be a premier free agent destination for the remainder of his career. He wanted assurances that he wouldn't be traded from there, as Holmgren is wont to do with all long-term signees not named Dany Briere.

But it's like, hey buddy, you just tried to screw the team you're now tied to for the next 14 seasons. Why do you think they should owe you something beyond what the CBA mandates they do? If it makes you feel any better, you can use part of the $27 million you'll receive by next July 1 to get plastic surgery that renders you unable to either cry or pout.

 

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Yer ol' buddy Lambert is handsome and great and everyone loves him. Also you can visit his regular blog at The Two-Line Pass or follow him on Twitter. Lucky you!
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#1 Kevin R
July 26 2012, 09:58AM
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Yeah, big quality centres are a dime a dozen, I think we should be able to get 2 of them for JBO. What were we thinking.

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#2 JF
July 25 2012, 03:55PM
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*Bangs Head on Table*

Sigh... if Bouwmeester "has demonstrable value" why is it a mistake to not trade him for just a "good" return? Geez, Is there anyone available on the free agent market that can replace what he can do? If yes, teams will sign him instead of trade for Bouwmeester, If no, then why would we want to trade him?

The blueliners likely to be up with the team are currently: Bouwmeester, Giordano, Wideman, Butler, Brodie, Sarich, Smith... that's a pretty good (not great) collection of defensemen. Subtract Bouwmeester from that group and it goes from pretty good to pretty crappy in an instant.

It would be a huge mistake to trade Bouwmeester for anything short of a deal that knocks your socks off.

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#3 Justin Azevedo
July 26 2012, 12:17PM
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no one under 6'2 was ever good at hockey!!!

hey, you know what? david moss is like 6'3 and 225. he's hurt all the time. why is size the determining factor on a player?

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#4 Bean-counting cowboy
July 25 2012, 03:59PM
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1. I could see the Isles maybe biting on Stajan.

2. Agreed. Doan goes elsewhere. He's been a good soldier but time to get some financial & hockey security. He deserves it. Might as well cash out.

3. I hope other young prospects are watching & seeing what happened with Timmy. The "me" generation think they are owed the world at such young ages. When you have proved nothing, you are owed nothing.

4. Rangers will be scary, especially if they use that cap space to get either Doan or Semin, or trade for more defense.

5. Love your take.

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#5 the-wolf
July 25 2012, 04:22PM
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@JF - given we're not doing a blow-up rebuild, agreed. Staying competitive for 9th/10th place is a pipe dream if they move JBo.

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#6 Colin
July 25 2012, 04:33PM
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Why the hell would Nashville give any sort of NTC to Weber, if I was Nashville I'd give him 5 team MAX NTC as a token appreaciation.

But lets see how well giving a player a huge contract and a full NTC has worked for Columbus and Nash, Ottawa and Heatley, Toronto and Sundin, Calgary and their entire Roster. There are some other higher profile examples I'm missing here.

But you know next year that he's probably gonna ask for a trade again, why the hell would Nashville limit the amount of teams he's going to be traded to. If you give him one, give him a NTC that kicks in after the first 7-8 years deal.

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#7 RKD
July 25 2012, 04:49PM
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Maybe the appetite for Jay-Bo really isn't there. After Suter signed, I figured teams like Detroit and Philly and others would have come to Feaster to get Jay-Bo.

However, with Holland and Holmgren going public they are happy with their d going forward maybe Jay-Bo isn't the guy they want.

Sure his cap hit is high at $6.7 million but he's only got two years left. He is durable being the NHL ironman and plays a lot of minutes.

Maybe what other teams are offering is not good enough for Feaster or Feaster's asking price is too high. He's probably trying to get a team to take one of Babchuck or Stajan as part of a package deal.

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#8 Colin.S
July 25 2012, 04:53PM
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I wasn't under my account when I posted earlier so I can't edit my comment(#4), but add Regehr to that list.

Also add Loungo.

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#9 McRib
July 25 2012, 05:08PM
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Jay Bouwmeester was -21 last season the next closest defender was Chris Butler at -9. He plays a lot of minutes but with the addition of Wideman and improved play of Brodie, Smith, Butler it makes him expendable if the right offer comes along.

Its funny everyone is knocking Wideman's defensive play because of the past couple of season playing on Washington (-1) and Florida (-26) really killed his +/-, both of those teams had no clue how to play defence. When he was with Boston though (Defensive team) he was +26 in 3 1/2 seasons.

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#10 SmellOfVictory
July 25 2012, 05:32PM
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"I love love love that Shea Weber is now crying poor because the Predators may or may not give him the no-trade clause the Flyers were going to. Boo hoo it really sucks having $110 million dollars. This is the worst day."

This is my favourite set of words so far this week.

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#11 Baalzamon
July 25 2012, 07:05PM
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@McRib

... people knock Wideman's defensive play because he's... shall we say, interesting in the defensive zone. He really isn't all that good. He isn't bad (like Babchuk) but he's certainly below average for a top 4 dman. His offensive contributions, especially on the powerplay, offset that to some extent, however.

also, +/- is almost certainly the most useless stat in existence, so using it as an indictment on Bouwmeester is really not the best argument you can make. Jeff Schultz once led the league in +/-. Jeff Schultz. Relatively recently, Toni Lydman was in the top 3. Christian Ehrhoff was once a +36. does that mean he's good defensively? Nope, because he's not.

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#12 Franko J
July 25 2012, 09:53PM
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I wouldn't be surprised in a couple of seasons Wideman will be the new "Whipping Boy" for the majority of Flames fans just like JBO and Stajan are now.

Just think were would the Flames be if they actually had a good scouting department back in 2003. Ramholt whatever happened to him? In regards to the Nash trade the CBJ, for season after season they drafted high and could never find the right players to compliment him. Whether it was a bad or good trade, the trading of Nash was inevitable because of poor drafting and development from within. For the most part, CBJ have played in a very tough and highly competitive division against teams with a far more superior lineups with talent than they have had.

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#13 FireOnIce
July 25 2012, 10:04PM
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JBo + Wahl for Paul Stastny. Do it Feaster.

Bouwmeester and Stastny make the exact same amount. Calgary gets a really good center, potential #1, to play with Iginla and doesn't add to the payroll, monetary or time-wise.

Colorado gets someone to line up next to Erik Johnson or they might potentially have 2 very good top D pairings. Duchene and O'Reilly can duke it out for 1-2 Cs, Mitchell and Olver can bring up the rear.

Sounds like a plan to me. We know JBo doesn't ever hit, so leveling him a couple times a game, 6 games a year, would be good for him and us.

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#14 theartfuldodger
July 25 2012, 10:13PM
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Feaster...all I want for Christmas is JBo to stay on our team.

oh...and a fire under #12's butt!

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#15 JF
July 25 2012, 11:17PM
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@the-wolf

Yes, if they were doing a tank job rebuild then trading JBo for just a good return is fine... but that would make everything Feaster has done this offseason stupid... you don't sign Wideman, Stemps, and Hudler if your doing that because it's just a waste. We're not doing a tank job rebuild so constantly harping on the team to do something that only makes sense if one is happening (even though it by extension it makes several other moves pointless) is just a waste of time.

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#16 Kevin R
July 25 2012, 11:25PM
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@Fireonice: Totally agree that a Statsny for JBO is a perfect fit for both teams. Our D would scare the pee out of me but our centre position would look a hell of a lot better. I think Statsny needs a change of scenery as well & could do very well under Hartley.

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#17 BurningSensation
July 26 2012, 08:20AM
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I'm still choked we didn't chase after Peter Mueller harder. Sigh.

I think Feaster is waiting for reality to sink in for a few GMs, Holland and Holmgren in particular, as the gaping holes on their blue lines (Lidstrom/Rafalski/Stuart + Pronger/Carle) start to fester.

From Deroit I'd look for a pair of youngsters, like Smith-D and Tatar-C, and from Philly I'd pull out the stops to get either Couturier or B Schenn as the centerpiece of the return.

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#18 BurningSensation
July 26 2012, 08:28AM
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Ugh, double post. Need more coffee.

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#19 Baalzamon
July 26 2012, 08:55AM
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I like the idea of moving for Stastny. But a thought occurs... The Flames already have too many forwards, and adding one more... plus, the defense looks pretty bad without JBo.

on the other side, the Avs are banking on all of Parenteau, Downie, and Jones to be top 6 forwards, and have a decent enough d corps to afford losing one player if they're getting an upgrade back. I propose:

Bouwmeester + Winger (Glencross or Cammalleri, in spite of the price, are most likely) + maybe a B prospect or a minor league contract

for

Stastny + Defenseman (Wilson is most likley, though Hejda is a possiblity if salary is an issue)

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#20 I'm Just Sayin'
July 26 2012, 09:14AM
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Trade for Stastny? Just what the team needs, another small centre. Wow. Glad you guys aren't running the show, tangentially speaking.

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#21 Baalzamon
July 26 2012, 12:25PM
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@I'm Just Sayin'

in what universe is Stastny small? He's average sized, like Backlund.

besides, who cares? He's had a couple down years, sure, but he's in his prime, he's got good 2way ability, and he has skill. Getting Stastny is, in no way, a bad move. The question is whether he's worth giving up Bouwmeester, not whether he's worth getting in the first place.

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#22 Danger
July 26 2012, 12:54PM
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@Justin Azevedo

Good point! I see this is one of your pet peeves as well.

Height would matter a lot if the nets were ten feet off the ground like in basketball, or even if the puck was often passed in the air like in lacrosse. But that's not hockey. Similarly weight would matter a lot more if tackling were allowed like in football or rugby, but it isn't. Hockey requires skill and speed so much more than size, and that's part of what makes it so interesting to watch.

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#23 Danger
July 26 2012, 12:54PM
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Getting back on topic:

2. I really can't fault Doan at all for the way he's handled himself. You have to remember that this ownership saga has been his life for a couple of years now, so the only thing that surprises me is that he's put up with the uncertainty and the waiting games for as long as he has.

4. As good as they look on paper right now, I can't get behind a NY team loaded up with mercenaries cherry-picked from the smaller market teams who helped developed them. Not that I blame Sather for taking full advantage of Howson's position/incompetence, but I honestly think I'd pull for their opponent in a playoff series regardless of who the Blueshirts were playing. Heck, I think I'd even rather see Shelbyville win another cup. (Well, maybe that's overstating it a bit... but at least their long-suffering fans have had to endure half a decade of futility in order to stock up on marquee players.)

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#24 Tears of RED
July 26 2012, 01:34PM
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Looks like the player nobody wants just sign an one year deal for a cool $7M with the Hurricanes.

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#25 the-wolf
July 26 2012, 02:10PM
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ree-donk-u-luss

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#26 schevvy
July 26 2012, 02:12PM
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7 million bucks for Semin?!?!? Holy bonkers. That is a load of money. At least it's only 1 year

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#27 loudogYYC
July 26 2012, 02:17PM
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Justin Azevedo wrote:

no one under 6'2 was ever good at hockey!!!

hey, you know what? david moss is like 6'3 and 225. he's hurt all the time. why is size the determining factor on a player?

It has to be athleticism/agility. A big forward that skates and moves poorly isn't scary at all, but Malkin, Eric Staal and Jordan Staal would intimidate any dman.

Part of Dinosaur Sutter's thinking was accurate in that you can't teach size, he just didn't consider other important parts of the equation.

Jankowski has hands and vision and the gift of size. If he can bring it all together he'll be a great Centre.

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#28 Old Soldier
July 26 2012, 02:22PM
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"We now have about two or three premier free agents left on the market, one of whom no one will sign because he's Alex Semin."

Signed a 1 year $7 million contract with Carolina......

Poor deal for Nash? Maybe, Maybe not.....depends on what you base it on

Cap Hit comparables for Nash, Stamkos and Parise. If that is the rational, good deal for the Rangers.

Stat comparables for Nash (4 years removed from 40 goal season), are Pasqual Dupuis and Justin Williams. Stats are comparable for last 2 years. Good geal for Columbus.

Intangible argument? irrelevant. Poor team held stats down? Williams played on 3rd line most of the season. Will do better with better players....possible,how much better was Gaborik with Richards, since that was the argument last year.

As far as Bouwmeester. For the money he costs what does he bring to any team? Is he a shutdown guy? Nope. Is he an offensive dynamo? Nope. Is he a physical force that keeps other players honest? Nope. Bouwmeester is the safest Hockey player in the world. He wont hurt you. He wont help you. He just is.....

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#29 Baalzamon
July 26 2012, 03:19PM
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@Old Soldier

"Is he a shutdown guy?"

yes.

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#30 Tears of RED
July 26 2012, 04:43PM
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I guess some people don't consider JBo as a shutdown guy because he was minus whatever the number last season. In JBo's defence, most worked as a shutdown pair whose partner is significantly better than a number 5 or 6 d-man. Just saying....

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#31 I'm Just Sayin'
July 26 2012, 06:27PM
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Baalzamon wrote:

@I'm Just Sayin'

in what universe is Stastny small? He's average sized, like Backlund.

besides, who cares? He's had a couple down years, sure, but he's in his prime, he's got good 2way ability, and he has skill. Getting Stastny is, in no way, a bad move. The question is whether he's worth giving up Bouwmeester, not whether he's worth getting in the first place.

The universe of the NHL. Did you miss the finals this year? Are you his Dad? If so, I have to say I was a big fan and can I have your autograph?

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#32 Baalzamon
July 26 2012, 06:51PM
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@I'm Just Sayin'

you make no sense. Stastny is EXACTLY average height for an NHL center. exactly.

besides, he's bigger than both Cammalleri and Cervenka, so what's your problem? Or do you want the Flames to trade for Dustin Brown? I'd be very interested to know just how you intend to pull that off.

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#33 I'm Just Sayin'
July 26 2012, 07:15PM
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@Baalzamon

Jeff Carter 6'4" 199 Anze Kopitar 6'3" 225 Jarret Stoll 6'1" 213 I make no sense? You have wee man syndrome me thinks.

Stastny, unfortunately does not play like his Dad or Uncles i.e. no grit, which would compensate for his lack of size and strength. I can't comment on Roman, but at least Michael plays with some sand in his jock strap.

If the team is bent on trading Jay, then they need at least 2 pieces to fill top 3 and/or top 2 in return.

Stastny is not a number one, by anybody's definition (except maybe yours), if he was, do you think they would trade him inside the division? WTFU.

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#34 McRib
July 26 2012, 08:10PM
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@Baalzamon

"people knock Wideman's defensive play because he's...."

You sound just like the Kool-Aid Drinkers at TSN and the Hockey News so certain of nothing. I personally comment on what I've seen. If Wideman went to any other team it would have been how great a pick up it was, but for whatever reason they all think we should tank for a decade to get a couple unproven first overall picks like Edmonton. They thought the same of Ottawa last year... They were supposed to finish dead last... They did not. The reason Edmonton tanked is because no Free Agent wanted to go there... Dany Heatley ring a bell?

Having watched Wideman in Boston's run in '09 (+32 that year) and with Washington last season he never once glaringly stood out for me, just don't see what your talking about. John Carlson (-15) definitely did and the whole playoffs, yet TSN continued to sing his defensive praise. Haha.

"also, +/- is almost certainly the most useless stat in existence....."

The Flames drafted Brett Kulak as would any team who selected him, solely on his +/- and upside. In terms of defenseman any scout I have ever talked to mentions a prospects situational +/- second if not first when assessing them. The odd time its irrelevant when a player is leaving the ice or what have you but 9 times out of 10 it is a direct indication. Completely disagree with it being a useless stat, so does every scout I've ever talked to.

Jeff Schultz is +83 for his career and only once in six season has he ever finished in the negatives (Last season -2). Christian Ehrhoffs departure from Vancouver was a major reason why Vancouver went from a Stanley Cup finalist to being eliminated in the first round. Kevin Bieksa +/- after his departure dropped 20 points. Toni Lydman has been a plus player every year outside of those spent in Calgary in our horrendous "young guns era".

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#35 McRib
July 26 2012, 08:36PM
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@Baalzamon

"His (Wideman) offensive contributions, especially on the powerplay, offset that to some extent.."

Wideman is a Top 10 offensive defenseman in the league.

Look at his Point Totals the last five season: '12 (46 Pts), '11 (40 Pts), '10 (30 Pts), '09 (50 Pts), '08 (36 Pts) Ryan Suters Last Five years: '12 (46 Pts), '11 (39 Pts), '10 (37 Pts), '09 (45 Pts), '08 (31 Pts)

Suter is making $7.5 Mil, yet Wideman is only making $5.25 but according to THN he is the worst signing of the off season. Haha. Not to mention second assist machine Matt Carle signed for $5.5 Wideman had 7 more goals than him last year.

Other Defenders Wideman finished ahead of in points last season: Dion Phaneuf, Drew Doughty, Mike Green (last two years Wideman has 55 more points), James Wisniewski $5.5 Million, Brent Seabrook, Ducan Keith, Kris Letang, Brent Burns, Keith Yandle, Kevin Bieksa, P.K. Subban, Tomas Kaberle.

Our Top.3 Defenders: Dennis Wideman , Mark Giordano, Jay Bouwmeester could easily have 110+ Points that is as productive a Blue line as any. Just don't see how we are going finish in 10-14 like all the "experts" are predicting.

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#36 Baalzamon
July 26 2012, 08:55PM
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@McRib

Wisniewski was probably the worst signing of all time.

I don't, and never did, agree with THN that Wideman was the worst, or even a bad signing. His contract was too much for too long, but it wasn't horrible, and he fills 3 needs of the Flames' that I can think of (offense from the blueline, RHS dman, top 4 dman). just don't expect him to be as good defensively as he is offensively.

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#37 Kevin R
July 26 2012, 09:25PM
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@ Baalzamon: I think based on the numbers it will be a wait & see how Wideman does. We desperately needed a 3-4 RHS dman, thats what we got & as a UFA you have to overpay in $$$ but remember, you gave up zero assets to acquire. The whining will start after year 3 of his deal. Whatever, every team gets stuck with these kind of contracts, nature of the beast.

@ Mcrib: Reason why the experts are projecting 10-14 is because of what we got down the middle(centres). Personally, I think if we trade JBO we have to have to get a good centre back, so a deal like Backlund & Jbo for Schenn or Courture from Philly would rock & I doubt Philly does that, maybe. Thats why Statsny is a very realistic target centre & he would be a huge upgrade from what we will be starting with as of right now. Our only hope if Feaster does nothing else is hope both Backlund has a huge rebound year & Cerevenka is the real deal or we have a lockout & then we'll be tied for 1st overall by the end of October:)

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