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3 Questions to Ponder - Week of June 28

by Chewbacca 1. July 2009 06:20

1. Who won the Pronger deal?

There is only one way that Philadelphia comes out of this trade without a heap of stink on their chest.  3 years from now (or even 6 months from now), we could look back on this deal as the worst trade in last 5 years.  The Flyers gave up a lot of promising young talent, in addition to some significant draft picks, to acquire an aging defenseman that they will struggle to find cap space for. 


On Anaheim's side, knowing Niedermeyer will be back again in the fall, and after adding Whitney at last season's deadline, they were able to let Pronger go without much set back to their defense.  Meanwhile, they've stockpiled some players and picks that could help them for years to come.  In addition, it will open the door for underrated James Wizniewski to get the playing time he deserves.


So, unless the Flyers manage to take down the Penguins as Eastern Conference Champs (which they could well do in 2009), this trade goes overwhelming to the Ducks.


2. Will Gomez be successful in Montreal?

Gomez never quite fit into the Ranger's lineup from the day he arrived.  Not that this makes him unique.  It's hard to remember a big name (other than possibly Jagr) that the Rangers have added in the past decade that helped the player's career.  Gomez is a gifted playmaker that will prosper if he gets paired up with at least one scoring winger, and is given ample playing time.  Both of these things should unfold in Montreal for Gomez next season.  Look for him to possibly put up a career season in Montreal in 2009.  He may ultimately be the lone bright spot for the Canadiens going into training camp.


3. Who will play the wing in Pittsburgh?

The Penguins have a history of recycling wingers by plucking up players on the tail end of a decent career, and squeezing one or two inexpensive seasons out them before retirement.  (Sandstrom, Robitaille, Sykora, Satan, etc.).  It seems unlikely that Sykora or Satan will be back, and Fedetanko is questionable.  It's possible that the Pens will just promote from within, but that's not how they historically address the position.  So who will the Pens target, now that Free Agent season has begun?  Here are a few names to ponder:

  • Alex Tanguay - Tanguay has flirted with greatness over the years, but hasn't lived up to the hype of rookie season in Colorado.  A saucer pass or two every other shift from Crosby could put Tanguay into the 30 goal territory.
  • Erik Cole - Erik's not exactly at the end of his career, but he would be a great fit in Pittsburgh.  Rumors were he was possibly going to Pittsburgh at the deadline last season.  Could Orpik and Cole co-exist?
  • Brian Gionta - Gionta really only enjoyed one great season, scoring 48 goals in 2005.  While he'll never reach that height again, he could crack 30 in a Penguin sweater
  • Alex Kovalev - Kovalev enjoyed his greatest success as a Penguin.  The Pittsburgh fans would love to see his wristshot back in the Igloo for one or two more seasons.

3 Questions to Ponder - Week of June 21

by Chewbacca 24. June 2009 06:02

1. Does anybody really believe that Daryl and Brent didn't speak about the job until last week?


Two weeks ago, Brent Sutter stepped down from the Devils, citing that he just wanted to spend time at home.  Two weeks later, to the surprise of nobody, he turns up as the head coach in Calgary, working for his brother.  League rules state that a coach under contract can't talk to other GM's without first getting the permission of the other team.  According to the Sutters, Daryl didn't ask for permission until after Brent stepped down.  Now what are the chances that Brent left NJ prior to having any discussion with his own brother about possibly coaching upon his return?


In other words, what happened to the league's high and mighty stance on following "league rules".  If you've listened to any of Commissioner Bettman's comments regarding the situation in Phoenix, the situation is 100% about "enforcing league rules".  Yet, nobody from the NHL has even questioned the Sutters on league rules in this case.  Now, it's likely that Lou in NJ has been in on this all along, and being a classy guy (yes, there is one in New Jersey), he doesn't want to make an issue out of this.  I'm just looking for a little consistency from the NHL office from week to week on their high and mighty rules adherence.


2. Will San Jose sign Chris Chelios this summer?


Since they've given up hope of winning past April, the Sharks have started a trend of bringing back washed up, irritating old-timers.  So will the trend continue?  The Redwings finally decided it's time to take down the tent from the Chelios charity circus.  And only 5 seasons overdue.  Chelios showed in limited action during the playoffs that he just can't keep up.  Why they kept him on this long is a mystery, coming from a GM who doesn't seem to make mistakes.  I can't picture any team wasting time on Chelios next season.  Even the Sharks.  Hang 'em up Chris.  You won't be missed by me.


3. How many years will it take for Tampa Bay to win another playoff series?


The failures of Phoenix/Winnipeg and the New York Islanders come playoff time over the last two decades has been well documented.  Neither team has given fans much to cheer about.  The Islanders have been more prominent in bone-headed management mistakes, blowing opportunity after opportunity, while the Coyotes simply have never risen above mediocre.  While those streaks may continue for years to come, there's a new team to add to the Club. 


No team has been so badly mismanaged since the lockout.  After winning the Cup the year before, it's hard to find a single move that worked out well for this club.  And now, they're supposedly poised to trade away the last remaining piece of respectability the franchise has left.  Vinny Lecavalier.  Once this happens, the league should call Jim Balsillie, and beg him to move this franchise.  I can't imagine the fans in Florida will stand by this team over the next 5 to 10 years as they miss the playoffs again and again.


I'm placing the over/under at 2019 before they win another series.  Any takers?


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