Hello Hockey Fans,
Well the annual trade line is coming up fast and as every year there will be teams that are looking at moving vets, dumping salalry, picking up younger players and nailing down rosters for a deep playoff run. Tonight I want to look at the Eastern Conference starting with the Atlantic Division, first off this Divisions is cooling off this season first off you have the New Jersey Devils not the team they used to be, New York Islanders yes folks they are still in the NHL, New York Rangers having a good season needs tweaking, Philadelphia okay so one red hot team, and the Crosbyless - Malkinless flightless birds. First lets take a look at the New Jersey Devils problems
New Jersey Devils
- First off, get rid of Lou Lamerello, the guy is over the hill and has been in control of the devils to long, he is not the GM for todays NHL, sorry for venting this is of course about the players
- First things first Lou you have a farm team, and there are players that are want to make the big club and you have quality players in Albany I would give Matt Anderson a chance with the big club is the leading scorer in the "A" and he is an all around top notch player, Lou you need to dump some salary and give the guy a chance
- Martin Brodeur, I am not going to knock a future Hall of Famer, best goalie in the league (Stats Only), sorry Im a Patrick Roy fan, but he has trouble staying healthy, he has the same Elbow problem all year, okay its not a major issue but still an issue, where as Johan Hedberg was done great in net this season and has filled big shoes at times, maybe its time to put Brodeur out to pasture, maybe he should call it quits, Hedberg would make it as a number one but find someone who can, with a team that only has about $1 Million dollars left in there cap space you will have to move your big salary players
- Personally I see Lou having to dump big players for draft picks, I mean they are sitting pretty in the draft anyways they use this to there advantage and make a move, your not going to make the playoffs any ways, move your players to contenders and collect and the draft.
- In closing the devils find themselves in a very unfirmiler sport, Lou it is called rebuilding, they have had there success with three Stanley Cup Championships, however they need to rebuild I mean you do have Kovalchuck so you have a franchise player, build around him but drop some salary first.
New York Islanders
- First point I need to make is yes they still play in the NHL, but they need to make a change in both the General Manager spot and in ownership, I am sorry but Garth Snow pulled his pads of one night and is the GM the next, no experiance what so ever, and Charles Wang sure he may be committed to the team and to Union Dale New York but at the same time, the biggest news out of Uniondale during the off season was the fact that they now offer cupcakes during the game
- The Isles are 10.4 Million under there allowable salalry cap, this is the time to make a move, but the number one problem is most players are not willing to go to the Island, but John Tavares needs more then Matt Moulsen, I like Matt is a good player and I agree with Wang dicussion to resign him for good money that is deserved by Moulson, but Tavares and Moulsen for that matter need a better supporting cast
- First place to start for the Islanders, is a major upgrade in goaltending, they let Roloson go for a nobody, they need a standup goalie that is willing to put in the hard work to help make this team at least a playoff team instead of the joke of the NHL, hey I here Emery is looking to make a come back. Ray has experiance he is a mouth piece but can carry a team.
New York Rangers
- I like the Rangers they are sitting pretty in 6th place in the Eastern Conference, they dont need alot of help in many areas, they made a smart move earlier in January when they picked uo Wolski from the Coyotes, he will be able to help turn over pucks and is a good two way player
- On the defensive side of the Rangers team, it is very strong not alot of holes in this group of D-Men, Marc Staal has had a littel struggle this year, but for the most part is playing strong hockey and is able to create turn overs, Del Zotto is another D-Man that has come into his own as of late, again he has struggled but is playing very sound hockey I would leave the defence alone, Goaltending is very soild Lundquisvt is an awesome goalie and should be a Vezina winner some time soon, and if he goes down Biron can for sure fill in, he is not as good as Henrick but he can make it work
- This is ther Rangers 85th season in the NHL, and although there are not a Stanley Cup caliber team this year they will be soon, John Torterella is a great coach with a good crew, if anything he will be the man to lead them there next Stanley Cup Championship, he doesnt take crap fromhis players and will give disipline when it is due, Thumber Up Johnny.
- At the trade dealine, I would like see the Rangers for a forward that is a very soild two way player, they have Avery and Boogarrd so enough with the enforcers but there are under $500,000 in free cap space so Sather will have to be crafty, I cant see them moving big names at the dealine maybe some draft picks and prospects, with the exception of Wade Redden, he will be very hard to move, but if the righ tdeal comes along Redden will be on the first thing smoking out of the Big Apple.
- Dont forget that the Rangers also have a great team with there AHL affilate the Conneticut Whale, if they do want to stock pile for the future they have alot of movement available there, so at the dealine look for the Rangers to move only prospects and draft picks
- Where should I start with the team that tied for top spot in the League, well not much to say the only move I would make as GM of the Flyers is try to move Bartulis for a second tier defencemen and a draft pick
- If this squad stays healthy it will be a great finish to the season for them, they finished strong last year with a run to the Stanley Cup Finals and they have been hungry ever since, maybe they will do what Pittsburgh did a few years back.
- Now Matty Walker has been placed on waviers and has been moved to the Phantoms, so he is not out of the Flyers line up for good, but Philly has a way of taking no names and making them stars, Pronger will be key to helping develop young d's and he is man for the challenge. Goaltending is shored up really well for the Flyers for the first time since the Robert Ecshe era, with Bobrovsky and Boucher already in Philly sounds like a very soild goaltending duo, but should one go down with injury they still have Leighton on the Phantoms who helped carry the time to the finals last year
- In April I say that the Flyers end the season first overall and with the Presidents Trophy
- First goaltending, sure MA Fluery is a very soild proven goalie however, but should he go down there is no way that Johnson can carry this team anywhere but to the golf course, but with only $100,000 left under the cap, they will have to clean house before being able to sign a great second string tender.
- I am not a Crosby hater but he has had health issues this season and with the concussion I am wondering if he is going to be a target or not. Malkin can carry this team without Crosby, but he has been hurt twice this season as well, the birds need to find a way to get a top tier centre men to cover Crosby and Malkin inc ase these guys are ready to make a deep May June run.
- Mike Comrie ship him out of town he shoud just go away case closed
- Aaron Asham needs a bigger role on this team he is a soild player and can work deep in the corners and can cause turn overs and can move and score when needed, Asham will be a key player in any type of playoff run.
- They need to build up there farm system, instead of thinking of the now think of the furture Mario, you need a stronger farm club that actually come up and replace guys like Crosby, Malkin and Talbot, Big T is only making a million a year he will skip for more money, you need reserves, I see the Penguins moving draft picks
That is my take on the Atlantic Division coming up for this years draft, not alot of big names will be moved unless the Isles get there show on the road, mostly draft picks.
The Hockey Guru