Hello again Hockey Fans, welcome to part two of my evaluation for the up coming trade deadline today we are going to take a look at the Northeast Division. I want to start with Beantown.
First things first is the Boston goaltending situation this is the best goalie duo in all of the National Hockey League, Tim Thomas is on course for another Vezina Season, not counting last nights spill in the fastest skater challenge last night, he leads the NHL in shutouts with 7 and in GAA 1.81, and who forget Tukka Rask thanks to Toronto. Rask, who carried the Bruins into and through there playoff run last year is ready willing and able to be a number one tender, but Thomas won that job fair and square, this year a non issue, goalies are staying put
Then there is the Marc Savard saga, concussion and concussion like syptoms not saying he is not a great player Savard has skill, he is just a question mark for the future but because he is signed through the 2016-2017 season and 4 million per season that is ruffly $24 Million in salary that the Bruins would have to move and most teams just can't take that type of option on a guy with a history of health issues. I see Savard staying a Bruin for this season and next unless he keeps getting councussions they opt to buy him out and cut there losses.
The Bruins have one million free dollars available to them in there cap, however here is the problem, they Blake Wheeler and Brad Marchand coming up as RFA's, not to forget that they also have Michael Ryder, Mark Recchi, Zdeno Chara and Mark Stuart all ending this season as UFA's, so there lies the problem, Wheeler is a great player and will probaly be strong for the for seeable future so, do they move him and keep him at 2.2 Million he could be easily moved for draft position which the Bruins are sitting pretty anyways, they could move him just to free up space under the cap. Brad Marchand and his salary could be moved to the Bruin Cubs in the Providence Michael Ryder would be worth re-signing Mark Recchi is good, but he is getting a little long in the tooth and may finish out the season with the B's and be on his way. Mark Stuart could be moved at any time, to free up space for Zdeno Chara, I would free as much space as possible to re-sign the big guy to important to Bostons defensive group.
All and all the Bruins are sitting in a good spot and may make small moves for the trade deadline and set up for the future I see thm making a round three appereance in this years playoffs.
With only 12 players on contract for next season the Sabres have there work cut out for them, they have 7 UFA's and 5 RFA's and some of them are important to this club I can see the club trying to move Mike Grier at the trade deadline, I dont beleive that Buffalo is the future for this guy, Little Brother Niedermayer may make it thruogh the season but I see him leaving Buffalo soon and I dont beleive that I would resign him. As for the rest of there young core like Sekera, Butler, and Weber will be resigned for next year this will be there main focus.
As far the trade deadline, I would move Lalime if I was in control of the Sabres he is just wasting his time behind Miller anyways they should move him Tyler Plante should make his NHL debut as Millers back up in 2011-12 season.
There is ownership question in Buffalo, and with ownership questions comes the fact that some players will not sign or staying with a team after a trade because the future is unstable, players are looking for a home with stability, this may play against the Sabres in both the trade dealine and off season trading. The sabres will make the playoffs but will not go far
- Montreal Canadians
15 players have there contracts end after the 2010-11 season, so again Montreal will see movement and the dealine. Carey Price and Alex Auld are both safe, Price will not be moved and I beleive I see Auld getting resigned with the Habs, the team has more chemistry on it this season then any in the past, the only problem is Scott Gomez and his 7.3 million a year and numbers that show that of a sub par rookie, however the Habs will be unable to mov him so he is safe. Andrei Kostitsyn not so much, I think that the Habs should move him he is a good player but I think the could him very easily to a sub par team and get a great player in return, I like him but his days are numbered
James Wisniewski picked up from the New York Islanders, is by far the best move the Habs have made in a few seasons, sure he is not a top tier d man but he is a smart player, and can protect the net and score goals he is a really good all around player, and I see the Canadians inking him to a long term deal. But the defensive core has been hurting this year Markov is gone again Gorges is out, I can see the Habs hunting for defensive players in this trade not really block buster deals but a defence man will join the Canadians at the dealine.
They also have some reinforcements in Hamilton with big Dustin Boyd sure he has only played 19 games this season, but I think that the Canadiens can move some players to move Boyd on to the big club. The Canadiens will see a little bit of movement at the dealine maily defence.
This team is complete disaray, there is no chemistry, no real connections between any top tier player, Alfredsson is clicking he is having an all right season, the big question mark is Mike Fischer he is not having a normal Mike year, maybe living away from his wife, is taking a toll on him, and is it rumored that the Los Angeles Kings are interested in picking up Fischer along with Nashville, Wild and the Panthers, with Mike being able to fit well in any of theses systems, he has a big contract but could still be moved at the deadline, and my guess is he will be a King before a Pred. Also on the block for trade as rumor has it is Sergei Gonchar, by far one of the best d men in Ottawa, it is rumored that Tampa Bay and the Stars would like to pick him up, I think this is pure rumor I see Gonchar staying right where he is.
Goaltending is where its at for Ottawa, I dont want to knocked Brian Elliot, but he should not be a nuumber one spot if they move Fischer to the Kings maybe they could some how get Quick in return and sign him to a deal, just a thought but only in a dream world. Ottawa needs a shake up and the deadline is the place, I see movement here, defensive, forwards and goaltending, with Melnyk giving Closton and Murray the thumbs up to at least finish the season, palyers will be getting moved, Murray will more then likley stay on as GM, but I think CLouston is out in Ottawa.
Oh boy where do I begin,first things first Ron Wilson's clock as head coach is ticking and that is no secret, I believe that Pierre from TSN, will make an appreance on the Leafs in some type of role next season. Gustavsson is going to get moved some how some way he will be moved at the deadline. $1.35 million will be a fairly easy move and with Vokoun not staying in Florida Gustavsson can be moved there.
JS, made it known that he would waive his no trade clause let him finish the season and then let him walk, they would have to crafty to acquire a top tender but James Reimer would be the backup. Kaberle is buying time in TO and will sign in the KHL is the feeling I am getting or maybe even retire. Toronto is the team that will be big players at the deadline they have a great core group but they need better players ina supporting role. Versteeg is rumored to by on the trading block and he could go anywhere my best guess would be a Western Conference team will make a move for him, maybe San Jose and or Anaheim. With $2 million remaining on the cap for the buds, they can sign a few furture players but I see draft picks and prospects coming Toronto ways but Burke never fails to be the block buster at the deadline. Toronto I think will be a top mover this year.
The Eastern Conference Northeast Division, will be the busiest team at the deadline and before, with two teams out of the picture all together and one subpar and two on the cusp of greatness, the Northeast will be the one to watch.
The Hockey Guru
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