So as I said earlier, I knew about the trade the minute it was announced on NHL Live. My head hit the desk, because really–I know that Snatch (who is an RFA) is going to want stupid money that he’s not worth, which means that when JR signs him so that he can save face, we’ll effectively be done looking for defencemen.
We are so fux0red. Not as fux0red as Tampa or Washington, but we’re still fux0red.
So, Cole. Not the same since he got Orpiked, but still–he was one of our better forwards and he was getting back into form. Dudeman was also our only tradeable asset, thanks to the 23987234724 NTCs that JimR handed out like Halloween candy–and with John-Michael LiLOLs out of the picture, JimR kinda had to trade for what he could trade for.
He better not be done.
More of a breakdown from Luke, who was at the Presser (and who takes a nice potshot at Perez Eklund).
We better damn not be done.
This is certainly an interesting deal. Sammy had a bit of a resurgence here after having issues in Montreal, Edmonton, and Chicago, but (to steal a quote from the Good Doctor) how long can he maintain? Honestly, how long can we expect the man to rack the points up? He’s always been a mite on the streaky side, and I’m seriously thinking that if he gets on a schneid the fans will start screaming for him to be shipped out in the back of a pig truck.
We’ll see. I just hope that neither party in this agreement winds up regretting it.
Tonight I’ll be cleaning my kitchen while the Rangers game is on in the living room. Maybe I’ll get lucky and the Serene Master will get to don the battlegear (and hopefully not have a brainfart or two).
OK, so all we have to look forward to now is the Draft.
Well, except for me–I have Rangers playoff games to look forward to (Give ‘em Hell, Harry)…which, to be honest, is exceedingly small comfort. I would much rather have the Hurricanes in the playoffs than barrack for this season’s application of The Malik Effect.
Back on message, AQ.
Oh, sorry about that.
Anyway, the Draft. I’ve been looking at our depth chart, and what I see is the same old shit: we’re thin on our left side, our defence is getting older, and we have like half the goaltenders in the known universe because our GM insists on drafting at least two every year rather than actually trying to seriously address our paper-thin left side or our aging defence.
So, let’s address our needs:
This is kinda “duh”, here. We have Ray Whitney, Sergei Samsonov, Tuomo Ruutu, Chad LaRose, My Man Ryan Bayda, and Wade Brookbank. Umm…hmm. I am guessing–though not immediately assuming–that Samsonov will be offered a contract, though whether Sammy signs or not will more than likely be contingent on whether or not we retain Laviolette as coach. Ray has one more year IIRC. Same with Ruutu. Rosie will be staying unless JimR can find somebody that will offer us an upgrade for him–and I would make that deal too, even though I adore the Chuck Norris of Hockey, because the team is far more important than any one player. Bayda will more than likely stay in the speed dial as first callup unless he really impresses in training camp this fall, and Brookbank? We’ll keep him around for the judicious application of excessive force, I’m sure.
We can’t have Casey Borer, Timmy Gleason, Dennis Seidenberg, and Joe Corvo holding down the fort by themselves once Glen Wesley and Bret Hedican retire, Nicky Wallin goes back to Sweden to raise his 2394878724 children to be proper Vikings, and Atlanta Frankie gets taken away by the aliens for the last time. They need some serious help–especially because Joe isn’t getting any younger himself and Dennis and Timmy (much as I adore them both) are pretty much mid-range kinda guys. Which leaves Casey Borer, who (though promising) is not a Jedi yet, and Tim Conboy–who the fans love because he’s willing to drop ‘em (and he’s a good egg), but let’s face it: he’s a callup type of guy, and not much else.
I will say it now: If the Warchief isn’t back in September then I fear he may not be back at all–which will hurt, but not as much as having Trevor Letowski as our second-line center behind The Chosen One. Brandon Sutter is currently in Albany on an Amateur Tryout (ATO) contract, which means that he’s there on his dime. It’s my sincere hope that this franchise decides to go against type and doesn’t rush him, but I have a feeling that he’ll be rammed into the lineup and spend all of next season getting pushed around (because really, he’s like Wierd Harold: 6’9″ and 50 pounds). You know, like Eric Staal in his first season–though hopefully we’ve taken the lesson from his experience and will actually take some time with this kid.
We are actually kinda okay…ish. Kinda. Sorta. Maybe…ish. Erik Cole may wind up being trade fodder for a defensive upgrade (or, with our luck, another freaking goalie)–depending on the guy we get in return, I could dig this. And I say that as a charter member of Erik’s Caffeine Nation. After Cole, we have JWillie, Remo Williams, Patrick Eaves, and…and…err…
*looks at depth chart again* *blinks* *rubs eyes* *looks askance at bottle of diet coke*
Fuck me, did I say we were okay here? Am I high? Right side, we need it. We need it bad.
Ward, Leighton, Nastiuk, Peters, Manzato, Akerlund. I THINK WE HAVE ENOUGH GOALIES, DON’T YOU? And Grahame is a goner. His backbending stretches may turn the ladies on, but he’s just not pushing Cam like he should have been. But of course, JimR will trade half our team for another freakin’ goaltender. Why don’t we get Manny Legace back? I’m sure he’ll LOVE that.
So, the Draft. I was planning a trip up there, but the hubby has decided that we need to move to a new apartment the same weekend–which, needless to say, pisses me off greatly cos I was (and am) hoping to organize a blogmoot. Bah. So anyway, if you’re there and you hear somebody bellowing out “DEFENSE!” “RIGHT WING!” “NO MORE GOALIES!” from somewhere in ScotiaBank Place every time the Hurricanes are on the clock, you’ll know I made it.
To CAR: Tuomo Ruutu
To CHI: Andrew Ladd
So…hmm. This trade is really fairly even, except in terms of age and immediate (as in “over the last ten or so games”) benefit. Tuomo is 25, which isn’t bad but isn’t great either. But the trade did kinda need to be made–I mean, our second-line center is Trevor Letowski; do you really think that will last much longer? I don’t.
So yeah. Scouting reports from my friends in the Western Conference leave me skeptical–Ruutu is a bit injury-prone, and he has a reputation for being a bit dirty; two things that will reduce his half-life here by a fair amount if they continue–especially the dirty part. Hard-hitting is one thing. Standing up for yourself is one thing. But being a cheap-ass bastard is uncool. However, I will give him a few games to see what he can do for us.
In other Divisional news: the Channelside Drive Boatlift continues as Brad Richards and Johan Holmqvist are the latest Bolts to flee the tinpot dictatorship of Fidel Tortorella; they head to Dallas for Mike Smith, shootout specialist Jussi Jokinen, and Jeff Halpern. The Capitals have traded a second-rounder to the Habs for Cristobal Huet, which makes me wonder what if anything the Caps have planned for Olie Kolzig. Team rivalry aside, I like Olie and I would hope that GMGM will allow him to finish out the season and retire a Cap.
And Wade Belak has been shipped to Florida for a fifth-rounder. That poor bastard, he must have really pissed off Chairman Mo to get exiled to Florida hell like that.
Canes and Devils throw down at the RBC tonight at 7:00. Y’all have fun with that, I’ll be flat on my back yet again, dosed on painkillers and listening to ChuckandtheletterK.
CAVEAT: If this post sounds like I am making even less sense than usual, I blame the flu. I’ve been fighting it and an opportunistic generic URI all weekend.
That said, here’s the deal:
Pretty nifty trade thar, Jimmy–especially if the Dread Pirate Stiller winds up coming back in July (which he might–that’s the only reason I can see for him waiving his NTC). This trade is effectively an announcement that any playoff run will (barring a miracle) be short, but I can live with that if it means the team actually does wind up getting better long-term. There are a couple bandwagon-hopping “only cheer for the team when they’re at the top of the conference” smacktards on X Random Messageboard pooh-poohing the trade as “too little too late” and whining that we got robbed, but whatever. Corvo is roughly the same age as Commodore with a few more brainfarts but better puck skillz. Eaves is a not-bad forward who can pot a couple goals here and there (not that he’s scored on us a few times or anything) and who plays with a little reckless abandon.
And Corvo pwnt the Slugs in the playoffs last year–and anything that makes the ASBOs unhappy makes me happy.
So far so good. But I guess some
rubes people just won’t be happy until the whole team is traded for nothing but draft picks and we deliberately tank the season in a futile attempt to get the #1 pick, which JimR will blow on drafting a fourth-string goalie from the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL.
This can be taken one of two ways: It’s an attempt to get the Canes some picks that they can use to restock the pond, OR it’s a message that not even a Company Man is safe–and Jason Karmanos’ old Hahvahd buddy was definitely a Company Man.
Until I hear otherwise, I am betting it’s both.
Edit 13:09–Per Luke DeCock, this transaction is more a “past is future” deal–the Hawks are simply repaying the favour we did them when we took Sergei the Keebler Elf off their hands.
26 August 1994. The Hartford Whalers have been sold to Peter Karmanos, and he wants to send a message to the fans that the team intends to “win now.” New GM Jim Rutherford decides to make a splash by signing Boston Bruins blueliner Glen Wesley to an RFA offer sheet, and Boston’s then-GM Harry Sinden spooges himself at the chance to stick it to a division rival. Sinden elects not to match, and the Whalers are forced to give up three first-round draft picks.
Draft Day 1995. Harry Sinden rubs his hands with glee as he steps to the podium and uses the first of Hartford’s generous gifts to draft Tacoma Rockets defenceman Kyle McLaren. Jim Rutherford drafts goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who goes on to win a Cup with the Anaheim Ducks. Kyle McLaren goes on to become notorious for trying to drive Richard Zednik’s nose into his brain-stem with his elbow in the 2002 playoffs, and eventually is traded to the San Jose Sharks.
Draft Day 1996. Harry Sinden grins like an idiot as he drafts Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman Johnathan Aitken with the second of Hartford’s generous gifts. Jim Rutherford drafts left winger Trevor Wasyluk in the second round. Aitken flames out in spectacular fashion and goes on to play in the DEL for Klagenfurt. Wasyluk never even sniffs the NHL, and eventually retires from hockey in 2003.
Draft Day 1997. Harry Sinden gleefully uses the third wish provided him by the Hartford genie and drafts forward Sergei Samsonov (who at the time was playing with the IHL’s Detroit Vipers). The Hartford Whalers have moved to North Carolina and are now the Carolina Hurricanes. Jim Rutherford drafts defenceman Nikos (Don’t call me Chris!) Tselios with a draft pick gotten from Detroit in the Brendan Shanahan trade. Samsonov wins the Calder Trophy that season. Tselios plays a whopping two games with the Hurricanes, and eventually leaves the Hurricanes’ system during the Season From Hell.
8 January 2008: In a strange twist of irony, Sergei Samsonov is picked up by the Carolina Hurricanes after being put on waivers by the Chicago Blackhawks–Samsonov’s third team in about as many years.
Hey, it’s only about 10 years or so too late. Ever since that Finals run with Edmonton in ’06, the man just hasn’t been “all there”. It’s like the guy just went into check-cashing mode, which is not what we need on this team right now. What do I think about the pickup? Uhh…no. I think that JimR should have gotten over Black Friday and called Brian Burke to offer a draft pick for Bryzgalov so that this team could have a goaltender that could be a clear Number One rather than continuing the John Grahame Experiment (and don’t get me started on the classless idiots on x Random Messageboard who decided to send ol’ Crackers off with some pathetic STD smack). I think that we could have done better than Samsonov.
Another fool on x Random Messageboard is taking people to task for refusing to be all ZOMGYAYW00TOMFGBBQ!!!1 over this acquisition–”wait and see–remember Cullen?” Yeah, well Cullen played in seriously defensive systems before coming here, sunshine. So I’ll wait and see just how much Samsonov manages to live down to his recent career (lack of) performance.
Just sayin’. Oh yeah–and the Hurricanes take on the Bruins tonight. If Samsonov scored the game-winner against them, then it really would be kinda ironic.