Thursday, May 26, 2011

Early Trade Rumours leading up to the Draft

Every year at the draft there are a few bigger names being moved around (In the last few years we've seen Cammalleri, Tanguay, Jokinen, Ballard, Umberger, etc) here is some speculation I've compiled from various internet, newspaper, TV, and Radio reports I've been hearing:

Something is happening with Philly: All logic dictates that they'll address their situation in goal, but then again they haven't done anything about it for 15 years and if you listen to Philly management they continue to say that Bobrovsky could be the goalie of the future still, so who knows. I have to imagine they do something with their goaltending and there are rumours that they're interested in targeting Bryzgalov who could be headed to Russia. But a more interesting story in Philly is the relationship between captain Mike Richards and coach Laviolette. They aparently don't exactly get along and Laviolette was quoted as saying "they are working on their relationship" recently. Richards gets a ton of heat from Philly media, his leadership and ability as captain are questioned a lot and he apparently lost the dressing room to Chris Pronger. Richards has 1 year left before his NTC kicks in for the next decade so the Flyers will have to decide if they want to do something about their captain this summer, or sometime during the season. Another name floating around could be Jeff Carter who might be easier to move, who knows, keep an eye on that one.

San Jose Sharks? They've been to the final 4 for two straight seasons now but they bounced in 4 games last year and 5 this year. They obviously have a strong group but you have to wonder if they could make a change for the sake of change from their core? Thornton is their best player and is likely not moving, Heatley would be tough to move I would think. Just speculation on my part, but if I had to guess I'd say that Marleau could be on the block for the right price, but again this is just a fun rumour. I definitely think there will be changes in San Jose, but they might be smaller.

Red Wings will shop for defense: Mark my words. Their D looked really weak in the Sharks series, I wasn't surprised to hear that Rafalski had been playing with a torn ACL because he lost more than a step. Now he's retired, and Jonathan Ericsson was terrible in the playoffs for the Wings, and Salei will likely be let go or maybe re-signed as a cheap depth guy at this stage. That leaves a 41 year old legend in Lidstrom and 2 other reliable players to eat minutes in Kronwall and Stuart. After those three it gets really thin and Holland is not one to go into a season with uncertainty on the blueline. Maybe Kindl can step into a bigger role this year, but I definitely see the Wings getting at least 1 free agent d-man or making a trade or 2.

Jaromir Jagr - He was a beast at the world championships, looks like he could still step back into the NHL and score over 20 goals, maybe close to 30 and dominate down low and in the corners. He's a bit slower than he used to be but he could definitely be a quality addition somewhere and has said on a few occasions that he's considering a return. Honestly I can see him going to Pittsburgh, he's buddies with Mario and he would be a good fit there on a 1 year deal, especially if Sid can make a health return (Gino too for that matter).

New York Rangers - The Rags are gonna make a pitch for Richards, some sources even say they'll trade for his rights and then offer him a huge contract. Would this really surprise anyone? Another thing though is their cap space, they have to re-sign key RFA's Anisimov, Callahan, Dubinsky, and the big man Brian Boyle. Chances are one of them could go, or else something bigger like Gaborik being dumped off somewhere. Also there is a good chance we'll see Drury bought out or demoted (hopefully not though). Torts has already said he's not sure where Drury fits in with this team anymore, he's got a year left on his deal and if he is bought out I think he will find work as a 3rd-4th line center somewhere on a 1-2 year deal in around $1-2 million.

I'll add more to this as it comes