Thursday, March 09, 2006

Playing Hooky, Talking Trades

[update: 5:51 pm]

I was wondering why it was taking so long to load up web pages earlier. It turns something was wrong with my connection. The lights on my modem blinking like crazy probably should have given it away. Anyway, with some help from a techie friend, I'm back in business.

A few more trades were announced after I went offline - the full list is here - including the Vancouver Canucks acquiring Eric Weinrich from the St. Louis Blues for Tomas Mozjis and a third round pick.

Mozjis was a player fairly high on the Canucks' depth chart and has filled in admirably in the last month. Maybe I'm just relieved that the Canucks didn't have to give up Kesler, Schneider and Bourdon today - the rumored asking price for veteran defensemen - but Mozjis' loss doesn't bother me one bit.

Weinrich's TSN scouting report:

Assets: Moves the puck very efficiently and is a fine two-way defenseman. Blocks a lot of shots and is respected in the dressing room. Works hard and brings a lot of character to any NHL team.
Flaws: Is sometimes guilty of trying to do too much on the ice. Can wear down if given too much ice time at this stage of his career.
Career potential: No. 4 or 5 defenseman.
The Canucks also acquired the rights to Juha Alen in the Keith Carney deal. His Hockey Futures write-up is here. He's a 6'3", 220 lbs. monster on defense. Look out.

[update: 12:34 pm]

It's past the deadline but it sounds like a few more trades are yet to be announced. In the meantime, Jose Theodore is doing a press conference, partly in French.

Perfect time to get something to eat. J'ai faim. Be back in a few.

[update: 12:19 pm]

More moves trickling in:

  • Brendan Witt goes to the Nashville Predators for Kris Beech and a first round draft pick
  • Tyler Arnason goes to the Ottawa Senators for Brandon Bochenski
  • Cory Cross goes to the Detroit Red Wings for a fourth round pick in 2007
  • Sergei Samsonov goes to the Edmonton Oilers
I don't know if it's my connection or if every single hockey fan is logging on to their websites, but I can't get on TSN and Sportsnet right now.

[update: 12:07 pm]

Via Sportsnet, the Vancouver Canucks traded Steve McCarthy to the Atlanta Thrashers for a conditional fifth-round pick.

Steve McCarthy had started to play better in the last month or so, but with the acquisition of Keith Carney and Sean Brown and the imminent return of Mattias Ohlund and hopefully Ed Jovanovski and Sami Salo, someone had to go. Not a big loss, not a big surprise either.

[update: 11: 58 am]

Sportsnet just showed that the Canucks gave up Keith Carney for Brent Skinner and a second round draft pick. Skinner was one of the Canucks' top defensive prospects on the Moose, but was probably a year or two away from making any sort of impact with the big leagues.

[update: 11:51 am]

Anaheim traded Sandis Ozolinsh to the Rangers for a third round draft pick and the Sportsnet folks are trying to figure out what Burkie is doing. The simple answer is, Burkie is being Burkie - making moves with one eye looking in the present and the other looking towards the future. It's how he put together the current core of Canucks and it's how he's putting his stamp on the Ducks.

Methodically this season, he has gotten rid of overpriced, underachievers Sergei Fedorov, Petr Sykora and Steve Rucchin, cleared some cap space, and now, has built a good, young team that is still challenging for the playoffs.

[update: 11:39 am]

Mark Recchi waived his no-trade clause and the Pittsburgh Penguins traded him to the Carolina Hurricanes for Niklas Nordgren, Krystoffer Kolanos and a 2nd round pick in 2007.

I've lost count but are the Penguins Kolanos' fourth team this season?

[update: 11:32 am]

Something funny's afoot in Detroit. They just traded Jamie Rivers to the Phoenix Coyotes for a seventh round pick. Detroit is headed to the playoffs and can certainly fit Rivers' minimum salary under the cap so what was the motivation behind this trade?

Ken Holland has so far been uncharacteristically quiet today and I'm sure he's got something up his sleeve.

[update: 11:30 am]

Half an hour to go and though it looks like the Canucks are done, Gary Valk mentioned that the Canucks are about to make a big splash. Of note, the Bertuzzi rumors won't die down.

[update: 11:13 am]

Vancouver Canucks acquire Keith Carney from the Anaheim (Mighty) Ducks for pick and a prospect.

Oh wow. Now that's what I'm talking about! His TSN scouting report:

Assets: Is very sound in his own end and often responsible for shutting down the opposition's best players. Has durability and size to play a physical defensive game. Always leads by example.
Flaws: Like most stay-at-home defensemen, he lacks the offensive prowess that garners media and fan attention.
Career potential: Stay-at-home defensive leader.
Maybe I should reserve judgment until I see the pick and prospect going the other way, but Carney gives the Canucks that tough, veteran defenseman they've been looking for the last couple of years. He's a legitimate top-four guy - he regularly logs close to 20 minutes of ice-time every night and has a +13 rating - and will give opposing players fits if they decide to camp out in front of Auldy's and Mikka's crease. He also has a solid reputation as a team leader.

[update: 10:58 am]

Other bloggers of course are weighing in on trades so far:

Jeff from Sisu Hockey likes how Bob Gainey righted an expensive wrong with the Theodore trade, but doesn't think too highly of the Simpson acquisition. Ryan from The Habs Blog also weighs in, and on the other end of the trade, Melissa from Avalanche! thinks giving up Aebischer for Theodore is an idiotic move. As a Canucks fan, I'm personally, completely okay that the Avs are making their playoff push with Peter Budaj and Vitali Kolenski as their starting goaltenders.

Covered In Oil hopes the K-Lowe didn't overpay for Dwayne Roloson. (I like Roli, and wouldn't have minded seeing him in a Canucks uni, but a first round draft pick and another conditional third rounder for a 36-year old potential rental player does sound a bit steep.) Sacamano from The Battle of Alberta doesn't mind the move a bit.

From the Minnesota end of things, Derek from The State of Hockey simply hopes the Wild make the most of the first round pick.

[update: 10:32 am]

I should look out the window more. When did it start snowing?

[update: 9:50 am]

Vancouver Canucks acquire Mika Noronen from the Buffalo Sabres for a second round draft pick.

His TSN scouting report:
Assets: Loves to see plenty of action and thrives in big-game conditions. Plays with the swagger and poise of a 30-year-old veteran. Has the makings of an all-star performer.
Flaws: Has had trouble adjusting to a backup role. Could use more fluidity in his lateral movement.
Career potential: No. 1 goalie.
At the midseason mark, I thought that the Canucks would replace Dan Cloutier's roster spot depending on how comfortable they felt with Alex Auld. Auld, of course, has been up to the task, and credit him for it, instead of acquiring a no. 1 goaltender, the Canucks have decided to acquire someone to complement him.

Noronen will get more starts with the Canucks than he did with the Sabres (he's only appeared in four games this season). He will also give the Canucks more options at season's end when Dan Cloutier comes back, Auld's and Ouellet's contracts are up, and one or both of Julian Ellis-Plante and Cory Schneider are ready to make the next step in their developments.

[update: 9:45 am]

Philadelphia Flyers acquire Denis Gauthier from the Phoenix Coyotes for Josh Gratton and two second-round draft picks.

The Coyotes give up one of the dirtiest players in the league for a tough-as-nails guy. And they managed to get two second-rounders to boot. Phoenix did good.

[update: 9:37 am]

Anaheim (Mighty) Ducks acquire Sean O'Donnell from the Phoenix Coyotes for future considerations.

Brian Burke mentioned earlier that he wouldn't promise Keith Carney and his agent that he wouldn't be traded. It looks like he's making good on that non-promise.

[update: 9:26 am]

Here's how slow trade deadline day is so far. Besides the fact that I'm on my third cup of coffee, TSN and Sportsnet are now also doing segments on the waiver wire.

Mike Morrison, one of my new favorite players, was picked up by the Ottawa Senators; the Washington Capitals picked up Rico Fata; the Pittsburgh Penguins picked up Andy Hilbert.

[update: 9:11 AM]

They're interviewing Todd Simpson on TSN right now. Now, I don't ever want to question the method behind Dave Nonis' madness, but is Sean Brown at the cost of a fourth-round pick that much better of a pick-up than Todd Simpson, who went for a sixth-rounder?

Only reason I'm asking is I've always thought their games are similar, but Todd Simpson also has a good reputation as a leader. He's also a North Vancouver boy.

[update: 8:43 AM]

Vancouver Canucks acquire Sean Brown from New Jersey Devils for a fourth-round pick.

Not exactly what I was hoping for, but Brown's an able body at least. Maybe if I upgrade Santa's cookies to those extra chewy, extra chocolate chip kind, he'll bring another depth player or two.

Sean Brown's TSN scouting report:

Assets: Has great physical presence and a mean streak to accompany his size. Can also drop the gloves and line up at forward, if need be.
Flaws: Needs work in all facets of the game. Lacks speed and puck-handling skills. Will never develop an offensive side to his game.
Career potential: No. 6 or 7 defenseman.
Scary thing is, Sean Brown being worth a fourth-rounder says a lot about the market - he's a -14 on a defensively-conscious New Jersey team and has lately been logging the same amount of minutes as Wade Brookbank was for the Canucks.

[update: 8:36 AM]

Here's the linky for the Brad Lukowich trade. Thanks to Kukla's Corner for pointing it out.

[update: 8:27 AM]

Darren Dreiger at Sportsnet just noticed that Darcy Tucker is not at Leafs practice. Has he been traded? Or maybe he is having trouble with his equipment. Or maybe he had to use the potty. Who knows?

[update: 8:23 AM]

Where's Santa and the newest Canucks defenseman?

[update: 7:56 AM]

New York Islanders trade Brad Lukowich to New Jersey Devils for a third-round draft pick.

With a new GM coming into town soon, they're cleaning house on the Island. Yesterday, they traded Mark Parrish and Brent Sopel to the Kings for prospects and a pick; today, they traded Lukowich, one of their off-season free agent signees, to a divisional rival.

The Devils also are cleaning house in a weird sort of way. In the summer, they signed Dan McGillis and Vladimir Malakhov, neither of whom still play for them. They've replaced them with Ken Klee yesterday, and of course, Lukowich today.

[update: 7:49 AM]

Montreal Canadiens acquire Todd Simpson from the Chicago Blackhawks for a sixth-round pick in 2006.

Not as splashy a move as yesterday's trading of Jose Theodore for David Aebischer, but it looks like Montreal is getting ready for a good playoff run. Simpson gives the Habs a tough, veteran defenseman at minimal cost..

[update: 7:16 AM]

Now that I've strategically-placed my chair directly in between the TV and the computer, and I've got the first of many cups of coffee in hand, I'm going to try and get a live blog kind of thing going. I've never done this before so bear with me and check back often.

Brian Burke is on TSN. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but when you listen to Brian Burke, does he remind you of Donald Trump? He's just as passionate, just as brash, and loves to self-market his product.

Anyway, James Duthie asked him about specific players, and to my surprise, Burkie responded.

On Keith Carney, Burke advised him and his agent that he would not promise not to trade him.

On Ruslan Salei, Burke said he would not trade him.

On JS Giguere, Burke did a bit of a dance around and said he didn't know where the Giggy rumors started. Burke made it a point to mention that the Ducks have not lost any games due to goaltending this season.

If I was him, I'd block out that January game against Edmonton as well.
posted by J.J. Guerrero, 5:51 PM


At March 09, 2006 10:09 AM, Blogger d-lee said...

You guys did well on the Noronen thing. He's a decent keeper, and you essentially gave up nothing at all for him. I'm shocked and a little disappointed that the Sabres didn't send Biron somewhere and get a player in return. I guess they're not very serious about making a deep playoffs run.

At March 09, 2006 11:03 AM, Blogger hoopsjunky said...

I like the deal as well. :)

I actually think Buffalo is serious about making a deep playoff run - I think keeping Biron sends that message. With Miller and Biron, they now have as good a goaltending tandem as any other team in the league going into the playoffs.

I don't know what kind of a player Biron would have brought in return anyway - most likely, perhaps only a depth guy. Having him as insurance in case Miller goes down may be better than any player he would have otherwise brought back in trade.

At March 10, 2006 4:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that this Noronen trade will pan out for Vancouver, but he's going to need to get back on top of his game. If he's going to do anything for Vancouver this season, then he'll need to step it up. However, I think that Noronen's a keeper.


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