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Where did I leave that 4th round pick?
Trade deadline musings
3/3/09 - By Ken Smyth

Trade deadline time and the San Jose Sharks could use help on the third line plus some defensive depth going into the playoffs. So could fifteen other teams, see how easy it is to blow smoke on a topic that's hot air to begin with. (Eklund?) Doug Wilson doesn't need to make a deal unless some player he's been eyeing pops up at an attractive price- like Joe Thornton back in November 2005. All the talk about the Sharks not needing to make a trade makes sense, but sometimes a little fine tuning brings a good result.

Last season, the Detroit Red Wings picked up Brad Stuart for a couple of picks and he ended up as a top-four defenseman for them after bouncing around the league following the Thornton trade. Stuart was projected as a #1 d-man when the Sharks drafted him but didn't make the grade and the Sharks (and Bruins) gave up on him becoming one. What he is was quite enough for the Wings who just pencil in Nicklas Lidstrom as their top guy and don't worry much.

As a second-line player Stuart has done pretty well in Detroit, and much as we all get tired of the little ant army of wing-nut fans, their team and front office knows what they're doing. Besides picking up their assistant coach, Doug Wilson might be looking at their strategy of picking up a useful player who isn't living up to expectations someplace.

Add to that observation a fact. Face it folks: the San Jose Sharks, Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, Washington Capitols, and Chicago Blackhawks are in the playoffs, probably the Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers as well. Their coaches are pulling hair out of unmentionable places for ideas on how to keep their players sharp for the next six weeks until the playoffs actually begin.

We see what happens when that doesn't happen- Detroit getting washed by Nashville, the Sharks sleeping in Montreal at the start of the game, the Bruins getting spanked by Florida. Lots of weirdness the last couple weeks that wouldn't happen any other time unless the CIA gets involved, and I'm sure some blogger, someplace, found the connection between the Winnipeg Jets leaving town, Oliver North, and Barack Obama. (I can't say anymore, room service sucks in Guantanamo).

To counter that there's nothing that shakes up a dressing room like a couple new faces. My ex-boss had three of them and compared to him Sean Avery is team captain material.

Expect a wild throw of the dice for a rent-a-player by some team like Vancouver or Carolina. Don't believe all the rumors, there is not enough room on the Montreal bench for all the guys who are supposed to be going there and the Maple Leafs' can't trade the entire team for draft picks without refunding a lot of ticket money. Be prepared for a new face or two in new sweaters, but not a big change in direction among the main teams. Also remember how inaccurate most predictions like this are!


Contact Ken at at Kenin210@eudoramail.com



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