| Where did I leave that 4th
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
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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