Archive for category NHL Opinion

2013-14 NHL Trade Deadline Feature: Montreal Canadiens

Written by Niels Lachmann (before yesterday’s trade) 

USATSI_7778393_154224518_lowresLast year’s 1st-round exit of the Habs against the Senators lingers on in the minds of the passionate fans who fear a repeat. According to their expectations, the task is thus not only to strengthen the team to get into the playoffs, but to have potential for a long run.

Inquire about the Habs’ needs among their faithful and you will immediately hear that they lack size, if not even the toughness requested in the playoffs. The latter concern is debatable in light of signings made by Bergevin since he took office in 2012 – Prust, Bouillon, Parros, Murray – and the recent acquisition of gritty Dale Weise for smallish skilled D-man Raphael Diaz.

But what is not to be debated, is that beyond Max Pacioretty, size is not the characteristic you would first think of when it comes to their point producers up front, to say the least.

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2013-14 NHL Trade Deadline Feature: New York Islanders

Written by Dan Raicevich and can be found on twitter at @dan_raicevich

USATSI_7669962_154224518_lowresThe season could not go any more horrific for the New York Islanders than what has transpired this season.

First, they started this year off poorly due to the lack of health, sluggish play and a trade, that was in my opinion, one of the worst trades a team has made in some time in acquiring Thomas Vanek. GM Garth Snow felt that adding Vanek was a great move for the team, as he felt the two time forty goal scorer was the boost his hockey club needed to help build off their successful 2012-13 season.

Unfortunately, Snow was wrong on this as his Islanders sunk to the bottom of the standings and are sitting in the sellers position once again. Now, it is Trade Deadline day, and Garth Snow is going to be a busy man tonight and tomorrow.

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2013-14 NHL Trade Deadline Feature: Dallas Stars

Written by Dan Raicevich and can be found on twitter at @dan_raicevich

USATSI_7782053_154224518_lowresIt has been a transition year down in Big D throughout this campaign. With Jim Nill replacing Joe Neiwenduyk as the General Manager, and Lindy Ruff replacing Glen Gulutzan as the Head Coach, the Dallas Stars made major and fantastic changes up front with management and the bench boss. With the new look in their unique green sweaters, the Dallas Stars were already making changes this summer.

Some of their major moves made over the summertime were acquiring sniper Tyler Seguin in a blockbuster trade from the Boston Bruins, Shawn Horcoff of the Oilers, Sergei Gonchar from the Ottawa Senators and the drafting of highly-talented Valeri Nichushkin, who spent time playing for Traktor Chelabinysk in the KHL last season. With these major additions, the Dallas Stars put themselves into a good position to build a winning and successful franchise in which the fans of the Dallas-Fort Worth area deserve.

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2013-14 NHL Trade Deadline Feature: Boston Bruins

Written by John Sheppard and can be followed at @jisheppard.

USATSI_7776882_154224518_lowresAs we are now back from the Olympic break and getting close to the trade deadline, it is time to take a look at the Boston Bruins.

First of all before I write any more I want to thank Mark for this opportunity.  For the foreseeable future I shall be writing about the Boston Bruins.  I will talk about this year, the playoffs, the team, and what they’ll need in the playoffs.

The Boston Bruins are a team that builds for the playoff grind, they’re deep and roll all four lines.  They love to play a North/South style

In their most recent game you saw Boston at their just about best.  Strong defensive schemes, allow the goalie to see the puck, make it physical and if the other team answers with physicality then all the better.  Teams like Boston and LA both know that when both teams are hitting hard, there is a higher chance of the ref putting the whistle in the pocket and fans get to see great hockey.

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2013-14 NHL Trade Deadline Feature: Vancouver Canucks

Written by Joe McCormick and can be followed at @joemccormick19.

USATSI_7477652_154224518_lowresWell things for the Canucks certainly have been interesting leading into the deadline. The team is in a position where they are not clear as to if they are buyers or sellers. All we know for sure is that Louis Jean of TVA Sports in Montreal says that Ryan Kesler asked for a trade earlier in the season. Louis Jean has been in the business a long time and is not known to embellish the truth.

That being said, this whole situation seems really odd. First off, when is this just leaking now, right before the trade deadline? Secondly, why is it that a reporter from Montreal found out about this first? Maybe I am just seeing the facts that I want to see as I really don’t want to see him in another jersey.

However, there is no denying that trading him could net a good return and help the team re-tool for another cup run in 2-3 years. Twitter has since exploded with people trying to think of where he might go and who might come back.

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2013-14 NHL Trade Deadline Feature: Anaheim Ducks

Written by Justin Ritzel and can be followed at @justinritzel.

USATSI_7776152_154224518_lowresDespite sitting atop the National Hockey League standings for a better part of the past two months, there is a shred of doubt of the legitimacy on whether the Anaheim Ducks are true Stanley Cup contenders. Perhaps it is their quick playoff exit in the first round of the 2013 NHL Playoffs, or head coach Bruce Boudreau’s lack of playoff success, but the question remains on whether these Ducks can compete with the likes of Chicago, St. Louis, or Los Angeles in a seven-game series.

During his tenure as General Manager in Anaheim, Bob Murray has made exactly one blockbuster trade. The deal was the one that shipped future Hall of Fame Defenseman Chris Pronger to the Philadelphia Flyers for Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa, and a first round draft pick that the Ducks used to select forward Kyle Palmieri. Suffice to say, Murray has been reluctant to take a big swing via trade, electing to fill holes with low-level deals instead.

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2013-14 NHL Trade Deadline Feature: New Jersey Devils

Written by Igor Tsipenyuk and can be followed at @tsipsky89

USATSI_7774636_154224518_lowresThe trade deadline is fast approaching and the biggest question for the New Jersey Devils is a lot different than it was at each deadline prior to 2010.  After years of sequential playoff appearances, the Devils have hit a rough patch; missing the playoffs in two out of the last three years and possibly three of the last four if they can’t turn this season around in time.

Prior to the 2010-11 season, it was not a question whether the Devils were buyers or sellers at the trade deadline.  They were always looking to add a piece for the playoffs.

In 2010-11, they had a lousy start to the year and it was apparent that players needed to be traded.  One of them was the captain and they actually redeemed themselves with a nice run in the second half despite still missing the playoffs.

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2013-14 NHL Trade Deadline Feature: San Jose Sharks

Written by Joe Lami of the Sports Radio Service and can be followed on twitter at @joe_lami

USATSI_7774508_154224518_lowresAs the 2014 NHL trade deadline approaches, the San Jose Sharks are once again in the playoff hunt. They currently sit in second place in the west, just five points behind the Anaheim Ducks, the league leaders. With the Sharks getting ready for their tenth straight Stanley Cup playoff appearance, the trade speculation is just beginning.

San Jose tends to make a deal every deadline, whether its a minor or a major move. Last year for instance, they acquired Raffi Torres from the Coyotes, as well as, bringing defenseman Scott Hannan back. This was after dumping upcoming unrestricted free agents Douglas Murray and Ryane Clowe for draft picks. At the 2011-2012 deadline, the Sharks once again made a big splash by acquiring Daniel Winnik, T.J. Galiardi, and a seventh round pick from Colorado in exchange for Jamie McGinn, Mike Connolly, and Michael Sgarbossa. With the Sharks having such a history of making deals at the deadline, one must ask them self what are the Sharks going to be do this time around?

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2013-14 NHL Trade Deadline Feature: New York Rangers

Written by Patrick Kearns of The Fourth Period and can be followed on twitter at @PatrickKearns

Rangers-deadlineThe New York Rangers have some extremely difficult decisions to make. This isn’t a typical trade deadline for the team, as Glen Sather has the arduous task of deciding whether or not to move the team’s Captain Ryan Callahan and long-time defenseman Dan Girardi. Clock’s ticking.

The Rangers are battling for a playoff spot in an extremely winnable metropolitan division this season, so they are certainly not selling players off, but with Callahan and Girardi both set to be free agents – and Callahan allegedly asking for a contract that rivals the proceeds of Antwerp Diamond heist – the pressure is on Sather to make a move. One that both benefits the team now and down the line.

The first requirement for the Rangers, should be a player on reasonable term, that is team-controlled beyond this season. They are not in the position to be loading up on rentals, as there is so much uncertainty with guys expiring deals in the next two years.

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2013-14 NHL Trade Deadline Features

Here are our 2013-14 NHL trade deadline featured pieces submitted by bloggers, journalism students and first time writers. We hope you enjoy their take on what teams may do leading up to the March 5th trade deadline. In most cases, they are not reporting new rumors, just the state of ‘x’ team leading up to deadline day, and what they could do.

Colored logo’s are teams that have a feature posted already.

Carolina Hurricanes
Columbus Blue Jackets
New Jersey Devils
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
Pittsburgh Penguins
Washington Capitals
Boston Bruins
Buffalo Sabres
Detroit Red Wings
Florida Panthers
Montreal Canadiens
Ottawa Senators
Tampa Bay Lightning
Toronto Maple Leafs
Chicago Blackhawks
Colorado Avalanche
Dallas Stars
Minnesota Wild
Nashville Predators
St. Louis Blues
Winnipeg Jets
Anaheim Ducks
Calgary Flames
Edmonton Oilers
Los Angeles Kings
Phoenix Coyotes
San Jose Sharks
Vancouver Canucks

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2013-14 NHL Trade Deadline Feature: Phoenix Coyotes

Written by Dale Lamontagne , who can be followed on twitter at @Dale Lamontagne

Coyotes-deadlineWe’re just a few short days away from the 2014 NHL trade deadline, and the Phoenix Coyotes find themselves in a tight playoff race with the Dallas Stars.

Coyotes General Manager, Don Maloney is still a believer of making it to the post-season, however, the club will need to add another forward, preferably LW, to their top-9 to give themselves a well needed boost.

It’s pretty obvious that the team has been suffering offensively all season long, and it’s one of their biggest issues that needs to be addressed asap.

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2013-14 NHL Trade Deadline Feature: Columbus Blue Jackets

Written by Anthony Murphy and can be followed on twitter at @AMurphyTRT

BlueJackets-deadlineThe Columbus Blue Jackets came out of nowhere last season and gave the Western Conference a run for their money before just missing the playoffs. General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen aligned his team perfectly, adding sniper Marian Gaborik, all the while keeping the three first round picks they had in a talent rich 2013 Draft.

In the offseason, Kekalainen added a new face for their franchise, former Boston Bruins’ winger and Stanley Cup champion – Nathan Horton. The Blue Jackets signed the 28-year old forward to a 7-year, $37.1 million contract, the max amount of years a team can offer an unrestricted free agent that wasn’t on your team the year before.

Horton was supposed to lead Columbus into the Eastern Conference, a setting he was familiar with playing for the Bruins, and the Florida Panthers before but offseason shoulder surgery kept him out until just recently.

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