Six Player Blockbuster Could Have Domino Effect
The largest trade thus far in the CPHL offseason sees several high profile players changing teams and will impact a lot of moves from here on in. What makes this deal so interesting is that it is an inter-conference deal, and rarely do you see such activity within one conference. The Boston Bruins have loaded up with some serious fire power with one swing of the bat, adding 90 point scorer Vinny Lecavalier and 75-point man Pavol Demitra. Adding 2 players of that calibre immediately make the Bruins a serious contender for the top 4 seeds in the Gretzkey Conference next season. Dealing Gonchar, arguabley the top offensive defenceman in the CPHL had to be tough, but it was a shrewd move by Bruins GM KevanGuy to replace him with a younger, cheaper, and very talented Andrei Markov. It is he who will be the key to this deal, this former GM thinks. Make no mistake, however, the Bruins now possess the best 1-2 punch up the middle league-wide with Modano and Lecavalier, and that has to have the Bruins brass salivating.
The Isles changed the complection of their team with this trade, adding some much needed grit in Jamie Langenbruner, while Gonchar is an impact player that will make their D-corps better 1 through 6. Defensive talent is at a premium in the CPHL, so whenever you add one of the top blueliners in the league, you are doing OK. Huselius is a good young player who has had a lot of CPHL success in the past, however it remains to be seen whether he will be able to put it all together in the NHL and be able to preform at his current level, long-term.
An interesting deal, to say the least. You've got to give an edge to the Bruins at this point, but if Huselius can tap his potential, it may not be as one-sided a deal as you may think at first glance.
Now we shall see how other GMs in the Gretzkey Conference react. Don't be surprised to see a few more big names make thier way over to the East as other GMs counter this trade.
The Devils and Wild also struck a deal yesterday that sees John Leclair move to Minnesota for Eric Rasmussen and 2 prospects. A good deal for both teams as NJ has little in terms of prospects while Minnesota seem to be becoming the Maple Leafs of the CPHL, going with older players. Not a bad route, considering the last 2 Stanley Cup Champs were dominated by geriatrics.
The Blackhawks made a couple of very shrewd moves in adding Chris Chelios, Mario Lemieux and Joe Nieuwendyk in the same day. Those 3 will do a lot to help bring along the Hawks youngsters. Vets win championships, so they will command good trade value on the market should Cheese find himself in a selling mode this season.
The LA Kings were also very active in the UFA market, adding Darcy Tucker, Jamal Mayers and Niklas Sundrstrom. 3 solid role players that can have a definate impact for the Kings rebuilding squad, they too will have a very good impact on the wealth of talented young players the Kings possess.
Nashville made a splash themselves, picking up 4 UFAs in PJ Axelsson, Jim Dowd, Jani Hurme, and Mike Wilson. The Preds have quietly gone about improving their squad and depth, and should be a force next season. Keep in mind, Barret Jackman, whom GM Fire traded Roberto Luongo for, will be healthy next season and will definately strengthen their D corps.
The Leafs splashed out some serious coin to pick up Jason Arnott and Tony Amonte in two moves that one could largely consider gambles. Amonte is getting a little long in the tooth, but if he can keep his legs, he and Arnott should provide a great offensive punch for the playoff hopefulls.
Great move by The Philadelphia Flyers in re-signing Dave Andreychuk. A solid leader that can step up in the case of injuries. Will new GM kermitoligy hand the 'C' back to Andie? or is it time to let Mike Peca take the reigns?
The Anaheim Mighty Ducks probably have to be considered the most improved team thus far. Bringing in Rob Blake, Jeremy Roenick, Luc Robitaille, Todd White, Rhett Warriner and Mike Grier this offseason makes them a much more competitive team. Those are 6 quality players and while they did give up some youth, they largely were able to add to their roster without subtracting much.
All in all, a few weeks removed, it has been interesting to observe teams gearing up for the season. It seems to this former GM, from the outside looking in, to be a wide open race for the Stanley Cup.
Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine. Which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis.