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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

An Ice Life: 21 Hours and Counting...

Wild on Sports
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An Ice Life:  21 Hours Left...
By Wild on Sports NHL Analyst Brian Peirce

Well, my original plan was to cover every team, but life got in the way too much and honestly not that many teams are active. I was going to make the major bit of my writing focused on the Leafs, Canucks, and Dallas, but the trade deadline is moving different than normal and nearly all the trades I was looking at, including Derek Roy to Vancouver and Jaromir Jagr to Boston already happened.

I decided instead to just do a couple of short bits about what major rumors still remain and say what teams I think really need to do something.

I think the Flyers will make a bigger move than the Huskins move, and I think if there is a big defenseman moved they are the ones to make it happen with a trade based around Sean Couturier. I think they really wanted Jagr back but Boston won that one. I think Boston paid a high price for him but there is no reason to think Jagr won’t bring the scoring they need.

Derek Roy to the Canucks was rumored, because Vancouver wanted center help and was a good fit, plus there are not many centers out there. The Ducks will be looking for the other move for a center. The Leafs no longer are among the teams looking for a top end center, but are supposedly kicking the tires on a goaltender.

Kipper and Luongo are the names you hear. Neither of these trades makes any sense to me when they finally have two young goaltenders in Scribs and Reimer. Yet Darren Dreger says the Leafs are talking extension for Kiprusoff as part of a trade. Miikka said straight that he wanted to leave the NHL and go play in his home land and might not report if traded. The Leafs seem destined to break their active league lead in missing the playoffs and it would make sense to get a veteran goaltender. I wouldn’t do it, but it will be something to look at.

As for Roberto Luongo, I really do not see anyone trading for him unless Vancouver lowers the asking price. It just is too risky with the new “Lou” rule. I am not fully sure on how it works, but there is a salary recapture clause in the new CBA that was put in to defend against front loaded contracts. To simplify it, if Lou retires early, a complex mathematical formula will put a cap hit on his team that is prohibitively high. Capgeek.com is a good place to find out about those types of things. The idea is that if the Leafs were to trade for Lou, besides the risk of giving up assets, if he hurt himself and retired this off season both teams will have at least 300 thousand dollars of cap penalty for a decade! Furthermore, Sportsnet is saying Luongo didn’t want to be traded to Toronto before wanting to be traded to Florida, who has a stud playing for them right now.

You need a team to go all in on a player. Lou might not find a team that will take that risk along with the Canucks huge asking price. I still think he could be moved for a couple of picks, but I only see the Flames as a team willing to take the risk and it would have to be a hockey trade and it just doesn’t seem likely to me. Leafs are rumored to look at a back up though.

The Rangers are still looking for depth and defensive help. I still think they might hook up with the Red Wings. Ryan Clowe is getting traded and it feels like the Flyers want him along with the Rangers. Mike Ribeiro, Brian Boyle, and Marian Gaborik are the biggest names left and each seem to have enough negatives in the trade to prevent a massive deal. I assume all will remain with the same teams. It should be said that the Rangers aren’t looking for a rental as they are sliding out of the picture. They just want to fix the team going forward.

I think the biggest trades already happened, and I am not surprised at anything that happened, just that it happened before the final 24 hours. Read my Flames report as they remain the biggest sellers, as do the Sabers. One final note, I think this is going to be the biggest year of hockey deals, in which each team moves actual players in one for one or two for two style moves. More than a few teams have noted they want NHL ready players and don’t want to move a potential lottery pick in this absurd NHL season.

I am glad there is hockey, but I personally would have rather lost the season than to see this mess lead to weird records, streaks made and broken, and confusion. Plus you know, they STILL didn’t fix the problems that were making salaries shoot up. If I get up early enough I might throw up reactions to trades. Also my winners and losers will go up shortly there after.

Get ready for a fun next 21 hours!

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