Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Staal in Edmonton?

RUMOUR 2009/2010 NHL Statistics2010 Cap Hit
To EdmontonPositionAgeGPGoalsPointsYearsPer Year
Eric StaalForward2516377$8.25 million
Undetermined Draft Pick
To CarolinaPositionAgeGPGoalsPointsYearsPer Year
Andrew CoglianoForward2225381$1.133 million
Denis GrebeshkovDefenseman26193101$3.15 million

Well, how about this one? This is a doozy of a rumour, which could have been brewing up for some time now. It takes a couple of different ideas and combines them into one really awkward and hard-to-believe notion.

The Oilers have been anything but quiet about trying to get themselves a superstar, including Dany Heatley and Phil Kessel. The Hurricanes could very well be looking for a change in direction altogether after their disastrous start to the year. A trade for both teams seems likely. Is this really what the mill has in mind though?

The Hurricanes would be trading away a franchise player from their roster with a heavy salary cap hit for the next seven seasons after this one. You could argue that this could be more of a salary dump to help buy themselves a new superstar when the free agent marketplace opens in July 2010.

The Oilers would then be moving the two players that they have been reportedly trying to deal for some quality talent and would be willing to take on that excess of salary that Staal has already been signed to.

I can't honestly see this going down though. There just doesn't seem to be enough going to Carolina in this deal. The Oilers are getting a 100-point player (when healthy) and the Hurricanes are getting two impending free agents for next season. There has to be more to it. The Canes could be looking for some more draft picks to help ease their way in the rebuilding phase of their franchise. Maybe then it would make some sense, especially if it was a really high pick.

Still though... moving Eric Staal is mildly far-fetched. Between him and Cam Ward, those are the two players Carolina should be building around.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hawks & Leafs in Cap Move?

RUMOUR 2009/2010 NHL Statistics2010 Cap Hit
To TorontoPositionAgeGPGoalsPointsYearsPer Year
Patrick SharpForward27226193$3.9 million
Brent SopelDefenseman3221132$2.3 million
To ChicagoPositionAgeGPGoalsPointsYearsPer Year
Matt StajanForward26215151$1.75 million
Jiri TlustyForward213001$855,000
Garnet ExelbyDefenseman2811001$1.4 million

With the Blackhawks desperately seeking out ways to trim down their projected salary cap number for the 2011 season, in order to re-sign Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith to long-term deals, the Maple Leafs might be the team to help solve their problems, but its going to cost the Blackhawks dearly... or so we are to believe. Another rumour from the mill today saw Patrick Sharp and Brent Sopel heading North to Toronto for Matt Stajan, Jiri Tlusty and Garnet Exelby, which not only is a big player swap, there is plenty of cap room heading to Canada in return for two veteran players with large contracts extending past this season.

The surface of this deal is straight cap dump, but on a skill level, this is no real improvement to the Blackhawks, who are going after a championship this year, rather it's a big turn in the opposite direcetion. A feeling most people/fans would honestly believe. The real key to that argument would be Patrick Sharp, who has proven that he is far more valuable as a two-way player than his counterpart in the deal, Matt Stajan.

Despite clearing off $6.2 million of cap space off the books for the 2011 season, the Blackhawks likely won't want to sacrifice a season where they can actually win it all, unless they are somewhat confident that Stajan and Exelby can fill the void left behind by Sharp and Sopel. Exelby and Sopel are somewhat of a wash, skill & scoring-wise, so that isn't too bad. I really don't see Tlusty being the guy to bridge the gap between Stajan and Sharp, but the system in Chicago could be way more beneficial for both players... who is to say?

Sharp is just too valuable and it's the point that keeps coming back around to predict that this deal won't go down. Burke has been able to twist some arms off before, so you just never know for sure.

Horcoff For the Kostitsyns?

RUMOUR 2009/2010 NHL Statistics2010 Cap Hit
To MontrealPositionAgeGPGoalsPointsYearsPer Year
Shawn HorcoffForward31195106$5.5 million
To EdmontonPositionAgeGPGoalsPointsYearsPer Year
Andrei KostitsynForward2423292$3.25 million
Sergei KostitsynForward220001$817,000

I saw this rumour in a tweet on Monday and thought I would have a look at it. Just to see how it might work out.

Well, on the surface of this deal, you can acknowledge the fact that we are dealing with three underachieving players, especially for the money that is getting doled out between Horcoff and the older Kostitsyn.

Horcoff is a medium-to-small type of centre that can move the puck pretty well and skate with quick wingers, which is exactly the kind of team that the Canadiens are. Horcoff would sit as a number two centre behind Scott Gomez and there could be a little bit of balance given to the top two lines, putting Mike Cammalleri on one line and Brian Gionta to the other. There is a certain ring to it that seems rather appealing here.

The Kostitsyn brothers are very much offense first kind of players, that skate well and have a little bit of dangle to their game. Edmonton is filled with smallish forwards and two more just couldn't hurt the team more, right? Both brothers would be able to try out a number of centres that the team has to try and find some chemistry, plus they shouldn't be able to get into too much trouble in Edmonton.

I don't think that this is a terrible deal either way. Cap-wise, it will be pretty tight on both ends of the deal, but it does show some bits of relevance, enough so that it can't necessarily be shot down right away citing anything in particular.

The Habs should be looking to take on more salary in this cap era for moving these two players, that would be the easiest thing to do to facilitate a deal for kicking the Kostitsyns out of town. Maybe a low round pick would go with Horcoff, just to seal the deal, but that's just my own speculation.

I'd give this potential deal some legs... see what happens.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Giguere to Detroit?

RUMOUR 2009/2010 NHL Statistics2010 Cap Hit
To DetroitPositionAgeGP/MINGoals/WinsPointsYearsPer Year
J-S GiguereGoaltender32213002$6 million
Erik ChristensenForward257001$750,000
Luca SbisaDefenseman199002$875,000
To AnaheimPositionAgeGP/MINGoals/WinsPointsYearsPer Year
Brian RafalskiDefenseman3615183$6 million
Jimmy HowardGoaltender25322242$717,000

Well, I love crazy rumours and I love looking at them on a numbers basis. Today's rumour came from my Twitter feed, so I thought I would give it a link and see how it pans out.

This one sees the reportedly disgruntled J-S Giguere making his way out of Anaheim and heading to Detroit, who has been a part of many Giguere rumours, for a defenseman of equal cap value in Brian Rafalski and then some even out type players.

The element of this deal, which I find most interesting is the inclusion of Luca Sbisa, a prized young defenseman, who was sent back down to juniors again this season, as to think that the Ducks are so desperate to unload Gigure, that they would throw in a young player of this calibre. I would suggest that a high pick would go instead of Sbisa, just because the Ducks love their defensemen, which is shown by their desire to have Rafalski in return.

Erik Christensen and Jimmy Howard can make some sense, as Christensen is a healthy scratch all the time for the Ducks and Howard is a prepared back-up goalie for Jonas Hiller. I think that's a pretty suave move.

Cap-wise, this is a pretty straight-swap. Both teams were dealing with cap issues to start the season, but if all the books are equal here, then this deal could work in cap principle. Whether or not the Red Wings would be willing to move Rafalski, that would be the real question.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Giguere or Hiller?

It would be awfully silly to think that there wasn't a bit of a goaltending controversy at the beginning of the season in Anaheim, as both Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Jonas Hiller were both vying for the number one job. The argument was somewhat one-sided towards Hiller, as he received all the ice-time in the playoffs and played exceptionally well in doing so. Saying that, the Ducks and their coaching staff did maintain that the job was left wide open in camp, for either one to take.

On Monday, there was an interview that surfaced from down in California that has some direct quotes from Giguere, which is seemingly giving the Ducks an ultimatum to either move him or move Hiller.

With Giguere returning to the line-up from a groin injury there are questions being surfaced, in regards to this article. The Ducks have reportedly refuted the article as being true or accurate, which does seem awfully defensive and doesn't mean a great deal now. The trade winds have been surrounding Giguere have been blowing since the playoffs, around the time when Hiller was taking that number one job by the throat.

Thanks in large part to the Giguere injury, Hiller has played in 13 games for the Ducks, amassing a 6-5-1 record with a shutout, behind a team that has really yet to find their mid-season form. Hiller carries a 2.76 GAA and .919 save percentage, which are very respectable, especially for a goalie on a somewhat struggling team.

The other point of contention is that of the contract situation. Giguere is currently on the backend of a 4-year deal he signed in 2007, with another season after this with a cap hit of $6 million, while Hiller is in the final year of a 2-year contract extension, which has a cap hit of $1.3 million and will make him a UFA in the summer.

If this report and interview is actually accurate, the Ducks have a pickle on their hands. Giguere is the elder by five years and has experience of a Cup win, a Conn Smythe and another Cup Finals under his belt, but the younger Hiller doesn't have the experience, but is still earning the starts. With his pending free agency, the Ducks can mould the Swiss keeper under their projected cap number, which I believe is the tipping point for the Ducks. The interview (if true) should expedite the process of getting a trade done, but if he goes, he'll be going somewhere that needs a starting goalie, especially for the cost against the cap.

Hiller should continue to get the bulk of the starts, but if a trade doesn't happen in the next month, I would expect Giguere to get some showcase starts, trying to prove his value to teams that are interested.