Monday, December 28, 2009

Caps & Jackets Cooking Up Something?

RUMOUR 2009/2010 NHL Statistics2010 Cap Hit
To WashingtonPositionAgeGPGoalsPointsYearsPer Year
Nikita FilatovForward1911223$2.225 million
To ColumbusPositionAgeGPGoalsPointsYearsPer Year
Karl AlznerDefenseman2110042$1.675 million

Now, this is a rumour that really getting some traction on the Twitter feed on this Monday morning. The Blue Jackets and Capitals are supposedly talking blockbuster trade and two of the prominent names floating around the mill is Nikita Filatov, the out-of-place sniper in Columbus, and Karl Alzner, who currently doesn't quite fit the Capitals budget as a balanced blueliner. Of course, there is probably more to this supposed deal, as trading these two prospects may be a bit short on calling it a blockbuster, but it does have some significant ramifications if it does go down.

Filatov, currently in Saskatchewan for the World Junior tournament with Russia, has been playing in the KHL since leaving the Blue Jackets earlier this season. Filatov was not the right fit in Ken Hitchcock's defensive system and Filatov was better suited to go back to Russia to develop his offensive talents a little bit more. I had a feeling that Filatov was not likely to see much more ice-time with Columbus, as long as Hitchcock was coaching.

Alzner, on the other hand, has been a bit of a burden to the Capitals management, but for the right reasons. Alzner is a former 1st round pick and has a cap hit that reflects that in his entry-level deal. The Caps are busting at the cap ceiling, thanks in large part to the Michael Nylander's nuisance of a deal, which the team finally cleared not long ago. Unfortunately, his defensive play isn't quite enough to make Alzner untouchable and he hasn't quite clicked offensively.

On paper, this deal looks like kind of a dud, but when you consider the style of play from each player, it really does have a lot of merit. Filatov could be slotted into a very offensive system, albeit next season for all intensive purposes (and cap reasons) and Alzner would be a great young piece to an already solid (on paper) blueline core in Columbus. Alzner could also be a quick fix for some defensive responsibility that the Jackets so desperately need. I like this deal for its merit.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Kovalchuk Vancouver-bound?

RUMOUR 2009/2010 NHL Statistics2010 Cap Hit
To VancouverPositionAgeGPGoalsPointsYearsPer Year
Ilya KovalchukForward262819361$6.389 million
To AtlantaPositionAgeGP/MINGoals/WinsPointsYearsPer Year
Pavol DemitraForward350001$4 million
Cory SchneiderGoaltender2378001$1.084 million
2010 1st Round Pick

Well, this one is a doozy, wouldn't you say? The Thrashers have been the focus of many rumours and speculation and this one is no different. This rumour is thanks to this tweet, which popped up on Sunday afternoon.

Ilya Kovalchuk is an impending unrestricted free agent this summer and the Thrashers have been trying to lure their 1st overall pick in 2001 back into the fold for the long-term with some contract talks. The trade speculation has been amplified because the talks are supposedly not going very well.

The Canucks are trying to find their stride in the Western Conference playoff race, sitting in 10th spot going into Sunday's action and if there was any meat to this rumour, it would suggest that the Canucks are looking to add more consistent scoring to help out their defensive play.

The Canucks, in fairness, should be looking to unload Pavol Demitra, because of his high price tag and inability to make an impact in the line-up and they have a good trading piece like Cory Schneider, who is considered to be one of the top goaltending prospects in the NHL. The first round pick is more of a piece that puts the deal over the top.

I can't see this deal going down in the slightest. The Canucks have no cap space and I don't believe they would pay that much for a rental player. The Canucks won't have the cap space in the coming seasons to deal a long-term Kovalchuk contract, so you can immediately say that this is a rental agreement.

Another point against the possibility of this deal would be that the Canucks are not built on offense or a true offense style. The Canucks are trying to pride themselves on defense and a good transition game and/or forecheck. Yes, Kovalchuk would improve the transition game, but I don't think he has the defensive responsibility that the Canucks are looking for.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Deal Brewin' Between Oilers & Rangers?

RUMOUR 2009/2010 NHL Statistics2010 Cap Hit
To EdmontonPositionAgeGPGoalsPointsYearsPer Year
Brandon DubinskyForward23183102$1.85 million
To New YorkPositionAgeGPGoalsPointsYearsPer Year
Andrew CoglianoForward2229381$1.13 million

Now, this is by no means a complete rumour, but there were names going both ways, so I thought I would toy with the names posted on Hockeybuzz this morning. Hell, I got to use a pretty cool picture of Andrew Cogliano while I'm at it, so that's okay.

So, in theory it looks like this isn't too terribly far off from being a straight swap. The Oilers would get what was thought to be the perfect centre for Marian Gaborik in Brandon Dubinsky and the Rangers would get a speedster that could actually keep up to Gaborik in Cogliano.

The Oilers need offensive depth and Dubinsky can be great behind or ahead of Shawn Horcoff in the depth chart at centre, which means he could be slotted in with either Ales Hemsky or Sam Gagner, depending on how the coach feels that day. That has to be rather exciting.

Cogliano, as explained to me earlier today on Twitter, hasn't been able to slow down and be in more control for the Oilers, so he's not really fitting in. Well, what city in North America loves the flash & dash? You're right, it's the Big Apple. As mentioned before, Cogliano could find himself playing with Gaborik, who is considered one of the fastest skaters in the league... so it's a perfect match. Now, if Gaborik's scoring rubs off a bit too, the Rangers are in business.

Now, I think we can all agree that Dubinsky will come with a higher market value than Cogliano, so that would indicate that the Oilers may have to throw in a little more to get this deal done. Would the Rangers be so bold as to get another defenseman to keep around? Probably not, their top six is so good that they don't even keep a seventh around. Maybe there is another prospect in there that the Oilers can pick up and then maybe throw a deep pick in going back with Dubinsky to call it square?

I think this has some merit to it... what do you think?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Canucks & Coyotes Talking?


2009/2010 NHL Statistics2010 Cap Hit
To VancouverPositionAgeGPGoalsPointsYearsPer Year
Peter MuellerForward2124141$1.7 million

To PhoenixPositionAgeGPGoalsPointsYearsPer Year
Shane O'BrienDefenseman2520001$1.6 million

In an interesting tweet I saw today, the Canucks and Coyotes may be talking trade to help deal a couple of underachieving players from one team to the other. As you can see above, the Coyotes would ship Peter Mueller to Vancouver for Shane O'Brien. Both Mueller and O'Brien have drawn the ire of their coaches, being healthy scratches in the line-up of late, which does help to facilitate a trade and upon further review, you notice that they are both worth the same against the cap this season and they are both free agents at the end of the season.

Now, I do find it a tad hard to believe that this is a deal worth doing, as O'Brien is very one dimensional as a pugilistic defender, but if Mueller is available, there does seem to be some merit here. I would have to think that there is some extra value in Mueller being much younger than O'Brien, so if there was any discussion in this direction, the Coyotes would likely be looking for a 2nd round pick to make up the difference. Mueller comes with plenty of upside and the Canucks could use a little more depth up front, so if the Canucks can part with a decent pick, I suppose I could see it happening.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Rumour Revision

RUMOUR 2009/2010 NHL Statistics2010 Cap Hit
To MontrealPositionAgeGPGoalsPointsYearsPer Year
Shawn HorcoffForward31235116$5.5 million
Gilbert BruleForward22248171$800,000
To EdmontonPositionAgeGPGoalsPointsYearsPer Year
Andrei KostitsynForward24242102$3.25 million
Sergei KostitsynForward223021$817,000
Ryan O'ByrneDefenseman257002$942,000

In a rumoured deal already put forth in the blog, we potentially saw Shawn Horcoff going to the Habs for the Kostitsyn brothers, straight up. That rumour I thought had some muscle to it. Today, however, I wanted to throw into the ring a quick revision that I found a day or two ago, adding in a couple more players, likely to even out the odds a little bit.

The addition of Gilbert Brule and Ryan O'Byrne to the mix is fairly interesting. Brule is enjoying a rebirth to his career, which had fizzled quite badly in Columbus, while O'Byrne has been an up-again, down-again defenseman in Montreal, so he'll be looking for full-time work. Brule could give the Canadiens some more flexibility if some of the other rumoured deals are true (ie. Scott Gomez leaving Montreal), while the Oilers could be infatuated with O'Byrne's size (6'6", 228 lbs.).

Salary cap-wise, the Habs new hit won't be as hard with another $142,000 shaved off the cap hit they take on, which I thought was necessary to move the Kostitsyns, so that becomes somewhat of a wash.

In my opinon, the only thing really nixing this deal going forward would be what kind of value the Oilers have in Brule. They have done well to make them one of their own and actually get some secondary scoring from him as well. That can be easily counteracted by the value they put in both Kostitsyn brothers and whether or not they can turn them into valuable members of the run & gun style of play.

With Hemsky's season done, could this be a move forward, getting the brothers in hopes they can play with Hemsky and start to produce big numbers. Trading Horcoff and Brule away may be considered to be a season-ending move, but it's really all just if's and but's at this time.