Saturday, June 21, 2008

Thoughts on the Draft, Trades, and So On

The Jokinen trade is intriguing. What is Florida getting out of it, exactly? Who knows, perhaps it was the right move: it seems that Olli had been unhappy for a long time. And as Mirtle points out, there are few players of Jokinen's skill and stature that have played for so many bad teams. The fact that he's joining the fine young players in Phoenix (Peter Mueller and Kyle Turris, look out for them next year) suggests to us that the Great One is hoping to crack the playoffs as soon as possible. It'll be interesting to watch.

Not to sure what to make of Alex Tanguay's arrival in Montreal, other than assume that Michael Ryder is definitely gone from the franchise. Should the Thrashers make an effort to sign him? He certainly wouldn't be expensive, given his puzzling drop in production this past year. Might the Chronicle venture a proposal?

Sign Michael Ryder.

We know it's a risk, but this is a time that calls for risks. Heroic risks. The man might benefit from a change of scenery, and if he does revert to his previous excellence (and we of the Chronicle believe he will) that would take care of our need of another quality forward. And we'd still have plenty of money left over to sign Malone and Orpik as well. Or Campbell. Or Mark Streit (who no one ever seems to talk about; why?). Or John Michael Liles. Make it happen DW.

The Blueland Chronicle has been fascinated by Kyle Beach for a while now. TSN describes him as a mix of Owen Nolan and Claude Lemieux, which is another way of saying he's a net-crashing psychopath who also happens to be a quality player. I think the Blackhawks have done well by picking him up. I expect them to make a big noise in the next few years: Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Duncan Keith, and now Kyle Beach. Put Beach on a line with Toews and Kane and invite genocide.


Speaking of teams that might have gotten back on track, I think quite a few underachieving teams have done well in this draft and might well bounce back (or bounce for the first time) next year. Who, you ask? The Chicago Blackhawks, the Los Angeles Kings, the St. Louis Blues, the Phoenix Coyotes, and the Atlanta Thrashers.

That's the Atlanta Thrashers. I repeat: the Atlanta Thrashers.

Who's fucked? The Panthers and those hilarious Islanders.

Who are the wild cards? Without a doubt, Columbus is the biggest one. They acquired R.J. Umberger and Nikita Filatov last night, and it'll be mighty interesting to see how they play with Rick Nash. They have a good goalie in Pascal Leclaire, but I know nothing about their defense. Will Filtatov continue the tradition of Russian superstars like Kovy, Ovie, and Malkin? Will Umberger deliver? Again, it'll be interesting to watch.

Did I mention that I think the Thrashers have done well out of this draft and might well bounce back next year? I strongly suggest everyone takes a look at Fire Wagon Hockey's thorough coverage of Mr. 29, Daulton Levielle. Liking the sound of him, too...will the kid deliver some day? Bob MacKenzie thinks so.

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