Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Columbus Gets Their Center

Sergei Federov is the newest member of the Columbus Blue Jackets. It's been rumoured and disregarded for weeks, but it has finally happened, and Anaheim now has an extra 18 million to spend over the next three years. In return, Anaheim receives forward Tyler Wright and defenseman Francois Beauchemin. Columbus also received Anaheim's 5th round pick in 2006. I know this is 100% a salary dump, but I find it hard to believe that Anaheim couldn't have got more for Federov and a 5th round pick. I heard a rumour that Federov actually asked to be traded, but all I know at this point is that Federov already has flown to Columbus and will be in the lineup tomorrow night against St.Louis.

Lets get to tonight's games. We'll start with a battle of the best, as Carolina took on Ottawa. Ray Whitney and Mike Commodore scored for Carolina, and Gerber was outstanding as Carolina beat Ottawa 2-1. Alfredsson scored the lone goal for Ottawa.

Brodeur and the Devils continue to struggle, as they lost at home tonight to the Sabres 4-1. Chris Drury led the Sabres with a two point night, while Martin Biron looked sharp in net, stopping 21 of 22 shots.

Alexander Ovechkin continues to show why he's the early favourite for rookie of the year, as he played another great game tonight and led Washington to a 4-3 victory over Tampa Bay. Ovechkin scored very late in the third to tie the game at 3, and then finished the Lightning off with the only shootout goal. Cassels and Halpren also had good games, with each notching two assists.

Bryan McCabe scored twice, and Belfour played amazing, as the Maple Leafs defeated the Rangers 2-1. Jaromir Jagr scored his league leading 18th goal of the season. Only eight penalties were called in this game, which means maybe the refs are starting to ease up a bit. I guess time will tell.

Montreal blew a 3-0 lead in the third period, but Saku Koivu scored his second goal of the game with four seconds left in overtime to give Montreal a 4-3 win. Florida has now lost nine straight games.

Kariya and Timonen had a goal and an assist each, as the Nashville Predators slipped by the La Kings 3-2. Vokoun had a great game, stopping 35 of 37 shots. Eric Belanger continued to play well for the Kings, scoring a goal and adding an assist to give him a total of 12 points on the season.

Rumours? I think I have a few for you. This first one is pure speculation, but I don't think Anaheim is done. The Ducks still believe they can make the playoffs and compete, and they now have 6 million dollars to upgrade their team with. The Flyers currently have too many centers, and really love Bobby Ryan. I'm not saying a deal is going to happen, but maybe Handzus and a defenseman could pry Ryan away from Burke. Just a thought...

Now that the Blues are unsold again, the team may dump even more salary. Eric Brewer is one name that the team may try and move, Doug Weight is another. The Oilers have shown interest in bringing Weight back, but they don't have enough cap room, and St.Louis doesn't want any comparable salaries coming back to them. Pittsburgh is another team who I expect to shake things up a bit in the month, while I am hearing that the Rangers are looking to move Weekes.

Alexei Kovalev had successful knee surgery today, however, he may miss more time than expected. One report is suggesting that he could be out of the lineup for up to eight weeks. I am predicting that Montreal will fall back to earth without Kovalev, and will struggle.

Thats all for now, email me at cjohnson202@hockeyleaks.com with any questions or comments. Expect my new article (top ten stories of 05-06 thus far) and my power rankings. Hockeyleaks.com for all the latest.