Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Players could pay the price
Last night we saw two of the season's early cup favourites eliminated in the first round. Both San Jose and Calgary had teams that on paper were cup contenders, but fell way short.
In Calgary, it's hard to imagine either Sutter or Keenan being let go after the first round exit. Both are well respected by ownership and have done a great job with this Flames team.
In San Jose, the coach is too new to be fired, and Doug Wilson, despite the team's playoff failures, has built a pretty solid team. Wilson's job is in trouble, but he may survive to see one more season.
The changes coming for both of these teams will likely come on the ice. In San Jose, it's not a stretch that Thornton could be gone by the start of next season. He has done little in the playoffs for a team that really needed him to step up.
Cheechoo has had back-to-back awful seasons, and it's really time for a change of scenery. If San Jose can trade Cheechoo this offseason, they will.
Nabokov struggled near the end of the season, and that carried over to the playoffs. While Nabokov would be an easy scapegoat, I don't see the Sharks moving him unless a Thornton or Cheechoo deal brought a starting goalie back in return.
In Calgary, Iginla and Kiprusoff did not perform to their expectations this postseason. Iginla is a staple in this franchise and isn't going anywhere, but sources tell me that Kiprusoff is not so save. The Flames are very high on Leland Irving, and now may be better than ever to throw him into the spotlight. The return for Kiprusoff would be extremely high, and such a deal would give the Flames more depth and possibly a more well-rounded team.
With the addition of Jokinen, Langkow could be let go in order to free up some cap space. Mike Cammalleri is all but gone to Calgary, and all but arriving in Toronto.
Bertuzzi re-signing is very up in the air, while I'm pretty sure Adrian Aucoin's Calgary career is over.
Look for a change to come on the blueline as well, with one of Sarich or Regehr being dumped.
It will be very interesting in San Jose and Calgary this summer to say the least, as both teams have fallen too short, too many times.