Monday, January 25, 2010

Mailbag - Jan. 25

I took some questions tonight from some of our lovely readers. Enjoy!


NYfan1610 asks: Do you see Calgary moving Phaneuf? and who do you think will shit the bed and trade for a rental Kovalchuk?

I do see Calgary moving Phaneuf, because simply put they need to spread their talent around more evenly. This team has a world class goaltender and a strong as hell defense, but their depth at forward just isn’t there, and Phaneuf is the best chip they have to play. The Flames D will be just fine with Jay-Bo and crew, and Phaneuf will benefit by playing on a new team. Expect the Flames to get a top centre in return.

As far as Kovalchuk goes, I’ve talked to some people in the know and they believe Kovalchuk wants to remain a thrasher. I’m told the amount is settled on, it’s all about term. If he does get moved, the Bruins and the Caps are the two teams with the most to offer at the moment. While you are hearing a lot from Eklund and other insiders about the Kings being the frontrunners, I don’t think the Kings are close enough to spend picks and prospects for a rental player.

chickenman92 asks: what do you see the canucks doing at the deadline? who might they get and what will they give up?

The Canucks are looking for two things: some grit, in the form of a third line winger, and a top pairing d-man. David Backes has been a guy whose name has floated around as far as Vancouver is concerned, but I really don’t see St. Louis trading this kid, especially to a Western foe. As for the top pairing d-man, Souray would fit if they could figure out how to fit him under the cap, while Toronto’s Kaberle would also work, if they could convince him to waive his NTC to come west.

sethmandel asks: Who do you see as the Leafs' goaltending tandem next season?

The Leafs didn’t work so hard to get Gustavsson for him to be a one-and-done player, so he’ll be part of Toronto’s duo next season. If the Leafs are not comfortable with him being #1 guy, I think Burke will turn his attention to Hiller, who will be a UFA on July 1st. If The Monster has a stellar final 20 games and proves he’s a #1 goalie, then he’ll look for a cheaper back up, Marty Biron may fit that roll.

Thor040 asks: you think the Islanders may be making a trade move next month???

They sure will. Biron will go to a contender to give them some insurance, but they won’t get a whole lot for him. With that said, a late draft pick always has potential, and they’ll take what they can for their third-string goalie. I think the Islanders will also look to add to their back-end, and will go for a young defenseman who can help them this season and beyond. Maybe they can trade one of their young forwards (which they seem to have tons of) to LA for Jack Johnson?

Sniper asks: Is Vinny being shopped and if so what teams do you think he would waive his NTC too?

Nobody seems to know for sure if Lecavalier is available or not. Some people swear he is, while others swear the opposite. I still think he’d look great beside Iggy in Calgary, but in the end, I think his contract is just too massive for Tampa Bay to trade away. I think there will be a few teams that inquire about him, the Islanders could be one, but so many things would have to go right (he’d have to waive, the team would have to have the cap space, and the offer would have to blow TB away) for any deal to happen. It’s just not likely.

latinoiler asks: who do you think the #oilers will trade at deadline? And what can we expect as a return?ar
The oilers are in quite the mess, and it wont be easy to get out of. I expect they’ll find someone to take Souray, but even that won’t be easy. The Oilers may have no choice but to trade one or two of their big RFAs, like Cogliano or Gagner, in order to move some of their more expensive veteran players. As for return, the Oilers are going full rebuild, so expect picks and prospects who still have one or two years term left on their entry deals.

4sprtsonly asks: what are the chances of the leafs trading kaberle and what kind of return do they get? Hearing any rumours?

The Leafs absolutely have to trade Kaberle, but at this point I’d say it’s only 50/50. Both Burke and Kaberle are saying that Kaberle is staying put, and unless one of the sides flinches, Kaberle could very well remain a Leaf past the deadline (though you have to think Burke would move him at the draft, like he tried to do last year). If Kaberle does get moved, the return would be significant. Pronger went for two firsts, a roster player and a prospect last year, though I doubt you’ll see Kaberle get as much. I said a few weeks ago that Jeff Carter and a 1st would never be offered for Kaberle again, but now I’m not so convinced. I think an established forward and a first rounder is probably the asking price, though I think Burke would settle for a top-line forward in exchange for his top-line d-man.

PhilipTolton asks: what do you think Ray Whitney will go for?
Logic tells me a 2nd round draft pick, but then I remember last year’s deadline where players that I thought were worth 2nds were getting traded for fourths. I’m going to go in the middle and say a third round pick, or maybe a third and a fifth. Unfortunatly for the Canes, there are a lot of similar players available who are better than Whitney, like Ponikarovksy in Toronto or possibly Anaheim’s Teemu Selanne. The second rounders or decent prospects will be saved for those guys.

Sniper asks: Are the ducks shoppping Bobby Ryan or are they going to keep on trying to sign him and if they still can't resign him wait till summer to trade him?

The Ducks are not likely to move Bobby Ryan at the deadline, but could move him at the draft. Contract talks with the young winger have gone nowhere, and it appears that Ryan has no interest in remaining with the Ducks long-term. With that said, the Ducks are hoping he’ll have a change of heart, as they want him to be part of their long-term plans. The money won’t be an issue, as Koivu, Nidermayer and Selanne could all be off the books by the trade deadline.

Team Canada Fan asks: What are the chances of Frolov being moved? Would the Stars trade a forward in a package with Turco?

Frolov is a UFA at the end of the season, which makes him a prime candidate to be traded. With that said, the Kings think they can do well in the playoffs and could hold on to him. I wonder if they don’t trade him to a contender in the east for a player that could help them now as well. Maybe a deal with Boston for one of their young forwards, just to shake things up?

As far as Dallas goes, Turco’s value isn’t that high, especially with him being a UFA at seasons end. Sources tell me the Stars have no interest in re-signing him, and are looking to pick up a young goalie. Target #1 – Halak. Could Turco be packaged with a player to up the return? Maybe, but when you start combining Turco with someone else, you are talking about a lot of salary, making that almost impossible to pull off. A lot of people are also speculating on the Stars trading Brad Richards. I can tell you right now, that’s not happening.

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