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George Zoran
Top Prospect

55 Posts

Posted - 03/06/2006 :  11:49:38  Show Profile
Thursday March the 9th is going to be a very interesting day. Although the 2004 trade deadline was also on March 9, there were much fewer games remaining in the regular season giving teams a better idea of their chances of making the playoffs. This created a clear distinction between deadline buyers and deadline sellers. Most teams will have about twenty games remaining after the deadline; plenty of games to either make a jump into the top eight, or drop from sixth to tenth.

Teams that are close to breaking the top eight in their conference find it difficult to pack it in. It also sends a bad message to its season ticket holders. Imagine if the Leafs started trading off assets to put themselves in a better position for next season. Their fans would revolt. Pittsburgh, Washington, Florida, Phoenix, Chicago, Columbus and St. Louis are the only clear sellers in this competitive market. So who is really available here?

Hopefully the Penguins learned their lesson this year and will try to unload some payroll. If a team is willing to take on some salary, I am sure that Pittsburgh would love to dump Sergei Gonchar’s salary. Mark Recchi and John Leclair could also be useful acquisitions.

George Mcphee has pretty much guaranteed that Brendan Witt will be moved out of Washington and I think we will also see Jeff Freisen traded as well. Witt is on the wish list of many GMs and will go to the highest bidder

Mike Keenan could be the most active GM on Thursday. Roberto Luongo has been rumored to be on the move all season. This is fueled by his refusal to agree on a new contract extension. Keenan is not known for making bad trades, so it will take a lot for him to move Luongo – but it is still a possibility. Olli Jokinen is an unrestricted free agent next summer and will be traded. Joe Nieuwendyk would look good on a team making a run at the cup but will not come cheap. Chris Gratton and Martin Gelinas are also interesting options.

Wayne Gretzky and Mike Barnett have some tough decisions to make. They have teams calling about Curtis Joseph, Derek Morris, Denis Gauthier and Mike Ricci. I would count on at least three of these four moving out of Phoenix.

Not much to choose from here. Arnason, Barnaby, and Cullimore are said to be available. This team has been managed so poorly over the years it will be tough to convince another team to take on any of their mistakes.

This group doesn’t look any more desirable than the one in Chicago. Richardson probably wants out after giving up the “C” to Foote earlier this season. Marc Denis may also be available but other than that it is slim pickings.

St. Louis:
The Blues were quick to trade Doug Weight after receiving the right offer so look for Keith Tkachuk to be moved if the right offer is put forth. Young, Weinrich, and Drake could also bring in some offers and may also be trade bait.

Of course there will be other teams looking to move players, and many others trying to add one or two to help them through the stretch drive. Trading salary is a new term that may become the norm after Thursday’s deadline. With the salary cap in effect it will be all about balancing the books and keeping within its confines. It definitely brings a new dimension to the job of the GM.

Have an opinion on George's article? Let us know. Just hit reply below and post your thoughts. Anything goes...but keep it clean.
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199 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2006 :  14:45:58  Show Profile
another point of view...
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PickupHockey Pro

364 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2006 :  14:10:17  Show Profile
Funny that Cujo didn't get moved????
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