Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend's events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.
Usually, the NHL Draft marks the unofficial kickoff of the summer silly season, with every major player on every team getting mentioned in trade rumors that MIGHT JUST BRING HIM TO YOUR FAVORITE TEAM.
But thanks to the stupid Nashville Predators, some goofy cap situations around the league and, well, just an all-encompassing desire to shake things up, it got busy around the trademongers' houses a little early this year.
Not that Bob McKenzie is a trademonger, but his tweeting on Saturday afternoon sure read like it. "May be busiest two weeks in NHL for trades since the lockout, outside of deadline days of course," he wrote. "Lots of teams looking to do big things." Then he listed some of those big trades.
"Nathan Horton and others in Fla.; much in CHI; more moves in NASH; perhaps Spezza; more in PHI; Kaberle. Busy busy."
I don't know how much more of that is going to take place this week, obviously, but any of that happening would make for a fairly nutso run-up to the draft.
But this is why summer is at once the most fascinating and irritating time to be a hockey fan. The possibilities are, in some ways, almost endless, and that makes for some real interesting reading from legitimate writers like McKenzie who know thousands of people around the league. But with that comes an avalanche of absolute garbage from people that claim to know far more than they do (we all know who I'm talking about).
So okay, those rumors ...
(Coming Up: Hall and Seguin scuttlebutt; Bobby Ryan(notes) and the Ducks need to talk; players that are dumber than a bag of hammers; someone who actually likes coming to Newark; how the Jaroslav Halak(notes) trade helped the Leafs; a bad idea for more offense; the Penguins will give up their Poni; Sens fans rally for a cause; and a colossally silly way to get Alexander Semin(notes) to the Thrashers.)
First, you gotta think that Horton deal, which everyone is saying will happen at some point before July 1 when his no movement clause kicks in, is going to cost whoever acquires him something decent.
But then, Capgeek says Florida has about $48.9 million committed to the cap right now, which is shockingly high given how terrible they are. They can take on salary, but they're not going to let some team dump their cap problems. Who's going to have both the cap space and desire to add him?
As for the "others," the Sun-Sentinel said even Steven Weiss is available for the right price. Just crazy.
The Chicago and Philly stuff, you could write a book about right now (mainly revolving around how much both teams mortgaged themselves considerably for a run at the Cup Final); but holy crap, more moves in Nashville? Come on, who else can they possibly trade? (Let's hope it's Shea Weber(notes).)
Spezza and Kaberle are two trades I couldn't be less interested in. Honestly, if they were both traded to my pickup team, I'd be like "Oh great THESE guys. Can't wait for them to starting bitching about how much they hate it here." That being said, if either one is traded, you can expect that team that acquires them to have paid far too steep a price for their services.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you have to keep your head about everything. If you see a trade rumor involving your team getting anyone for whom you are even remotely excited, then it's probably a bunch of crap.
Hardly anyone worth getting excited over gets traded at this point in the offseason, and if they do, there's only a 1 in 29 chance he's coming to your team.
The point is: relax. You're probably going to think whatever your team does was terrible anyway.
What We Learned
Anaheim Ducks: Apparently the Ducks have done about as much talking to Bobby Ryan's agents regarding a new contract as you or I have. Which is to say none at all. He said he still wants to play in Anaheim though, so there's that.
Atlanta Thrashers: Atlanta doesn't just base everything on hockey skill when it comes to player evaluation. Said GM Rick Dudley: "I think they say ‘Well, he scored 46 goals, he's got to be a pretty good player.' [I might] look at him and say ‘He's a big guy that scored 46 goals but he's dumber than a sack of hammers.' If that's the case, he's going to have a tough time playing in the National Hockey League." I'll give Phil Kessel(notes) the bad news.
Boston Bruins: Bruins fans won't have to wait long to see whoever the team take with the second pick (fun fact: it's going to be Tyler Seguin). The B's are holding their annual prospect camp July 6-10.
Buffalo Sabres: After years of taking European losers, the Sabres are leaning toward North Americans in this draft. Puck Daddy has been unable to confirm what must have been the appointment of new assistant GM Don Cherry.
Carolina Hurricanes: The Hurricanes will play in St. Petersburg, Russia this coming preseason. SKA St. Petersburg was the second-best team in the KHL regular season last year, which means the Hurricanes are going to get creamed by a team featuring Alexei Yashin(notes) and Sergei Zubov(notes).
Chicago Blackhawks: Team president John McDonough used his one day with the Stanley Cup to go to his boyhood home in suburban Chicago. Several hundred people showed up to see it. I mean him. Yes, they were all there to see him. John McDonough. And not an inanimate piece of metal.
Colorado Avalanche: Goaltending coach Jocelyn Thibault(notes) has quit the Avs to be closer to his family in Quebec, or, perhaps more accurately, be farther away from Petr Budaj. (Linked article is in French. Deal with it.)
Dallas Stars: Mindblowing fact -- The Stars have only drafted two defensemen with their last 18 picks. They didn't take any last year. The last time they drafted a defenseman that developed into a regular NHLer, you ask? Matt Niskanen(notes) five years ago.
Detroit Red Wings: Here's an understatement for a headline -- Detroit area native Cam Fowler is "a likely first-round pick." If he's still around when the Wings draft at 21, every GM drafting after, like, No. 4 needs their head examined.
Minnesota Wild: As the Wild continue their efforts to bring back every player to play for the franchise that one time it went to the Western Conference Final, it has offered Brad Bombardir the new job of director of player development, which he may not take.
Nashville Predators: Long story short, the Predators are going to score 43 goals this year.
New York Islanders: Alex Burmistrov, who will probably go in the top 5 next weekend, is confused, I think. Said he of his visit to Uniondale, "Beautiful place, that Long Island." I don't know how sarcasm works in Russia, buddy, but that can't be right.
New York Rangers: Wondering why the Rangers' divisional opponents are making moves while Sather just sits in his office? It's because his M.O. is to wait until after the draft to make his stunningly bad personnel moves.
Ottawa Senators: Both Andy Sutton(notes) and Matt Cullen(notes) would like to stay in Ottawa but have basically been told they're not a priority while the team tries to ink Anton Volchenkov(notes). Did you know Sutton was second in the league in blocked shots and eighth in hits last year? They should sign him.
Phoenix Coyotes: Much of the roster for the Coyotes is undecided for next year. Brilliant analysis: "The picture will become clearer after the draft Friday and Saturday in Los Angeles and the start of free agency July 1." You don't say?
Pittsburgh Penguins: Alex Ponikarovsky is unlikely to return to the Penguins, not that you didn't know that. Between the regular season and playoffs, Poni had 3-11-14 in 27 games, and it only cost the Pens Luca Caputi(notes).
San Jose Sharks: Fear the Fin believes that one way to increase scoring is to make the teams start on the opposite benches, meaning home teams have a long change twice a game instead of once. This is a colossally stupid idea.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Count Vinny Lecavalier among those excited to have Steve Yzerman around. He mentions that Stevie Y is "an honest person," a description he probably would not give some of the other people that have come through the Lightning organization of late.
Gold Star Award
Dawg I'm lovin' the Save Spezza rally. They sang "Walking In A Spezza Wonderland" and I don't even know what that means.
Minus of the Weekend
Nobody was a particularly big jerk this weekend so you're all off the hook.
Perfect HFBoards trade proposal of the week
User "Sheky Express" thinks he can get Alex Semin to Atlanta no problemo.
to ATL: Semin
to CHI: Machacek/Espo, ATL 2nd Rounder 2010
Chicago is all over this one, yessir.
There's just so many poorly chosen words in that sentence.