Sunday, March 4, 2012
The trade deadline has come and gone. Not nearly as much movement as many would have liked but with the salary cap there are just so many teams on the bubble of a playoff birth that just arent willing to sell.
I don't think that many people are surprised Rick Nash wasn't released from Columbus due to the simple fact that no contender could possibly part with what Scott Howson wanted for Nash 2 months away from the playoffs. That's not to say that he was wrong for asking so much, I'm sure Nash on the right team could possibly be a 80 point player. Another issue is the length of his contract but I think GM's see the risk is worth the reward. An unhealthy amount of media attention is swarming Nash at the moment because he asked for a trade out of Columbus but you can't blame the guy. He's a top player in the league stuck on a team going right back in rebuild mode after 10 years of being in rebuild mode. Here is Rick Nash's press conference following the trade deadline.
One team that made a number of moves was the Nashville Predators. I believe they went from a team that was going to make the playoffs to a team that could go deep in the playoffs, as long as all the pieces fit. They went out and picked up Andrei Kostitsyn and Hal Gill from Montreal and Paul Gaustad from Buffalo. They picked up Andrei's younger brother Sergei from Montreal before and he has come over and played much better than he did with the Habs so they are hoping Andrei can have some of the same success with the team. He will be LW on the 2nd line and will be given every opportunity to start turning his career around. Hall Gill is another big shut down type defenseman who gives Nashville some depth on defense and added a lot of size. And they just kept getting bigger when they aquired Gaustad to center their 3rd line. This team looks to continue its gritty defensive ways and will be a similar team to St Louis's style. I think both these teams have a chance to go far this year and would make for a great matchup.
I'm still not sure what to think of the Cody Hodgson/ Zach Kassian trade between Vancouver and Buffalo, as I'm sure most people feel the same. Hodgson is a rookie of the year candidate and was having a great breakout year but many thought he deserved more ice time. Which of course as a Center on the Canucks, it's going to be pretty difficult for a kid to beat out Ryan Kessler or Henrik Sedin for the top 2 lines. So they traded their young center for a RW power forward who likes to throw his body around and can is expected to be a top 6 forward. So time will tell for the Canucks if this trade was better for them or not however I think Hodgson will have an immediate impact on the Buffalo roster.
The Wings weren't too active around the deadline as many expected them to be but sometimes less is better and we have one of the top teams in the league with everyone performing at a high level so why blow that up? We did go out and get a defenseman we knew very well in Kyle Quincey and didn't have to give up a roster player to do it. I see Quincey as an insurance if Stuart decides to head to the west coast after the seasons end. The Wings have a solid 8 defensemen going into the playoffs this year and it's looking like we could do some damage this year.