March 01 2016 09:00AM
Well, that was a really boring trade deadline. I guess we can't be too surprised, as the salary cap has pretty much eliminated the possibility of legitimate, blockbuster hockey trades, essentially turning deadline day into a barren wasteland yard sale for slightly above average rental players to be sold off for mid-round draft picks. So in order to make this somewhat interesting, I figured I would take a look at the good and the bad of what we should now be referring to as 'deadline week,' as a good chunk of the major moves came days before TSN and Sportsnet put on their annual feature where they tried really hard to convince us that a flood of exciting deals always come in the afternoon.
In the Pacific Division, we have the Calgary Flames who did a really, really good job getting value for their major assets, and the Vancouver Canucks who pretty much did the exact opposite. There's also the San Jose Sharks, who got hosed on one deal, but then made up for it a few days later. And the Anaheim Ducks, who flew under the radar and picked up some good, low-key assets for virtually nothing of substance.
February 28 2016 03:04AM
Photo Credit: KHL/Youtube
The "free wallet". Brian Burke popularized the phrase in the hockey world in the midst of his tenure with the Maple Leafs, to signify young, unrestricted free agent prospects added to the team without having to give up any form of compensation. The premise was sensible, even if most of his wallets turned out to have been empty. After all, why wouldn't you want to stock your cupboards up with as many potential NHLers as possible?
The hockey world stretches across many leagues in many countries, and in those leagues, you'll find a ton of players that are free to be picked off by NHL teams. Most aren't worth the aggravation, but every so often, somebody sticks out and catches the eye of the rest of the world.
But what if I told you that the best of these thousands of players isn't getting even the slightest bit of attention and that he's hidden in plain sight? Enter Anatoly Golyshev.
February 27 2016 09:00AM
It was one year ago that the Florida Panthers sent a second round pick in 2015 and a conditional third round pick in 2016 to the New Jersey Devils for a 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr. It certainly seemed random at the time, but now, after 77 games over parts of two seasons in Sunrise, it looks like one of the best things that’s ever happened to the franchise.
“Hopefully [he'll bring] some offence, stability and leadership,” general manager Dale Tallon said after he had pulled the trigger on the Jagr deal. “It's a good opportunity for him to mentor some of our young guys and show them how hard they have to work to get to his level. It brings stability to our young team and gives us an opportunity in the next 20 games to make a good run to make the playoffs.” And that's exactly what he's done.
As we know, they didn’t make the playoffs last season. But this year, the ageless wonder has been instrumental in lifting the Panthers to the top of the Atlantic Division and into consistent relevancy for arguably the first time in their franchise history.
I think it’s fair to say that Jagr has blown just about everybody’s expectations out of the water. We all assume that he’s going to slow down, yet he continues to find new ways to produce and help team win. But how much more does he have left in him? Can we expect him to be back next season with the Panthers and their growing core of young talent?
Nation World HQ
February 26 2016 05:30AM
Canucks wheeling and dealing with Flames, Hawks interested in Hamhuis, Leafs start the fire sale, have considered Bickell, Jets ponder good bye to their Captain, Flames have plenty to sell, McLellan ready for changes in Edmonton, breaking down the "value" of a draft pick, the network launches it's first baseball site and all the trade deadline news you can handle in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by DraftKings.
February 24 2016 07:30AM
According to a tweet from Darren Dreger, the Arizona Coyotes fielded winger Mikkel Boedker a contract extension earlier this season, and have since backed away from the offer. It’s fair to assume that Boedker’s days in Arizona are numbered. Multiple sources have suggested that the Coyotes aren’t going to let the 26-year old winger make his way through the trade deadline unless a new contract is in place. And rightfully so. While the Coyotes have had themselves a pretty nice season, thanks largely to impressive performances from their core of young players, they’re still pretty far away from competing. I mean, yeah, they're technically in a playoff race because they're only six points behind Colorado for the final Wild Card position, but they certainly aren't in win now mode.
With just under a week left to go until the trade deadline and no new contract on the horizon, it’s pretty easy for anybody who’s been paying attention to put the pieces of the puzzle together and realize that the Coyotes will be selling on Mikkel Boedker. What type of return are the Coyotes going to be expecting? And what’s he going to command when he inevitably hits the open market this summer?