From now on, I'm taking everything
On the eve of the 2006 Entry Draft, Nonis, who is now the VP of hockey operations for the Maple Leafs but then was the GM of the Vancouver Canucks, had just swindled the Panthers out of the services of superstar goaltender
After confirming the deal, Nonis was swarmed by the media. Almost glowing with self-satisfaction, he handled the questions casually for a few moments until one wag asked what element finally sealed the superstar swap.
"It was the sixth-rounder," Nonis replied with a smirk
It was a throwaway line, good for a laugh and quickly forgotten by most.
The pick, 163rd overall, was used the next day to grab a Russian that few in attendance had heard of:
Turns out that Shirokov had spent the past couple years developing into something of a dynamic force for CSKA Moscow. Now, after posting a career-best 17 goals and 41 points in 52 games, he has a chance to become the second best player moved in the Luongo deal.
Just don't expect it to happen right away. Though current GM
"He's a dynamic player who has a lot of upside, who handles the puck very well and is an excellent playmaker," Gillis said.
Typical praise that you'd expect from the guy who'd just signed the player to a two-year, $2.7 million deal. But at least one scout agreed with the assessment.
"He's a bit of a hot dog," the scout said. "He loves whipping up the crowd. Beyond that, he's a classic Russian. Maybe not the fastest skater, but strong enough on his feet and very clever with the puck. He's got some moves...he's fun to watch. [And he] really thinks the game well. His size was always the issue [that hurt his draft stock], but he's got a big heart, a lot of determination."
The signing creates something of a logjam up front for the Canucks -- not the worst problem to have, but a situation that suggests Shirokov might start the season with Manitoba of the AHL unless he forces Vancouver's hand with a dazzling camp.
Either way, Shirokov finally has a chance to prove that we should never ignore a throw-in pick...or a throwaway line.
A week after repatriating former Red Wing
Days after the team's VP
Though his last trip through town was something less than magical -- back injuries limited him to just eight regular season and 16 playoff games after the Wings acquired him in 2006-07 -- Bertuzzi still has a little bit of goal dust left in his stick. For a team that lost 80 goals to free agency and is looking to make it up by committee, he'd provide a strong power play presence and a bit of third line pop at a bargain price.
The trick was fitting him under the cap.
The Wings had just over $500,000 to spend, nowhere near enough to ink the vet. But
The Bertuzzi signing also all but guarantees that prospect
Just last month,
No surprise that MacLellan would look for some kind of shift in the team's leadership culture. Say all you want about it being a team-wide responsibility, but when times are tough -- say, for example, the first round of the playoffs -- a player who can help his teammates elevate their game by example is invaluable.
Problem is, that guy doesn't appear to be currently employed by the Sharks. And even if Marleau's sweater doesn't have the C next season, the lack of any significant moves by GM
This isn't anything like the situation in Dallas when the Stars pulled the C from