The league is set to resume regular-season action tomorrow, and I'm set to resume answering your questions. We begin with a little respect from my peeps:
I've been a big fan of your column for a year now and I enjoy how informed you are.Anyway, with the trade deadline coming up soon, I was wondering if you think there will be a big goalie trade this year, as there was with Dwayne Roloson last year. Who is available, which team needs one, and who can afford one?Thanks,
I appreciate the kind words. With good taste like yours, I'm sure you do a fine job of whatever it is you do, too.
I think you'll still see a goalie or two moved at the deadline, because (a) some playoff contenders (Tampa Bay, Carolina, Toronto) still aren't completely happy with their last line of defense, and (b) some solid goalies (Buffalo's Martin Biron, St. Louis' Manny Legace) will be unrestricted free agents this summer. That's a combination that usually proves too tempting for NHL GMs to resist.
I just want to know why you dislike the Red Wings so much. You never seem to give them any credit for...well...anything.
Believe it or not, I'm not an anti-Wingite. And believe it or not some more, but I and just about everyone at The Hockey News gets these types of letters, from fans of just about every team.
When it comes down to it, I don't root for or against any particular franchise. I'd like to see every team succeed every so often, if only to keep their fans non-despondent. Now, there are some people in the league I'd prefer to see win a Stanley Cup before some others, but teams? Naw.
And for the record, here's what I like about the Wings: Their GM. Their assistant GM. Their development system. Their ownership. Their uniforms. Their nearest border crossing to Canada. Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Kris Draper, Chris Chelios and Kirk Maltby. That's a fair amount of credit, no?
Jose Theodore hasn't started in 11 games and hasn't looked good all season. Obviously he seems like five million dollars in dead weight to the team; are their any trade rumors surrounding him? Would any team be stupid enough to take him?
Thanks very much for the belly laugh. I don't think anyone saw Theodore's struggles continuing, except for every person but former Avs GM Pierre Lacroix. The only way Theodore gets moved is if Lacroix comes out of retirement and takes the helm of another team GM. Even then, I'd put the odds at only 50/50.
I have heard TSN's Pierre McGuire mention that the Penguins might need another veteran defenseman to complement Sergei Gonchar if they are to reach the next level.My brother and I have toyed with the idea that maybe the Penguins could also use a veteran forward; not another veteran scoring forward like Mark Recchi, but a checking line type player.What are your thoughts on the proposition that the Penguins could use a veteran checking line type forward, and might Martin Lapointe be a candidate, given he has the experience of winning Stanley Cups with Detroit, and given that the Blackhawks don't look like they are going anywhere this season and at least according to media coverage, his play for the Blackhawks hasn't been Hart Trophy inspiring?
There's no question Lapointe would make the Pens better, but he comes with a not-inconsequential ticket ($2.4 million) for next season. When you're not certain who your owner is going to be and how much money that owner is going to spend on players, it's dangerous to extend yourself with a contract like that.
What's the deal in Ottawa? Is Bryan Murray going to keep a minimal rotation between his goaltenders or has Emery solidified himself as No. 1? If so, is Emery capable of handling the workload for the rest of the season?
I never believed Emery was the problem in the playoffs for Ottawa last season. He wasn't the best player on the Sens' post-season roster, but just like Legace in Detroit Â– who is also rebounding with a good season in St. Louis Â– the guys in front of him weren't nearly as willing to sacrifice as the skaters on the teams that eliminated them.
I think Emery has grabbed the No. 1 reins from Martin Gerber and isn't giving them back. And I think he'll be ready to prove the faith John Muckler and Bryan Murray have in him is not misplaced.
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