Â• Even the most optimistic Philly fans have to wake up and face facts Â– this team is going nowhere fast. And every day Peter Forsberg remains in a Flyers uniform, the organization wastes an opportunity to trade him for some long-term team components that will speed a necessary rebuilding effort. When the star Swede becomes a free agent this summer, he sure isn't going to re-sign with this gong show.
Â• Speaking of unlikely returns, do you think either Brad Stuart or Marco Sturm will re-up with the Bruins when they become UFAs after this year? If both do sign elsewhere in the off-season, all Boston will have left to show for Joe Thornton is the plucky-but-limited Wayne Primeau. Unreal. We might never see an NHL trade this horrifically one-sided again in our lifetimes.
Â• Bruins goalie Tim Thomas and I have a few things in common. We're both 5-11; we share the same birthday; and apparently, neither one of us can stop the Maple Leafs from scoring whenever they please.
Â• Roberto Luongo was pulled early in the second period of Vancouver's 6-0 loss to Anaheim Thursday after giving up three goals on nine not-so-mighty Ducks shots. Luongo has now lost four of his last five games, and sports a not-so-swell .825 save percentage during that span. Bring back Dan Cloutier! Just kidding!
Â• Senators fans who blame their team's struggles on the loss of Zdeno Chara obviously haven't been watching many Boston games. The big blueliner can't single-handedly pull the Bruins out of their misery, and he wouldn't be able to do the same if he remained in Ottawa. Besides, I still think the Sens are going to turn it around and qualify for a playoff spot. The Calgary Flames, on the other handÂ…
Since today's salary cap can only accommodate one $7-million man per club, as a Boston fan, I'll take Chara over Thornton any day, especially long term. If Sturm and Stuart don't re-sign with the Bruins, it'll be because Chiarelli's has better in mind. Trust me, you don't know Joe until he plays for YOUR club. Before his career is over, he'll play for several more teams. Joe's play reflects his work ethic: good, but not great. If only we could say the same about his cap number... Surely you've heard the recent grumblings from Sharks management about Joe's a) Even strength play (3-16-19, but a minus 5, with all but 2-3 points coming on PP), and b) Joe's reluctance to shoot more. Where have we heard this before? Boston. He's overrated, overpaid and not much of a leader. To his credit, Joe led the Sharks last spring, until the going got tough in the third round; his play vs. Edmonton was sub-par, especially in the elimination game. Think he'll lead San Jose past Pronger and the Ducks next spring? Think again. As for the Bruins, they're a work-in-progress. But they have enough good young talent to evolve into a good club over the next two years. Some good signs evident of late, despite all the heartache. Patience. - Allain Black, Manchester, N.H.
I'd not only trade Forsberg, but also Gagne and pretty much every other veteran for youth. But first find a real GM and not just Clarkie Lite.
- John Saquella