Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Puck Stops Here: Valentines Day Edition

Welcome back to another edition of The Puck Stops Here, love is certainly in the air on this Valentines Day. There are a lot of little happenings throughout the NHL, so we’ll get straight to the ice. There isn’t one specific subject I want to touch on today, so I will discuss various interesting situations and players.

Joe Sakic, C, and Ryan Smyth, W, Colorado: Both Colorado players have begun practicing again and each is eyeing a return. Smyth will join the Avs sooner than Sakic will but Sakic is only a couple weeks away. Try to pry one of these players from an owner who has had to watch an early draft pick waste away on the bench. Sakic will be easier to come by than Smyth because he is further from a return. However, as each returns to the ice they both have great value and will increase the value of the players around them. They are both solid players and can give a team that winning boost before the play offs. Keep an eye on their return.

Ottawa and Carolina Trade: Carolina recently sent rugged defenseman Mike Commodore and veteran forward Cory Stillman to Ottawa in exchange for young forward Patrick Eaves and mobile defenseman Joe Corvo. Commodore’s value increases slightly by moving to a better team and Stillman’s value gets much better. Word out of Ottawa has Stillman paired with Mike Fisher and Daniel Alfredsson on the second line. This is a better offensive unit than he played with in Carolina. However, the big winner of this trade is Antonie Vermette who is now expected to play with Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza on Ottawa’s top unit. Keep an eye on Vermette, he should be available in your league. As for the new Carolina players, Corvo’s value stays about the same while Eaves value goes up. Eaves is currently injured, but when he returns he should be in line for more ice time and better linemates than what he had in Ottawa. Eaves can score and in the right situation he could be productive.

Bryan McCabe, D, Toronto: McCabe returned to the ice last week after being out for nearly 2 months with a broken left hand. He is already logging heavy minutes and has returned to the top power play unit in Toronto. He probably is not available on your waiver wire, but it is worth checking to make sure. McCabe is a top tier defenseman and must be owned and started immediately. His return should also be a positive for the entire Toronto roster, getting a stud defenseman back into the line up is always beneficial. Keep an eye on the trade rumors in the coming weeks. Toronto is expected to be a big seller and McCabe good possibly be one of the players traded.

Patrick Lalime, G, Chicago: Nobody is quite sure how the goaltending situation in Chicago will play itself out, but more likely than not Khabibulin will be moved before the trade deadline. This leaves Lalime in line to be the starter in Chicago, a position he has earned with his play. He has been getting regular starts and is worth taking a flier on if you need goaltending. My money is on him being the starter in Chicago for the last month and a half of the season. Chances are if you need a goalie at this point, then you are fighting for a play off spot and Lalime could give you a boost to win in the play offs.

Jason Williams, W, Chicago: Williams is really close to retuning from a groin injury that has kept him out since mid-November. Before the injury Williams had 7 goals and 12 assists in 20 games, for the math impaired that is nearly a point per game. Williams also will take a few penalties and can help out in the PIM department as well as the stat sheet. I want to see who Williams’ linemates are before adding him, but I will be keeping an eye on him and so should you.

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scott said...

what are the chances we could drive down to mellon arena and actually physically remove Michael Therrian from behind the guins bench. I can just hear him now...."I coach many good game. I work player at military camp. I change line a lot to try and make the number of all player on ice equal 117, because that is number of marlboro i smoke each day." any chance we could lure scotty bowman or an established winner to coach this group of young studs? its the closest guarantee of a cup in the next 2-5 years as anyone could ever have. your thoughts?

Joe Romano said...


Don't get me started on Michel Therrien. I believe he hinders the Penguins more than Bill Cowher hindered the Steelers in the post season. Frankly, I don't ever see the Penguins being successful in the post season while Therrien is at the helm. In the time he has spent with the Penguins, I cannot attribute one victory to Therrien's coaching. However, I can name plenty of games where Therrien was a part of the problem and not the solution.

With that said, Therrien will be fired only if the Penguins fail to win one play off series. I don't think making the play offs is enough for him. He must win. I can't decide what I would rather, the Penguins advance or Therrien to be fired. I guess either way it is a win win situation. Another way to look at is at least he is not Jim Tracy. Thanks for the comment.