Saturday, March 7, 2009


The Seinfeld cast is making another must-see appearance. EW has learned exclusively that the four stars of NBC's long-running comedy -- Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Michael Richards -- will be featured in a multiple-episode story arc on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm this fall.

OH SHIT. First off I was already looking forward to season 7 of Curb anyway and now they drop this. This could be gloriously amazing. No no this will be gloriously amazing with or without Micheal Richards's inane ramblings.

I only ask that we get one Wayne Knight appearance.

Friday, March 6, 2009

What Really Grinds my Gears: NBA edition

1) Starbury- What a dill hole. He has gone the way of Gary Payton and Junior Seau rather than going the honorable way like Reggie Miller. Yea, I just praised Reggie Miller. That is how sickening it is to see this egomaniacal psychotic pothead get a ring as the team’s 7th best player. Payton did this successfully (sans the psychoses) with Miami and Seau attempted to do this (sans pot) and was one David Tyree catch away from succesfully getting that elusive ring. For those of you who don’t recall, Payton jumped on the Heat Bandwagon and rode the bench and Dwayne Wade to the 2006 NBA title. Marbury is certainly a likely candidate to successfully ride a team’s coattails to a title. I just don’t see the joy in winning a title when you never won one at your peak and now do so as a non-entity for a random team. It makes you look like a carpetbagger. If that helps you sleep at night Steph, G-d bless ya. Here's to the Celtics losing in the conference finals in a game 7 at Cleveland.

2) Knicks: Another, albeit brief, edition of pessimistic and optimistic Whiteboy-

a. Optimistic Whiteboy- This team has been so exciting to watch this year. It is in the top 5 in the league in scoring and 3 pointers made. It already has 2 more wins than it earned all of last season and is only 1 loss out of the 8 spot in the East. I just think that at the end of the day, this team is more talented way better coached, and plays better as a unit than the Milwaukees, New Jerseys and Chicagos of the world. Mike D “I’m not a Beastie Boy” Antoni deserves Coach of the Year honors for what he’s done with this team this year.

b. Pessimistic Whiteboy- Put down the pot dude. Actually screw that, I want whatever you are smoking. You do realize that the 2006-2007 Knicks actually had more wins at this point in the season right? Do you also realize that since this team got off to a 6-3 start with Jamal and Zach in the starting lineup, the team is a dreadful 19-32? It is on pace for exactly 34.16666666 wins this year. That is 1.6666666 more wins that it recorded in that playoff-less season. Oh yea, and this year’s team plays historically bad defense especially against the three. So all those pretty threes that Al “The Protégé” Harrington makes in the first 3 quarters hardly neutralizes the big time threes Ray Allen and Mo Williams make when it counts. We may have a deep and fairly talented team, but this team aint winning any big game down the stretch in the final 2 minutes bro. Oh and Charles Barkley effectively thwarted your D’antoni praising saying that his teams are very soft and aren’t even taught defense. To be fair to you though, I cannot say with 100% certainty that he wasn’t drunk at the time.

3) We still have no clue where this fucking guy is

Greg Oden

Seriously, has anyone seen this guy to confirm he’s alive? I know he had an injury in the first game of the season and had to get some shit drained from his knee over the all-star break but that was like 3 weeks ago. Remember when all of Boston jumped off the Tobin Bridge when it procured the 5th pick in the 2007 draft? Ahhh, those were wonderful times for Boston haters and Greg Oden. Now Boston added Douchebury to it already stacked lineup and Oden is watching his team play really well without him thanks to emerging superstar Brandon Roy and underrated big man Lamarcus Aldridge. Oh, and that guy that I said should have been picked first, (to White Boy Senior, not in print) is playing superstar ball albeit on a horrid team. But this brings me to a more important question, where is this guy?? Is he still hurt? Did he die of old age because, as his face conveys, he is in fact 94? Or did he sprain his ankle while running to the bank with the money he is stealing from the good people that own the Blazers? I guess time will tell.

4) Top players, not top plays- This has become a huge pet peeve of mine. Lebron
making a 17-foot fadeaway is not a more spectacular play than Wilson Chandler dunking over Paul Pierce with one hand. Kobe Bryant making a driving lay-up is not more awe-inspiring than Jared Jack doing a reverse lay-up while blowing past 3 defenders. What I am trying to say is, just because a play is made by a superstar does not mean that play is any more spectacular then that exact same play made by a role player. I admit I don’t have a photographic memory imprinted into my brain of a specific example of this but I have noticed that Sports Center is routinely making sure that the NBA’s biggest stars garner top play honors even when their plays are way less spectacular than an athletic but overall mediocre role player. Personally, I’d rather see a mediocre player doing something sick than a superstar make a fairly routine play. Now it is logical to reason that Lebron James is far more likely to make a play worthy of top play honors than is Wilson Chandler. However, Lebron doesn’t need to win this honor every night just so ESPN can promote tonight’s game against the Celtics… DAMMIT IT WORKED, FUCK YOU ESPN. UGHH!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hockey Trade Deadline: The Trades

The NHL Trade Deadline has officially passed, and while not as active as the past few years it saw a few name players change teams along with a bevy of picks. The most noticeable difference in this year was that the number of depth players, such as bottom pairing defensemen and lower line players, was significantly smaller. These kinds of players, dealt for lower round picks, normally dominate the trades, but not so this year.

In part one of my review I’ll list each trade, give an analysis on why it was done and who the winner of the deal was. First though I’ll go over the deals that were made in advance of the deadline. Also note there were some very minor deals done that I haven’t listed, but trust me, you aren’t missing anything.

Pre-Deadline Deals

To Ottawa Senators: Nathan Campoli, Mike Comrie
To New York Islanders: 1st rd pick, Dean McAmmond
Analysis: The trade is a bit odd. Part of it makes sense, namely the Islanders wanting another first round pick (San Jose’s which will be towards the end of the round), and Ottawa was in desperate need of a puck moving defenseman. What isn’t clear is why the Sens took Comrie, a UFA who they aren’t very likely to sign. It would make sense if they were within reach of the playoffs, and while they are not mathematically eliminated, the way they’ve played has made it so. McAmmond was little more than a salary dump and will be let go by the Isles after the year ends.
Winner: Islanders. A first is always a commodity, no matter where in the round it is, and in the cap world drafting is ever more important. Though Campoli is more proven, he’s not worth a first. If Comrie re-signs with the Sens, it will be more even, but regardless Isles take it.

To Pittsburgh: Chris Kunitz, Eric Tangradi
To Anaheim: Ryan Whitney
Analysis: Both teams fulfilled needs here. Anaheim had an aging defense and most of them were free agents end of the year. Pittsburgh needed a gritty scoring winger and a top forward prospect as their prospects were more shallow than the kiddie pool. Whitney has a lot of potential, but regressing this year, plus the Penguins abundance of young puck moving blueliners made him expendable. Anaheim had an abundance of scoring forwards, mostly young, so giving up the 29 year old Kunitz won’t hurt a whole lot. Tangradi is a big power forward who is currently second in league scoring in the OHL behind only top prospect and most hyped since Sidney Crosby Jon Tavares.
Winner: Pittsburgh. Kunitz is already proven and in the few games he has played has already paid dividends. Defensemen take longer to develop in general, and Whitney could be an all star, but his regression this year, not injury related despite many claims, is a cause for concern. The big wild card is Tangradi, who could end up a good forward for many years to come.

To Montreal Canadiens: Mathieu Schneider
To Atlanta Thrashers: 2nd rd pick, 3rd round pick
Analysis: Montrealw as looking for a boost on the blue line and they got it with the venerable Schneider. He fit in immediately and has already helped to bring some substance to the Montreal power play. Atlanta gets two higher round picks to further add to their young talent pool.
Winner: Montreal. Normally I’d give this to the team getting the picks because it is a high price to pay for a few month rental player, but with GM Don Waddell in charge the picks are most likely going to be wasted like most others during his ten year tenure.

To New Jersey Devils: Nicolas Havelid, Myles Stoesz
To Atlanta Thrashers: Anssi Salmela
Analysis: If you pay attention to the hockey deadline, you know a trade like this was coming from Lou Lamoriello. Again he went for the depth defensemen for a mid range prospect or pick, this time defenseman Anssi Salmela. Salmela can be a fixture on Atlanta’s blue line in a few years, while Havelid will be an immediate boost for the Devil’s playoff run.
Winner: Atlanta. I give it to them solely for the long term gain. However, this shouldn’t be an under rated acquisition for the Devils as Havelid was one of the few bright spots on the Thrashers this year.

Deadline Deals

To Ottawa Senators: Pascal Leclaire, 2nd rd pick
To Columbus Blue Jackets: Antoine Vermette
Analysis: One of the few times a rumored trade actually came true. The Senators haven’t had a stable goaltender since Patrick Lalime, but even he was shaky at times, especially in the playoffs. To solve this they got Leclaire, a 26 year old goalie to who is quite talented but unfortunately injury prone. Vermette is a young winger who is having a tough year, but can easily rebound from it in the right situation. Though his stock was low, teams were still interested, deterred by his $3mm price tag and the possibility he may not return to form.
Winner: Ottawa. The second round pick really propelled it in their favor. No doubt Leclaire can be a staple in the nets for years, his injury problems put a big question mark on him. Still, there is a big question mark on the guy they traded and Ottawa got something they needed more, plus a high pick to boot.

To Calgary Flames: Jordan Leopold
To Colorado Avalanche: Lawrence Nycholat, Ryan Wilson, 2nd rd pick
Analysis: If there is one thing Calgary GM Daryl Sutter loves to have going into the playoffs, it’s a girth of quality defensemen. Leopold was traded to the Avalanche only a few years ago but injuries plagued his effectiveness and now he returns to the team that originally drafted him. In return the avalanche got a mediocre prospect in Wilson, a second rounder and, most puzzling, Nycholat, a defenseman who Calgary claimed off waivers only a few days before. The Avalanche could have claimed him but chose not to. I’ll never get why teams do that.
Winner: Calgary. The Flames got the depth defenseman they wanted and the Avs got, well, a second round pick cause the other two aren’t worth much. Given the Avs recent draft history, Calgary will be better off.

To Dallas Stars: Brendan Morrison
To Anaheim Ducks: nothing (claimed via waivers)
Analysis: Morrison had been a disappointment to the Ducks, scoring a mere ten goals in his time there. I should note though former GM Brian Burke has an affinity for any player he had in Vancouver (Morrison, Bertuzzi, May) and wants them on his team. Thinking Morrison was still a scoring center (which he never really was mind you) he signed him to a one year deal. As everyone but Burke expected Morrison flopped not being stuck between two guys named Bertuzzi and Naslund in their scoring primes. Anaheim put him on waivers hoping someone would just take him off their hands. Dallas, needing center depth due to injuries bit.
Winner: Tie. Anaheim didn’t want him and in Dallas he is just a band aid.

To Buffalo Sabres: Mikael Tellqvist
To Phoenix Coyotes: 4th rd pick
Analysis: Injuries to their goaltending basically forced the trade for the Sabres and while Tellqvist will never live up to his potential, he is a serviceable fill in. The Coyotes didn’t have much use for Tellqvist who’s play is very erratic. A pure depth move that there is no love lost from either side parting with what they did.
Winner: Tie. Buffalo didn’t give up much and they didn’t get much, and vice versa. No risk on either side.

To Boston Bruins: Steve Montador
To Anaheim Ducks: Petteri Nokeleinen
Analysis: Despite having trouble finding a home to start the year, Montador was a pleasant surprise for the Ducks, filling in admirably when they had injuries. He gives the Bruins the depth on defense a playoff team wants. Nokeleinen was a former first round pick by the Isles, but has yet to really put it together. At 23 there is still time for him to develop, but only time will tell.
Winner: Boston. Though a former first round pick, and traded for 2nd round pick and prospect earlier in the year, Nokeleinen has only three points in 33 games this year. Not a good sign for the future, 23 or not.

To Calgary Flames: Olli Jokinen, 3rd rd pick
To : Mathew Lombardi, Brandon Prust, 1st rd pick
Analysis: Calgary finally got the first line center they have sought for more than a decade in the perennial all star Jokinen, who switched teams for the second time this year. Oddly he goes to the team coached by the man e has performed best under: Mike Keenan (yes, he somehow still has a job). Not fitting well into the Yotes scheme, they deemed him expendable. Calgary gives up two young players, center Lombardi who can develop into a top line player and scrappy winger Prust. They also get a 1st round pick which is always changing hands in big deals like this.
Winner: Calgary. If Jokinen was a UFA Phoenix may have won, but he’s signed for a few more years, so Calgary can rest easy knowing they’ve got their first line center going into the off season. Though it hurt their depth, they're going for broke with their deals.

To Boston Bruins: Mark Recchi, 2nd rd pick
To Tampa Bay Lightning: Matt Lashoff, Martin’s Karsums
Analysis: Looking for more scoring power since Marco Sturm was sidelined the year with a knee injury, the seemingly ageless Recchi, along with a 2010 2nd rounder was obtained for secondary scoring, plus lots of playoff experience including two cups. Going to Tampa were a good defensive and forward prospect in Lashoff and Karsums respectively. Tampa’s prospect system isn’t too good, a result of the poor drafting record of former GM Jay Feaster, so they needed guys like this.
Winner: Tampa Bay. Getting two good prospects for a 40 year old winger is always good, especially since they're closer to having an immediate impact than the pick they gave up. Recchi will help the Bruins, but not past this year.

To Pittsburgh Penguins: Bill Guerin
To New York Islanders: Conditional pick: 5th round, 4th if Pens make playoffs, 3rd if they win a round
Analysis: Like last year, Pens GM Ray Shero went and got one of the bigger named players available. The only difference is this time he gave up close to nothing. Guerin, though not having a particular good playoff history, is better than the alternative of Miroslav Satan, and unlike Satan, he’ll take the body and not just float hoping to score. The Isles, well, they got hosed. I’m sorry, I can’t really put a good spin on it, and it really has nothing to do with being a Pens fan. For one of the bigger names out there the best you can do is a 3rd, and that’s based on an “if”. I know Guerin isn’t an all star anymore, but considering Dominic Moore went for a 2nd round pick, you’d think the Isles could do better.
Winner: Pittsburgh. Isles get at best a 3rd and the Pens get a power forward whom shoots the puck (something most players on the team don't like to do) and will give them extra grit and leadership down the stretch. Not to mention take a roster spot away from Satan.

To Philadelphia Flyers: Daniel Carcillo
To Phoenix Coyotes: Scottie Upshall, 2nd rd pick
Analysis: Everyone knows the Flyers like tough, scrappy or cheap players, and Carcillo fits the middle one perfectly. An agitator who isn’t afraid to drop them, he gets under the skin of the opposition. The only problem is he can’t control himself and leads the league in penalty minutes, and most aren’t good penalties. Phoenix gets former first round pick Upshall who had a pretty good sting with the Flyers, and can provide some much needed scoring for the Coyotes who are lacking on the wings. They also get a 2nd round pick.
Winner: Phoenix. Given the Flyers are filled with grit, whether a guy like Carcillo fits doesn’t mean much when he wasn’t really needed. Phoenix got something they needed and more. Philly probably could have gotten Carcillo straight up, so good job by the Yotes.

To New York Rangers: Nik Antropov
To Toronto Maple Leafs: 2nd rd pick, conditional pick (conditions unknown)
Analysis: The Rangers needed help up front, and they got it. Antropov is having a career year (hey, he does need a new contract) and while he is listed as a center, he can play wing, which is what he’ll be doing. He’s a big body, and while he may not go out hitting people all the time he has no problem going into traffic or standing in front of the net. Consistency is a problem for him, and the last thing the free falling Rangers need is for the invisible Antropov to show up. Toronto gets more picks, further continuing their rebuilding under Brian Burke.
Winner: Tie. It’d be easier to gauge this if we knew what the conditional pick was. If it’s a second or third, I’d give it to Toronto. If it’s a sixth, I’d give it to the Rangers.

To New York Rangers: Derek Morris
To Phoenix Coyotes: Nigel Dawes, Petr Prucha, Dmitri Kalinin
Analysis: The Yotes continued their purge, dealing UFA dman Morris to the Rangers. The Rangers get more stability on the blue line (what, Wade Redden isn’t what you hoped?) and get rid of the often maligned Kalinin. Prucha was a regular scratch, meaning Dawes was the only real asset they gave up. Phoenix is hoping Prucha and Kalinin fair better with them then the Rangers, but make no mistake, the young Dawes was the main part of this package.
Winner: New York. Morris will help on a shoddy blue line, and Phoenix gets two under achievers New York didn’t want. They should hope Dawes works out well.

To Buffalo Sabres: Dominic Moore
To Toronto Maple Leafs: 2nd Round pick
Analysis: Moore has been a good third line center since he entered the league and can chip in a timely goal while providing good defense. That said he isn’t a difference maker which is what a 2nd rounder normally gets you. He’s having a good year, which just happens to coincide with being a UFA and on a bad team (someone has to score on a bad team). If center depth is what the Sabres want they got it, but don't expect him to be lighting the lamp.
Winner: Toronto. A second round pick for Moore? Really?

To Anaheim Ducks: Erik Christensen
To Atlanta Thrashers: Eric O’Dell
Analysis: Christensen was one of the players who the Pens dealt to Atlanta to get Hossa. As a center who couldn’t convert to wing and not fit for lower line duty he didn’t have a place on the Pens behind the other centers Crosby, Malkin and Staal (in his defense, most centers wouldn’t behind that lineup). Atlanta who was hurting for centers was a good place for him to go. Sadly, his play got worse. At this point you can’t really expect anything out of him (other than a shootout goal) and Anaheim will probably be his last chance at the NHL. Thrashers get O’Dell who is was a 2nd round pick last year, so he probably won’t be making an impact (if any) for at least a few years.
Winner: Atlanta. O’Dell at this point still has a chance to develop.

To Florida Panthers: Steve Eminger
To Tampa Bay Lightning: Noah Welch, 3rd rd pick
Analysis: Tampa has made many head scratching moves this year and this is another. Eminger was their best defensemen this year, and they went and dealt him for a pick and Welch who has barely played the past few seasons due to shoulder injuries. Granted it’s a sorry state when Eminger is your best defenseman, but giving him up leaves you in worse condition. Panthers get another defenseman for what they hope is their first playoff appearance in the better part of a decade.
Winner: Florida. Eminger is a much more proven commodity than the other two and can help immediately.

To Columbus Blue Jackets: Kevin Lelande
To Calgary Flames: 4th rd pick
Analysis: Nothing real spectacular here. Columbus wanted another goalie with Leclaire gone and Calgary had an extra.
Winner: Tie.

To Philadelphia Flyers: Kyle McLaren
To San Jose Sharks: 6th rd pick
Analysis: McLaren was once a sought after defenseman, but injuries and the new rules have limited his effectiveness. He has spent the entire year in the minors as a cap casualty of San Jose’s. Being a slow and hitting defenseman, Philadelphia wanted him. There is concern whether or not he can perform well at this point, especially with a history of bad knees, but chances are the Flyers aren’t going to be playing much.
Winner: Philadelphia. He’s a UFA after this year and sixth round picks are normally good for just trading.

To Chicago Blackhawks: Samuel Pahlsson
To Anaheim Ducks: James Wisniewski
Analysis: Anaheim continued their purging of players, clearing cap space and the remnants of the cup team that obviously was no longer a serious threat. In Pahlsson the Hawks, limited by almost no cap space, get a good checking line center that will help with their inexperienced players as they march to their first postseason in, well, forever. The Ducks get a younger defenseman, continuing the rebuilding of their corps that is going to look almost nothing like it did this year.
Winner: Anaheim. Not selling Pahlsson short, but Anaheim has the better long term asset and is a step in their rebuilding.

To San Jose Sharks: Travis Moen, Kent Huskins
To Anaheim: Nick Bonino, Timo Pielmeier, Condtional pick (conditions unknown)
Analysis: Moen was another of Anaheim’s effective checkers during their cup run, so San Jose was eager to add a player like him. Huskins is merely a seventh defenseman. In return Anaheim gets prospects Bonino and Pielmeier along with a conditional pick.
Winner: San Jose. It’s hard to judge when prospects or picks are the main return, but Moen is still young at 26 and has already solidified his place in the NHL while still having room to improve.

To Edmonton Oilers: Patrick O’Sullivan, 2nd rd pick
To Carolina Hurricanes: Eric Cole
To LA Kings: Justin Williams
Analysis: Though technically a three way it wasn’t one of the more complicated ones that involves something from every team ending up on the other. Cole going back to Carolina isn’t surprising as he hadn’t worked out in Edmonton. What is surprising is that LA gave up O’Sullivan, the youngest of the group at 24 plus a 2nd rounder for the oft injured Williams. Carolina immediately flipped that package to Edmonton to get Cole back. It’s hoped that a change of scenery will help all players.
Winner: Edmonton. O’Sullivan is the youngest and they got a second round pick in addition.

To Edmonton Oilers: Ales Kotalik
To Buffalo Sabres: 2nd rd pick
Analysis: The Oilers have needed extra scoring up front all year, and after getting O’Sullivan in a three way deal obtained Kotalik from Buffalo. While Kotalik won’t be putting up huge numbers, he definitely fits the need for secondary scoring. Though a UFA chances are his demands aren’t too high and they can resign him.
Winner: Buffalo. If the Oilers cant resign him, Kotalik isn’t enough of an impact player to be what gets them over the hump.

To Toronto Maple Leafs: Olaf Kolzig, Jamie Heward, Andy Rogers, 4th rd pick
To Tampa Bay Lightning: Richard Petiot
Analysis: I’m lost. And so is every other hockey fan. Kolzig and Heward are both injured for the rest of the year and UFA’s who won’t be retained. Rogers is a former first round pick, but hasn’t been able to crack Tampa’s ultra-weak defense corps. Petiot is 26, so hardly a prospect. At first it would seem it’s a salary dump, but Tampa saved less than a million and got rid of two guys who won’t be around on either team next year, so it’s not a salary dump. SO what does that make this trade? Beats the hell out of me cause there wasn’t much to gain for either.
Winner: Tie? I guess???

The douchebag's been cut! The douchebag's been cut!

Guess this aint happening again anytime soon...

Normally when a big player gets cut, I don't care where he goes, so long as it's not Dallas. Guess that's not a problem now, eh?

Seriously, who the hell is going to want him now? Where does one go when they're considered too cancerous for the Cowboys?

And lastly...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mahatma's NHL Trade Deadline Diary

Sure Xmas is okay. So is Thanksgiving or the Superbowl. But if there was one thing that gets my juices flowing it's the NHL trading deadline day. The only other sporting event that gets me this revved up is the NFL draft. I recall one year I was in Montreal for Spring Break during the trade deadline. I was amazed. Wall to wall trade coverage on sports center. It was kindof like the uh MLB trading deadline here in the US.

Anywho, the trade deadline. Like what's the big deal with it? What's the appeal? Hope. Hope for a stanley cup run or the beginnings of a stanley cup run. Teams and nerdy geeky hockey fans like Yinzer and myself ponder what we can do to get to the point. We eat up rumors. We tweak our NHL 09 rosters. We read blogs and sites constantly. Sure most will call us losers but they probably call us (especially Yinzer) losers anyway.

Anyway, since I got into work late, I figured the day was shot anyway so I'll do a live blog from my RECTICLE! Mastering the art of alt+tab never came so in handy.

10:01 - Get an email from Yinzer about Leclaire + 2nd round going to Ottawa for Antoine Vermette. Boy Columbus got hosed on that one.

10:05 - Log into Got my trade tracker loaded up.

10:06 - It's go time.

10:10 - Log on to the Penguin message board and HF boards for draft talk.

10:31 - Dammit work to do.

10:45 - And we're back and see nothing. Back to the blogs and message boards.

10:58 - Continue to ignore my responsibilities.

11:07 - Read a rumor about Chris Pronger going to Boston. UGH. PRONGAAAAAAAH will make it impossible to score against the Bs and their shit goalie. Not confirmed just yet. Thank god.

11:15 - I've hit refresh on about 5 sites now. Productivity is shot.

11:19 - Get an inkling to play NHL '09 after about a 3 month hiatus. Good to back in hockey mode.

11:30 - Boredblog

11:45 - Colorado trades D. J Leopold to the Flames for Nycholat, Ryan Wilson & 2nd rounder. One must wonder whether Dwight K. Shrute's brother will make it to the big leagues. Nycholat is a scrub who was on waivers yesterday and a 2nd is a 2nd. Good deal for Calgary.

11:55 - Penguins acquire Andy Wozniewski from St. Louis for Danny Richmond. STANLEY CUP HERE WE COME. Oh wait no, this is just a minor league deal. Meh.

12:03 - Phoenix trades G. Tellqvist traded to Sabres for 4th round pick. Another meh deal. Sabres need goaltending to help since Ryan Miller is on IR. Still Tellqvist is average and Patrick Lalime is still your starter. In whatever language you speak, that's bad.

12:05 - Martin Gerber & Reitz to TOR, Craig Adams to PIT, Morrison to DAL. Dallas adds depth. If Morrison plays up to his Vancouver levels then that will be a good signing for Dallas. Toronto and Penguins add trash. Waiver wire pickups. Meh.

12:15 - 4 Trades, 8 Players, 3 picks. But business is picking up, right JR?

12:22 - Man bullshit. Nothing is going on. Atleast it's pizza day!

12:30 - The gms must be on "lunch break". ASSHOLES. There should be no eating on this day until sundown. It should be like Yom Kippur.

12:38 - PIZZA IS HERE!

12:55 - Of course, I miss two trades:

12:56 - Boston trades Peteri Nokelainen for Steve Montador - Boston gets a solid #6 defender and Anaheim get's a 4th liner. Hey atleast real NHL players! Kindof...

12:57 - Phoenix trades Oli Jokinen and a 3rd round pick to Calgary for Mathew Lombardi, prospect / 4th liner Brandon Prust and a 1st .. robbery by Calgary who is now one of the teams to beat at least on paper. Phoenix got hosed. 3rd line center, a 4th liner and a #1 pick at 25-30. Really not helping out much there eventhough I'm a Lombardi fan. Mike "douchebag Rag coach from 1994" Keenan also turned Jokinen into something down in Florida. He should get the most of him in Calgary. Probably the biggest deal of the day.

1:25 - Boston gets Mark Recchi from Tampa for Futures. Futures could end up being a player but with Recchi's recent display of hockey skills, it's likely some nachos, half eaten bagel and a tire iron.

1:40 - Wow so TSN trade tracker failed me. It's Mark Recchi and a 2010 2nd to Chowdaland for prospects Matt Lashoff and Martin Karsums. I don't know anything about them but that's why we employ Yinzer in situations like this. I will say it's probably good that we don't have to listen to Sully and Murph saying LASHHHHHHHOF. Still likely the 2nd rounder is the center piece of this deal.

1:55 - Penguins in the market for Bill Guerin. GREAT. A playoff choker who is now 38 with a tremendous 36 points this year. I'm going to puke if this guy is on my team. Let's ask Jean Luc Picard what he thinks:

Damn right.

2:03 - Awesome. TSN says we got Guerin. Here I was trying to be sober on this fair evening. I know we overpaid.

2:11 - Guerin for a 5th! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! 3rd if we win a round in the playoffs. I like this.

2:12 - Woohoo Blog.

2:32 - Earily quiet as the GMs are about to pull their last rush to the 3:00 pm EST deadline.

2:45 - Philly gets Dan Carcillo for Scottie Upshall and a 2nd. Good deal for Phoenix. Carcillo is a super pest but Upshall and 2nd are solid contributors for the rebuilding Phoenix squad.

2:50 - NY Rangers acquire Nik Antropov from Toronto for a 2nd rounder and a conditionnel pick. Dammit. All the east teams are now loading up. Toronto got a lot for a UFA but this deal should help the Rangers unless Sean Avery disagrees with Nik's fashion sense.

2:55 - Minnesota all god winger, Marian Gaborik is in play. Just please don't go to the Flyers.

3:00 - Ok deadline should be over but we'll be hearing things until about 4:00 pm.

3:05 - Rags acquire D Derek Morris from Phoenix for F Nigel Dawes, F Petr Prucha and D Dmitiri Kalinin. UGHHH. Basically 2 trash and one average NHLers for a #2 D man. Awesome. Phoenix gets some NHLers atleast and players to fill the holes left but nothing that's going to make you run out and buy a Coyotes jersey.

3:07 - Buffalo gets Domenic Moore from Toronto for a 2nd round pick. Huge overpayment for a 3rd line center but Moore was probably the faceoff guy out there and that's huge for the playoffs.

3:10 - Eric Christensen goes from Atlanta to Anaheim for prospect Eric O'Dell. EC is a allstar if the shootout counted but otherwise he's a not so young prospect anymore. EOD is just a bad business acronym but was a 2nd round pick last season by Anaheim.

3:15 - Florida trades a defensemen but it's not Jay Bouwmeester. It's former crap, Noah Welch from HAHVAHD and a 3rd going to Tampa for Steve Eminger. Eminger is a solid defender but you've never heard of him.

3:40 - Douchebags acquire Kyle McLaren from San HOES AYE for a 6th round pick. 8 years ago, people would be angry over this but Mclaren is a shell of his former self. This was the guy the Bruins thought would take over for Ray Bourque.

3:41 - Chicago acquires the Sam Pahlsson from Anaheim for a defender and a pick. Pahlsson was a part of the big checking line the Ducks used 2 years ago but has slipped in play. Still the experience will help the young Blackhawks.

3:45 - Anaheim trades another forward from that checking line, Travis Moen, and D. Kent Huskins to San Jose for some prospects. Good depth deal by the Sharks as they look to get out of the 2nd round in the Joe Thornton era.

3:53 - THREE WAY!!!!!!!! Carolina gets Eric Cole. LA gets Justin Williams and Edmonton gets a 2nd and Patrick 'O Sullivan.

4:20 - Edmonton acquires Ales Kotalik from Buffalo for the 2nd round pick. Boy this trade deadline probably has the most amount of 2nd rounders traded ever?

4:21 - Tampa and Toronto make a scrub deal where Tampa acquires a young defender, Richard Petiot for a piece of wood (D. Jamie Heward), my 5th grade soccer jersey (G. Olaf Kolzig) and my 25 yr old box of animal crackers (Andy Rogers) and a 4th rd pick. I guess Tampa wins this deal??

4:30 - That's it!

So in total, we got 22 trades, 45 players and 21 draft picks. All in all a boring deadline compared to previous ones but still enjoyable. I'm sure Yinzer will do something just a tad more comprehensive but here's a quick little recap.

Improved most:

1) Calgary
2) New York Rangers
3) Phoenix
4) Edmonton
5) Pittsburgh

More on the deadline later but I got work to do.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mahatma's Post Combine Player Rankings: RBs

The big event in the NFL off-season is the draft and this year makes no exception. As we wind our way to the draft, I’ll try to give SUS nation the low down on the major players involved and which round you’ll likely see some of your favorite college stars end up. Naturally, things have changed since we last talked draft. The combine came and went with only the various universities and colleges pro days left to come. I read somewhere that 80% of where players are drafted is based on their regular season performance. The other 20% is for BS like the combine and the pro days.

I will attempt to rank the players by position in an attempt for wannabe draft gurus to check where players of note can be found. Of course this is all purely subjective and probably wrong. Teams come in with new systems and coaches every year and various draft boards are all over the place. Fuck it, i'm as qualified as Kiper.


Overall, the RB class this year is so so. While no elite runners in this class, there are some talented players up top with a couple sleepers mixed in towards the middle and late rounds. At first glance, these players do not match up with the overall talent out of last year's class especially with just the combine as a reference. The combine came and knocked down a few of the top guys due to slow 40 times and that could be troubling for teams seeking some RB support early. The 3 big studs in the draft had disappointing combine.

Wells, not known for a speed merchant anyway, ran an above average 4.59/4.52. For a "3 yards a cloud of dust" back that's pretty good but the problem lays in that Wells is injury prone and not a real receiver out of the backfield. He still has outstanding vision and is a real load to bring down in open field. Wells shows good quickness and agility to the hole, along with the ability to make the first cut and turn it up field when he sees an opening. He has good film speed once he gets his momentum moving, and is not just a player that runs between the tackles. When healthy he is a guy that you can give the ball 30 times a game but has a relatively short shelf life due to the punishment he will take which might scare off a few teams.

McCoy is my favorite back in the draft and would arguably be my top pick if I needed a RBand no it's not the Pitt homer in me talking. Armed with shifty and quick feet, if he has a seam, he's gone. Furthermore, McCoy he might be the best receiver in this draft class as he was the Pitt offense throughout his college career both running and receiving. Problem with him is he is currently banged up and didn't run in the combine. Still I envision a 4.4 speed likely. McCoy's issues also involve size and the concern whether or not he can handle the 30+ carries a game. That concern is retarded for the simple fact that unless you have injuries, no RB in the game carries the ball that many times. McCoy isn't the best blocker either.

Moreno was the unanimous 2nd best rb in the draft until he had a complete dogshit combine. Throughout college, Moreno ran hard between tackles and made quiet a bit of tacklers whiff. He was a big play waiting to happen on every carry. Quick and shift, Moreno has very good acceleration and showed enough speed (until the combine) to run away from defenders in the open field Moreno has also been a factor as a receiver, which will be a must for a back of his size to see the field as much as possible. Size concerns and low 40 time are his primary concerns. It shouldn't matter much though as Moreno did much of his talking on the field and on film.

Brown and Greene were productive college rushers in Connecticut and Iowa and eluded much of the nation's spotlight. Both are highly productive players with Brown getting the edge here in explosiveness. Both should be 2nd rounders and fixtures in the new running back by committee craze.

The following are all over the place and on everyone's board. There are your share of big backs (Hill, Coffee, Jennings, Foster) and guys with a bit more speed (Davis, Johnson, Brown, Ringer) not really any speed merchants so far and that will likely change for various pro days. Still I like the talent of this group and feel that many will become consistent performers in the NFL including a lot of the day 2 guys but still no way comparing to McFadden, Stewart, Johnson, Mandenhall, Jones, Forte, Smith, Slaton, and the rest of last year's GODLIKE class.

1) Chris Wells / Ohio State / 1st

2) Lesean McCoy / Pittsburgh / 1st - 2nd

3) Knowshon Moreno / Georgia / 1st - 2nd

4) Donald Brown / UConn/ 2nd - 3rd

5) Shonne Greene / Iowa / 2nd - 3rd

6) Javon Ringer / Michigan State / 3rd

7) James Davis / Clemson/ 3rd – 4th

8) Andre Brown / NC State / 5th

9) Rashard Jennings / Liberty/ 5th - 6th

10) Glen Coffee / Alabama/ 5th - 6th

11) Ian Johnson / Boise State / 5th - 6th

12) Jeremiah Johnson / Oregon / 5th - 6th

13) PJ Hill/ Wisconsin / 5th - 6th

14) Marlon Lucky/ Nebraska / 6th

15) Arian Foster / Tennessee / 6th

Sloppy Seconds for Avery!

Sean Avery is back in the Rags saddle and ready to dominate Fatso in the playoffs once again. Be afraid Devo.

Rag GM, Glen Sather is hopeful that the second time around will get the Rangers turned around as it did the first time.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Some Notes on the Rangers

With the hockey trade deadline fast approaching, a few things have happened in the land of the Blueshirts, and Yinzer is here to tell you about them.

Wait... what? Yinzer?

Yes, Yinzer, cause apparently the New Yorkers on the New York blog dont want to talk about the team, be it out of anger, spite, laziness, life getting in the way, or quite possibly the fact that none of them are actually Rangers fans. And it has some how fallen to the Pittsburgh fan, living in Pittsburgh, to talk about the Rangers, playing in New York. Ain't this a funny place?

Rangers Fire Renney
A week ago the Rangers fired Tom Renney, making him the scapegoat for their recent slide in the standings. I'm not going to say Renney was a great coach or anything, but there are two main points I want to make.

First is what we all know: he got the short end of the stick. The real problem of this team has been the same problem for the past decade: GM Glenn Sather. How this man continues to have a job is beyond anyone. When given money to spend the man just doesnt know how to do it wisely. In the past two years he has spent over $14mm to get Drury and Gomez, paying them elite player money when they are only good players. To put it in perspective, Sidney Crosby makes only million and a half more and currently sits #3 in scoring while on a borderline playoff team and having a bad year. The next year he outdid himself by spending over $11mm on two defensemen: Wade Redden and Michal Roszival. After losing out on the bidding for prized free agent dman Brian Campbell, Sather panicked and gave in to Roszival's demands, paying him twice his actually worth. Not to be satisfied with a singular blunder he signed Redden to a 6 year deal for $6.5mm a year, despite the fact for two years he had regressed and Ottawa was happy to let him go.

Plus, Redden is the only person to ever get the crapped kick out of them by Ryan Whitney. Imagine if you will you are challenged to an ass kicking contest by a guy with one leg. And its a wooden peg leg. You'd think "Man, I got this one easy!" Then you got destroyed by peg leg and fell to the ground crying like a little girl. If you can picture that feeling, that's about what it's like to get beat up by Whitney.

So basically through free agent blunders, and just in general incompetence, Sather has kept the Ranger at a lowly level. But hey, why fire yourself when you can fire the coach? And that's exactly what happened.

Second, is despite the many complaints of Rangers fans you have to look Renney's tenure in a certain way: he kept a team sorely lacking in talent and leadership a contender. He did pretty good what he had to work with. Could the Rangers have done better? Yeah. But the team is filled with overpaid players who, if paid what they are worth, would leave room for much more depth, hence creating a better team.

Rangers Claim Mark Bell...
...and promptly re-assign to the minors. Toronto put the troubled forward on re-entry waivers so a team could take him at half price, and the Rangers bit, looking for a cheap boost before the deadline. Bell had a few good years in Chicago, but hasnt done well anywhere else. In the past few years he has found himself in legal trouble due to personal problems, and his on ice game has suffered for it. He has the talent to succeed, but his mind just isnt there. He was assigned to the minors only days after being acquired in order to clear cap space because...

Sean Avery placed on Re-Entry Waivers
And everyone thinks the Rangers will claim him. At $1.9mm a year for three more years, the same amount he was paid his last year as a Ranger, the chances of Sather putting a claim in is somewhere near 100%. Avery brought life to a team that was floundering and managed to get even more limelight as a superpest on Broadway. The Ranger shave floundered again this year, and Sather and Ranger fans are banking on reclaiming Avery will help get them in gear again.
Of course there is a problem, namely that there are about a dozen teams who, due to worse records, can claim Avery before the Rangers can. At less than $2mm a team that is desperate may be willing to take a chance. Oddly, I can actually see the Islanders going for him. They have a ton of cap room and with failing attendance, may think Avery could put a few butts into the seats (probably not though). But at the very least if they do claim Avery, they'll piss of the Rangers, and it's always fun to piss off your rival.

Mahatma's Post Combine Player Rankings: QBs

The big event in the NFL off-season is the draft and this year makes no exception. As we wind our way to the draft, I’ll try to give SUS nation the low down on the major players involved and which round you’ll likely see some of your favorite college stars end up. Naturally, things have changed since we last talked draft. The combine came and went with only the various universities and colleges pro days left to come. I read somewhere that 80% of where players are drafted is based on their regular season performance. The other 20% is for BS like the combine and the pro days.

I will attempt to rank the players by position in an attempt for wannabe draft gurus to check where players of note can be found. Of course this is all purely subjective and probably wrong. Teams come in with new systems and coaches every year and various draft boards are all over the place. Fuck it, i'm as qualified as Kiper.


Overall, the QB class this year is on par with what was there last year. Ryan and Flacco took the league by storm and while the choices here aren't on that level at the top, the overall depth is good with some siginificant sleepers available. In my book, I wouldn't touch any of the QBs early. I like Stafford way more than Sanchez purely on arm strength but even he has accuracy issues. Some scouts point to his uneven performances for why not to draft the guy early and I can see this. Still if you desperately need a qb, he's the way to go.

Sanchez had a good year for the Trojans but isn't even in Matt Leinart/Carson Palmer's class when it comes to production. He only started one year in college and is somewhat injury prone. He does have some toughness as he does like lowering the shoulder. Sanchez is mobile in the pocket and evade rushers. He can make throws all over the field but lacks the big gun to stick in tight spots. Sanchez also looked average at the combine and the accuracy drills. Sanchez could be drafted ahead of Stafford but this purely another instance of Jamarcus Russell syndrome. Sanchez was helped by USC being 5 deep at receivers and running backs where guys were running open through out defenses.

Freeman is one people are comparing to Flacco (fast riser up the draft boards) but took a little step back at the combine as well. Still he is a bit of an unknown and some team might be willing to draft him early. He like Stafford and Sanchez is mobile with a big arm but is also 6' 6'' unlike his 6' 2'' counterparts. He is a decent athlete too and has shown ability to evade the rush. Problem with him is he is a quicker version of Jamarcus Russell minus the arm strength. Freeman has relied on his talents to get him this far and still a bit too raw as a passer. He is going to need a lot of work to become a finished product but under a good QB coach, the sky is the limit. He is only a junior and will be 21 as a rookie. Perfect QB of the future to sit behind some veteran QB team.
After these three it becomes a bit of a wash with some concerns. Rhett Bomar was supposed to be one of the best QBs in the nation but fell of the map at Oklahoma and went to Sam Houston State. He still has the potential to regain that form. Nate Smith is a solid overall QB that would be an early day 1 pick if he were about 3 inches taller. Moreover, the guy played at Ball State and really how many times to scouts actively seek out Ball State games until they were 12-0? Smith put up comparable stats to BRoeth and Byron Leftwich and might be a sleeper.

Pat White blew everyone away at the combine and showed that maybe his days at QB aren't over. Still White is the most intriguing prospect and could serve as either #3 development QB or #4 receiver or #3 running back. Creative offensive coordinators can do a number of things with the guy and he might be the next in the line of "slash" players .

After that you got some intriguing prospects that never quite put it together. Daniel and Harrell were darlings during the year but have blown chunks in the senior bowl and combine workouts. Cantwell and Carpenter were pre season sleepers but slipt down during the season.

Others like John Parker Wilson (Alabama) , Curtis Painter (Purdue), Cullen Harper (Clemson) might sneak in the later rounds as well or serve as training camp fodder. Course this might all change depending on pro days.

1) Matt Stafford / Georgia / top 10 pick

2) Mark Sanchez / Louisville / 1st – early 2nd

3) Josh Freeman / Kansas State / Late 1st - 2nd

4) Rhett Bomar / Sam Houston St / 3rd– 4th

5) Nate Davis / Ball State / 3rd - 4th

6) Pat White/ WVU/ 3rd – 4th

7) Hunter Cantwell / Louisville / 4th

8) Rudy Carpenter / 5th - 6th

9) Chase Daniel / Missouri / 6th

10) Graham Harrell / 6th

Clearly the Giants showed they felt weak at...defensive end?

So I'm going to have to be briefed by Mahatma, aka "Slumdog McShay" about the guys the Giants got, because frankly, I don't know nuthin' about Canty, Bernard, or this dude Boley. But a few observations about the beginning of free agency from the standard Giants-centric perspective.

1. First, the standard disclaimer.


Now, with that out of the way, let's make quick observations.

2. So, the Giants need defensive linemen? Really?

Look, one thing that the '07 team taught us is that you can never have too many defensive linemen. And that's all good and well, but don't the Giants need linebackers? Or secondary help? Or wide receivers? Aren't they adding an all-pro in Osi to a defensive line that already includes All-Pro Justin Tuck and the above average Kiwanuka? And don't they already have a solid 3 man rotation on the interior with Robbins, Cofield, and Super Bowl clinching Jersey Jay Alford? So the Giants bring in one defensive tackle, Rocky Bernard. But Chris Canty too? Two additional defensive tackles? I'm all for rotating defensive linemen, but in the salary capped world of the NFL, can the Giants justify a rotation of the following: Tuck, Kiwanuka, Osi, Canty, Bernard, Robbins, Cofield, and Jersey Jay Alford? That's two entire defensive lines able to be rotated. A surplus is nice, but how will this affect depth at other positions? My line to Jerry Reese has been severed due to a few too many drunk dials; I don't have the update on exactly what his plan is, but my guess is one (or more) of the following:

a) Contrary to the current party line, the Giants are about to move Kiwanuka back to linebacker.
b) One or more of Robbins, Cofield, or Jersey Jay Alford are on their way out.
c) The Giants don't believe that Robbins is going to hold up for a 16 games, but instead be limited to a Haynesworth-like 10 games or so.

And speaking of Haynesworth...

3. Why the hell are defensive tackles getting paid so much?

Some, such as Slumdog McShay, believe that defensive tackles are the most important guys on a defensive front. They say that guys like Tuck and Osi only produce sacks because guys like Robbins are able to clog the middle and take up multiple linemen. And they're probably right. But 7/$100 mil for a guy like Haynesworth who is only going to play 12 games? And that's assuming that his cleats don't get a mind of their own and find an O-lineman's neck, leading to a suspension of a few games. And more importantly, with the Giants....

4. Chris Canty is now the highest paid defensive lineman on the Giants.

And this would not be a big deal...except that the Giants have two All-Pro defensive ends on either side of Canty, along with a tackle in Robbins who proved more valuable with each game missed. And here's the problem:

Tuck: 5 yrs/$30 million,
Osi: 6 yrs/$41 million,
Canty: 6 yrs/$42 million,

So now the Giants have a solid defensive tackle who now makes more money than either all-pro caliber defensive end. Will it be a problem in the locker room? I don't know. My locker room access never, um, existed. But let's hope nothing bad happens. And not for nothing, but remember when Brandon "The Franchise" Jacobs signed for 4 years/$25 million? When the hell did Canty become 2 yrs/$17 million better than The Franchise?

5. But overall, I approve of the moves, and here's why.

Reason #1

Chris Canty is 26 years old. Michael Boley is 26 years old. Rocky Bernard, elder of the free agent class, is 29. Not an old guy in the bunch.

Reason #2

Remember the '07 free agency class? Kawika Mitchell be thy name. The Giants never go after the truly big names. Let the Redskins have their $100 million man. Jerry Reese will nail the under-the-radar guys every time.

Reason #3

The Kenny Britt Era is still the best path for the G-Men to travel in the draft. Bring it on!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The most important question: How the hell are they going to rock a victory parade in Newark...

And let's be honest, this question is going to have to be answered sooner than later. And if that's not entirely true, we're still going to have to find a parade route by mid-June, when the Devils' inevitable Cup run comes to a final triumph. Look, the Devils were up there as a potential Cup favorite before. Now? With Brodeur pitching two shutouts and 3 wins in 4 days? With the offense back on track after back-to-back beatdowns of the upstart Panthers and Flyers? Yeah, it's on. Actually, it's not even on. It's done. Start etching the names on the Cup now.

The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are one of the more exciting tournaments in sports. And in this time in our history, America needs a diversion from their daily lives. So let the people have their playoffs. But realize that it's only a formality before Hart Trophy runner up Zachary Justin Parise and Co. raise the 4th Stanley Cup in team history. Let's plan us a parade!

-and not for nothing, but your #1 ranked Boston University Terriers are 18-1-4 over their last 23 games as well...

Hockey Trade Deadline: Western Conference

One of the favorites times of the season for hockey fans is quickly approaching: the trade deadline (March 4, 3:00pm should you not know). This is where teams stock up for a long playoff run or admit their season was already finished and sell off what assets they know they can’t keep in the off season. Hockey fans cheer how their team landed the big free agent, or cry how their favorite team just got bent over on a deal. Teams are deciding whether or not their buyers or sellers, and if so who is on the block. In the second part of Yinzer’s trade deadline preview, we will take a look at the teams of the Western Conference.

Status- whether the team will be a buyer or seller
Available- players who are will potentially be moved due to rumors, performance or free agent status
Analysis- my take on their situation and what they will do
NTC- no trade clause (cannot be traded w/o consent, but can be sent to the minors or put on waivers)
NMC- non movement clause (cannot be moved under any circumstance)

Central Division

Chicago Blackhawks
Status: Buyers
Available: Martin Havlat (F), Nikolai Khabibulin (G)
The Blackhawks have made their way back among the prominent teams in the NHL with the infusion of young talent, and former owner Bill Wirtz passing away, paving the way for his son to spend money and make the franchise respectable again. Both Havlat’s and Khabibulin’s names have floated around all year because of their UFA status and Chicago having about a 95% chance of resigning neither for cap reasons, and for a while it seemed like they would sell them to the highest bidder. Instead the team is playing too good to breakup, and having two capable goalies is something that a team loves having going into the playoffs, because there is nothing more important than a hot goalie. I don't think they will look to get much as they will be reluctant to give away any of their young players, so look more for veterans coming in for leadership to help the young guys. The only way Khabibulin is moved is if they get an offer they can’t refuse.

Columbus Blue Jackets
Status: Buyers
Available: Mike Peca (F), Manny Malhorta (F), Jason Williams (F), Christian Backman (D)
The Jackets are trying to make the playoffs for the first time in their history. They lack depth everywhere but goalie, but they need to make the playoffs to show the fans they should stick around. For that reason, they’ll try and make a few acquisitions that can give them a good boost. I wouldn’t guess a top flight guy, but someone like say Eric Cole isn’t out of the question. Williams was acquired from the Thrashers not too long ago and has been putting up points, but Backman has been a disappointment and defensive players are always the highest in demand at the deadline, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he is moved.

Detroit Red Wings
Status: Buyers
Available: Mikael Samuelsson (F), Johan Franzen (F), Ty Conklin (G)
Detroit will be looking for a repeat. In a constant battle with San Jose for the top spot in the conference, Detroit has one of the most balanced teams in the league and has more star depth that probably anyone else. They don't need much, but they’ve never been one to shy away from adding another good piece if the price is right. Don't expect a roster player to be moved from them, just picks and prospects. Look for a decent forward or defenseman to be wearing red, but no big name.

Nashville Predators
Status: Sellers
Available: Steve Sullivan (F), Radek Bonk (F), Greg DeVries (D)
The Preds have lost a fair amount of players the past few years, and were depleted after giving up too much for the likes of Brendan Witt and Peter Forsberg in recent deadlines only to have them make little impact. Scoring has been scarce for them, and what assets they have they won’t be particularly willing to give up. They sit four points out of a playoff spot, but things aren’t looking up. My guess is they’ll sell what they have and look at free agency to replenish their team. All of Sullivan, Bonk and DeVries are UFA’s and while they won’t get much, a little is better than none.

St. Louis Blues
Status: Sellers
Available: Keith Tkachuk (F), Dan Hinote (F), Manny Legace (G)
Ominous signs of the season came before it even started for the Blues when young defenseman Erik Johnson was out for the year after a golf cart accident (yes, golf cart, not golf itself, he’s not a pansy like Tiger Woods). Injuries have ravaged the team and killed any chance they had of making the post season. Tkachuk has been the subject of rumors for months, but he has stated he doesn’t want to waive his NTC, and paired with regular poor playoff performances, he is a buyer beware regardless. Hinote, should they choose not to keep him, will garner some interest as he an intense, responsible checker. A team seeking goalie depth may pay a small sum for Legace, but that no one took him on re-entry waivers earlier in the year is a good sign few will be interested.

Pacific Division

Anaheim Ducks
Status: Sellers
Available: Todd Marchant (F), Rob Niedermayer (F), Brendan Morrison (F), Scott Niedermayer (D), Chris Progner (D)
How the mighty have fallen. In their cup year just a mere two seasons ago the Ducks have fallen hard, in large due to the panic moves made by the GM who helped build the team. They were a team that could beat you up and outscore you, and now they can’t do either. They’ve tied in over $7mm in third liners who former GM Brian Burke though could be second line guys in Marchant, Niedermayer and Morrison, and they’ve done little to help the team (though the younger Niedermayer was signed to entice his brother to sign). The two defensemen that were a large part of the cup run, Niedermayer (I’m getting sick of typing that already) and Pronger, have had their names thrown around the rumor mill the last few weeks, the former due to his free agent status. If the Ducks want to make the playoffs, they’ll keep both, though I expect Pronger to stay because of another year on his contract. Niedermayer though should he waive his NTC will garner a big return for a team looking to make a big push. They have already dealt forward Chris Kunitz to the Penguins for Ryan Whitney, but I don't expect them to be finished dealing.

Dallas Stars
Status: Buyers
Available: Jere Lehtinen (F), Mark Parrish (F), Sergei Zubov (D), Daryl Sydor (D)
Sitting at the bottom of the league for the first few months of the season, the Stars have done a respectable job clawing their way back to the top and now hold the 8th seed. Some mid season adjustments (trading Boucher for Sydor, signing Parrish and exiling Sean Avery) led to some success, but they’ll need more if they plan on going as far as the conference finals like last year. Both Zubov and Lehtinen are aging but too key for them to let go. Sydor has an NTC and already waived it once, so don't expect him to be moving again. Parrish could be bait, but hasn’t been particularly effective. They’ll look for something to give their team a jump start, but don't expect another major deal like their acquisition of Brad Richards at the last deadline.

Los Angeles Kings
Status: Sellers
Available: Kyle Calder (F), Derek Armstrong (F), Denis Gauthier (D), Sean O’Donnell (D)
The Kings are amid a race in the west that a few wins or losses will change who sits in the lower seeds. Currently five points out, they still have a chance. In order to make it though they would need more than a few role players, and with a team that is still very young I don't expect them to go for broke. Making the playoffs will be a bonus, but they shouldn’t sell off any major asset unless it brings another in return for the long haul. Sad thing is, had they stability in goal they would probably be middle of the pack. Forwards Armstrong and Calder may bring in some mid round picks, but the former is a grinder and the latter hasn’t had a good season in three years, so there won’t be a whole lot of interest. Gauthier was traded for just to meet the cap after toiling in the minors for cap space, but O’Donnell is a steady defender with leadership qualities and a cup to his name, so teams will be calling for him if he’s available.

Phoenix Coyotes
Status: Sellers
Available: Steve Reinprecht (F), Derek Morris (D)
After having a good first half the Coyotes have fallen faster than Wayne Gretzky when given a push. Their finances aren’t good and so there has been rampant speculation that they will trade their three top players in Shane Doan, Ed Jovonovski and Olli Jokinen. Those three aren’t going anywhere. Doan is the face of the franchise, Jovo has an NTC and Jokinen was just acquired. So that brings us to the lesser names in Reinprecht and Morris. Reinprecth can add some secondary scoring, but he’s really more of a supplemental player, not creating much on his own. Morris is a pretty good two way dman who, while not living up to his potential, is still good to have back there. He has reportedly been sidelined until he is traded, so look for him to be among those dealt.

San Jose Sharks
Status: Buyers
Available: Jeremy Roenick (F), Mike Grier (F), Claude Lemieux (F), Rob Blake (D)
I might have put those guys up there, all veterans and two of which have multiple cups (thankfully Roenick is not one). But they’re not going anywhere. It seems to be San Jose’s year and they’ve even said publicly they're loath to change anything. If they make no moves on deadline day don't be surprised, but they definitely won’t be selling.

Northwest Division

Calgary Flames
Status: Buyers
Available: Mike Camalleri (F), Todd Bertuzzi (F), Adrian Aucoin (D), Rhett Warrener (D)
The Flames have surprised everyone by taking over the division despite struggling last year. Off season moves of dealing away Tanguay and getting Cammalleri, plus signing Bertuzzi have paid dividends. For those reasons, don't expect either of those two to move, especially the former. GM Daryl Sutter loves having defensive depth more than anything going into the playoffs, so don't expect Aucoin or Warrener to be moved unless it’s for another defenseman. Look for them to add some more secondary scoring and another depth defenseman.

Colorado Avalanche
Status: Sellers
Available: Ryan Smyth (F), Tyler Arnason (F), Ian Laperriere (F), Jordan Leopold (D), Andrew Raycroft (G)
Did you know the Avalanche where the worst team in the Western Conference? Seems kind of odd for a team that not all that long ago spent nearly $40mm on four players in Sakic, Forsberg, Blake and Roy to win a few cups. The Avs have struggled the last few years, mostly due to inconsistent goaltender despite who is between the pipes. Rumors are abound they are trying to trade Smyth, but that’s just rumor mongers. He has a NMC and he isn’t going to waive it, plus his contract is too big for many teams to take on. Arnason and Raycroft won’t bring anything in, but Laperriere, known for his hitting, defensive reliability and leadership will garner some interest. With the Avs already out of the playoffs, look for them to get what they can.

Edmonton Oilers
Status: Sellers
Available: Erik Cole (F), Dwayne Roloson (G)
Those 2006 cup teams aren’t doing too good are they? Both Carolina and Edmonton have struggled mightily since meeting in the finals, as if they’ve been searching for an identity. Edmonton has struggled with injuries and underperformance from nearly every position despite various trades and signings. Case in point is Cole who came over this summer in exchange for Janne Pitkanen and despite being a good power forward has struggled even though his stats are respectable. He isn’t expected to be resigned, if for no other reason his struggles, and teams looking for a wing will be very interested in his services. Roloson, since taking them to the finals with a strong performance has been erratic. Though they should sell, being only a tie breaker out of the playoffs at the moment means they may go shopping. However, they’ve been toiling in mediocrity hanging on to the hope they can repeat their Cinderella run, but it’s not going to happen and if they were smart they’d sell and begin to re-tool the team.

Minnesota Wild
Status: Sellers
Available: Marion Gaborik (F), Niclas Backstrom (G)
They have a tenuous hold on the 7th seed, but I’ve labeled them as sellers because two of the bigger names available could move from their team in Gaborik and Backstrom. Gaborik rumors have circulated since the season began and reports surfaced of him rejecting the Wild’s multi-year offers. He was expected to be the Hossa of this year’s deadline, but groin surgery has kept him out of the lineup for weeks, and he won’t be ready for weeks more essentially killing any value he had. Teams aren’t going to sell the farm for a guy that will be a UFA and won’t help in the short term because he is injured. Backstrom has publicly stated contract negotiations aren’t going well, and usually when that’s made public the chances of resigning aren’t good. He will be the big name goalie in the free agent class if he walks, and Minnesota may be willing to trade him rather than lose him for nothing. However, should they deal him they can kiss any lengthy playoff run, or even the playoffs themselves goodbye.

Vancouver Canucks
Status: Buyers
Available: Mats Sundin (F), Henrik and Daniel Sedin (F), Mattias Ohlund (D),
They made it a bit easy for me openly stating they're buyers at the deadline, so thanks guys. The odd thing is if this team wanted to sell they could get a ton with the guys they have as free agents. Sundin and the Sedin twins, apparently inseparable now, definitely won’t be moved. Ohlund rumors have been rampant all year, but if they’ve making a run they’ll want to hang on to him. So basically they're not going to be trading anyone. What they need is secondary scoring, because it’s basically non-existent on the team. Look for them to make a play for a winger like Cole, or even some spare parts from other teams to get the scoring they need. They’ll be buyers, but the off season may get ugly for them.