Tuesday, January 09, 2007

This Year's JR at the Deadline Deal?

About Last Night
Glen Healy kicked of last night's Molson Leaf's Hockey pregame show by saying Dennis Seidenberg "...is soft and has no skills." He went on to say, "If he's (Seidenberg) the answer, then what is the question?"

Seidenberg went on to play a nice first game as a Cane, and the Leafs broadcast crew continued to mis-identify Hurricane players, lament the lack of penalties called on the Hurricanes and make excuses for the Leafs sorry performance after the first period. Same as it ever was.

Is that your final answer, JR?
This in yesterday's Luke DeCock article:

When the four injured defensemen do return, they will give the Canes 10. At that
point Rutherford said he expects to use that surplus to bolster Carolina's
offense before the Feb. 27 trading deadline.
"It puts us in a position to consider other options that we've talked about, possibly adding another forward," Rutherford said. "There's a lot of factors involved but certainly the injuries right now are a big factor."

So who might the Hurricanes add and what might it cost the club? Should be fun in the coming weeks.

Let's say at around the Feb 15 mark, the Hurricanes have 10 relatively healthy defensemen and are indeed looking to add a scoring punch. If you think they don't want to move an existing forward (to me that means they'd stick with Andrew Ladd), that leaves prospects and defenseman in the trade bait pool.

First the prospects. Carolina has solid goalie prospects in Kevin Nastiuk and Justin Peters. Howevuh, neither are tearing up the minors right now. A quick look at the stats shows Craig Kowalski having the best season with the Everblades. Beyond these goalie prospects, the Canes seem strongest in the area of defensemen with Casey Borer and Brett Carson ranked near the top on the Hockey's Future site. Hurricanes collegiate defensive prospects, Kyle Lawson and Jamie McBain were also part of a Team USA squad that brought home bronze medals from the WJC in Sweden.

Now if you take a look at current corps of Canes blueliners, you have to think Frankie Kaberle won't be moved after JR made him a cornerstone of the post-Cup resigning effort. You also have to think Dennis Seidenberg and Tim Gleason will be given a chance after the effort put forth to acquire them. I also think the team feels they have a real gem in the making in Anton Babchuk, so don't look for him to be moved.

Blueliners who seem fairly unattractive as trade bait might include Glen Wesley and Bret Hedican, both of whom's age, contract status and dedication to the franchise will most likely be rewarded by JR during one last Cup run. Next I would think Nic Wallin (on a four-year deal) and both David Tanabe and Andrew Hutchinson would be fairly unattractive to other teams. The latter two might on their way to changing their fortunes after some solid recent play - especially "Snuggles." That being said, they aren't enough of a draw to attract the kind of forward the Canes would target (remembering Weight and Recchi).

That leaves Mike Commodore. He's got one more year left on his two-year deal. He's affordable at $1.3 mil next year, and he has been one of the Canes best blueliners since the start of last season's Cup run.

The Canes and Flyers have a long history of working deals. Commodore and a goalie prospect for Mike Knuble and a conditional pick. Rumors are rampant that the Flyers are looking to deal Joni Pitkanen. If so, Commodore might make sense as a replacement. Plus, the Flyers have a history of planting trees on the blueline, and Commodore is a Larch. The Flyers also have one of the worst system talent pools in the league - all their top prospects are basically with the club now. Their rebuilding process can begin in goal.


d-lee said...

Knuble would be sweet!

He's only making $1.5M this year, and has one year left on his contract.

I'm not sure that we would have to give up Commodore, and I'd be upset if we did. Maybe Hutch, a pick, and a goalie prospect.

Bubba said...

I also disagree about trading Commodore, as I'm stating on my blog. This is great debate material until the trade deadline!

CasonBlog said...

I hope both of you are correct. The Canes didn't give up much for Weight or Recchi last season. I wonder if Recchi on a 1-year deal is again an option?

magnolia_mer said...

Thank you.