Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Cole Injury Changes Things

In Lukewarm Praise of Kyle Calder
The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of Calder becoming a Cane.

With Erik Cole now slated to be out for two to four weeks, the Canes trade deadline dynamic is about to change. This probably means Cole will miss at least half of the remaining games. Lyle Richardson is reporting the Canes are interested in Kyle Calder or Geoff Sanderson. Should make watching tonight pretty interesting. Were I nearby, I'd be checking the pre-game skate closely for missing persons. As Her Majesty pointed out a few weeks ago, the Geoff Sanderson experience wasn't great during his previous stint as a WhalerCane, so I'd be surprised if his name isn't in the rumor mix as part of some tricksie JR ploy.

Two seasons ago, I took in a game at the United Center between the Blackhawks and Oilers. I know what follows is anecdotal, but there is nothing quite like seeing the a game live - in a setting where you get to pick what and who to watch. The two most impressive skaters that night in Chicago were Ryan Smyth and Kyle Calder. My attention gravitated to these two on every one of their shifts. Keith Primeau had a similar presence when he took the ice. Your eye just slewed to track what he was doing with and without the puck.

Now I know Calder's numbers are abysmal this season. Maybe a change of scenery would be good for a skilled and gritty guy who is still relatively young. He's making way too much money right now, but the Canes have the cap space to absorb the balance of his $3 mil-ish salary. And if he can come in and play well, he might be re-signed in the $1.5 to $2 mil range. I'm still about the investment and not the rental.

So IMHO, If JR can't pull the deal to bring in the guy who represents everything that is good and old school about hockey - my personal hockey icon, Mr. Ryan Smyth Esquire - I think I can live with Kyle Calder for now...that is if the price the Canes have to pay is limited to an extra defenseman and bag of pucks. I might even be Ok with the loss of a Nastiuk or Peters as part of the deal. I don't think the Flyers would be interested in Seidenberg part deux, so I'm thinking a clueless and disgruntled Anton B would be part of the deal. He's got the size and upside below the neck that might intrigue the Flyers. They seem to love planting old growth forests on the blueline.

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