Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Benefit of Covetatiousness

Happy Trails Erik Cole!

With a hearty "click-it or ticket," the Canes resident daredevil blasts off to Edmonton

Howdy pards. Back from a family trek to Cali. Seal Beach south of Long Beach is a fantastic beach destination in the SOCAL. Nestled between the Seal Beach Navy weapons facility and the poorly disguised oil derricks of Long Beach Harbor, Seal Beach is clean, parking is easy and the quaint little downtown is only about 50 yards off the strand. We also visited the San Juan Capistrano Mission, toured the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach and spent an evening on the grass at the LA Arboretum listening to the California Philharmonic. It was good to escape Tucson's annual triple digit June for a couple of days.

So JR now has both of the blueliners he's coveted longtime. Joe Corvo and Joni Pitkanen will man the point on the PP. And the love fest continued yesterday with Pitkanen signing a three-year deal for team captain cash. Now JR has the guys he wanted. We know Corvo is the real deal. Lets see if Pitkanen is more than a big porcelain doll with a sliding upside. You look at Joni's page on TSN and you see a lot of missed games with knee, back and hip maladies.

Trading Erik Cole, an older catastrophic broken bone-guy, for a younger chronic sore joint-guy, looks like a pretty good deal. Younger guys heal better and quicker, so with Brind 'Amour and Williams both coming back from knee injuries, I'm glad the Canes were able to move Cole before his next Evel Knievelesque collision with an endboard. Not that I don't love everything Erik Cole represented to this team. He has the heart of a lion, and from today's N&O piece, he had a huge influence on the development of Eric Staal. Good luck Erik. Rip up that Western Conference. Make sure you take that click-it or ticket message to the ice road truckers.

As far as JR's big deal goes, I'm with DLee. Cole was a guy clubs like Ottawa and Edmonton had repeatedly expressed an interest in, and in a marketplace where everybody wants to upgrade on D, the only way the Canes were going to upgrade without truly breaking the bank ($7 mil a year for Campbell? $6.5 mil for Redden?) was via trade.

I bitched all last season and into my last post that the Canes needed to get bigger, meaner and more athletic on the blueline. Babchuk and Pitkanen are both big boys who can play angry. I'm actually more intrigued by the pending return of Anton the Refusenik than the acquisition of Pitkanen. A more mature Babchuk might be the real gem of this signing period. And he returns for cheap-Josef Melichar cheap. If Josef Melichar is worth a cool mil, I bet Pavel Brindl could be had for a fraction of that kinda cash! Boom that gaping hole at wing is immediately filled. In one off season, the Canes forward corps gets smaller, quicker and more enigmatic.

That leaves Nic Wallin and Frances Kaberle on the bubble. Wallin didn't want to go anywhere last season, and both are signed thru next season. I'd rather see the Canes hold on to Wallin. His poise and experience might come in handy if Corvo and Pitknanen get too pinchy.
And I'm really glad to see the club resign my boy Tim Conboy. Watch your back Josef Melichar, there's a psycho killer waiting in the wings. Qu'est-ce que c'est?

1 comment:

The Acid Queen said...

Nice Talking Heads reference, mang. :D