Pretty busy day, eh?

Of all the days to take off from hockey, the NHL's trade deadline on Tuesday has to be one of the hardest. I love watching teams take chances for the Stanley Cup. I like watching teams that are building for the future. Most of all, though, is the frenetic energy that flows through the day.

Despite of all that, I found that I can take a day away from hockey, even if it is a busy one, to just chill out. I watched a movie. I played some darts. I made dinner for my son.

That doesn't mean, though, that I haven't heard the news. Sure, some teams went out and grabbed big-name players (San Jose got Bill Guerin, Gary Roberts agreed to go to Pittsburgh and Detroit took a chance with Todd Bertuzzi). A bunch of minor deals were made, too.

Now that I've had time to review the moves, here are my takes:

~ Even though it's had a terrible year, the Philadelphia Flyers should feel pretty damn proud of themselves. To me, they're a much better team, and one that's prepared for the future. Sure, they lost Peter Forsberg, but they picked up some fairly promising talent in Scottie Upshall, Ryan Parent and Braydon Coburn. The addition of Martin Biron will only help, too. Adding these guys to Jeff Carter, Simon Gagne, Joni Pitkanen, Mike Richards and R.J. Umberger could soon cause some serious headaches in the Eastern Conference.

~ Kudos to New York Islanders' Garth Snow for nabbing Ryan Smyth from the Edmonton Oilers. Smyth's a heart-and-soul guy who, to me, will only make the Islanders much more dangerous as the season winds down. Islanders fans can only hope, too, that he'll light a fire under Miroslav Satan and Richard Zednik. If he does, I wouldn't want to meet them in the playoffs.

~ Though I respect the veteran leadership that Georges Laraque and Roberts bring to Pittsburgh, I'm not sure the Penguins addressed every issue (backup goaltending, to be exact). Talent's great, but you need depth to go deep in the playoffs. Florida, by the way, got an excellent return in Noah Welch. Smart kid, too. He graduated from Harvard.

~ I certainly hope it's not a case of too little, too late, but I believe the Bruins upgraded their defense a little with Aaron Ward and Dennis Wideman. Ward adds experience and Wideman is a younger Brad Stuart, if you ask me. I was sorry to see Brad Boyes go, but it was inevitable. Like the Blues, I have faith in his abilities. I can't help but chuckle, too, at those who thought not too long ago that he was worth a fourth-rounder.

~ I'm not quite sure what to think of the Sabres' dealings. On one hand, adding Dainius Zubrus to Buffalo's high-octane offense left me giggling with anticipation. Replacing Biron with Ty Conklin, though, leaves me worried. Though I'll root for Conklin because of his UNH ties, I won't have the confidence with him in net as I would have with Biron. Besides, Biron's one of the nicest players you'll meet -- great signer and loves to talk.

~ As for Tampa Bay, I applaud the moves they made. Not for the enhanced grit that Shane O'Brien, Karl Stewart and Jason Ward bring, but it gives me a reason to hound the Lightning one more time this season.

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Blogger Drew said...

Maybe it's just the Pens homer in me, but I'm going to have to disagree on the issue of the Pens backup goalie situation. Fleury has been good enough as a starter, and I think Thibault is a capable backup (3.13 GAA and .902 save %) plus they got a probably AHL'er who has some NHL experience in Nolan Schaefer from San Jose.

To me, the biggest holes were a defenseman (Kwiatkowski), some protection for Sid and Evgeni (BGL), a faceoff master, and a winger for the top two lines (Roberts). They picked up all of those except a faceoff guru.

11:58 AM  
Blogger Puckhound said...

Granted, I'd rather have Jocelyn Thibault as my backup goalie rather than Ty Conklin. But, should a God-forsaken injury sideline either starter, neither fills me with confidence that either has the skills set and mental makeup for a deep playoff run.

I watched Thibault play Sunday against Tampa Bay. He didn't look sharp at all.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Fonzi said...

Very interesting .Thanks

12:23 AM  

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