With the NHL Draft less than a week away, we are already seeing deals being made and rumors heating up.
Here’s what’s happened so far:
Jason Arnott has been reacquired by the New Jersey Devils in exchange for right winger Matt Halishuck and a second round pick in the 2001 draft. Arnott who waived his no trade clause to make this deal happen is happy about going back to where he won a Stanley Cup. Reports are that ehe 35 year old forward gave Nashville a list of teams that he’d be willing to accept a trade to and New Jersey was at the top of the list.
In a second deal, the Nashville Predators sent free agent defenceman Dan Hamhuis to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenceman Ryan Parent. The Predators has orignally drafted Parent, but sent him to the Flyers along with Scottie Upsahll in the deal for Peter Forsberg back in 2007. The Flyers also received a conditional pick in 2011. The pick is based on whether the Flyers are able to sign Hamhuis who is an unrestricted free agent come July 1. Hanhuis is a very reliable defenceman having played in at least 78 games per season in his six year career, and is solid on the backend. This move will give the Flyers one of the best defence’s in the Eastern Conference, but at what price? Someone is going to have to go.
Nashville with another newsworthy noite, signed defenceman Francis Bouillon to a two year deal for 2.7 million. He’ll make 1.2 million this year and 1.5 million in 2011-2012. The small defenceman who’s listed at 5′-8″ and 198 lbs, was one of the league leader’s in hits with 162, also averaged just over 19 minutes per game.
San Jose Sharks defenceman Rob Blake retired after a very successful 20 year career in the NHL. Blake who’s 40 won a Stanley cup with the Colorado AValanche in 2001, a Norris Trophy with the L.A. Kings in 1998, and Olympic Gold for Team Canada in 2002. A shoe in for the Hall don’t you think?
As for rumors, well there’s a few going on. Nathan Horton of the Florida Panthers is one of many players that Panther’s General Manager Dale Tallon is looking to move. Other names mentioned are defenceman Keith Ballard, forward Rostislav Olesz and possibly center Stephen Weiss. Buffalo, Boston and maybe even Calgary are in the picture. Rumors are dangerous and I’m only reporting what I’ve seen. Nothing has been formally etched in stone.
Both Edmonton and Boston have the top two picks respectively. Edmonton would have to get a tremendouos offer to move theirs, but Boston is listening, and for the right deal, could possibly trade their second pick.
Chicago as we know is going to have salary cap problems. Names are flying, but nothing happening yet. If they could find a way to do something with Cristobal Huet, that would be a start. The likes of Kris Versteeg, Dustin Byfuglien, and Andrew Ladd have also been mentioned. One guy that most teams covet is forward Patrick Sharp. I don;t think the Hawks are looking to move him if they can help it.
With this year’s free agency crop not very deep, it’s expected that there will be alot more trades than what we’ve seen in recent years. Should make for an interesting summer.
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