It was a very exciting and active trade deadline day! The Columbus Blue Jackets really seemed to be the big players here – Matt Duchene, Adam McQuaid, Ryan Dzingel. I question the wisdom of that though, all those guys + Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky are all free agents. I guess it’s all in-house rentals and cap hit next year, but at the expense of so many first rounders. Is Columbus is a legit cup threat? Tampa Bay, Washington, Vegas, Winnipeg, Toronto or even Pittsburgh all seem like more viable cup threats – and Pittsburgh is not in a playoff spot right now! On the other hand, most of the Blue Jackets interesting talent are on palatable contracts. In addition they will have nearly $30 million in cap hit to spend in the offseason! If they resign Matt Duchene, it leaves them with no first or second rounder for the next two years. Whatever way it turns out, Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen has his work cut out for him. It’s not coincidental though, the biggest fish of this RFA class are Artemi Panari, Sergei Bobrovsky, Matt Duchene and Erik Karlsson. You gotta think they had that $ earmarked for Bread and Bob but now are left in limbo.
The Las Vegas Golden Knights won the
Mark Stone sweepstakes, but I’m not sure how it’ll all turn out. They gave him
the red carpet treatment and a HUGE contract extension. I think they overpaid
bigtime, but his linemates in Ottawa tended to be pylons so maybe he’s got an
extra gear I don’t know about. Funny, at the beginning of the year I’d have
thought that moving from a terrible situation to a great one, a fat new
contract and a lot of hoopla from the franchise would equal a big boost in
production. Having drafted Max Pacioretty in a few pools I am no longer
convinced that is the case. How do you all feel about Vegas? I love the city,
and I thought it was hilarious that an expansion team went to the finals.
People close to me were very upset that the Knights were given so many obvious
advantages out of the gate. Now it seems they’ve got a new advantage of
building from scratch without any albatross contracts against the cap.
Henrik Lundqvist was near tears
saying goodbye to Mats Zuccarello(-Aasen) as the Rangers sent the diminutive
Norwegian to the Dallas Stars. Zuccarello was probably in tears later the same
day as he mangled his arm in his first game as a Star. There’s nothing I like
about any of this. Get well soon Mats.
I had a funny theory the day after
the trade deadline – I thought all the teams near the bottom would win their
respective games because they had nothing to lose. Contending teams might have
jitters or be short players they traded for replacements that hadn’t arrived
yet. The remaining player would be relieved that they didn’t have to move. I
have never been so wrong in my life – and I’m wrong pretty often. Ottawa,
Detroit and LA got absolutely massacred. Niklas Kronwall had a bit of a tantrum
at his teammates over it.
Crazy game between Boston and San
Jose last night, Evander Kane’s second fight of the night was against Zdeno
Chara. I can see both sides of the Chara/Kane beef, Chara hit Kane with a
illegal elbow to the head. That’s bad, but when you’re Chara’s height you can’t
help but hit people in the head. It should also be noted that Kane was running
around being a little shit at the time, you gotta expect repercussions. I
gained a little respect for Kane for immediately dropping the gloves and
hurling Chara to the ground. I immediately lost that respect when he took to
the media and twitter to complain about it after. He posted a picture of three
blind mice to mock the refs. First of all, Chara got an elbowing penalty.
Second, I’m sure that’ll help him get calls in the playoffs. His complaint is
he doesn’t get calls because he has a reputation as a notorious asshole. He
complains, but he’s yet to try not being an asshole.