NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – Post-Trade Deadline Edition.

Predators hopes new additions bolsters playoff run…Avalanche win after deadline deal…Bruins look for strength in numbers…Sharks GM addresses team’s inconsistencies…Sabres GM chooses the long view…Red Wings GM both amused and irritated by false Brad Stuart rumors…Rangers shut out Devils…Wild GM’s dealings could put him on defensive…Coyotes deserve a chance to succeed.

 

Will Predators moves help keep Suter in Nashville?

THE TENNESSEAN: By adding Andrei Kostitsyn and Paul Gaustad, the Nashville Predators are signalling they’re in “win mode” now.

EXAMINER.COM: The Predators moves may help them now, but the future of pending UFA blueliner Ryan Suter remains cloudy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: How the Predators perform in this year’s playoffs will likely determine Suter’s future in Nashville.

DENVER POST: After making a multi-player trade with the San Jose Sharks, the Colorado Avalanche downed the surging Anaheim Ducks 4-1 to move into a tie for eighth overall in the Western Conference, but Mark Kiszla believes it’s now time for the Avs to “grow up and win”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kiszla’s impatience is shared with a number of Avalanche fans growing weary of the excuses from management as it seems to stumble along in its rebuilding process. It’ll be interesting to see what impact yesterday’s trade – essentially, acquiring winger Jamie McGinn for Daniel Winnik and TJ Galiardi – has upon the current Avs lineup.

BOSTON GLOBE: By adding Brian Rolston, Greg Zanon and Mike Mottau, GM Peter Chiarelli is hoping to have strength in numbers for the playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of those three, I like the addition of Zanon, who’s a shot-blocking specialist, which should prove valuable in the playoffs.

MERCURYNEWS.COM: Sharks GM Doug Wilson addressed his team’s inconsistencies by adding forwards Daniel Winnik and TJ Galiardi in a trade with the Colorado Avalanche. He also had talks with Columbus regarding Rick Nash, but balked at the asking price of Logan Couture.

BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres GM Darcy Regier took the long view with his acquisition of Cody Hodgson yesterday from Vancouver, but while Hodgson thrived in Vancouver playing on the third line against third line checking, it remains to be seen how he’ll perform against stiff opposition as he plays a larger role in Buffalo.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The complaint from some Sabres fans is, “Oh great, another small center”, but that could be overlooked if Hodgson has strong linemates. Who knows, maybe he might blossom into the next Daniel Briere?

MLIVE.COM: Red Wings GM Ken Holland was both irritated and amused yesterday by a false rumor, apparently originating out of New York, claiming he was about to trade defenseman Brad Stuart to the Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It certainly stirred up a few moments of excitement in the Twitterscape yesterday, though it didn’t take long for that one to be dismissed.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The Rangers passed on acquiring Rick Nash, dealt with Chicago for enforcer John Scott, then defeated the New Jersey Devils 2-0.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher’s shakeup of his blueline yesterday seems to indicate a shift away from defense toward offense.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The Phoenix Coyotes deserve a fair chance to flourish in the Phoenix area.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree. Folks who keep pointing out the low ratings and attendance despite the Coyotes improvement over the past three years conveniently overlook the fact the club has had the constant threat of relocation hanging over its head, so naturally Phoenix area sports fans are reluctant to support a franchise which might not be around next season. I know this probably won’t happen, but I’d love to see the Coyotes win the Stanley Cup this year, just to watch the reaction of the league brain trust, especially if it appears the club is on the verge of being moved.

16 Comments

  1. “Folks who keep pointing out the low ratings and attendance despite the Coyotes improvement over the past three years conveniently overlook the fact the club has had the constant threat of relocation hanging over its head, so naturally Phoenix area sports fans are reluctant to support a franchise which might not be around next season.”

    This also proves a point that this team does not belong there. If fans don’t realize that their lack of support is the reason why the Yotes might move they are only making it worse. Besides that if they were fans of the game of hockey they would come out and watch a good game regardless of if they wanted to support the Yotes. Fact is not enough people find Hockey entertaining enough to make the drive out to see them or any other big name teams come to town.

  2. Nonsense! Why support a team which is constantly under threat of not being there next year, even if you fill the arena and jack the TV ratings sky-high! This isn’t unique to Phoenix. The same thing happened to the Coyotes in their previous incarnation as the Jets. Once Winnipeg fans knew the team was gone in 1996, attendance dropped significantly throughout the season. Sure, they sold out their final games, which was to be expected, just as the Coyotes have sold out the final games of their previous two seasons and will likely do so again, as the fans wanted a chance to say “goodbye”.

    The Coyotes were poorly managed for years, which is why they wound up losing as much money as they did in the past. As I’ve frequently noted, this isn’t a situation specific only to that market. Even Canadian teams like the Oilers, Flames, Senators and Canucks saw significant declines in attendance during periods when the team did poorly (Oilers in the mid-90s, Flames and Canucks in late-90, Senators in two of the past 3 seasons). The Bruins and Blackhawks were regularly in the bottom third of the league in attendance throughout most of the last decade.

    As the author of that article noted, the Coyotes haven’t had a fair chance yet. If they get stable ownership committed to keeping the team in Phoenix, and they continue to draw flies despite having a perennial playoff contender, then I’ll buy the argument Phoenix isn’t a good hockey market.

  3. At this point it may be too late for Phoenix to make things right and keep the team there. There’s so many other things involved with all the politicians, repeated rumors of new owners (which is probably false or just misleading), other owners who probably want this situation dealt with, low attendance. It’s all become too large a mess I think. The NHL has to be thinking how they can hide this epic fail that’s happening with a giant feel good story (Quebec?). It would be a repeat of the Jets where you make a huge deal about how happy the area is to get their team back, new jerseys, rivalries, etc.

  4. How about them Sharks???

    We lost one of our best young players with offensive upside, and 1 of our best prospects if not our best, for 1 rental player, 1 so-so agitator with marginal offensive skill. Doug Wilson continues to empty our cupboards for what???

    DW needs to start parting with OLDER SKILL players such as MARLEAU, MITCHELL, MURRAY, BOYLE, HAVALAT, WHITE, ECT. The Sharks need an infusion of youth or they will become the Columbus Blue Jackets in short order.

    Why not get what you can for some of these older players while they have value to other GM’s in the league?????? I would have liked to see Dougie trade to address a need, for instance GOALTENDER. We could have picked-up BISHOP pretty cheaply, or maybe just maybe get NABBY back, as he was a fan favorite and a much better GOALIE than anyone currently playing for SAN JOSE. He might have also addressed the defense by trading for AULIE or another young defenseman.

    The Sharks need a PSYCHOLOGICAL makeover. WE MUST LEARN TO WIN, If they are being molded after the Red Wings which they are, They MUST learn to WIN like the Red Wings. It is painful and sad to watch this team AGE OUT without Hoisting the Cup.

    I am TOTALLY unimpressed with yesterdays trade.

  5. @ Sharkattack

    As a Nuck fan, I was quite pleased to see Jamie McGinn go. Wilson got some helpful pick-ups, but it was the 4th line that scared me most.

  6. @tuxedoTshirt

    Go burn Vancouver down again!!!!

  7. @tuxedoTshirt

    Go burn Vancouver down again!!!!

    Is it just me, funny that Canuck rhymes with SUCK. Burn baby Burn

  8. Not sure how the Canucks benefit from yesterday’s moves (that’s why they play the games) but, based on his development after he fully recovered from back problems, Cody Hodgson should be a top player with the Sabres for years to come. He seems like a talented kid that’s just getting started.

  9. Look, I can agree that Avs fans are tired of waiting for them to return to prominence but several factors have hampered that process:

    1. Still trying to recover from almost a decade of bad drafting and trading away their young prospects and draft picks. Trying to win the Cup throughout the late 90′s and into the early 2000′s, the Avs traded away pretty much everyone to get players like Blake, Fleury, et al. Rather than managing their system, they tried to buy Cup’s. It worked to a point but the effects are still felt. They are finally getting things back together but it’s been a long time coming.
    2. Injuries to key players – They were starting to see a lot from guys like Mueller and Fleischmann but they got badly injured and lost a lot of scoring. Combine that with no depth in the minors and you get a team that can’t score (and couldn’t play D either).
    3. Most damning, ownership pretty much stopped spending money. Rather than trying to return the team to dominance, they wanted a younger, cheaper team that could sort of compete but they weren’t going to green-light big contracts. After they made the playoffs unexpectedly a few years ago, did ownership try to get more help to go further? Nope. Hard to get better when management can’t get you any help. Kroenke, for some unknown reason, has decided the Nuggets are the chosen ones and the Avs are the redheaded stepchild.

    I know every team faces this sort of thing at one time or another and I completely agree that this is a team that needs to show it can win with what they have. Their goaltending has been better (though inconsistent at times, especially from Varly), their D has been a lot better than they have over the past four or five years, they are mostly healthy and they have brought in some secondary scoring help from Downie (love it so far) and McGinn (hopefully he’ll blossom if he can play with Duchene or O’Reilly). Even if they fail to make the playoffs this year, I think this is a team headed in the right direction but management and ownership has to give them some more tools over the offseason to help them out. Rome wasn’t built in a day and a young team needs time to grow together but they need the support of ownership.

    Kiszla, though, can suck it. He isn’t a hockey guy, writing a cursory article he has been assigned and making snide comments on things about which he knows nothing. He is the staff curmudgeon and sounds like an idiot every time he writes about the Avs.

  10. @Avfan91

    McGinn will quickly become a fan favorite for his tenacious style of play. We are going to miss him in SJ, I don’t think this was a good trade for SJ, maybe for the AVS, not for us.

  11. I would be more than happy to have Marleau and Boyle and Havlat on my team.

  12. Also agree with Sharkattack – DW does need to bring in some younger guys or at least hand over the leadership roles to them. Really Doug – counting on Havlat and Murray’s return to help shore up the team isn’t being realistic and the acquisition of defensive forwards does not address the team’s lack of scoring. Also Gilardi is an RFA after this season and Winnick is a UFA, along with Torrey Mitchell, Moore and Winchester. In addition, I don’t think McLellen is the answer – I think he has worn out his welcome with the team and Wilson needs to bring in someone new. But alas, those are just my thoughts

  13. @ Sharkattack, I think Tux was sympathizing with you re: the loss of McGinn, no need to get nasty. But I suppose I would be frustrated too since the Sharks should of won at least one Cup with the talent they’ve had and their dominance in the past few years but can’t even get to the Final.

  14. Regarding the Avs:

    >> management and ownership has to give them some more tools over the offseason to help them >>out.

    Any suggestions for this offseason?
    D and G seem set, so focus perhaps will need to be forward lines. What changes would you make? Who would you add, and who would the additions replace, and how would you get rid of the replaced players? Keep in mind that Dutchy, O’Reilly and Johnson will be getting large new contracts, so affordability is an issue.

  15. @Avfan91

    1 thing I can say for the Avs is that was probably the best PO series in recent memory between the Sharks and Avs. I think they are finally on the rise, and they are fun to watch. I can certinly sympathize with having your team mismanaged.

  16. I don’t think the contracts of Factor, Dutchy and Johnson will be all that large – they’re all still pretty young, don’t put up a ton of points, etc. I can see them all getting mid-level deals (3-4 mil for 4-5 years). G is still up in the air – Varly can be very consistent, Giggy may head out for one last big contract with a team that will make him the full-time starter for a few more years but you never know. Harding may be an option there. I would say that they need help at the wing still. A big-time scorer would be great but maybe these pickups will be what they need. If Downie can be a consistent front-of-the-net presence and put in 20-25 a season, that’s big and if McGinn can chip in 15-25 a season, that might be all they really need. They will have to figure out if they’re going to re-sign O’Brien and Wilson, two guys who give you some toughness but aren’t big point threats.

    IMO, they need some more scoring from the back end and while Elliott (and, perhaps, Barrie) may help them out, they may try to go after someone to bridge the gap between guys like O’Brien, Wilson, O’Byrne and Duncan Seimens (who won’t be ready for a few more years). Obviously, going after a Shea Weber or Ryan Suter (assuming they test the market) would be great from a hockey standpoint but those guys are going to command a lot of money so I don’t know if that will work economically. Johnson has the most D points with 24. That isn’t terrible but they need someone they can count on for 40 or so or at least have 2 or 3 guys with that many point from the back. It’s just too tough to ask your forwards to do all the scoring.