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George Zoran
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55 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2006 :  09:14:56  Show Profile
The NHL trade deadline has come and gone with few real surprises. In my last article I made some predictions about who was available and would most likely be traded. I was right about: Jeff Freisen, Brendan Witt, Denis Gauthier, Tyler Arnason, Luke Richardson, and Eric Weinrich; I was wrong about many others. Overall it was an exciting day with Vancouver and Edmonton making a number of good deals and the Avalanche taking one very large risk.

The Canucks picked up exactly what they needed in Mika Noronen a capable backup goaltender. I know many feel that Alex Auld is not the answer to the Canuck goaltending woes, but he has earned a shot as their number one goaltender and going with Auld means that Nonis did not have to trade away any of his core players to help out in net. The Canucks also got help on the blueline with Keith Carney, Eric Weinrich, and Sean Brown in exchange for draft picks. When healthy, this defence is as good as any in the league.

The Oilers made a great deal by acquiring Dwayne Roloson. Although a first round draft pick is a lot to give up, Kevin Lowe had to get better in net and apparently had little to choose from. Sergei Samsonov is also a great addition. Unfortunately for Oiler fans, they have lost three straight since making these deals and are in danger of falling out of the playoffs.

Other solid moves were made by the Dallas Stars who acquired rugged defenceman Willie Mitchell; the Senators who acquired Tyler Arnason; the Predators who acquired Brendan Witt; and the Hurricanes who acquired Mark Recchi. Moreover, the New York Islanders and the Phoenix Coyotes did some good work by trading away salary which puts them in a better position come this summer. One of the best moves of the day did not involve a trade, but a new contract. The Florida Panthers locked up Olli Jokinen who was slated to become unrestricted this summer - this could also help their chances at hanging on to star goaltender Roberto Luongo and resigning him to a long term deal as well.

The only real questionable move was made by the Colorado Avalanche the day prior to the deadline. Pierre Lacroix is known to make a big splash this time of year and pulled off a deal that sent David Aebischer to Montreal for the injured Jose Theodore. For the short term, the Canadiens GM Bob Gainey looks like a genius. With Huet being pretty well unbeatable lately and Theodore not being able to stop a beach ball, this one was a no-brainer. What makes this a risky move for the Avalanche is that Theodore will miss the rest of the regular season with is broken foot, but will most likely be ready for the playoffs. This means the Avs will have to count on Peter Budaj and Vitaly Kolesnik to back stop them in to the playoffs. However it does seem to be working the Avs shutout the Flames last night to take top spot in the North West division and if the change of scenery gives new life to Theodore, Lacroix will be 2 for 2 in stealing goaltenders from the Habs.

Have an opinion on George's article? Let us know. Just hit reply below and post your thoughts. Anything goes...but keep it clean.
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1746 Posts

Posted - 03/15/2006 :  16:31:29  Show Profile
Things don't look too good for the Cancucks. They dropped the last 3 since the trade and Nornen was in net for the 5-0 loss vs the Preds.
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