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Ryan Harper
PickupHockey Pro

322 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2006 :  11:56:59  Show Profile
It was quite an exciting weekend with a number of deals coming down and only one having to do with the draft. That being the Montreal Canadiens trading up to twentieth to ensure they could take high school star defenseman David Fischer from Minnesota. Normally teams do a bit of wheeling with some wanting to move up in the draft to land a prospect and others willing to move down in exchange for players that can help them now. Not this year though – the 2006 NHL entry draft was overshadowed by a number of big deals:

Dave Nonis pulled the trigger and shipped rugged winger Todd Bertuzzi, defenseman Bryan Allen and goaltender Alex Auld to Florida in exchange for star goaltender Roberto Luongo, young defenseman Lukas Krajicek, and a sixth round draft pick. The result is a good deal for both teams as Florida couldn’t seem to sign Luongo long term and risked losing him at the end of next season to unrestricted free agency. As for Bertuzzi, he is also an unrestricted free agent next summer and given the pressure of playing in Vancouver after the Steve Moore incident, he would have exercised his options. Both guys needed a change of scenery, and both will need to be convinced to resign long term with their new clubs.

Jarome Iginla will finally have someone to play with now that the Flames have picked up Alex Tanguay from Colorado in exchange for Jordan Leopold. Again a good deal for both teams but Calgary definitely got the best player out of this one. Leopold had a sub par season and was overshadowed by rookie Dion Phaneuf, but Colorado has some cap issues and needed to make some room. Tanguay will be a great addition for the offensively struggling Flames, but he will also cost a lot to sign long term.

The Kings traded Pavol Demitra to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Patrick O’Sullivan and Minnestoa’s first round pick. O’Who? O’ he played for the AHL’s Houston Aeros last season and scored 47 goals and 46 assists – not bad. The Kings needed a makeover with a new GM and coach calling the shots. Demitra will help Minnesota but how effective will this offensive minded sniper be in Lemaire’s defensive system? He was great the first half of last season but was injured for most of the latter half. This one is tough to judge but in the end I think both teams got what they needed.

The Leafs traded Finnish goaltending prospect Tuukka Rask to the Boston Bruins for former Calder trophy winner Andrew Raycroft. The Leafs needed a keeper who could play now as they will be buying out Ed Belfour. Rask is a lot to give up considering his performance at the World Junior Championships but if Raycroft can regain his form than the Leafs are probably better off. The Toronto market can be an impatient one and sometimes the rebuilding their needs to be accelerated.

There will be many more to come this week and once July 1 hits – look out.
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