Monday, March 2, 2009

Around the League: Trade Rumors, Milestones, and Tums and Tylenol Part 2. . .

Trade Rumors:


I'm listening to the Team 990 on this snowy day here in Metro NY. Sounds like former Ranger and current Maple Leaf, Dominic Moore, may be on a few team's radars this Wednesday. He's had a better than pretty good season for Toronto (12G, 29A for 41P), and could definitely fetch some interest.

Trust me, I always liked Dom Moore. Good guy and as I alluded to in Where Are They Now a few days ago, a guy that was able to center a line that made Hollweg and Ortmeyer look good. (Come on, I'm not the only one that misses HMO? And I greatly miss Jed as well.)

Also on the block for TO are Ukranian Alexei Ponikarovsky and Nik Antropov of Kazakhstan. And Czech Tomas Kaberle who said he'd waive his no-trade clause.

Remember, news originally out of Toronto was that anyone minus Johh Mitchell, Luke Schenn, and Mikhail Grabovsky were up to be had. It was later alluded to be anyone but young super guy Schenn.

The only thing that gets me is that Toronto did significantly better than I thought they would this year. Imagine if Vesa Toskala did not start so slowly and was playing as well as he does against the Rangers, well, against everyone else. I thought they'd be a bottom two team in the East.

Now, granted, if they give up most of their team, they might very well fall back there. But at present, they are in 11th place with 62 points, but only 7 points behind Buffalo and Carolina who both have 69. It would be a long shot, so I have no problem with them selling, mind you, but they surprised me quite a bit this year.


Well, so a two day break makes Alex Kovalev look like "good" Alex once again (2G, 5A in 3 games after coming back). Also in the plus column for Montreal is Tomas Plekanec who has 6G, 4A in 6 games since rejoining the Habs lineup.

Interesting though is Mike Komisarek's play starting to fall again; Randy and Tony on the Team 990 are not sure why.

I'd honestly take Komisarek on my team any day, but thanks to Sather's money follies, it appears the Rangers may never get the true stay at home defenseman they coveted. Unless they find a way to convince someone that Gomez, Redden, Drury, and the rest of the Fab Five, are valuable to their own teams.

Now I thought Montreal was going to contend for top spot in the East. Obviously the 100th season in Montreal was anything but what Habs fans thought it would be (understatement of year). I still think they'll fall to the middle of the playoff pack though.


Big kudos to Flames Captain Jarome Iginla for now being the all-time leader in points for the franchise. It's unfortunate that on a night where their leader and captain had five points (2G, 3A) including his 400th career goal, that the Flames could not overcome Tampa Bay, falling 8-6.

Takes nothing from his great accomplishment though. The do-everything poster boy has now, well, done everything.


In NJ, Marty continues to shock us all. Although should we really be shocked anymore? Four months off. Surgery for the worst injury of his career. Guy comes back to record two shutouts for his club in three games, the second being the 100th of his NHL career, leaving him only three behind the all-time mark set by Terry Sawchuk. With five more wins, he'll pass Patrick Roy for most wins in league history.

It should be more shocking. But it isn't. We're apparently accustomed to his greatness.

Rangers - Buy/Sell/Stand Pat?

If I had a vote, I'd say stand pat. Well as much pat as you can stand when it's essentially a given they will at least do all within their power to regain their fallen winger, Sean Avery, as Dallas is supposed to waive him today, at noon.

And I'm fine with that. If this is truly the only place that Avery can play, then let him play here. A 6-1 win over Colorado is nice, but I still think Avery can help provide a spark to this team. I'm still really holding onto my words earlier this year that Avery has been and can be an effective NHL player. If he couldn't prove it in Dallas, then let him come back here. I'll welcome him, with open arms.

My concern - hence the Tums and Tylenol Part 2 - is what exactly the Rangers will do besides that. The cause of all my worries.

When I was younger, Trade Deadline Day did not hold the joy and anguish it does today. In fact, it's now a seasons worth of Tums and Tylenol days, especially being a Rangers fan.

But it's at this time of year (July 1st Free Agent Frenzy Day being the other), that I keep both medicinals close at hand as a buffer to whatever Glen may do.

Look, bottom line: I think the Rangers can and should make the playoffs. As is. I really do. It might be close, but I think they do. I had them in at 6. I can see them being no higher than that, or certainly being 7 or 8. It remains to be seen whether the final team becomes Pittsburgh, Carolina or Buffalo. But I think the Rangers can make it.

That being said. I do not see this team being a contender. Again, 6-1 was nice. And I think Torts will make them a better team going forward. BUT, the big contracts have and will continue to handicap. That's a fact. And them, along with the other less expensive pieces, just do not have it. At least not that I can see. They probably will/should make the playoffs, but I do not see them making it past round one, unless whoever they are playing stumbles, badly.

Therefore, I am hoping - probably in vain - that there is no major, major shakeups to this team. Because I would hate - HATE! - to see them mortgage the young guys and the future - AGAIN! - to get some old guy/rental player that will not be on this team next year and will not make them better this year.

Besides Avery, I don't see what you do. I hope they don't mess it up.

Tums, Tylenol...the countdown continues.

Where Are They Now. . . ?

Team Player Action Note
New Jersey Brendan Shanahan Assist
Calgary Jamie Lundmark G(2)
Columbus Manny Malhotra Assist

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