A trend we've seen over the last couple seasons is for teams with impending free agents (who they don't intend to re-sign) to trade those players to another team prior to July 1 to provide an exclusive negotiating window with the new squad, and in return picking up a mid- to low-range draft pick. With the many UFA's and RFA's here in Nashville this summer, one starts to wonder if David Poile might be able to swing such a trade or two in order to stock up ahead of this year's NHL Entry Draft.
Having dealt away his 1st-round selection in the Mike Fisher trade, you have to think that Poile would like to maneuver back up there by swapping out a combination of assets, so what might those be? Which free agents might get sent packing over the next week or two?
In goal, I've gone back and forth on this question, thinking that Mark Dekanich may be just such a candidate for a move, but upon further consideration, he might make a fine NHL backup for 2011-12 in Nashville, allowing Anders Lindback to take on a starter's workload in Milwaukee. On defense, Shane O`Brien seems an obvious option. Wingers like Steve Sullivan, Sergei Kostitsyn, and Joel Ward don't, because one would think the Preds are going to work hard to retain those guys - perhaps if negotiations broke down that could change, but we haven't had any indication of that.
At center, however, we have another question, and this is where the Matthew Lombardi injury presents a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the team. Cal O`Reilly and Marcel Goc are both up for new contracts, and one would think the addition of Fisher, who can be used in pretty much all situations, bumps one of those two FA's out of the way. Goc, in particular, is used in a more defensive role, and seems especially threatened by Fisher's presence, while O'Reilly can at least be deployed as a power play specialist and pure playmaker (probably the only such center on the depth chart). Goc's place is also threatened by the kids, as well, with Blake Geoffrion getting his feet wet on the 4th line this spring.
Assuming Lombardi's still on the shelf, a depth chart of Legwand-Fisher-Smithson-O'Reilly backed up by Spaling and Geoffrion seems feasible. Is there still room for Goc in the mix as well?
Fathers Day Gift Ideas | Hockey Gear HQ
Check out this series over at a side project of mine for some gift ideas - Father's Day is next Sunday, after all, and I'm gathering together suggestions for dads who watch or play the game.
Nashville Predators News
A look at key NHL and Nashville Predators summer dates… | Section 303
Let's have one rocking block party for Second Club-Elected Arbitration Day, coming up on July 6!
Hockey Night in Nashville: Game 6 of SCF and Preds Blogger Notes
Robby makes his call for tonight's game, and touches on a few of the local hockey blogs.
Around the NHL
Canucks At Bruins Game 6 Preview: Hear The Cry Of War Louder Than Before - Nucks Misconduct
Vancouver, are you ready?
Roberto Luongo’s Mental Fragility - Houses of the Hockey
It's funny how some guys have bad playoff games that get shrugged off, while Roberto Luongo faces enormous criticism whenever he lays a stinker.
Vancouver has waited since 1915 for another Stanley Cup win | Hockey Independent
How 'bout those Millionaires?
mc79hockey.com - If a Canucks win is inevitable…it’s not all bad
Adding some perspective to all the Luongo talk, really fine stuff here.
Craig Ramsey waits on True North Sports and Entertainment | The Hockey Writers
Given everything else that's gone on, you'd have to think the new Winnipeg group won't retain the Thrashers coach, so why the wait?
Sources: Winnipeg GM intends on interviewing coach candidates - TSN
Well there's the answer... and Craig Ramsey will be one of those interviewing.
Jersey: Moscow Dynamo with Collar | Jerseys and Hockey Love
Here's something you don't see every day...
Confessions of a Hockey Fanatic Reaches 9th Anniversary!!
Congrats to Michael, keeping a blog running for 9 years is a great achievement.
Even Daniel Alfredsson can't skate off a numb leg - Silver Seven
The Ottawa Senators captain faces back surgery, which, it is hoped, will help keep his career going. Really in-depth stuff here on the medical side.
With Bryzgalov’s leverage, Flyers staring at huge price tag - Puck Daddy
Has Philadelphia backed itself into a corner in their bid to land a legitimate #1 goaltender?
Extra Note: In case you weren't around over the weekend, we hit a nice milestone last week.