In what might be the initial tremors that lead to an earthquake of NHL trades, a few well-known players have been waived by their teams this afternoon, and are thus available for the taking to any team wishing to pick up their contract***. Let's see what David Poile might be looking at here:
Brendan Morrison, Anaheim Ducks: An upcoming free agent, Morrison used to be a very effective two-way center in Vancouver, but knee injuries have slowed him in recent years. His stint this year in Anaheim has pretty much been a disaster, but might a change of scenery bring him back to the 50-60 point production level he's generally enjoyed? A very tantalizing prospect here to add talent down the middle.
|2008 - Brendan Morrison||61||10||12||22||0||14||1||0||2||0||80||12.5|
Gary Roberts, Tampa Bay Lightning: Roberts is too long in the tooth to help bolster the Predators' offensive attack.
Miroslav Satan, Pittsburgh Penguins: Another soon-to-be free agent, Satan is a legitimate, if sometimes enigmatic, NHL sniper. Plus, you have to love the "Satan comes to the Bible Belt" storylines we could run with.
|2008 - Miroslav Satan||64||17||19||36||3||36||6||0||2||0||116||14.7|
Jon Sim, New York Islanders: Under contract for one more year at $1 million, he doesn't appear to be a solution to Nashville's weaknesses.
Personally, I'm very much intrigued by the Morrison and Satan possibilities. The question with Morrison is whether the Preds think he can physically do the job, and for Satan, whether he can fit in the locker room. Both players would seem to offer the type of talent that GM David Poile is always on the lookout for.
In other Predators-related Trade Deadline stores, Ray Slover at the Sporting News works through the thought process behind a potential trade for Jofrrey Lupul of the Philadelphia Flyers. With Lupul starting a 4-year, $4.25 million/year contract next season, however, it would be a surprise to see Nashville assume his salary; and if they had to give up one of the core, long-term players currently under contract in trade, that would eliminate the benefit of obtaining Lupul.
Also, NHL.com has a nice profile of Greg de Vries, a veteran who is all too familiar with the burden that NHL trades place upon a player and his family.
*** There's always some confusion about picking up NHL players on waivers, and whether or not the acquiring team has to pay the full contract. The players listed today have all been waived, which means that unless someone claims them (and pays their full salary), they can be assigned to the minors. If they go unclaimed, and their original team then tries to bring that player back up to the NHL (on what are called re-entry waivers), then anybody else can claim them, and the two teams split the salary 50/50. This is basically what happened with Sean Avery today, as the Dallas Stars placed him on re-entry waivers, and the New York Rangers claimed him.