1. 4.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Traders Send NHL Tumlbing Into the Boards (In the Curve)

This is the second of three posts examining some interesting thoughts and notes regarding 10 of the NHL's 30 teams as they prepare for T-D Day (trade deadline).

A total of 3 posts will be provided broken into the 3 categories of Chasing Stanley, In the Curve and Tee Time to correspond with On Goal Analysis' (OGA) depiction of where the teams stand on their quest to qualify for NHL post-season play.

At OGA, we measure a team's performance to a proprietary Playoff Qualifying Curve (PQC) at the end of each 10-game segment to see where they fall on the Curve. For more information, please see The Tao of OGA to understand how we can call a team IN or OUT of the playoffs, even as early as November.

The following teams have all been determined by OGA as IN THE CURVE:

Only TWO of the Frozen Pill's teams remains In the Curve, still hunting for a playoff spot without having been called IN or OUT by our PQC - the Dallas Stars in the West and the Carolina Hurricanes in the East.

  • Perhaps this one has slipped past the majority of trade rumors circulating around on the blogosphere and in more general reporting but this quote from today's Chicago Tribune certainly caught my attention. Buried at the end of the story about Huet returning to net is this morsal: "Other centers rumored to be on the market include Phoenix's Ollie Jokinen and Dallas' Mike Ribeiro and Brad Richards"
  • I believe most of us have read Jokinen's name in the trade talk over the past couple of weeks, but Ribeiro and Richards? If true their names are being tossed around in trade talks, that would mean the Stars are looking to completely remake their team as these two players have become intricately woven into what is supposed to be the 'future' of this team. Players you build around... In addition, Richards was just brought to Dallas last year at the trade deadline and signed a multi-year deal. Not to mention he is mending a broken wrist and probably won't be in playing form until perhaps the second round. Sounds like a red herring to me. And smells fishy, too.
  • With the Stars having had a roller coaster year in up and down swings (injuries/talky seconds, etc.) and now having lost 5 of their season-long 6-game home stand, the Stars need to hold onto their early round draft picks (they are notorious for offering them away) and focus on winning with the team they have and working towards the next two seasons as well. Having let themselves down with their recent performance, this is not the season to trade away picks, hopeful prospects, local favorites who produce (Lehtinen, who will sign for a discount, Ott, etc.) for a rental player to get the Stars into the first round of the playoffs in hopes Brendan Morrow or Brad Richards can join the fray cold and make an impact. Exhibit 1 would be Ladislav Nagy...Exhibit 2 is Claude Lemeiux.
  • The Stars last week traded defenseman Doug Janik to Montreal for gritty forward Steve Begin. If this is the culmination of their trade deadline activity, it might just be sufficient. The Co-GMs of Dallas have stated they are wanting to fill voids on the squad by allowing youngsters/prospects to play and contribute. Since they have a record of trading away draft picks over the last few seasons and made a huge splash on the deadline last season, sticking with the team they have is a good strategy. Adversity builds strength.
  • Yes, Avery is now a New York Ranger. The fashion world has never been in such a tizzy and all a flutter.
  • The Hurricanes are in a very similar spot as the Stars. They are on the cusp of making one of the bottom slots for a playoff run but subject to fits and starts in team play. The 'Canes are also dealing with money issues and cannot really afford to be buyers...especially just for the sake of hoping they make it in.
  • The Hurricanes also have a decent farm squad now and should be hesitant to 'give away the farm' or use draft picks. As ye Olde Rogers did say, 'Know when to hold 'em...'
  • They also obtained Jussi Jokinen in a trade with Tampa Bay in early February for LW Wade Brookbank, D-Man Josef Melichar and a 2009 4th round draft pick. If the trade seems lopsided to you, keep in mind Jokinen began his career in Dallas and played well but was not necessarily well-suited to the crazy situation in Tampa this season. He was under utilized and will most likely thrive in Carolina, providing some offensive punch.
  • It may not happen by tomorrow, but don't be surprised if the Hurricanes seek the return of their prodigal son, Erik Cole in early July when the UFA is done with his stint in Edmonton. A fan favorite, Cole's return could help the team immensely going forward although it won't have an impact this season. Again, as with the Stars, this Carolina Hurricanes team should play with what they have, push for the playoffs and live to fight another day without raiding tomorrow.

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