February 19, 2008
Most years, there seems to be a player or players who get traded and the reaction from everyone is “Wow, I didn’t think they’d move him.” Last year, it was Ryan Smyth dealt from Edmonton to Long Island. In 2006, Jose Theodore got dealt from Montreal to Colorado, while in 2004 it was Ron Francis moved to Toronto from Carolina. However, with not many big names out there who are in their contract years-- it's hard to get a "wow" candidate...but I'll try.
Before I begin, for the record—Brent Seabrook would have been on this list if he hadn’t signed a 3 year/$10.5M contract this past weekend.
Marian Hossa, Atlanta Thrashers: Make no mistake, Hossa has been rumored for a while and with him saying this past weekend that there’s little to no chance he’ll get re-signed in time; I’d look for Don Waddell to make a move in order to get something in return. Granted, the only reason the Thrashers will keep him without a deal in place for next season is because they really have no forward scoring outside of Hossa and Ilya Kovalchuk. It’s an obvious choice, sure—but it could still get the “wow” reaction depending on which team he goes to.
Adam Foote, Columbus Blue Jackets: Though they aren’t out of the hunt yet, the Jackets have been slipping. Truth be told, I don’t think that their defense has gotten any better with Foote in the line-up, so in return for a second line center; I think the Jackets will send Foote packing for sure. It could help Foote’s career, too, as the Jackets really haven’t given him much of a supporting cast on the blue line.
Barret Jackman, St. Louis Blues: This former Calder Trophy winner has seen his stock plummet rapidly due to injury and a bad supporting cast. Both Jackman and Bryce Salvador are unrestricted free agents this summer and with Salvador playing better defensively than Jackman, as well as Erik Johnson and Steve Wagner showing the future of the Blues defense is in good hands—Jackman is very much expendable.
Okay, the last two…kinda weak—I know, but since all the races are close, not many teams will be willing to part with some of their players, regardless of whether or not they get away in the summer time. But I think I’ll make up for it here…..
Jaromir Jagr, New York Rangers: Bookmark it, screen capture it, do whatever you do—but I’m going there. I don’t get paid on results….in fact, I don’t get paid at all—so let’s get to it. There have been rumblings that Jagr could be dealt, but no one had taken it seriously. Fact of the matter is that Jagr has taken a big hit this season, mostly due to the Rangers lack of run-and-gun offense. Odds are, Jagr will have his lowest points total of his career at this pace, and that includes the locked-out half-season of 1995. Jagr is a free agent this summer and maybe the Blueshirts could improve on their blue line by dangling Jagr out to a Cup contender to add more umph to their line-up. With Peter Forsberg taking his name out of the running, Jagr could be a choice pick for some suitors looking to spend some money on a top-six forward.
So that’s that—we started a little vigorous, slowed down some, but ended with a bang. Again, as always, your results may vary. Stay tuned for my next installment, which will be a surprise….even to me.
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