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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Blue biscuits

Found some interesting stuff on hockeybuzz.com. Turning our attention away from Malone-gate for a while (thank gawd!) Kevin Lee, a sportswriter out of Ottawa, had this to say about a couple of potential juicy trade targets out of Ottawa:

The last two restricted free-agents for the Senators, being Antoine Vermette and Andrej Meszaros, are tough to get a handle on. Both could find themselves playing elsewhere this coming season if they price themselves out of the pay structure here in Ottawa. Meszaros has already turned down one contract offer by Murray and is seeking a minimum of 3 million per year. People close to the Meszaros situation have stated that he wants to remain in Ottawa but his agent strongly believes he should get what other players in the league have received with similar stats. There is no way Murray is going to give Meszaros the same kind of money that Anton Volchenkov and Chris Phillips are receiving. That is why it's becoming more and more clear that Meszaros could find himself playing in another city next season. If that is the case, then Murray needs to get a player in return that can step in immediately to fill one of the holes that will be left by the many UFA's on this team. As for Vermette, he is one player that the Sens need to hold onto with the likely departures of Stillman and Kelly. Murray needs a proven forward that knows the system, can contribute offensively and have the strong ability to play on the PK. Vermette's name has been mentioned in recent trade discussions, only because Murray needs to explore what possibilities are out there in case talks on a new contract go south and he is unable to re-sign him before July 1st. At that time if Vermette is still unsigned, there are few teams that would tender him an offer. If that was to occur, Murray would most likely not be able to match Vermette's offer due to the cap situation.

Putting my armchair GM hat back on (is it ever off?) those are two names that should greatly interest the Jackets.

Everyone who has read this blog regularly knows I'm a big Vermette fan and I think he could help us tremendously. He's 25, a center who can play wing, had 53 points last year -- is fast, kills penalties, can play make.. had done all of that behind Jason Spezza and Mike Fisher. Now were talkin.

Meszaros is a 22 year old d-men who has put up 36, 35 and 39 points the past 3 season. That 36 last year was just one behind our leader in Hainsey who is 27. This guy gets it done at 22 what Hainsey just did last season. Talk about upside.

Both of these players would need signed but we would own there rights and we have the money to lock them down for a long time. If we move the 6th then how about:

6th + Fritsche or Tollefsen for Vermette and Meszaros

Don't forget the draft is in Ottawa and you know they its has been reported that they want to move up into the top 10.

Keep you eye on Ottawa.

Also in that same article is says that the Senators have held discussions with Zenon Konopka:

Lastly, the Senators have held discussions with former Ottawa 67's captain Zenon Konopka. He is a UFA and at the age of 27 he would be a very capable fourth liner on this Sens team. Konopka brings an edge and scoring touch while not being afraid to drop the gloves with anyone regardless of his own size.

..and in even more Jacket related news the Sens signed Greg Mauldin to a two way deal.

Now onto the draft.

This is a great read about what the Islanders could do at pick #5. This artcile explores everything including trading up, trading down, standing pat and "the crazy factor". It also talks about LA and Filatov.

This acticle from TSN specluates on who the Leafs and Canucks may take while this one speculates on if the Habs or Sens may make a draft day deal.

Don't forget to check out Gare Joyce's mock draft over on ESPN.com. Here is who he has the Jackets taking at 6 and 19:

6th overall:
Luke Schenn, D, Kelowna (WHL)
Safest bet on draft day is that Columbus will take the best available defenseman with its first pick. The team likely will look hard at doing the same with its second first-rounder (from Colorado in the Adam Foote trade). Tyler Myers would be an interesting (i.e., daring) pick here, but Schenn should be ready for the NHL sooner. The Blue Jackets brought in Schenn for independent testing after the combine.


19th overall:
Colby Robak, D, Brandon (WHL)
Blue Jackets would love to see Colten Teubert or Robak on the board here. If both are gone, the best available defenseman is still the first option with this pick acquired from the Avalanche for Foote. Would the Blue Jackets move this pick for immediate help on the blue line? It's up to other teams to make a case.


Here are Red Line's selections in their mock draft over on USAToday.com:

6th overall:
Luke Schenn. They traded away Adam Foote, the premier shutdown defenseman of his generation at the deadline. Now they pick up the next great shutdown defender to replace him.

19th overall:
Brandon Burlon. Call this one a hunch. They're really looking for a forward in this spot after nabbing Schenn earlier, but they can't pass on this talented two-way defender, and they'll be happy they didnt.

Finally here is SI's mock draft:

6th overall:
Alex Pietrangelo, defense, Niagara IceDogs (OHL)

Central Scouting says: "He might have the best top-end [potential]...in the entire 2008 draft. He has Pronger-like size and vision. A lot of scouts say that he might be playing better now than Pronger played in his last year of junior."

Our take: With so many premium forward prospects already in the fold, the Jackets will be thrilled to add Pietrangelo at this spot. His offensive game already suggests a Brian Leetch-like ability to read the play and make things happen with his feet, his shot or his passing skills. Despite all that, there are concerns about his capacity to apply the same passion and intensity to his defensive zone work, and that's why he's likely to fall out of the top five.

19th overall: Michael Del Zotto, defense, Oshawa Generals (OHL)

Central Scouting says: "He is the new breed offensive defenseman who jumps up into the rush effectively. He either follows up a rush to add a second dimension or is capable of leading the rush himself."

Our take: There's great value in this pick. Del Zotto's stock has dropped slightly over the course of the year, but more as a result of other defenders making greater gains than his game actually suffering. He's always had great offensive tools and a sturdy frame. The only question is, can he become more reliable defensively, or will he become a David Tanabe?

Kelly Hrudey had this
to say about the Kings:

The bottom line is this: I have a very strong feeling -- based on a combination of talking to people and my own instinct -- that SOMETHING will happen between now and about 4:15 p.m. Pacific time Friday, and given the names and situations involved here, it's likely to be a fairly large ``something.'' Of course, that sounds completely vague and unhelpful. I understand that, but there's absolutely no way to predict what will happen.

Finally I will leave you with this thought.

Derick Brassard, Jakub Voracek and Derek Dorsett are all scheduled to be at the NHL Draft party at Easton on Friday night. Is it safe to assume neither of these players will be dealt?

...and if they are wouldn't that be something for them to find out then?

-LTL

1 comment:

Matt said...

Heck, I got an email on Tuesday saying that Dan Fritsche will be doing a signing session at the Tuttle Blueline store on Sunday! Imagine how well that could go if he's traded Friday?