Paul Holmgren is the most interesting man in the world. No seriously. It takes a very special man to take the deepest forward line up in the entire NHL and dismantle it in the span of an hour. In my short span of hockey fandom, I have never seen the top 2 centers of a team traded within minutes of each other. Mike Richards and Jeff Carter - gone. Think about that Flyers fan who bought jerseys of both of them thinking that with them locked in long term deals, one ought to stay for awhile. After the jump lets take a raw look at the trades. I expect Scott to give a detailed analysis later :P
This is a trade that makes sense for both parties. Jeff Carter is a potential #1 center in the league who was not getting all the prime minutes due to the presence of so many skilled forwards on that Philadelphia team. On the other hand Columbus have been rushing their 1st round picks in hope that they will finally be the center for Rick Nash. I cant blame them as they had Malhotra playing there the year they made the playoffs. So this was a match made in heaven. Howson though did part with 2 excellent assets in #8th overall in the upcoming draft and J Voracek who is a very good young winger with a lot of potential.
I don’t know what Steve Tambellini did to anger Holmgren, but he went ahead and grabbed both of the young players in the LA system which the Oilers have coveted for some time now. However this is a deal I do not understand. While I am sure Holmgren watched Tim Thomas stop an extraordinary amount of pucks and lead Boston in winning the Stanley cup, I am not sure he really saw the amazing work done by Patrice Bergeron through the 4 rounds of playoffs. Holmgren had a Bergeron, check that, he had someone better than Bergeron in Mike Richards who took on the tough assignments with Darrel Powe and Andreas Nodl as his linemates and ended up outscoring the best of them at ES. He was very good on the PP too. So why oh why did he trade away Richards for magic beans? I get it that Schenn is an amazing prospect, but in 3-4 years time Philly hopes that he becomes as good as Richards. So they essentially traded Richards for a potential Richards. I am dumbfounded.
Dean Lombardi on the other hand has the best 2nd line center in the league and now Terry Murray can let Kopitar create havoc in the offensive zone knowing Richards has their back.
Now the answer:
The whole thing was set up for the Grand Finale:
Ilya Bryzgalov : 9 years 51 million.
You know the very famous Hilter’s take videos on Youtube? We need one for this one. There is nothing else that describes what I feel more than the scene when Hitler takes his glasses off and you can see him shaking. OMFG what the hell did you do, Holmgren? In a market when Jose Theodore and his agent are going door to door asking for alms, the most interesting man in the world went ahead and handed a monster contract to a goalie who might help them win one more game than Sergei Bobrovsky did last season. The difference is that Bobrovksy would have done it for less than $1.5 million next season, but their franchise goalie would do it for around 5.5. I am sure it is front loaded and the cap hit will be higher until age 35. This has to be one of the most ridiculous signings since the Salary Cap was implemented. So one day after Bryzgalov turned 31, he is now sure to be employed until age 40 at a time when goalies are not really worth so much.
Holmgren could have easily kept Richards and maybe signed Tomas Vokoun for around 4 million! But no, one day before the draft Holmgren has put his foot down and said that draft day belongs to him and even if Oilers go ahead and draft Victor Rask first overall, it would not be the biggest story of the off-season.
- It has been reported that the Calgary Flames have asked Robyn Regehr to waive his no-movement clause and he looks set to move to Buffallo. Had they done this 20 days ago, they might have been able to hold onto Tim Erixon.
- Ryan Smyth appears to be on his way to Edmonton. Oilers reportedly sending a 4th round pick away.