Friday, January 20, 2006

The Flyers "gain" will help Ottawa Weight it out?

The Philadelphia Flyers traded for Petr Nedved today, sending reserve defenceman Dennis Seidenberg to the Coyotes in the deal.

Nedved has been in the Great One’s dog house for some time now, and justifiably so. After being signed in the offseason with the intention of bring veteran scoring to Phoenix, Nedved has failed in every facet. In 25 games, he’s only put up 11 points, all the while collecting a $2.2 million salary. In the handful of Coyotes games I’ve seen this season, Nedved has either been terrible or downright invisible.

However, from the Flyers end, I guess they figured they had no other choice. Keith Primeau’s head doesn’t seem to be getting any better, and it now remains doubtful he’ll be back at any point this season. As terrific as he’s been when in the line-up, Peter Forsberg appears to have problems staying healthy, which shouldn’t be a surprise given his track record.

Without those two, the Flyers are suddenly much thinner at a position everyone touted as one of their main strengths going into the season. Both of their talented rookies, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, are capable of playing in the middle, but does the organization want to hang their hats on two 20-year-olds who have so little NHL experience? Michael Handszus is a fine second-line center, but I also find it hard to believe any team that fancies itself a Stanley Cup contender would want him as one of their top two centers.

Something tells me Bob Clarke is so blinded by the memories of Nedved burning his team in the past that he fails to realize Petr is no longer that same player.

"Nedved has always been a good scorer and a real good player and we think he'll solve some of our problems up front," said Flyers general manager Bob Clarke.

Good luck with that, Bobby.

But the big winner in this trade might just be a team not even directly involved, and it could very well be the Ottawa Senators. If you believe the rumor sites, and I realize that’s a slippery slope but play along, the Flyers were among the leading contenders to trade for Doug Weight. Now that they’ve acquired Nedved and his paycheck, it stands to reason they’d no longer be in those sweepstakes, as they’re pretty much against the cap as it is and would have to unload some big contracts to bring a player with Weight's ticket into town.

So with the Flyers out of it, does it mean it will be easier for Weight to end up in the nation’s capital in time for the playoffs? One has to think so.

10 Comments:

At 9:03 AM, Anonymous David Johnson said...

I remember Clarke one saying "We needed to add some speed and skill to our lineup and we think Alexander Daigle can do that for us." Of course we know how that story ended.

It probably does but mean that there is a better chance that Weight will end up in Ottawa but to me the question was always what Ottawa was willing to give up to get Weight. Is Ottawa willing to give up a top prospect or a high draft pick? Eaves? Bochenski? First round pick? Maybe you could entice them with Smolinski and a lesser prospect but it still will cost some future. The question is how much future the Senators are willing to give up?

 
At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Duff said...

Maybe we should showcase Steve Martins more...lol

 
At 3:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sidenote:

Handzus is probably one of the best second line centres in the NHL.

 
At 4:20 PM, Blogger CMcMurtry said...

It probably does but mean that there is a better chance that Weight will end up in Ottawa but to me the question was always what Ottawa was willing to give up to get Weight. Is Ottawa willing to give up a top prospect or a high draft pick? Eaves? Bochenski? First round pick? Maybe you could entice them with Smolinski and a lesser prospect but it still will cost some future. The question is how much future the Senators are willing to give up?

Considering Weight is a UFA at the end of the year, I can't imagine the asking price will be huge. What will drive it up is the other teams trying to get him.

But the fact Weight has a no trade clause, and can pick and choose where he wants to go could work in Ottawa's favor.

If St. Louis decides they want to unload him, and Weight says, here is a shortlist of teams I'll go to (and he has already said publicly Ottawa would be one of those clubs), then their bargaining power is greatly diminished.

I wouldn't be comfortable with Ottawa parting with any of their top prospects. That means Meszaros, Eaves, Bochenski are untouchable. Probably a few guys within the system too. Zubov, maybe Lee, maybe Bass, probably Kaigorodov (though who knows), Same with a draft pick in the first two rounds.

Beyond that, I'm willing to part with any of the other people in the system if it means Weight comes to Ottawa.

As for who from the roster now, I'd be okay with Smolinski, Varada, Pothier, and maybe Vermette, but that's it.

But I doubt they'd want Smolinski, considering they're dumping salaries and Smoke still has another year beyond this one on his deal.

 
At 4:31 PM, Blogger CMcMurtry said...

Handzus is probably one of the best second line centres in the NHL.

He's better than Marleau, Brind 'Amour, Lang, Drury, Richards, Arnott, Stoll? Really?

 
At 4:57 PM, Anonymous David Johnson said...

The Blues won't want anyone who will be a UFA at the end of the year. They want players that will help them in the future. They might have some interest in Smolinski because he is signed for next year (the money won't be a huge issue with both Weight and Tkachuk coming off contracts).

St. Louis is probably more interested in skilled forward prospects since they already picked up 3 defensemen in the Pronger trade to Edmonton and already had Jackman, Backman and others as good young defensemen. I really think St. Louis will ask for Patrick Eaves.

There will be other teams interested in Weight including possibly the Oilers and Weight would probably waive his no trade clause to go back to Edmonton as well. The thing with Edmonton though is their top priority will be goaltending. Calgary is also looking for a skilled centerman. There will be some demand for Weight so he won't come cheaply (i.e. Varada).

 
At 4:59 PM, Anonymous David Johnson said...

Handzus is probably one of the best second line centres in the NHL.

Handzus is an OK second line center or a very good third line guy. He is know a bit more for his defensive ability than his offense. Although he is improving offensively you generally want a bit more playmaking skill from a second line center.

 
At 5:29 PM, Blogger CMcMurtry said...

I really think St. Louis will ask for Patrick Eaves.

Then quite simply, Doug Weight won't be coming to Ottawa, and I'd be absolutely okay with that.

I can't imagine Muckler would part with Eaves, who will be a big part of this franchise's future for the next (at least) six years for a guy who, almost most definitely, won't be back in town next season.

Yes, this is the year, and you have to go for it, but not at that price.

Calgary is also looking for a skilled centerman.

Calgary is also much closer to being up against the cap though, aren't they?

 
At 6:43 PM, Anonymous David Johnson said...

I think the Blues will ask for Eaves, it will be up to Muckler to talk them down to something different. I just think Eaves is the kind of guy (a skilled center) that they would want. Maybe you could talk them down to Smolinski and a 2nd round pick or Smolinski and Schubert but it depends on what other teams are offering.

I think Calgary is around $36-37 million which gives them enough room to add Weight. Weight's contract is $5.7 million but if you pick him up at the trade deadline the cost to Calgary would be well under $2 million.

 
At 2:03 PM, Blogger Nick said...

The Blues will ask for Eaves, Muckler will counter with Vermette. That's my prediction. Whether the Blues take it is beyond me. I don't see the Sens trading Smolinski for two months worth of Weight's services, even if it does free up salary. The Sens cannot be going into the playoffs weak at center this year, and Vermette seems like the odd man out to me.

 

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