Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Very good news and sorta kinda maybe bad news from Eklund

The good

I just confirmed rumors that I heard earlier today that Ottawa is "way out in front" of the Doug Weight Sweepstakes...Other teams still in the game...Calgary, Montreal, and Vancouver. ... My source, who is very tied in, said this..."I`d put it at 90% that Ottawa lands Doug...all other teams are a far off second...at least at this point."

Great. Doug Weight would solve a lot of this team's troubles as far as secondary scoring, and give Martin Havlat a world class playmaker to play with when he comes back.

The potentially bad, however:

I hear the Flyers pulled out because the price was too high...I had a team owner tell me he was amazed at the cost...

Uh oh.

Last week, when Philly traded for Petr Nedved, I wrote that it was good news for teams like the Senators, because one major player was now out of the Weight sweepstakes.

David Johnson wrote a comment that he thought St. Louis would ask for Patrick Eaves. I replied that if that is what it took to get Weight in town, I would not want John Muckler to make the deal. Eaves has been tremendous this season and will only get better. He's going to be a big part of this team's future for years to come.

To trade probably your best forward prospect for a guy who more than likely will be playing somewhere else in October is not wise. I'm all for doing whatever it takes to win, and that's why I laugh when people suggest we should trade either Zdeno Chara or Wade Redden instead of letting them go for nothing in July. This is Ottawa's year.

But you don't want to handicap yourself too much. Eaves, like Andrej Meszaros, Ray Emery,and probably Brandon Bochenski, should be on the "off limits" list. Period.

Antoine Vermette? I like him, but take him. He could very well thrive someplace else, because he's that talented, but he seems to have hit the glass ceiling in Ottawa and I, one of his biggest supporters, have grown impatient with his lack of production when given opportunities. Christoph Schubert? A very useful player who's shown tremendous versatility, but to get Doug Weight, I'd drive him to the airport personally. Any of the goalies in the system besides Emery? Take 'em.

Hell, even Alexei Kaigorodov, who every Sens fan over at the HF Forums creams their pants over, would be expendable. Yes, he's talented, yes, he ripped up the Russian Elite League, but he also might never play a single game in Ottawa. He said before the season he wouldn't come over unless he could be guaranteed a job with the big club. And I don't blame him for it. In Russia, he has to be earning a high six figure contract. In the AHL, he'd make, what, $75,000?

But on Ottawa's end, it makes no sense to promise a guy who hasn't play a single shift of pro hockey in North America a job when you're a top team. A club like St. Louis could give him that guarantee though.

Most every other prospect within the system should be made available too, but at a price. If they want some like Kaigorodov, or a highly touted younster like Brian Lee or Ilya Zubov, Ottawa should force them to take on the contract of Vaclav Varada as well.

Today, Eklund follow up by saying he now hears Carolina is strong in the mix, but insists Ottawa is the favorite to land Weight, but that it won't be until after the Olympic break.

Assuming it does go down, and Weight ends up in Ottawa, he'll have around 25 games to get adjusted to a whole new conference, a different style of play, a bunch of new teammates, and an environment about as opposite of what's been in St. Louis this year as you can get.

In the past, "Rent-A-Player" deals have never worked out well for Ottawa. Tom Barrasso was supposed to solve their alleged goaltending problem, and while he didn't lose any games for them that year when they went down to Toronto for the first time, he also didn't win any, which was sorta why he was brought in. Ron Tugnutt could've played that well and we wouldn't have to put up with Barrasso's asshole personality.

Last year, neither Peter Bondra nor Greg de Vries lived up to expectations. Bondra, one of the most talented goal scoring in modern NHL history, was snake bitten around the net. de Vries was supposed to solidify their defence, but ended up being the worst, by far, of the top five blueliners, and was so not welcome back they threw him into the Marian Hossa-Dany Heatley deal just to get his salary off their books.

So will Doug Weight be any different? Let's hope so.


At 8:53 PM, Anonymous David Johnson said...

I thought a bit more about this. There is some talk that the Leafs want to acquire Barret Jackman. If this happens there is a chance that the blues might be interested in a defenseman (Brewer being out for the season might make this more interesting too). If this is the case, I wonder if the Senators might be willing to give up Phillips. With the emergence of Meszaros maybe Phillips becomes more expendable. Chara, Redden, Meszaros and Volchenkov would still be a pretty solid top four for the Senators and If Nedved is worth Seidenberg then Weight might be worth Phillips. Plus getting rid of his salary for next season would improves Ottawa's ability to sign both Chara and Redden to new contracts.

I know you think more of Phillips than I do but what do you think of a Phillips for Weight type deal?

At 9:07 PM, Blogger CMcMurtry said...

I know you think more of Phillips than I do but what do you think of a Phillips for Weight type deal?

Terrible. Phillips is signed for less than $2 million. I really don't think you can find a suitable replacement for what he brings to the team as far as leadership and playoff performance for that price.

If the Blues want Phillips, Muckler should not do it.

At 12:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weight is a rental... RENTAL.

Vermette + 2nd.


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