Every year, I like to play the unique role of outside insider / prognosticator / comedian with my annual ridiculous predictions series of posts. This time out, I’m making my ridiculous predictions for the NHL Trade Deadline. After all, when experts and reporters talk about deals at the trade deadline, they always think that teams will make deals that make sense for all involved. In reality, the NHL doesn’t work that way. Players have no-trade clauses in their contracts and some GMs have no sense whatsoever. So let’s take a fun look at this year’s NHL trade deadline.
Keith Yandle: Traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins
Ray Shero is some sort of evil, mind-controlling wizard. He basically stole Jarome Iginla from Calgary and was able to get what seems to be the better end of the deal when picking up Brenden Morrow and Doug Murray. Either he is much smarter than every GM in the league right now, which isn’t that hard, or he’s using some evil black magic.
With Paul Martin out four to six weeks, you know that Shero is likely to make a move to fill in that hole in his blueline. And wouldn’t you know it, Keith Yandle is on the block because Phoenix is looking to save money. You just know that somehow, someway Shero is going to convince the Coyotes to part with him for a couple of a mid-round pick, a conditional pick and half of a snack-size bag of chips.
Mike Ribeiro: Traded to the Chicago Blackhawks
Not one to be outdone in the deadline battle between the obvious Stanley Cup finalists, Stan Bowman addresses his team’s depth at centre by picking up Mike Ribeiro. That might sound odd but Toews is their only top-six forward who’s a natural centre. Bowman won’t rip off the Caps as badly as Shero got the rest of the league but he should come out ahead, even if he doesn’t re-sign Ribeiro. I still don’t trust the Hawks’ goaltending but it’s not as bad as…
Roberto Luongo: Traded to the Philadelphia Flyers
If there’s a lopsided trade to be made, the Flyers will make it. Just look at how things have turned out for the likes of Mike Richards, Jeff Carter or James van Riemsdyk. So Paul Holmgren hasn’t won a trade since… Was he around for the Forsberg to Nashville trade because that’s the last time I remember Philly doing something that wasn’t utterly insane.
So let’s play “What Outlandish Amount Will Paul Holmgren Give Away In A Trade?” I think we’ll see Holmgren go a little nuts and package Wayne Simmonds, a top defensive prospect, a first-round pick and a conditional pick (1st round through 3rd depending on this season’s results) for Luongo. The sad thing is that my deal is probably less outlandish than the actual deal Holmgren’s going to pitch.
Ryane Clowe: Traded to the New York Rangers
Pop quiz: Which team is the lowest scoring in the Eastern Conference? If you guessed anything other than the Rangers, you need to get reading glasses. It says “traded to the Rangers” at the start of this paragraph. Who else could I segue to? I know that he’s had an utterly atrocious season in San Jose but so has everyone in New York. A little bit of a change is what all parties involved need.
Ben Bishop: Traded to the Detroit Red Wings
It’s my blog. I’m entitled to indulge in a pipe dream like finding a backup to replace Jonas Gustavsson. Who the fuck though that guy was an NHL-calibre goalie in the first place? Sure, he could’ve been serviceable on Detroit last season but anyone can look like a good goalie behind Nick Lidstrom. At least Bishop has been playing well in Ottawa. Having seen that defense in action, it’s more like e-fense because Anderson and Bishop were busy when I was there.
Miikka Kiprusoff: Not Traded
Wait, you actually think someone will trade for him? HA! Boy, you guys smoke some strong shit up in Calgary. Kipper says that he’d rather retire than get traded and Mike Keenan scared everyone off by stating the obvious that Kipper plans to retire after this season rather than play for $1.5 million next year. Salary cap circumvention on a long-term contract? That’s a new one…Anyway, Bouwmeester’s days of cashing in on being the best defenceman on a Florida team nobody watched are almost over. He’s going to take a substantial pay cut when he gets amnestied or his contract expires. Unless somebody thinks they can trade for him, amnesty him and re-sign him at half the price, he’s not worth more than Ray Shero’s half bag of chips.
The Buffalo Sabres: Not Traded
The Sabres are planning to blow it up and start over. Naturally, they’ll Buffalo it. There are some big cap hits that have to be moved to effectively rebuild. There’s the likes of Christian Ehrhoff, Ville Leino and Steve Ott that should be moved. I get the feeling that the performance to cap hit ratio probably only makes Ott tradeable. Naturally, though, Buffalo won’t be able to trade anyone because the utter failure to trade anyone would just be so Buffalo. Of course, that’s all assuming that NHL GMs have any brains but it’s clear from the last week that if the NHL GMs were the only living humans left on Earth, they’d end a zombie apocalypse by starving the zombies to death. There just aren’t any brains there to be eaten.