It’s draft weekend and the second most exciting weekend of the year for Leafs fans (first being July 1st – free agent season)! There were a lot of things happening, but unfortunately the drama was not surrounding the Leafs this year:
- Philly traded away their two best players/all-stars/young, cost-controlled/captain and assistant captain for a bunch of prospects and picks. While Jeff Carter was on the trading block for a while (due to cap reasons), it’s stunning that they traded their captain too in Mike Richards. These trades don’t make a lot of sense because they were cup contenders in the last two years, but now they’ve become a playoff bubble team for the next few years – oh and their defence core (i.e., Pronger) will have retired in a couple of years. Basically they’ve seem to have given up on challenging for the Stanely Cup! Then they continue and tie up the salary cap money they’ve freed by signing a goalie for 9 years at > $5 million/per…
- The Sharks signed one of their young talents, Devin Setoguchi to a new 3 year contract, then promptly traded him away the next day! That is a horrible thing to do to a player – they’ve just received reassurance that they would be living in the same city for another 3 years, only to find out that it was a psyche!
- Brian Campbell, with one of the contracts weighing Chicago down (and causing them to do a fire sale last year) was somehow traded to Florida. Yet, Florida still needs to spend another $24 million next year to reach the salary cap floor!
- Leafs traded for a puck-moving defensemen in John-Michael Liles for a draft pick. Not terribly exciting, but it’s a good addition given the cost, and because he only has one year left on his contract (vs the alternative of going on the free agent market, and signing an overpaid D-man for too many years).
- The Leafs also drafted a couple of people I have never heard of before – oh well, I guess I’ll remember their names for 3 years from now.
- Captain Canuck (i.e., Ryan Smyth) mentioned that he wanted to be traded back to his former team, the Oilers. Then, of course, there was a rumor that Calgary was in the hunt for him. Hilarious! but I don’t think it will end up happening. Smyth probably should kill himself before reporting to Calgary even if he was traded there.
- With LA acquiring Richards, SJ acquiring Burns, and provided that neither Detroit nor Vancouver implode (I don’t mean the city), the Western conference is shaping up to be much stronger than the Eastern conference. Kind of like the NBA