Nothing going on in the NHL tonight - if you have rumours, trade ideas (fantasy or real life), AHL stuff, CHL stuff, or anything else, tweet me (angus_j) or fire me an e-mail (angus at dobberhockey.com) and I'll talk about it for tomorrow's ramblings!
Bob McKenzie believes that Brenden Morrow may become available at the deadline, if the Stars (who are three points out of a playoff spot right now) fall out contention.
Brian Burke talks shop about some of the worst trades he has made – he’s helping to promote Behind the Moves, the book I reviewed a few months ago.
“The good news is, if you make enough good trades, people forget about the horses— trades that you’ve made. People ask me, ‘what’s the worst trade you’ve made?’ And I would have to think hard about that, but I could tell you a couple real bad ones.”
He paused for a beat.
“A second-round pick in Vancouver for Vadim Sharifijanov.”
Morrow is currently injured (neck), but he should be back soon. All contending teams would have interest in him – he’s a solid two-way forward and supplies a lot of grit and leadership, as well.
Mark Dekanich has injured his ankle, again. He originally suffered a high-ankle sprain at the beginning of the season, and he injured the same ankle recently. No word on a potential return this season (I’d say it is doubtful). Steve Mason is done in Columbus, Dekanich is always hurt… who do the Jackets target this summer?
Unless he is demanding the moon, I don’t see the Leafs moving Grabovski. He’s an impending free agent, but he is such a good player and such a big part of Toronto. The Leafs will likely be in the hunt for a playoff spot through the deadline, so the only way they part with Grabovski is if another team gives them a really, really good offer.
Some of the scoring leaders in the AHL worth mentioning…
Gritty winger Pat Maroon with 20 goals and 45 points in 39 games – he was traded from the Flyers to the Ducks last season after some off-ice issues. Has NHL upside, could get a shot if/when Blake is traded and Selanne retires.
Center Brandon Pirri of the Hawks, with 18 goals and 41 points in 41 games. He’s close to being an NHL forward, but the Hawks aren’t at the point in time where they can invest time in a young player on their second line. Look for Pirri to be a trade chip at the deadline this year, or a potential second line center for the club long term.
Detroit winger Gustav Nyqvist, who most definitely will step in to the Wings top nine next season or the one after. He’s a really skilled and really smart forward. 37 points in 37 games.
We are all aware of Kyle Palmieri’s scoring prowess in the AHL – 23 goals in 24 games. Only a matter of time until he is able to successfully translate that over to the NHL (like Maroon, he’ll get a look for a top six/nine spot once some winger spots open up in Anaheim).
The highest scoring defenseman in the AHL is Mark Barberio. I mentioned him a few weeks ago in one of my Prime Cuts pieces. He’s in the Lightning system, and they are a team that severely lacks puck movement and offensive talent on the back end. He could get a look down the stretch this season. Five goals and 37 points in 41 games.
A good read on the Sharks need to improve their fourth line from Fear the Fin – right here.
“Overall I think it's fair to say that the qualitative analysis of the fourth line works in harmony with the quantitative aspect of it. Their greatest strength is their ability to hold their own against opposing team's fourth lines, something that the Sharks and Head Coach Todd McLellan had some difficulty saying all throughout last season.
Going forward I think it will be important for the fourth line to see more ice time than they are currently-- with a road heavy schedule in February that will see the Sharks take a 9 game trip east of the Mississippi, and a brutal 17 game schedule in March right before the postseason, utilizing that fourth line as much as possible is essential towards keeping your money makers fresh.”
The Sharks traded for minor league winger Tim Kennedy from Florida. He could find his way onto the fourth line pretty quickly…
I thoroughly enjoyed this special on Nick Lidstrom…