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01-05-2004, 09:40 PM
A soupçon of nutmeg
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Le Creuset
Country: France
Posts: 3,485
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I would be reluctant to trade for Stoll unless Higgins was involved. Other than their handedness, there isn't much separating them in terms of serving as a good checking line center. It would doubling up on the same kind of asset while denying a place to one of them.

If it was a switch, or part of a larger deal for, say, Brewer and Stoll with Markov and Higgins and something else going the other way, then it makes sense. Otherwise, it just doesn't seem to be a good fit.

Halpern is attractive, but the Caps would want some prospects and draft picks back. Although he's an RFA at season's end (I think), he's still young and only makes 1.5 million. He also has good leadership qualities, and so makes it unlikely that the Caps would part with him for cheap. He's exactly the kind of player they would want to keep, and would much rather divest themselves of Jagr, Bondra and maybe even Lang.

A name that should be considered is Wes Walz. While small, he plays agressively and brings character and experience. He's extraordinarily cheap, only 800k. A few years younger than Juneau, he brings the same expertise in the defensive zone and the PK, and sometimes pitches in with key goals. He would be a perfect addition to a playoff-bound Habs team.

If the Wild fall out of the playoff race, Gainey might be able to persuade former teammate Risebrough to trade Walz for a lower-end prospect or decent draft pick. I think this would be the best move for the Habs, unless, of course, Edmonton offered Brewer and Stoll for Higgins and Markov.

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