LEBRUN: First on the Bruins, there is no team more impressive in the NHL right now. How about 23-3-1 since October ended? I’ll have more in a blog later today when I preview Saturday’s Canucks-Bruins Cup finals rematch.
The Flames? They’re going nowhere. They’ve teased their fans with a few good stretches this season, but the fact is, they’re not good enough to make the playoffs in the Western Conference. This club is at a serious crossroads. The Flames need to identify their mission plan, their vision for the future, and act. They’ve got 13 expiring contracts, nine of them unrestricted free agents. The window will open this summer to change the face of this team. But I believe Feaster will begin to act before then and will try to sell off some parts before the Feb. 27 trade deadline. The most galling thing of all is that the Flames’ payroll is fifth-highest in the NHL. Look at what that’s getting them on the ice.
Iginla, as you mentioned, will be the sensitive play. Ownership, like the fans, believes he’s the most popular player in franchise history. That puts Feaster in a tough spot. He doesn’t want to be seen as the guy pushing out a legend. But dealing Iginla is the best and fastest way to start re-hauling this roster. But Iginla controls the shots. He has a no-movement clause and another year on his deal, earning $7 million next season. Yes, I believe the Bruins would have interest if Iginla ever became available, as would Los Angeles and several other clubs. He’s a winner, a leader and still a high-end performer surrounded by the right players. At the very least, there needs to be a meeting between Flames management, Iginla and Iginla’s veteran agent Don Meehan to discuss the future. I know it hasn’t happened yet.
Here is a good article in USA Today about the escalating cost of trade deadline deals in a sellers market, asking whether the high costs are worth the effort.
The salary cap has created parity, and parity has created tighter races, which have turned the trade deadline into a seller's market.
Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher has been aggressively reviewing his trade options for two months, and he often has been more troubled by the market than intrigued by it.
"It is not a big market in terms of the number of sellers," Fletcher said. "And second, the prices are very high. And historically, if you look, I'm not sure that 25% of these rental trades work out for the teams that are buying." Fletcher is still considering making a trade. "But you do wonder, even if you can do it, is it worth it?" he said.
Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke decided he wants to avoid deadline day shopping if it all possible because he thinks prices are always too high.
"Do a graphic for any year — the math doesn't work," Burke said. "Fourteen to 16 teams add players. Prices are inflated, and there is one Stanley Cup parade at the end of the season. The trade deadline is a pit of quicksand."
The trade deadline worked out well for the Bruins last year. But this year will be tricky given the competition for the type of players that the Bruins need. Perhaps GM Chiarelli will sit this one out.
I'm worried Horton's injury may be worse than what is being reported. IF so, we lose a significant top-6 player. Peverly has not proven to be capable of filling in wing slot on the Krejci line.
From what is being reported it sounds as if the market is insane right now, 'sellers' in complete control at the moment. Chia may have to look at another avenue, perhaps players currently not playing in the NHL (Satan!). Or over-paying for a big fish (Iginla?).
As bad as it sounds, standing put may be his best option. It isn't very encouraging when Kampfer & Caron are the B's extra skaters.. Cross your fingers the injury bug avoids Boston.
Stuart from what i have seen in Det the last couple of years has really stepped up defensively and still has good offensive skills
Babchuk plays a physical game and would be good to have on the 3rd pairing with Mcquaid
Bos loses a little toughness but gets back a offensive defensemen
I`m not sure our old buddy Brad Stuart will be too enthusiastic about returning to Boston, wasn`t exactly smooth sailing there the last time..............water under the bridge??? Maybe but no way I see the Wings offering him for Corvo