Tuesday, February 28, 2012

NHL RANK 'EM - 28/2/12

I've managed to pick up the pieces after yesterday's earth-shattering trade deadline to bring you NHL Rank 'Em. As the dust settled, here's how the 30 teams were stacked.

Top Ten

1) Vancouver Canucks - The Canucks made the biggest splash, albeit a major gamble, on deadline day. If all goes to plan, the Sedin's new winger could be a Milan Lucic clone - or the closest thing to it. Cody Hodgson will no doubt, be a star in Buffalo.

2) Detroit Red Wings - Not quite sure Kyle Quincey is worth a first round pick. But, it won't matter in the least if the Lightning are picking at number 30 come June.

3) New York Rangers - In the end, giving up Del Zotto or McDonagh was too much for the Rangers to swallow to acquire Rick Nash. The blue shirts may have dodged a bullet. John Scott though, really??

4) Boston Bruins - The Bruins dipped into the deadline waters and emerged with Brian Rolston. Not sure his surroundings can turn back his clock the way Mark Recchi's did.

5) Nashville Predators - Giving up a first rounder for Paul Gaustad is insane, but the Preds improved their team more than any other at the deadline. In their attempts to impress Ryan Suter, they have emerged as a Cup contender.

6) Pittsburgh Penguins - Not a mention, peep or whisper of the Pens being involved in any deadline deals. No need when you continue to win and you have the best player in the world lurking in the shadows of the press box.

7) St. Louis Blues - It ain't pretty, but it continues to be effective. Adding some offence at the deadline would have made this team a playoff nightmare, if they aren't already.

8) Philadelphia Flyers - The Flyers may be the biggest losers on deadline day. With Josh Harding rumoured to be available for a second round pick, how do you not pull the trigger and attempt to fix the mess made between the pipes.

9) Phoenix Coyotes - After collecting 19 points in their last 10 games, the Coyotes have vaulted to third in the Western Conference. Dave Tippett is a phenomenal coach.

10) New Jersey Devils - Should we surprised Lou didn't make a big splash to make a run in what could be Marty's final stretch run? Probably not.

Middle of the Pack

11) Ottawa Senators - The Lee/Gilroy trade is curious for the Senators, seeing as Gilroy's contract expires at the end of the season. However, in trading for Turris and Bishop this season, in a few years we could be speaking to the brilliance of Bryan Murray.

12) San Jose Sharks - Losers of three straight heading into the deadline, the Sharks appeared to be the most desperate team yesterday. They may be a deeper team today, but letting go of Jamie McGinn will be a mistake in the long run.

13) Anaheim Ducks - Despite losing just one game in regulation over the past 10 games before last night, the Ducks still remain 13th in the West. That being said, I think this team is better equipped than any to steal the 8th spot and their silence at the deadline speaks to that.

14) Chicago Blackhawks - Picking up Johnny Oduya does not solve their problems on the back end, let alone their weakness up the middle.

15) Florida Panthers - I was expecting the Panthers to be quite active at the deadline, but Dave Tallon stood pat. Not sure they will have enough to hold off the Jets.

16) Winnipeg Jets - The Jets quietly did a fantastic job at the deadline. Cheveldayoff milked Oduya for all he was worth and found, arguably a better defenceman on the waiver wire.

17) Dallas Stars - The Stars, winners of four straight, couldn't quite pull the trigger on deals for Ott and Souray. With Gaustad bringing back a first rounder, maybe that win streak came at the wrong time?

18) Los Angeles Kings - Although reuniting Richards and Carter in LA could be considered rolling the dice, the Kings addressed their need and acquired the best goal scorer traded at the deadline. Can they get on the same page in time?

19) Washington Capitals - The Caps, uncharacteristically quiet at the deadline, will continue their push towards the payoffs despite losing Nick Backstrom, placed on long term injured reserve.

20) Colorado Avalanche - McGinn and Downie will make this team a lot tougher to play against in the future.


21) Calgary Flames - Losers of four straight on home ice, the Flames decided to not be buyers nor sellers, as the only Canadian team to not complete a deadline move.

22) Tampa Bay Lightning - Steve Yzerman was busy bolstering his blue line yesterday, snagging two promising young d-men in Lee and Aulie.

23) Toronto Maple Leafs - Burke better be careful and not put another handcuff on himself. Implementing a 10 day deadline before the deadline to protect his players is ridiculous. What's more ridiculous is the rumours that Burke could have picked up a first rounder for Kulemin and could have addressed his goaltending problem by sending a second rounder to the Wild for Harding. At some point, he'll need to swallow some pride.

24) Buffalo Sabres - The biggest winners at the deadline, the Sabres picked up a budding star from the Canucks in Cody Hodgson, and turned an average 3rd liner into a first round pick. Well done, Darcy.

25) New York Islanders - Garth Snow is prone to making mistakes. Keeping PA Parenteau wasn't one of them.

26) Minnesota Wild - Don't see in the logic in parting with Nick Schultz, but it'll give a Minnesota boy, a chance to play at home.

27) Edmonton Oilers - The emergence of Jeff Petry made Tom Gilbert expendable in Oil Country. Schultz addresses a glaring need on the Oilers back end, and immediately makes this team better. Although the signing of Hemsky for $5mil/season looks steep, the term is more important than the money. He'll be off the books before Tambellini has to pay his kids.

28) Carolina Hurricanes - Extending Ruutu makes sense. Not trading Allen is understandable. But keeping Jaro Spacek?

29) Montreal Canadiens - Too bad they couldn't find a suitor for Scott Gomez..

30) Columbus Blue Jackets - Scott Howson will never deal Rick Nash. His decision to publicly call out the face of this franchise should have him canned before Nash's inevitable departure occurs.



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