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Hockey Notes from Nick

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  • Hockey Notes from Nick

    Greetings and salutations!!

    Things are busy here in Virginia this fine day, so I will post what I got and then bolt.

    ♫ The Bruins jumped in on Gonchar toward the end. The Maple Leafs and Avalanche were going hard after his services, but the Bruins jumped in late Tuesday night and wrapped up a deal quickly on Wednesday. It was then that Sather decided to make Leetch available, then the Blues announced Pronger will be going nowhere and so the Leafs worked very quickly to make sure they did not let the last stud defenseman get away.

    ♫ The Quenneville to Denver deal died for a number of reasons. Quenneville would like to take a break and clear his head after the stressful final two months with the Blues, extrapolated by some forwards turning on him, I am told. Lacroix was never interested in firing Granato now, but that could change after the season and Quenneville did go to Denver for a meeting. The plan was for Quenneville to serve as a coaching consultant for the rest of the season, then if a change was made, Quenneville would step in as coach beginning next year. Quenneville did not want to be "looking over Granato's shoulder," so he decided to decline the offer. He knows if Granato does not have a long run in the playoffs, that the Colorado job is his if he wants it.

    ♫ It looks like the Blues are going to be buyers, but that could change with a couple more losses. Right now, Pleau wants to improve the team for the short-term, but do not think that means some big player. I am told that means he will do a couple more Sillinger-esqe deals but is highly unlikely to do anything of any greater significance.

    ♫ With the addition of Sillinger, the Blues are no longer interested in Eastwood. I have heard Tarnstrom is still a possibility from Pittsburgh, although there could be others. Could the Blues pry Caron out of there? Pittsburgh has a lot of young goalies now. I have also heard Pittsburgh will send scouts to the game tonight.

    ♫ My source in the Northwest Division says this: "Does it strike you as a bit odd that Pleau is always dealing with Phoenix? Well, it shouldn’t. Barnett is one of the few managers left not put off by Pleau."

    ♫ I was passed along a tip that the Blues might be interested in Chris Drury. I asked a good friend of mine in the Southeast Division about this and his response: "It wouldn't surprise me. There isn't a U.S.-born player in the league Pleau wouldn't love to have."

    ♫ There is a rumor making the rounds that Weight and Pronger despise each other, and cannot co-exist much longer. Personally, Pleau prefers Weight, but professionally, Weight would be the one he would prefer to move. Why Weight and not Pronger? Because Pronger has played hard all year despite the sinking ship, while Weight mailed it in. Complicating everything regarding Weight though is his no-trade clause. Rememeber, when he was traded to the Blues, he told the Oilers the only teams he would sign long-term with were St. Louis and Detroit.

    ♫ Lots of teams will be keeping an eye on the Blues, in case they keep losing, in the next couple days. Suffice it to say, teams around the league are going to be rooting hard for the Oilers tonight, Islanders on Saturday, and Sabres on Sunday. Among them: Philadelphia (could have an interest in Weight, depending on Primeau's status), Ottawa (Mellanby or Drake), Montreal (Mellanby or Drake), and Calgary (Mellanby). And yes, teams will still call about Pronger, even with Pleau's declaration he wwill not be dealt. They are going to try and entice him. It is extremely unlikely Pleau bites, barring some team offering him some sort of package like Quebec got for Lindros. A few teams are calling about Baron.

    If they win a few? Well, then those other teams expect Pleau to come after more Sillinger-types.

    ♫ If Mellanby moves, the Blues prefer to send him to an elite team with a bona fide shot at the Cup, rather than a bottom feeder. Mellanby has never won a ring and they would like to give him a legitimate chance if they end up selling.

    ♫ A source on the Sillinger trade: "They made a move everyone is going to be making if the CBA works out in [management's] favor. They traded an overpaid albatross for cap space in the form of a soon to be UFA." I deal with these sorts of things in the NBA all the time, and this is coming in the NHL now. A trade for a UFA is not necessarily a sign a team is 'buying,' it often is a sign that a team is trading to get cap space in the off-season, when they let the UFA go. The Sillinger deal looks like that kind of deal. Now they will not have Johnson or Sillinger on the cap, if that is the result of the CBA.

    ♫ Petr Cajanek supposedly wants to go back to Europe after the season. If he tells Blues management he wants to return home, I am told they will let him go without protest.

    ♫ I heard Buffalo could move Satan by the weekend, but not sure to who. If I hear anything on it, I will try to log on and pass the info along.

    ♫ The Blues could be after Rucinsky (no kidding!).

    ♫ The Bruins are probably out on Weight, with the pickup of Nylander.

    ♫ Idle thought: With the Datsyuk injury, could the Wings have interest in Weight?

    ♫ Eastern Conference source: "We don't have any interest in any Blues player, unless they make Pronger available. We've been scouting them off and on for two months, and none of their players have looked good. If they're bad there, what will suddenly make them good with us?"

    ♫ As the ol' Professor used to say, "there is a lot of meat on the burner," but the meat is not cooking yet, because Pleau still does not know whether to buy, sell, or more or less stand pat.

    ♫ Now that they have splurged for Leetch, it is unlikely the Leafs will be after Weight. More likely is that they will go after someone cheaper like Andrew Cassels. Toronto still wants another defenseman. I have heard the names Zhitnik and Odelein bandied about, but if Zhitnik moves, there will be lots of competition for his services.

    ♫ Washington is still hoping to move Kolzig, Witt, Halpern, Grier, Battaglia, and Carter. Of that group, Witt and Battaglia would likely generate the most interest around the league.

    ♫ Toronto may try to land Turek, who was placed on waivers by Calgary. They need a backup goalie, but they are not willing to pay Turek that kind of coin. If the Flames eat salary, the Leafs might bite. Ferguson Jr. was always in Turek's camp when both were with the Blues.

    ♫ The fire sale is well on its way on Broadway, but there is no consensus on what will happen with Messier. Some insist he will be traded, others say he will retire a Ranger. Do not be surprised either way.

    ♫ The Nedved deal was a surprise to many, as the Oilers were the ones buying. Sather tried to turn him into Cheechoo from the Sharks, but that was a pipe dream. He tried to get Backman from the Blues, to no avail.

    ♫ Steve Yzerman is still trying to convince Ken Holland to take a flier on Lindros, since Lindros is set to return to action this weekend. So far, Holland is not biting, but the Datsyuk injury could potentially change things, depending on the extent of it (which is why I suggested they may want Weight now). With Nedved, Kovalev, and Leetch gone, Sather is now actively shopping Lindros. Will some team gamble on him for the rest of the season? I hear the Blues might. He has a $10 million option for next year, and no team in the league will qualify him for next season.

    ♫ New Jersey is still interested in Holik, but he probably will not be traded. Did you know the Devils and Rangers have never made a trade with each other? Rucinsky, Simon, Barnaby, and de Vries are all available. Colorado would love to get de Vries back, but only if the Rangers pay a lot of his contract. The Rangers will have no choice but to pick up a good chunk of salary in a de Vries deal and possibly in a Holik deal, should they move them.

    ♫ My friend in the Northwest Division: "These are the best deals Sather has made since he left Edmonton."

    ♫ If the Blues lose tonight in regulation, and the Kings win against the Wild, the Blues will be 6 points out of the playoffs, and Edmonton will have caught them. Will that convince Pleau to start a fire sale of his own? But by then, will it be too late because everyone will already have made their moves?

    One way or another, this era of Blues hockey is nearing an end. There will be a massive roster purge some time between now and whenever the next NHL season is

    On that note, it is time to go. I hope to be back sooner rather than later, ladies and gents.
    Sponsor of Mee-Shay, Dante Culpepper & Marian Gaborik
    proud sponsor of ball-magnet

  • #2
    Man if pretty much every GM does not like Pleau -

    then why is he still with the Blues?

    And he prefers Weight personally? What a joke.

    han solo


    • #3
      good old Larry...figures that Pleau is only liked by PHO since Barnett was a former agent...

      "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
      Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
      -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy


      • #4
        Awesome stuff.


        Where do you get this info?
        Sponsor of Alex Pieterangelo.

        ..."I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered." George Best


        • #5
          I've seen posts from Nick on a couple different forums over the last few years and he seems to nail more stuff than any "insider" or reporter when it comes to hockey deals.


          • #6
            Originally posted by devaskar@Mar 4 2004, 05:30 PM
            I've seen posts from Nick on a couple different forums over the last few years and he seems to nail more stuff than any "insider" or reporter when it comes to hockey deals.
            He needs to be invited over here.
            RIP Chris Jones 1971-2009
            You'll never be forgotten.


            • #7
              Originally posted by JWB+Mar 4 2004, 03:36 PM-->
              QUOTE(JWB @ Mar 4 2004, 03:36 PM)

            • #8
              Oh, also...

              If you combine the daily reports of Hadley, Nick, and DGoold, it seems to me like the Blues will either be buying or standing pat.

              It's up to the players to make sure neither happens by losing the next three games.