Top 5 : NHL players on the market

by the fucking best underground hockey analyst, Manwhore

For the latest update on the 2008 Free Agents, click here

In less than a week(february 26th), the NHL trade deadline is set. Around the league, there are many GM meetings. Some teams close to the top are desperately looking to add one more top player to their line-up in order to be a cup contender. On the other side of the medal, some teams are on the bottom of the standing are looking to get rid of their top assets to get good young players and also some draft picks to help their team in the future. Here are the top five players who could call “Le clan Panneton” before february 26.

Mats Sundin

The Maple Leafs are now trailing the Philadelphia Flyers and the final playoff spot in the east by 7 pts. It is obvious that Cliff Fletcher was hired to clear some room on the salary cap and also to possibly reconstruct the team. Mats Sundin is without a doubt a dominant player in this league, and even though he only has two or three years left in his career, he still represents an excellent team player and could very well help a team looking for a big center to win the stanley cup this year.

The only hick, is that Sundin has played most of his career with Toronto and might refuse a trade. Although, if he wants to wear a stanley cup ring one day, he will need to move because it now seems obvious that the Leafs will not bring back the cup for at least a couple more years.

Look for him to move in the West if he does, I would be very surprise to see him traded in his own division, so if Gainey wants to acquire him, he will need to make a deal for a three way trade which could be really complicated. I just don’t see him in a Habs jersey anyways!!!!!

Marian Hossa

The 29 year old will be free agent at the end of the year and it seems obvious that he doesn’t see himself as a Thrasher no more. His GM Don Waddell is still trying to sign him to a long term contract, but I believe Hossa will wait July 1st to sign a contract. Last year, he registered 100 points(43G,57A) and he knows it might be his best shot to get a huge contract. If Waddell can’t get him under contract in the next week, there is no point to hold onto him because he will lose him at the end of the year for sure.

He could try to get some good young guns for him…which would be welcome by the Thrashers since Waddell gave almost their entire future last year to get Zhitnik for the playoffs(by the way they got swept by the Rangers in the 1st round).

Hossa would be a great asset for the Habs, he is the power forward we have been looking for the past 15 years. The problem is that we can’t afford to lose good young players to get Hossa for only 2 months, we would need to talk to his agent before getting a trade done.

Calgary could also be looking to add a sniper to their roster and the Stara Lubovna(svk) native could be their answer. In my eyes, he is the no.1 contender for the Habs.( I expect to see Ryder and a good young defenceman go for him)

Brad Richards

The Tampa Bay Lightning is desperately trying to get some room on their salary cap and it is obvious that one of the big three will have to move.

Lecavalier is having the best season of his career and St-Louis coompletes him too well. We don’t have to look very far to see that they guy who should leave the team is the guy who once owned the biggest contract in history. The only problem Jay Feaster might have to deal him is that salary. Not every team can afford a huge amount on his cap.

Although he is having a very ordinary campaign, the 27 year old is still a dominant player and we all know what he is capable of in the playoffs, after all, he won the conn smythe in 2004. Trust me, he is a dominant player and can be a number one center in most of the 30 teams of the NHL. Come on, the guy has 50 pts so far this season and plays most of the time with Jan Hlavac and Mathieu Darche…that is a remarkable record if you ask me.

If it wasn’t for his 7 M$ per year, he would be on top of my list. Bob Gainey is looking for an impact player, well he is one of the only manager who has enough cap space to trade for him…I might be dreaming a little bit though because I doubt Richards will wear the habs uniform before the end of the season…too bad for Feaster, we have a good goaltender for them who is waiting in Hamilton.

Alex Tanguay

The ex linemate of Sakic and Hejduk is definitely not happy in Calgary. His new coach, who is well known for not being a big fan of french Canadians is certainly not helping at all that situation. Although Tanguay has had some wonderful seasons with the Av’s, I believe he needs to be around very good players in order to be affective.

I don’t believe he would be such a great fit in Montreal because we are looking for a sniper. Tanguay is a very good playmaker but never has been known to be a goal scorer. I belive we are looking for a winger to play with Koivu for the next two seasons and with Tanguay, there would be too many passes and not enough goal.

I know for a fact that he can help many teams in that league but after what he said a couple years ago about how it could be hell for a french player like him to play in Montreal, I just can’t see how he could handle the pressure of having to answer to 21 273 fans day in day out. With a salary of over 5 M$/year, he is overpaid and I wouldn’t want to pay his full salary next season. However, I just can’t see him staying in Calgary so you can expect to see him leave.

Olli Jokinen

The Finnish player is playing in his 9th full season and he is still looking to make his 1st appearance in the spring tournament. I wouldn’t be surprise to see him wave his no trade clause to play in a winning team for once in his career. The only thing that might keep him away from moving next Tuesday is that Jacques Martin is no Mike Milbury and won’t accept a trade just to get good young players. I belive Martin has a plan and he will ask the moon to let go his captain.

From the habs point of view, he is a big player(6’3” 214 lbs) and he is a top scorer in this league but he is a center and that is not exactly what we are looking for. I wouldn’t mind having a finnish duo on the 2nd wave of the PP, but I just don’t see Bob Gainey giving what Martin expects to let the 29 year old go. I am sure he would be a great asset for a Stanley Cup contender because I believe he would give everything he’s got to finally win a playoff game…who knows maybe even the silver cup!!

I just hope Gainey will not give away too many of our young upcomers because I believe his five years plan is finally around the corner and it would be regrettable to waste a lot of young good talent to make a run for the cup this year when we don’t have the experience to get there yet. Just look at the Sens, it took them at least 4-5 tries just to get to the final. I know once you make the playoff everything is possible but still…let’s try to make it work for the long term.

I also hope he won’t get rid of Ryder for nothing…I wouldn’t mind seeing him trade for Hossa but I also believe that our 73 peaks at this time of the year every season and I wouldn’t be surprise to see him finish the year with at least 20 goals…Remember last year who gave us a chance against the Leafs with his hat trick…that’s right the gool old Newfie!!!!!!…Anyways we will probably lose him at the end of the year so might as well move him now!!!!


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‘Bradalina’ Richards (as my girls know him here in Tampa) is NOT the dominant player he once was. Since 2006, in a place somewhere between Canada and Tampa Bay, Brad lost his heart and fire. O, did I mention he found 7M….a year? There is no doubt that the second line is, at best, horrible….hence his +/- that is, well, equally horrible. But come on. Play with some heart. Play with some emotion. Hit someone for Petes sack…This is hockey not table tennis!

Comment by Tampa Bay Hockey Fan (Still)

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