Jim Rutherford improved his team enough around the trade deadline to make the Canes a dangerous playoff opponent. (Photo by Getty Images)
In the April 1 edition of The Hockey News magazine, senior writer Ken Campbell – after speaking with several knowledgeable hockey insiders to solicit their opinion – takes a no-foolin’-around approach at ranking the NHL’s GMs 1-30, based on their career body of work, with a sharp focus on this season.
Now that the dust has had more than a month to settle, here’s my top three and bottom three GMs based solely on their performance on and around this year’s trade deadline:
1. Jim Rutherford, Carolina. Not only did he dump two impending UFAs, he ended up making his team better. Give him the nod in the Tuomo Ruutu-Andrew Ladd deal, too. Even with Rod Brind’Amour injured, the Canes could make some post-season noise.
2. Brett Hull/Les Jackson, Dallas. He may have tapered off after his first game, but Brad Richards will help this team win now and in the future. And ‘Lesett Hulson,’ as I like to call them, didn’t have to give up anyone who can’t be easily replaced.
3. Doug Wilson, San Jose. Steve Bernier and a first-rounder was a high price to pay for a guy who could walk for nothing this summer, but the addition of Brian Campbell has turned the Sharks into the team to beat.
28. Jacques Martin, Florida. He best pray his team’s late-season run gets him into the playoffs, because he’s all but done in the Sunshine State otherwise. Martin got the short end on the Ruslan Salei-Karlis Skrastins deal and paid a third-rounder for a guy (Chad Kilger) who may never play a game with the Panthers. When your best deal was picking up Wade Belak, you’re in trouble.
29. Bryan Murray, Ottawa. There was nothing wrong with the Carolina deal, but not finding a new home for Ray Emery, even if it was Binghamton, was a huge mistake. Martin Gerber is the kind of goalie who needs to know he’s the No. 1 to succeed and Emery’s presence just adds one more distraction in a dressing room that’s already been full of them this season.
30. Dave Nonis, Vancouver. His team desperately needed an offensive spark, and Matt Pettinger wasn’t even close. Even with the world’s best goalie between the pipes, the Canucks are first-round fodder…if they make it in, that is.
WHAT THE DEUCE?
This press release arrived in my mailbox Tuesday:
“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Stewie from ‘Family Guy’ to Appear at Crunch Game March 28
Syracuse, NY (March 25, 2008) – The Syracuse Crunch announced today that Stewie from FOX’s hit animated show ‘Family Guy’ will be at their Friday, March 28 game against Albany.
The popular character Stewie will be on hand to sign autographs, take pictures with fans and cheer on the Crunch. In addition, ‘Family Guy’ prizes will be awarded throughout the night.
Stewie is the youngest and smartest child of Peter and Lois Griffin. Stewie is one year old and has a sophisticated attitude. Considered by many to be the show’s breakout character, Stewie is voiced by Seth MacFarlane.”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Stewie a cartoon?
Unless the third dimension suddenly disappears once inside the War Memorial at Oncenter arena in Syracuse, I don’t think he’s actually appearing.
Nevertheless, kudos to the Crunch for an original, ingenious marketing scheme.
Edward Fraser is the editor of thehockeynews.com. His blog appears Thursdays.
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