The trade deadline has come and gone, so I'm banning all baseless speculation and questions about potential deals until the summer.
However, baseless speculation and questions about other areas remains welcome.
Please tell me the Avs will buy out Jose Â“THEO 'open' DOORÂ” this summer!
Nick Theberge, Quebec City
There are different theories among NHL observers of what Colorado GM Francois Giguere will do with Theodore in the off-season. Some believe Avs owner Stan Kroenke will bite the bullet and negotiate a buyout with the game's highest-priced backup, while others assume they'll do their best with him until his contract runs out at the end of next season.
Either way, the Avs will have to take a major hit against the cap for next season, when they'll likely miss the playoffs for the second straight year. (Yes, I'm counting chickens before they hatch.) And that makes Giguere's aversion to unloading his veterans at the trade deadline all the more mystifying.
I'm a Torontonian, and for a while, I followed the Leafs. Then they made some severely dumb decisions and made me go shopping for a new team to support. My answer came in the Montreal Canadiens.
Now when I began following them, Huet was beginning his sprint to the front of the pack, boasting one of the highest save percentages in the league. My question is this: Why is it that Huet is rarely mentioned in the same breath as the current goalie greats?
Dumb decisions? By the Leafs? I think the families and agents of Dmitri Khristich and Robert Reichel might disagree.
Huet faces the same problem all NHL goalies face: until he either (a) wins a Stanley Cup, or (b) plays so well in the post-season that it's obvious to even the most casual observer he has stolen a series or two, he'll be afforded the least amount of respect possible.
So, although Huet had a decent goals-against average (2.74) and above-par save percentage (.918, which ties him for sixth-best in the league), he'll never be fawned over like a Martin Brodeur (who's earned every bit of it) or Roberto Luongo (who hasn't earned it, but is well on his way this season).
It may not be fair, but neither is the NHL's points system.
Love the blog, but what about the Kings in your Bye Lowe, Sell High Screen Shots column? You listed an opinion on every team that made a deal except for L.A.! I know they're a wreck now but they can't be irrelevant, can they? Maybe?
In my defense, I also didn't pass judgment on Minnesota, Toronto, Atlanta, Phoenix or Vancouver, all of whom made moves. Even in the boundless world of cyberspace, you've still gotta set limits, know what I mean?
But to answer your question Â– I think the Kings made out OK. As I noted, I rate very highly the otherwise-underrated Mattias Norstrom and I think the Kings will miss him. But they're not that far away from contending from a playoff spot either and building for the future makes very good sense.
As well, I think the world of GM Dean Lombardi, who was jettisoned unfairly by the Sharks after one bad season. He's already gone a ways toward setting the Kings on the proper course.
What about the Coyotes? Winners or losers in their trio of trades?
This isn't GM Mike Barnett, is it? If it is, I had mixed feelings about your moves.
On the one hand, I thought you did very well with the three guys you shipped out. The Georges Laraque and Yanic Perreault trades in particular are great building blocks for the future.
However, it was the moves you didn't make that cause me to wonder. You're telling me nobody wanted Curtis Joseph? You're telling me there were no takers for Owen Nolan? You should've gave those guys away, Mike. Even if you didn't get much more for them than Anson Carter got for Columbus, it would've been addition by subtraction.
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