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Proteau's Blog: Wacky weekend

Adam Proteau
By:
The Hockey News
News

Proteau's Blog: Wacky weekend

Adam Proteau
By:
After a whirlwind weekend of hot, agent-on-GM action, it's time to gauge how well the NHL's 30 teams have done thus far in terms of off-season improvements.

Anaheim Ducks

Signed Up: Mathieu Schneider (Det), Todd Bertuzzi (Det)

Signed Out: Shawn Thornton (Bos), Scott Niedermayer (retirement?)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Schneider provides Niedermayer retirement insurance, but Bertuzzi? Seriously, Brian Burke?

Free Agent/Trade Grade: B+

Atlanta Thrashers

Signed Up: Todd White (Min), Chris Thorburn (trade/Pit), Ken Klee (Col), Eric Perrin (TB)

Signed Out: Keith Tkachuk (StL), Jon Sim (Islanders), Greg de Vries (Predators)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: More pluggers won't advance Atlanta past first round of playoffs.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: C-

Boston Bruins

Signed Up: Manny Fernandez (trade/Min), Shawn Thornton (Ana)

Signed Out: TBA

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Will Fernandez and Tim Thomas co-exist peacefully? Got my suspicions.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: B


Buffalo Sabres

Signed Up: TBA

Signed Out: Daniel Briere (Phi), Chris Drury (NYR)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Hey, at least Ryan Miller didn't demand to be traded.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: D+

Calgary Flames

Signed Up: Adrian Aucoin (trade/Chi), Cory Sarich (TB), Owen Nolan (Pho)

Signed Out: Andrei Zyuzin (trade/Chi), Roman Hamrlik (Mtl)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Three relative greybeards suggest Sutter hasn't learned from McCarty experiment.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: B-

Carolina Hurricanes

Signed Up: TBA

Signed Out: TBA

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: No improvements after no playoffs last year? Me no like.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: Incomplete

Chicago Blackhawks

Signed Up: Sergei Samsonov (trade/Mtl), Andrei Zyuzin (trade/Chi), Yanic Perreault (Toronto), Robert Lang (Det)

Signed Out: Jassen Cullimore (trade/Mtl), Tony Salmelainen (trade/Mtl), Adrian Aucoin (trade/Cgy), Michal Handzus (LA)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Three of league's softer players won't improve Hawks' playoff odds.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: C

Colorado Avalanche

Signed Up: Scott Hannan (SJ), Ryan Smyth (Edm)

Signed Out: Brett McLean (Fla), Ken Klee (Atl)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Superior UFA signings, but Avs still have holes to fill.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: A+

Columbus Blue Jackets

Signed Up: Sheldon Brookbank (Nsh)

Signed Out: N/A

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Lack of UFAs suggest GM Howson will look to trades.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: Incomplete

Dallas Stars

Signed Up: TBA

Signed Out: Darryl Sydor (Pit), LW Ladislav Nagy (LA)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Desperately need more offense; is Slava Kozlov an option here?

Free Agent/Trade Grade: Incomplete

Detroit Red Wings

Signed Up: Brian Rafalski (NJ)

Signed Out: Mathieu Schneider (Ana), Robert Lang (Chi), Todd Bertuzzi (Ana), Kyle Calder (LA)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Loss of Schneider hurts most, but never count Wings out.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: B-

Edmonton Oilers

Signed Up: Dick Tarnstrom (Sweden), Joni Pitkanen (trade/Phi), Geoff Sanderson (trade/Phi)

Signed Out: Petr Sykora (Pit), Jason Smith (trade/Phi), Joffrey Lupul (trade/Phi)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: GM Lowe following Flyers' “tear-down, build-up” game plan.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: C+

Florida Panthers

Signed Up: Richard Zednik (NYI), Brett McLean (Col), Tomas Vokoun (trade/Nsh), Radek Dvorak (StL)

Signed Out: Chris Gratton (trade/TB).

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Vokoun a godsend, but newest forwards nothing to boast about.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: B+

Los Angeles Kings

Signed Up: Michal Handzus (Chi), Ladislav Nagy (Dal), Kyle Calder (Det), Tom Preissing (Ott)

Signed Out: TBA

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Didn't land a “big fish,” but gained needed scoring punch.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: B+

Minnesota Wild

Signed Up: Petr Kalus (trade/Bos)

Signed Out: Manny Fernandez (trade/Bos), Todd White (Atl)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Treading water while competition improves has Wild fans increasingly nervous.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: C-

Montreal Canadiens

Signed Up: Jassen Cullimore (trade/Chi), Tony Salmelainen (trade/Chi), Roman Hamrlik (Cgy), Bryan Smolinski (Van)

Signed Out: Sergei Samsonov (trade/Chi), Radek Bonk (Nsh)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Dumping Samsonov a miracle, but newest Habs won't wow Montrealers.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: B-

Nashville Predators

Signed Up: Jed Ortmeyer (NYR), Radek Bonk (Mtl), Greg de Vries (Atl)

Signed Out: Kimmo Timonen (trade/Phi), F Scott Hartnell (trade/Phi), Paul Kariya (StL), Sheldon Brookbank (Clb)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Fire sale for troubled franchise = Bonk for Kariya. Not ideal.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: C-

New Jersey Devils

Signed Up: TBA

Signed Out: Brian Rafalski (Det), Scott Gomez (NYR)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Hey, at least Martin Brodeur didn't demand to be traded.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: D+

New York Islanders

Signed Up: Jon Sim (Atl)

Signed Out: Richard Zednik (Fla), Jason Blake (Tor), Viktor Kozlov (Wsh), Ryan Smyth (Col), Tom Poti (Wsh)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Robberies this complete ought to come with major prison sentences.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: F

New York Rangers

Signed Up: Scott Gomez (NJ), Chris Drury (Buf)

Signed Out: Michael Nylander (Wsh), Jed Ortmeyer (Nsh)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Blueshirts gain speed, leadership. But what about that middling blueline?

Free Agent/Trade Grade: A

Ottawa Senators

Signed Up: TBA

Signed Out: Tom Preissing (LA)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Preissing too pricey to keep. Will Emery board another team?

Free Agent/Trade Grade: Incomplete

Philadelphia Flyers

Signed Up: Daniel Briere (Buf), Kimmo Timonen (trade/Nsh), Scott Hartnell (trade/Nsh), Jason Smith (trade/Edm), Joffrey Lupul (trade/Edm)

Signed Out: Geoff Sanderson (trade/Edm), Joni Pitkanen (trade/Edm)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Most improved team, no doubt. Playoffs this year? Some doubt.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: A-

Phoenix Coyotes

Signed Up: TBA

Signed Out: Owen Nolan (Cgy), Dave Scatchard (bought out)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Addition by subtraction, but more additions – mostly at forward – required.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: Incomplete

Pittsburgh Penguins

Signed Up: Dany Sabourin (Van), Darryl Sydor (Dal), Petr Sykora (Edm)

Signed Out: Chris Thorburn (trade/Atl), Michel Ouellet (TB).

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Sydor, Sykora the type of veteran presence youngish Pens needed.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: B+

San Jose Sharks

Signed Up: TBA

Signed Out: Vesa Toskala (trade/Tor), Mark Bell (trade/Tor), Scott Hannan (Col)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Unless Souray signs, summer plans a bust. Marleau a goner?

Free Agent/Trade Grade: C-

St. Louis Blues

Signed Up: Keith Tkachuk (Atl), Paul Kariya (Nsh)

Signed Out: Radek Dvorak (Fla)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Kariya's term too long, but Blues ready for playoff push.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: B+

Tampa Bay Lightning

Signed Up: Chris Gratton (trade/Fla), Michel Ouellet (Pit)

Signed Out: Cory Sarich (Cgy), Eric Perrin (Atl)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Gratton, Ouellet add grit, but blueline thinner than ever.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: B+

Toronto Maple Leafs

Signed Up: Vesa Toskala (trade/SJ), Mark Bell (trade/SJ), Jason Blake (NYI)

Signed Out: Yanic Perreault (Chi)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Are Leafs better? Sure. Are they Cup contenders? Ha ha.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: B-

Vancouver Canucks

Signed Up: Ryan Shannon (trade/Ana)

Signed Out: Dany Sabourin (Pit), Marc Chouinard (bought out)

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Is that it, GM Dave Nonis? Canucks fans hope not.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: Incomplete

Washington Capitals

Signed Up: Tom Poti (NYI), Viktor Kozlov (NYI), Michael Nylander (NYR)

Signed Out: TBA

My 10 cents, in 10 words or less: Improved greatly, but in Southeast, it may not be enough.

Free Agent/Trade Grade: B


FEEDBACK:
Overall i agreed with your analysis however you gave Tampa a B+ when they lost a defenceman on an already weak backline and you only gave Washington a B when i feel they have gotten a Center for Ovechkin. Also since they realigned divisions Washington is in Southeast division. Please consider my input.
- Eric Cooperbey

I disagree with your Sharks grade. You didn't include Thornton's extension...which was a thing of brilliance so SJ ensures it's not in the position Buffalo is in now. Plus...Doug Wilson has proven himself to be an astute GM. I have no doubt he'll be making something happen.
- Adrienne

"Robberies this complete ought to come with major prison sentences." Had me laughing for hours. By the way I agree on the comments about the Rangers. Was hoping for a center and Souray. Is it possible they believe the emergence of Marc Staal can give them the stability they are looking for?
- Cris

Come on now. Yes the Islanders lost a lot, but how can you not give Buffalo an F. Are you taking face offs for them next year. consider both could have been earlier for much less money.
- michael harris

Normally, I agree with your opinion, Mr. Proteau, enough to simply read, but as your observations about my team (the Sharks) gave them such a poor grade, I felt the need to point out two facts that your summary overlooked. Yes, they haven't signed any UFAs. However, since you included additions-through-trade with other teams, I think overlooking the two major signings they have made at the NHL level skews the view. Signing soon-to-be-UFA Craig Rivet to a four year contract--yes, he was their property when the signing was made, but it made letting Hannan walk easier to do. Extending Joe Thornton's contract another three seasons, announced first before any other movements on July 1st, is easily as big a signing as some of the UFAs you do mention. If the grade given for off-season moves a team makes is only determined by the number and caliber of the UFAs stolen from other teams, then we may as well be pre-lockout.
- Alix
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Proteau's Blog: Wacky weekend