With all the distractions following Ray Emery, the Sens would be wise to ship him out as soon as possible. (Bill Wippert/Getty Images)
It’s so simple it took a dimwit sportswriter to come up with.
Ottawa hasn’t found a deal for Ray Emery and Tampa Bay needs a “bridge” goaltender until Karri Ramo is ready to shine/spectacularly crumble.
Any other dots need connecting here?
NHL GMs need to start thinking like their NBA counterparts when it comes to trades. The salary cap is a huge factor and Brian Burke – he of the sprightly-Andy McDonald-for-carcass-of-Doug Weight deal – seems to be the only one who understands this.
Trading talent for talent or problem player for problem player is so pre-lockout. Perhaps the reason Bryan Murray can’t find a new home for Emery is he’s not looking for the right kind of deal.
So I’ll make the deal for ya.
Ottawa sends Emery to the Bolts for Johan Holmqvist and a third round pick in 2008. It’s win-win, but for very different reasons.
The Senators get rid of Emery and all the baggage that continues to amass around him.
That in itself is worth the trade, but wait; if the Sens call in the next five minutes, they also receive a competent back-up goaltender making just $1 million this season and is an unrestricted free agent in the summer. If you’re not satisfied with Holmqvist after five months, simply return him to the open market – we won’t even charge shipping and handling.
In the meantime, Holmqvist is there in case Martin Gerber goes down (either physically or mentally). The Swede’s numbers aren’t impressive this season (his goals-against average is 2.99 and save percentage .890), but he’s playing in front of poor defense – call it the ‘Vesa Toskala Corollary.’ As a parting gift, you’ll also get what promises to be a very high third round pick in this year’s draft.
For the Bolts, the deal is just as sunny. Emery may be a bit of a character, but he can sure stop pucks when he’s on his game. With two years and $6.75 million of salary (total) left on his contract after this season, he’s not exactly cheap, but he’ll fill the void between the team’s current disaster situation in net and Ramo.
This summer’s crop of UFA goalies is thin, which means leading candidate Cristobal Huet won’t go for less than $4 million. Following him are elder statesmen Olaf Kolzig and Dominik Hasek – who might retire and move to Florida, but likely wouldn’t want to play there – and a motley crew of John Grahame, David Aebischer, Ty Conklin and Jose Theodore; none of whom are for the faint of heart, despite recent stellar play from the last two. So $3 million-plus for Emery doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?
Plus, Razor can show off his tats on the beaches of St. Pete’s.
Looks like the sun comes out for everyone in this scenario.
Ryan Kennedy is a writer and copy editor for The Hockey News magazine, the co-author of the book Hockey's Young Guns and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Wednesdays and his features, The Hot List and Year of the Ram, appears Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.
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