After a trade, there are subtle impacts that run up and down an NHL roster. Let’s take a look at the Eastern Conference teams that were affected and we’ll review the West Tuesday.
In Boston, Mark Recchi was inserted on the top line with Marc Savard and Phil Kessel at the expense of Milan Lucic. By the third period, Recchi’s ice time had already slipped. What you will see here is Recchi play the role of rover; he will be a third-line winger ready to sub in on one of the top lines when needed. The Bruins won’t be relying on him nearly as often as Tampa Bay did, so expect his production to drop.
Surprise late-blooming defenseman Matt Hunwick has had his share of hot streaks, but those will end with the acquisition of Steve Montador. Hunwick was a healthy scratch for the Bruins Thursday.
In Buffalo, the Sabres brought in goaltender Mikael Tellqvist, but coach Lindy Ruff will still go with the hot hand of Patrick Lalime right now. Make no mistake, when Ryan Miller returns he will be the starter. The team also shipped out Ales Kotalik and brought in Dominic Moore. Moore is better suited for a third-line role than the shifty Kotalik. That being said, those of you who have enjoyed the Moore ride these past two months should get off now – his big points are over with.
In Carolina, the Hurricanes brought back Erik Cole. He will be inserted on Eric Staal’s line, which means that either Sergei Samsonov or Tuomo Ruutu will come off of it. Since Ruutu can check, he is the candidate to move to the third line. That hurts his value, of course. Cole can’t do any worse than he did in Edmonton, so look for a pop in points.
Their earlier acquisition, Jussi Jokinen, should also see a jump in production. Jokinen had four points in five games prior to his personal leave of absence.
In Florida, on one hand Steve Eminger gets buried in a deep defense corps. On the other hand, new coach Peter DeBoer is a big fan of Eminger’s from their days with the Kitchener Rangers. In the long run, this could work nicely for Eminger – but I would wait and see before acting.
On Long Island, clearing out Bill Guerin, Mike Comrie and Chris Campoli really opens up the ice time for the kids. Owners of Kyle Okposo will be happy to see his 21:41 of ice time Thursday. Defenseman Jack Hillen scored a goal and saw a season high 19:30 of ice time in that game, while winger Blake Comeau added two points.
In New York, newcomers Sean Avery, Nik Antropov and Derek Morris were all in the lineup Thursday. Antropov’s presence seemed to spark Nikolai Zherdev, as he picked up two points. The two did not play together, other than on the power play, but the dressing room presence just might help get the slumping Zherdev to turn his game around.
In Ottawa, Campoli and Comrie have really been flying high. Both players are known for their streakiness, but still this seems to be a good fit. Campoli has potential to be their top scoring rearguard next season. He’s still a boom or bust, but Campoli’s situation in Ottawa is better than it was with the Islanders.
In Philadelphia, Daniel Carcillo’s potential got an overhaul. Instead of 50 points and 300-plus penalty minutes, his upside is now closer to 35 points and 300-plus penalty minutes; the Flyers don’t need him to score as badly as Phoenix did.
In Pittsburgh, Bill Guerin’s value obviously goes through the roof. He is already playing with Sidney Crosby. However, his situation going to San Jose looked equally as sweet a couple of years ago and he only wound up tallying nine points in 16 games. Unless your league includes the post-season, consider shopping him. The hype is high.
In Tampa Bay, Martins Karsums and Matt Lashoff find themselves in a much better position to make the jump. Potentially a 70-point second liner, Karsums is now out of the numbers game in Boston and should make the Lightning in the fall. Expect a progression similar to 30-45-55 points over the next three years before we see a jump towards his high-end potential. With Lashoff, he is a high-end offensive defenseman. He had a horrible training camp that seemed to put him in the Bruins’ bad books forever, but he now has a clean slate. There is a lot of upside here that you could see sooner rather than later.
In Toronto, cutting loose two prominent forwards (Antropov and Moore) will give Mikhail Grabovski more ice time. The team also added Jeff Hamilton, who always makes a huge impact early on before fading away, so expect him to put up great numbers for the next two or three weeks before slowly going away.
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