by Patrick Hoffman on 02/28/11 at 10:28 AM ET
Buddy Oakes, the mastermind behind Preds on the Glass, was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to give us his thoughts on the NHL trade deadline as well as what the Nashville Predators may or may not do today.
PH: What are some of your general thoughts on the trades that have been made so far prior to the NHL trade deadline? Which deal do you think was the best? Why?
BO: It has obviously been surprising that things got moving as early as they did this season. We have also seen a return to real “Hockey type” trades that haven’t been seen since before the lockout. Players that have years remaining on their contract such as the Mike Fisher to Nashville trade have been different that the rental trades that have become the rule in recent years.
Two trades have really gotten my attention so far. The Alex Goligoski to Dallas for James Neal and Matt Niskanen appeared one sided on the surface but Goligoski has looked great in his first two games in Dallas.
The most surprising trade was the midnight deal of four youngsters between Colorado and St. Louis. Kevin Shattenkirk and Chris Stewart were thought to be keys to the Avalanche’s future as Erik Johnson and Jay McClement were integral pieces of the Blues stockpile of assets.
PH: Who are some of the other teams you think will make a big move (s) at the deadline? Why?
BO: The Kings have been very quiet up until now and there is no question that they will be involved at the deadline. Toronto is always in the middle of things and now that they are close enough to smell playoff bloodwill put Brian Burke in a frenzy. If Pittsburgh is still hoping to go deep in the playoffs without Malkin and possibly Crosby, they still will have some work to do. Boston, Montreal, the Rangers, Chicago, Anaheim, and maybe even Minnesota could be looking for important final pieces for a playoff run.
On the flip side, Edmonton, Florida, Ottawa, Colorado, and the Islanders will all be looking for someone to overpay them for some of their marginal assets. I’m not sure how active the Devils will be overall but Jason Arnott will go to the highest bidder on Monday.
PH: Who are some of the teams you think will stand pat at the deadline? Why?
BO: I think all thirty teams have potential to be involved on trade deadline. Some of the teams pushing the cap may be the least active because they have to move salary in order to take on a new player. Also, I think Vancouver and Philadelphia are probably happy where they are as they have put together winning combinations already. Calgary and Phoenix were active last year but may not be as much so this time around.
PH: What do you think, if anything, the Nashville Predators will do at the trade deadline?
BO: The Predators are in somewhat of a no man’s land since they have so many injuries and have fallen out of the top eight in the West after being in a playoff spot for six weeks from January to mid February. It’s too early for them to be a seller but internal budget constraints will keep them from doing anything big unless salary goes the other way. If they were able to move J. P. Dumont, it could widen their possibilities for picking up an impact player. The trade for Mike Fisher will probably end up being their big move. They may pick up a couple of role type players but I would be surprised to see a big splash.
PH: Is there anything else you’d like to share with Kukla’s Korner readers?
BO: Thanks for the opportunity to share thoughts with your great audience one again.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at email@example.com.