Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/08/13 at 02:13 PM ET
Craig Custance of ESPN did an online chat today and here are some highlights from it...
I get the feeling the Rangers will not wait long to make a big trade if the team doesn't perform. What big offensive names do you see available this year?
Craig Custance Ohh, good question. It's a little early for trade speculation but there could be some good offensive players available. If Columbus struggles, I wouldn't be surprised if Marian Gaborik is moved but doubt the Rangers want to go down that road again. How about Thomas Vanek? He's not looking for an extension right now in Buffalo and if they're terrible, there's no reason to think that will change. He'd be a great addition for somebody.
Every year there's a surprise goalie in the league that has an awesome year. Who are the top candidates this year?
Craig Custance My pick would be Semyon Varlamov who looks great in early going for the Avalanche. He worked hard this summer to get ready for the season, training for a week in Switzerland with new goalie coach Francois Allaire and then spending more time in Montreal w/Allaire and Giguere. Doesn't hurt to have Patrick Roy as your coach either. His biggest thing is consistency, so he still needs to prove it over the long haul.
Could the always overlooked Coyotes be a legitimate threat just because of owneship settlement ? I love they're team but it's pretty much the same except Ribeiro . What do ya think ?
Craig Custance They're definitely legitimate because of the caliber coach they have in Dave Tippett. It hinges on Mike Smith. If he returns to form, they're a playoff team. Ekman-Larsson is one of the game's best young defenseman. Maybe even a Norris finalist this year. Lots of depth on D. Would still like to see them add another scoring winger.
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