Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Shiv on 01/11/11 at 05:35 PM ET
Just over a month ago, the Washington Capitals traded Left Wing Tomas Fleischmann (or is he a Center, Pierre McGuire?) to the Colorado Avalanche for defenseman Scott Hannan. Many would contend that Washington lost that trade – surely they could have gotten a better return on Flash.
George McPhee, of course, had his reasons for making the trade. The main reason? Bringing in a defensive defenseman to solidify the Capitals’ play in their own zone.
Leaf Nation – plagued by the idea that every player available through trade or free agency will come to Toronto – wondered why Brian Burke couldn’t have traded Francois Beauchemin to land Fleischmann.
McPhee went with Hannan for one obvious reason though: Hannan’s contract expires this season, allowing the Capitals to free up the cap room from his $4.5 Million contract to sign Alexander Semin.
We did not have what Washington wanted. Leaf Nation can accept that.
Fast forward a month later and this time the New York Rangers acquire Wojtek Wolski from the Phoenix Coyotes for Michael Rozsival. This is less than a year after Phoenix traded Peter Mueller to acquire Wolski from the Colorado Avalache.
Wolski, after putting up 65 points in 80 games last year, had slowed down significantly this year. In 36 games he has only 16 points.
Rozsival, meanwhile, is 32 and has a contract with a $5 Million annual Cap-Hit. He has played in only 32 games this season, missing more than 10 games due to injury issues.
What is noteworthy, however, is that the Leafs have a very similar player in Francois Beauchemin who is 2 years younger, has a contract with an annual Cap hit of $3.8M and has higher value in the marketplace than Rozsival.
In fact, in recent weeks it had been reported that the Leafs were in fact offered Wolski for Beauchemin in a 1 for 1 deal. Brian Burke wanted a pick from Phoenix on top of the struggling Wolski. Phoenix instead chose to go after Rozsival.
From the Leafs’ standpoint, flipping Beauchemin for Wolski would have been exactly the type of deal that needs to be made. He is young, skilled and would slot perfectly into Toronto’s Top 6 on Phil Kessel’s line as a playmaker.
Why, then, would Burke let the deal fall apart because of a pick? Is it possible that the Leafs can land a better player than Wolski for Beauchemin?
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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