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So I was watching the highlights from the Lightning-Leafs game last night (7-3 TOR) and trying to think of a decent shakeup for TB, especially in net after watching what happened.
What about Nikolai Khabibulin for Dwayne Roloson straight up (or maybe a pick going with Rollie given Khabby’s play this year)? This would give Khabibulin the chance to return to a place where he has had success (‘04 Stanley Cup) and is comfortable and likewise with Roloson (‘06 Finals). In addition, it would get Khabby’s (1 year remaining on his deal) $3.75M off next year’s books for Edmonton while giving Tampa the time to figure out a long-term solution. The teams’ caps would barely be affected this year as Roloson’s cap hit on his one-year deal is $3.5M.
If Khabby can keep up his strong play upon his return to Tampa, it will give them a chance to turn things around a bit and possibly give them the shake up they need without having to rattle their core before they’re sure that’s necessary. In addition, it would be good for PR bringing back the cup-winning goaltender (although I’m not sure how bitter people are about Khabby darting to the $$ in Chicago upon becoming a UFA). This could give Tampa a good jolt without anything too drastic.
Does anyone else think this is feasible/a good way to shake things up in Tampa?
Yahoo`s Puck Daddy decided to dedicate more time than deserved to the lazy-sack-of-crap Dustin Penner, wondering why/when Penner is going to start producing for the Kings.
Ever since the Oilers delivered trucks of money to Penner to join their club, the guy has been, somewhat unfairly, expected to be a premium goal scorer in the NHL. Remember, Penner was undrafted and never given much notice until the Ducks gave him a shot. I`d never reject that kind of money thrown my way, but that doesn`t necessarily mean he was worth that much or would ever produce enough value.
A quick answer to Greg, and anyone else holding their breath: Stop expecting Penner to be a good player.
Look at Penner`s career stats. It`s pretty clear what his true level of play is.
Ten games into the season, Ales Hemsky looked like he was going to finish the season at a point per game pace. Satisfying? Not quite. He may have finished the season with 82 points, but it looked like they were all going to be assists… on the powerplay, no less. However, come game 11, not only did he start scoring goals (notice: plural), but he started showing why critics have been so harsh on him in the past: he has the talent to score not just 82 assists, but 82 goals, but has failed to put it together in a full season.
For his opening act, he dangled through Braydon Coburn and then proceeded to give Martin Biron headspins. The second goal of that game was a sequel of the first. The next 3 games, he continued to score. These goals were not cheap either. A rocket over the shoulder Steve Mason, a one handed poke after a steal by Marc-Andre Fleury, and 1 vs 4 against the Devils defense. Four games, five goals (even some even strength!), and 5 TSN Highlight of the Night candidates. I have watched TSN since a child, and I don’t think any other player in NHL history can make this claim: their first 5 goals of the season were all HON candidates.
Hemsky has given the boost that the Edmonton Oilers needed to endure the season long 7 game road streak that they just completed in New York, where Hemsky provided the shootout winner, and kept the Oilers’ within the top 8 in the competitive Western Conference. Not only this, but has also supplemented the scoring that has been missing from sophomores Andrew Cogliano and Sam Gagner.
We are now at 15 games into the season. Hemsky has 15 points, with 5 goals - 5 more than I expected him to have. He is on pace for 27 goals. The question remains: can he possibly have 27 HON candidates?
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