Those who still had doubts were confirmed yesterday.
The trading period in the NHL, which ends in 10 days, is clearly in favor of selling club. The CEO of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Brian Burke, has finally traded unloved defender Tomas Kaberle and earned the maximum return: a first-round pick, a leading hope, Joe Colborne, a 6-foot center 5 inches drafted in the first round by the Boston Bruins in 2008, and perhaps even a second-round pick if Kaberle chooses to stay in Boston rather than test the free agent market after 1 July.
A few days earlier, Burke took the greed to improve club head for Philadelphia Flyers choices first and third rounds in return for Kris Versteeg, an attacker who has never won more than 50 points in a season. He had also acquired forward Joffrey Lupul and a young defenseman drafted in the first round named Jake Gardiner Francois Beauchemin.
Regarding the Bruins, they also exchanged Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart in Atlanta cons Rich Peverley and Boris Valabik, freeing up space in their payroll.
Another Canadian Club laggard has recently benefited from the excitement of the market to replenish his bank draft picks in anticipation of rebuilding. The Ottawa Senators got a first-round pick for Mike Fisher, plus a second-round pick if the Nashville Predators Take the First Round. Fisher is a solid center with a value greater than that of Wisniewski, but not an impact player. Like his Senators teammates, he knew an average season offensively with 24 points in 55 games.
The Senators got another second-round pick late Tuesday when they traded their support player Chris Kelly for the Bruins. Kelly is a good soldier, effective defensively, but he is 31 and his offensive potential is rather limited. But they said goodbye yesterday to however their number one goalkeeper for 25 years, Brian Elliott, to get one almost five years old again, Craig Anderson, miraculous last year, but this miserable winter.
Paradoxically, the St.Louis Blues got little for their captain Eric Brewer, 31, who was between 22 and 25 minutes per game. Tampa Bay, a major player on the eve of the series, gave up hope in the third round draft pick Brock Beukeboom, and a third round pick.
The San Jose Sharks, they have got a good offensive defenseman Ian White of the Carolina Hurricanes in return the young Derek Joslin. A nice addition.
The value of Wisniewski
In the context where the seller is king, it is doubtful whether the New York Islanders have traded James Wisniewski too soon. Wisniewski, 26, reported a second-round pick to the Islanders in December. Since his arrival with the Canadian, champion of 26 years has amassed 16 points in just 19 games, bringing his total to 37 this season. At this rate, he would get 59 this season. How would it now?
The other inescapable question: the 2011 NHL Entry Draft he looks so weak that no longer hesitates to relinquish choice of first or second round for players of support? "This is perhaps not the greatest vintage, but it is not so bad these days confided one scout who requested anonymity. He has talent available. After the first 15, the margin of error is larger, of course. But we will not know the value of the repechage before three or four years. The top clubs are willing to pay a good price. Chris Kelly for a second-round pick is a good trade for the Senators. The young fish out they can take time to develop, if it happens, but who knows, this choice may allow a club to better position itself in the first round through an exchange. "
There are still issues to resolve. Senators defenseman Chris Phillips, an unrestricted free agent as of July 1, will be a coveted player, although one should not exclude the possibility that he lives in Ottawa. The Senators will also try to liquidate Alex Kovalev and defenseman Sergei Gonchar. Rumours send Kovalev to Pittsburgh. The Penguins need to be strengthened with the injuries suffered by Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Kovalev will become a free agent as of July 1, so that his contract is not embarrassing, contrary to Gonchar, who will be paid 5 million per year for the next two seasons.