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Although these are not the type of moves expected following the holiday roster freeze, two GMs made some minor roster decisions today. The Anaheim Ducks placed forward Kyle Calder on waivers while the Nasville Predators did the same with Dave Scatchard.
Calder skated to the left of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf on the top line however he turned in a sub-par performance. The 32-year-old Calder produced only two assists in 14 games for the Ducks while posting a minus-seven rating.
Scatchard going on waiver may be a surprise to some but with the recent callup and play of rookie Nick Spaling, the veteran became redundant. This move also frees up cap space for the team, albeit not a lot but every dollar counts in this economy.
In 16 games, Scatchard posted five points and a plus-three. The 33-year-old averaged a little under 11 minutes of ice time per game.
It makes one ponder what is in store down the line considering both GMs essentially freed up roster spots. Will it be the kids getting the call ups or will these moves precede trade dominos beginning to fall?
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Some players around the League find themselves at a career crossroad. A crossroad with tough decisions to make regarding ongoing speculation of their final season. Speculation whether to stay on a sinking ship and finish at the bottom of the sea or leaving one’s comfort zone in an attempt to stay on top. Certainly no easy decision for any player
While Scott Niedermayer ponders his future in hockey he continues another solid year in his famed career. The same cannot be said for the Anaheim Ducks, who sit 13th in the Western Conference despite coming off a come from behind victory against the Colorado Avalanche. The team finds themselves as of this writing a mere five points behind the eighth seed.
The asking price for the captain should be reasonable, as he would strictly be a playoff rental. However, GM Brian Murray can acquire a potential piece or pieces to build for a brighter future in sunny Anaheim.
A quick look around the league shows there are a few teams in need of Niedermayer’s services. At 37, he still is one of the best defensemen in the game and a huge piece for a few teams looking for that extra push into serious cup contention.
Lets take a closer look at which teams could trade for Niedermayer in order to bring home Lord Stanley’s Cup. Even though he already carries four Stanley Cup rings to his credit, every player in this league starts the season with one goal in mind.
…with all that cap room?
With the loan of Michael Nylander to Grand Rapids of the NHL, the Capitals gained financial flexibility which should allow them to acquire some help in areas they deem necessary. As of this writing, the Caps 24 wins lead the League making the average fan ask: How can they possibly get better?
Corey Masisak of The Washington Times lists five speculative picks that would bolster this team as they prepare for a lengthy playoff campaign. As the team stands there is little need for improvement but one could make a case for another top defender.
As we know from our history watching the playoffs, depth is key. The team’s current construction has featured numerous players shifting up and down the teams forward lines as coach Bruce Boudreau dealt with injuries and juggling in order to find the proper mix. Still Masisak believes the most glaring need is this top defenseman. His solution: Scott Niedermayer.
Niedermayer currently captains the Anaheim Ducks and has lead them, as well as his former team the New Jersey Devils, to the Stanley Cup. In addition, this may be the last year in the NHL for the 36-year-old. Although he only has three goals on the season, he would become a powerful weapon on the Washington powerplay, something dreams are made of. He along with Mike Green would give them two elite puck-moving defensemen which would be incredibly dangerous for this already powerful offense.
To be honest, I thought today would be a lot busier. Yesterday we saw a few goalies make their way onto the trade market and a few vets put through waivers. Today, we have a minor signing, those players clearing waivers and a most likely bunk rumor. Lets go over the action for today:
The New York Rangers claimed center Erik Christensen off waivers while putting backup goalie Steve Valiquette on, says Newsday’s Steve Zipay. Christensen found himself on waivers earlier in the year and went unclaimed, probably due to his meager showing of zero points with a minus three rating in nine games. Clearly Ducks management felt Chipchura was a better alternative down the middle.
Andrew Gross of The Bergen Record spoke with John Tortorella on the issue, and found out adding Christensen is a result of an undisclosed injury to Donald Brashear. However, Torts also said the move should motivate Brian Boyle to step up his game when the team is healthy. Boyle may find himself on the block if his play does not improve in the coach’s eyes.
No stranger to the Atlantic Division, Christensen played parts of three season with the Pittsburgh Penguins before getting shipped to Atlanta as part of the Marian Hossa deal. In the 2006-2007 season, the 25-year-old posted career highs in practically every category finishing the year with 18 goals and 33 points.
The larger question could be, why do the Rangers need a better backup goalie? Vally sports a 2-3-0 record with one shutout, a 3.74 GAA and .852 SV% in six games, below average marks in every category. The necessity for a better backup could have something to do with star goaltender not remotely playing as well as his career marks. For now Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson fills in for the journeyman as he tries to regain his form in Hartford.
Do you think Lundqvist should be traded?
I certainly do not and with his value lower than usual I cannot see GM Glen Sather getting adequate compensation for the Swede.
Mike Boone of Habs Inside/Out reports Kyle Chipchura moving to Anaheim for a 4th round pick. The second young Hab to be moved in the last two weeks, the former 1st round pick has mostly been a disappointment in the NHL.
Drafted from the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL in 2004, the Canadiens saw him as a rugged western Canadian player with offensive upside. This upside, similar to Benoit Pouliot never translated to the NHL or even the AHL level. The 23-year-old has zero points in his 18 games, leading fans to feel he is not even the third line center they hoped he could be.
Perhaps being reunited with former captain Saku Koivu gets this kid going. The once promising top-prospect will now have to work even harder just to stay in the league. Is it too early to call the kid a first-round bust? I would say five years is enough of an indicator.
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