We have a day off before the big game tomorrow, so let's take a look at how some of our recent trades have worked out so far and see how some ex-Hurricanes are doing around the league.
Our most recent trade, Oleg Tverdovsky and the rights to Jack Johnson for Tim Gleason and Eric Belanger has worked out as a plus for the Canes, so far. We won't know if we won or lost on this trade until Johnson actually plays in the NHL for a period of time. He could turn out to be a bust, he might be mediocre, or he might be a sensation. If he turns out to be anything but a superstar, then we win this trade in my opinion. Tim Gleason leads all our defensemen in playing time averaging over 22 minutes per game. He's made his share of mistakes, but he's also played some solid, tough hockey and is obviously a keeper. He may never be an NHL prototype number one pairing type, but he looks to be a 3 or 4 and we are enjoying his skills now, not 4-5 years down the road. Eric Belanger has contributed 5 points in 7 games. He's an effective player who goes about doing his job quietly. Sometimes I don't notice him out there and I didn't realize he had so many points, but he's a versatile player who logs plenty of minutes on the PK, PP, and of course 5 on 5. Tverdovsky, considered by Canes fans as a "throw in" or salary dump in this trade, has yet to find his stride in La La Land. He's played 2 games and has 2 assists, but has been scratched the past 2 games. (sound familar?) Hopefully Oleg finds his niche because at 2.5 million per year, he's an expensive scratch. Could the Kings end up waving him, ala Bobby Clarke and Nedved?
Another major trade this year was Josef Vasicek for Scott Walker. Caniacs couldn't be happier the way this trade has worked out so far. We knew we were getting a good player in Walker, but Scottie has been the most consistent of Hurricanes so far this year. Vasicek had a good preseason for Nashville, but has been inconsistent so far this regular season. He was injured recently and is now listed as day-to-day. (also sounds familiar) Here is what Yahoo posted about him yesterday:
" Update: Vasicek was acquired with the hope that he would center the second offensive line, but Vasicek hasn't hit his stride â€" evidenced by his one point and minus-four rating through five games, the Nashville Tennessean reports."
"Update: Vasicek (hip flexor) is questionable for Thursday night's game against the Devils, the Nashville Tennessean reports. Vasicek was a surprise scratch for Wednesday night's tilt with the Rangers, and apparently he still needs some time off the ice to heal up."
The only bad thing about this trade is that Walker could have such a good year he plays his way out of Carolina by becoming too expensive to sign next year when he becomes a UFA. We might as well enjoy him while we can Caniacs!
How about our past trades with the Flyers? Brind'Amour for Primeau? Williams for Markov? Kapanen for Brendl and St Jacques? The only player who is still playing for the Flyers is Sami Kapanen and he has yet to score a single point this year and has a -6. Brendl and St Jacques are both gone, but we got Craig Adams last year for Bruno and Craig has been a productive player for the Canes since his return. Craig has more points than Sami this year and had 21 points and +1 to Sami's 34 points and -9 last year, at HALF the salary. Brind'Amour helped us win a Cup and signed up for 5 more years of captaincy while Primeau retired. Danny Markov was an enjoyable player to watch, but wouldn't you bet that Bobby Clarke would love to have Justin Williams back right now? Clarke is universally respected in the NHL and often complimented, but one would have to say after looking at these trades that he's owned by Jim Rutherford!
The trades last year to acquire Weight and Recchi didn't hurt us at all with the actual players involved. Nordgren went back to Sweden. Kolanos is in the AHL. Ziggy is now in Phoenix and Boulerice returned to this organization. Kahnberg has yet to play a game for the Blues and might be back in Europe. None of the players traded away will come back to hurt us while both Dougie and Mark were key components to winning the Cup. The only questionable parts of these trades are the draft picks that went with them, and they will remain questions for a few more years.
We've looked at the good trades, not the bad. But the positives far outweight the negatives. Lesson learned? Don't play poker with Jim Rutherford!