Just one more short note about the game tonight that I forgot to mention earlier. The only referee to call diving on the Canes all year, Brad Watson will be one of the refs for tonight's game. Yep, the same Brad Watson who called diving on Justin Williams for being tackled and the same ref who called diving on Chad LaRose for being boarded. The same referee who just coincidentally called diving twice on the Canes, right after the Florida media printed multiple stories about how the Panthers complained about lack of such calls. Nothing like an impartial, fair ref who calls a game without any preconceived ideas!! I hope he gets a nice Carolina welcome and gets booed off the ice.
Around the league, I see that Brett Hull has been named co- General Manager in Dallas. I've never been a Hull fan, so I think that this move is a step backwards for the Stars. We'll see how Mr. Know-it-all does.
Anyone need a goalie? The Anaheim Ducks put decent netminder Ilya Bryzgalov on waivers this afternoon. Bryz makes a reasonable 1.3 million, but is an unrestricted free agent next year. Ducks GM Brian Burke claims that he couldn't get anything of value in trade offers for the goalie and he put him on waivers just to give the poor kid a chance to play. I know I'm the skeptical type, but I don't believe that. Oh, I believe he didn't get a good enough return on trade value, but I bet Burke is clearing salary cap space for some reason. He's not releasing an asset just out of the goodness of his heart. Could Scott Neidermayer or Teemu Selanne be thinking about a return?
So, who will pick up Bryzgalov? The good news is that the team with the worst record gets first dibs. A team like Tampa Bay who has a medium record, probably won't make the cut. Washington and Buffalo have the fewest points in the East, but I doubt either of them would be interested though. The next tier of inferior teams includes Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Atlanta, and Florida. Pittsburgh has been complaining about goaltending, could they pick him up? If I was Dave Waddell, I would definitely try to get him for Atlanta. In the West, the 3 lowest teams, Edmonton, St. Louis, and Phoenix could each make a move for him. Why not? I can't see anyone in the next tier, Calgary, Vancouver, or Los Angeles caring. So who will get him? I'll predict either Edmonton in the West or Atlanta in the East. Wouldn't it be funny if Edmonton got him? More fodder for discussion between Kevin Lowe and Brian Burke.