Friday, February 24, 2012


A few days after dealing Vermette, Howson sends Jeff Carter to the Kings for a conditional first round pick (either 2012 or 2013) and defenseman Jack Johnson. Neither move is earth-shaking, but he gets an A for effort in contract dumping. Getting a sound defenseman is good on the surface, but having $10+ million in two defensemen (Johnson and Wisniewski) seems a like short-term plan. I add on the surface because I don't see how they can move Wisniewski (if that is their wish).

Saturday, February 18, 2012

As the deadline looms

There are many questions swirling around the team as the February trade deadline approaches. Nine more days until we learn:

  • What will the team do with Rick Nash? The only bone fide star in the team's history has been the center of many trade rumors. Trading away such a valuable asset may not be wise during a deadline crunch. The team may get better value near the draft. That's of course if they want to trade Nash. If they do, the return must be tremendous to avoid alienating the fan base.

  • Is Scott Howson really the guy as GM? If he's not, why is he being allowed to make such important decisions? The answer seems to be that Howson will survive into next season. It would be inconceivable that he would be permitted to trade the team's only star and later be fired. The remaining question is does he deserve more time? Ownership seems to be willing to give him more time. Let's hope they're right because I'd move on.

  • Has the Jeff Carter era ended before it really ever started? It's dangerous to rely on rumor mill material, but it has been strongly suggested that Carter is being dangled as deadline trade bait. While he hasn't made an impact this season, trading your top two scorers (Nash and Carter) on a team that doesn't score seems like suicide.

  • Steve Mason has a relatively big contract. He has the rest of the season to prove he deserves the job. With Sanford out, he'll get as much ice time as he can handle. Will they give Mason a shot? Or will they seek goaltending in a potential Nash trade?

Monday, February 06, 2012

As if it matters

When Doughty scored the goal with :00.4 seconds remaining to beat the Jackets, video replay showed the puck crossing the goal line before time expired. Additional replays showed the game clock stopped with 1.8 seconds left and didn't restart for at least 1 second before starting again. Clearly the game had ended and no one told the officials. If I'm on a team battling with the Kings later this season, this game result would not sit well with me.

The Count:

"Not good, not acceptable -- if [the clock] had run straight through, the game would have been at a tie at that point, would have gone to overtime," Bettman said. "And maybe L.A. would have won anyway, maybe not. That's not the point. We are taking this very seriously. We're investigating as to how it happened. Obviously it's either human error or a technology glitch. We don't know which, but we've already begun investigating and we will get to the bottom of it.

"Now I know lots of people are going to say, 'How can you have a mistake?' Well, unfortunately or fortunately, our game is full of mistakes -- by players, by coaches and occasionally by officials -- and on some levels it's no different than if a guy makes a bad penalty call, puts a team on the power play and they score the winning goal. It happens. We don't like when it happens and our job is to minimize mistakes. We don't want any, but obviously when you have a human element in any aspect of the game you're going to have it.

"If we had any reason to believe that this was intentional we would deal with it in a whole different way, but we're going to investigate it, get to the bottom of it."