Saturday, March 6, 2010

Around the Boards 3/6/10

Today's Question:

What are your thoughts on deals made by CBJ at deadline?

Viva Raffi!

Stick on the Ice:

Roy - Terrible. Did he drive over the Torrito with the Zamboni? I couldn't understand why he was ever sent back to the Crunch. Apparently, he had a contract that made him a candidate to move, but he had 10 assists in 31 games. Anyone who watched him play knew that he was one of the most solid d-men this season. I do not feel good about this move at all.

Raffi- Acceptable, but not good. If we can make something out of the second round pick it will feel a little better. Losing heart and soul of team and power play specialist -- -he had the highest shooting percentage on the team and the power play looked atrocious against Vancouver. Hopefully, that was due to rust. I am beginning to question Howson's ability to judge the chemistry of a team.

Picard - Embarrassing. We just traded our first rounder from 2004 for a 7th rounder. From 2004. He is a member of a growing fraternity of former CBJ first round picks. He brought energy and an almost thrilling inability to score goals. He should have been given a better shot this season.

Jurcina - Disappointing. He was a UFA - no mystery there, but why are we so dedicated to the current group? They have given up more goals than (almost) any team in the league. He was big. He used his size well and he was smart in his own end. And he also had a howitzer of a shot from the point on the powerplay -- another hit to that unit. Why wouldn't we be willing to invest in him for a couple of years? I would take him over Tyutin any night of the week.

Modin - Bittersweet. He is a great guy. Solid on the ice. Solid off the ice. Always friggin' hurt. The fact that he is part of a deal in the last minute for a "future considerations" confirms my belief that he was the biggest longshot in the history of longshots that have ever played for Team Sweden. I have to believe he was added to the team for leadership and experience. I will miss him on the team, although I wish I could have seen him play a lot more.


The ONLY thing I would add to this stellar account is the plethora of former Wolverines soon to be invading the friendly confines of Nationwide Arena is disconcerting.

Pepper Brooks:

What a disappointing day in a disappointing season. I remember the anticipation of the trade deadline last year thinking that it was going to be sweet to be on the buyer side of things. It was. It sucks to be a seller again.

Raffi for a second rounder and a marginal defenseman is fine with me. Whatever. He was a luxury the CBJ could’ve afforded if they were on their way to the playoffs and going to see some additional revenue into the house. As reality kicks Jacketland in the nads again, it was obvious that Howson and company weren’t going to keep Raffi and the $2.5 - $3 mil it’s going to take to sign him, especially when they’ve committed to: Nash, Juice, Vermette, Voracek, Brass, Umberger and possibly Filatov in their top six. If they want improve the back end on a budget (which is what they really need to do), they had to get something in return for Raffi. And for those holding out hope that Raffi will head back to Columbus after July 1, unless the guy absolutely wilts in the playoffs, which he won’t, a guy who’s too expensive in March is still too expensive in July.

Picard’s departure hopefully brings to an end the curse of Doug MacLean’s inability to draft anyone worth a crap out of the top 6 picks. Modin’s stay in Columbus was riddled with ‘what could’ve been’. When healthy, which was unfortunately not often, Freddy Mo played well. A pro’s pro who will be missed in Columbus.

Jurcina injury was just the icing on the cake. A guy who could’ve commanded a third or fourth round pick brought maybe Steven Goertzen. awesome. I get why the CBJ didn’t try to resign him, though. It’s universally understood that the d core needs to get much better for the Jackets to make any hey in their division, a division that has Rafalski, Lidstrom, Weber, Hamhuis (at least now), Suter, Seabrook, Keith, Eric Johnson (see any Jackets that belong on that list? Me neither). Commodore’s contract is untradeable and the hope is that if Big Red goes all P90x this summer, he could make Jurcina redundant. I don’t think Jurcina had any desire to stay in C-bus anyway.

I thought Roy brought a lot to the table in terms of depth, but again, they need to move some bodies out before restocking the shelves. Commie and Hejda will be back, along with either Klesla or Tyutin (probably Klesla), and Russell, so Roy and Jurcina had to go to bring in a number one defenseman and potentially John Moore.

Here’s hoping the CBJ aren’t sellers at the trade deadline again anytime soon.

Top Shelf:

Freddy Modin: Love the guy and have a ton of respect for him and his NHL career. Dude has his name on the Cup. But his NHL career is coming to a quick close, and a 6th round pick is better than a sharp stick in the eye. I agree with this move.

Raffi Torres: I know lots of people wanted him to stay and for Howson to re-sign him. Bottom line is that Howson will be going after the franchise's first legit #1 defenseman over the summer, and that takes loads of $$ to do. Raffi was great in Union Blue, but we need the roughly 1.75 million/year he is worth to put towards that #1 D-man. Getting a second round pick is fair market value for a guy like Raffi. I wish him nothing but the best. He and his wife welcomed their first child into this word on the same night and just a couple of doors down from where my wife and I had our first baby. Raffi and I will always have that bond... even if he doesn't know it. BTW, Jackets got hammered by the Rangers that night. Ugly loss. Moving on...

Milan Jurcina: I am not nearly as comfortable with this move as the other two. Yes he made 1.375 this year, and will likely not be taking a pay cut in his next contract, which is money we can put towards the afore mentioned #1 D-man Howson will be going after this summer. That being said, I liked his game and as the Olympics showed, he was capable of playing heavy minutes, played a solid game on the blue line, and had a cannon of a shot from the points. He's only 23 years old, has a right-handed shot, and could essentially play the same role Rusty Klesla plays for nearly a million dollars less per season. We all know Howson will be dealing at least one more D man from the current roster this off season, so why not keep Jurcina and deal a more expensive/older version of him? A sixth rounder for him, sports hernia or not, was sad. Finally, you have to factor this trade into the Chimera trade. Chimmer's trade became a bust the day Hitch was fired. #25 was traded for no other reason than to try and provide a shock to the collective system of the players, with the hope that they would get the season turned around. When that didn't work Hitch was fired and they trade became about what talent we got in return. Chris Clark and Milan Jurcina. Now it is Chris Clark and a sixth round pick. Unless Chris Clark turns out to be the greatest locker room presence in the history of the game, this whole deal from, Chimera to that 6th round selection, is a horrible bit of front office management.

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