Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sunday Roundup: Trade Winds Begin to Blow

The Flames and Bruins made the first big trade of the approaching deadline yesterday as Calgary acquired the highly sought after defender Brad Stuart, center Wayne Primeau, and a conditional draft pick in exchange for defenseman Andrew Ference and forward Chuck Kobasew. The conditional pick seems to be a safety net for the Flames in case Brad Stuart leaves via free agency this summer. The trade adds Stuart to the group of Robyn Regehr, Dion Phaneuf, and Roman Hamrlik and gives the Flames arguably the best top four defensemen of any team in the league. For Boston it could be the first of many trades in part of an effort to rebuild the struggling team. With the playoffs seemingly out of reach, Boston sought to get something back for Stuart who had made it known that he would like to return to the west coast when he becomes a free agent this summer.

This move along with the acquisition of Craig Conroy from the Kings last week, could help the Flames distinguish themselves from the tight race in the Northwest Division which saw them tied with two other teams, Minnesota and Vancouver, for first heading into today's games.

It's a homecoming of sorts for Brad Stuart, who played for the WHL's Calgary Hitmen during his days in juniors.

Winner - Calgary (Just like in the NFL, defense wins championships. You can never have enough good defenseman come playoff time.)
(Photo Courtesy of Elsa/Getty Images)

The Capitals will be off until Thursday when they head to Tampa to take on the division rival Lightning. The loss last night versus the Rangers might have been the last nail in the coffin for their playoff chances. They had a chance, with a win last night, to move within one point of the 11th place Rangers. However with the loss they are now five points behind New York. To make matters worse both the Bruins and the Panthers won last night meaning the Caps now find themselves in a tie with Boston for 12th in the Conference, just one point ahead of Florida. Thursday's game starts a three game road trip for the Caps that should finally help make a decision for the front office whether they should be buyers or sellers.


kenhockey said...

Very disheartening game on Saturday. The chance for the playoffs is gone, I think. I just hope the team doesn't pack it in for the rest of the season. It will be interesting to see how many new season tickets are sold next year, based on the usual premise of, "they're a young team","give them time", etc. etc.
It's still a lot of money for tickets for a team that we don't know which will show up each night.

Capital Fanatic said...

Thursday will be their last chance to make a push for the playoffs. If they loose to Tampa to start their three game road trip, it's over.