Thursday, May 31, 2012

Consistency: It's Name is Lidstrom

Today marks the end of an era in Detroit, as Nicklas Lidstrom officially announced his retirement after 20 seasons in the NHL, all of them as a Red Wing.  Lidstrom did nothing spectacular, but did everything consistently well, and that is the legacy he leaves behind as he will certainly be a first ballot Hall of Famer.  Four Stanley Cups, seven Norris Trophies (four of those came after the age of 35), a gold medal in 2006, a Conn Smythe in 2002, and the first European captain to hoist the Stanley Cup (in 2008), Lidstrom was a winner, plain and simple.  However, his off the ice demeanor tells a different story, as you would never know he accomplished all of that in his career.  Ask most NHL players who have played in the last decade or so and the word on Lidstrom is almost always going to be positive.  The Red Wings lost more than a valuable contributor to their team, they lost a true leader in every sense of the word.  Of course, Lidstrom doesn't leave the Red Wings entirely devoid of leadership, as he identified Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall as guys he would want to inherit the C.  That's a big void to fill, but if anyone knows a good replacement when he sees it, it's Lidstrom.  After all, he took over from Steve Yzerman when he retired, and that worked out well.  There's little doubt this transition will work, particularly since both Zetterberg and Kronwall will have soaked in what Lidstrom taught them.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Deschutes: Twice the Taste

Today is a beer review, or to be more specific, a review of two beers.  Both are from the Deschutes Brewing Company, and both are unique in their own way.  The first beer is a collaboration between Deschutes and Hair of the Dog Brewing Company, the latter based out of Portland, OR.  Together, they came up with a collage, calling the brew Conflux No. 1.  As for what is in it:

In case you can't read it (and it's understandable), the mix is of "The Dissident and the Stoic and Fred and Adam."  No idea who Fred and Adam are, but the Dissident is a Hair of the Dog brand and the Stoic is a Deschutes brew.  The color borders between the two, and the smell is the one thing that grabs you right away.  With an ABV of 11.6%, you are forced to enjoy this beer slowly, lest you want to pass out.  The taste is odd for a beer, but with a mix of two beers, it is to be expected.  I've never had the Dissident, but I can tell you that there are indeed hints of Stoic in the beer.  It's worth a try, but you better hurry, since there weren't many made.

The second beer is the Hop in the Dark, which is made every May through September.  It is a Cascadian Dark Ale, and has a distinct coffee smell and taste.  With an ABV of 6.5%, it is fairly easy to drink and while it doesn't have the enjoyable level that the Hop Henge IPA does, it is still a good beer and is definitely worth the money.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Finals Predictions


The Kings got here because they found their offense at the right time.  Of course, their defense has always been there, and it begins with Jonathan Quick.  The Devils are here because Martin Brodeur found his 2000 form and the rest of the team started contributing, led by the likes of Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk.  Experience edge goes to New Jersey, but a few of the Kings have been to the Finals more recently, most notably Jeff Carter and Mike Richards.  The players to potentially look out for include Simon Gagne for the Kings (assuming he's healthy enough) and Travis Zajac (who himself missed a considerable amount of time).  Ultimately, the Kings' road exploits will have the Stanley Cup take residence in Southern California, though.

Prediction: Kings in 6

Sunday, May 27, 2012


The Stanley Cup Finals begin Wednesday, and will feature a team that had fairly high expectations in Los Angeles Kings and a team predicted to finish out of the playoff race in the New Jersey Devils.  So, how did we get to this point?

For New Jersey, Martin Brodeur played a lot like the Martin Brodeur of 2000, Ilya Kovalchuk played perhaps his most complete season yet, and Zach Parise didn't get injured.  Throw in the emergence of rookies Adam Henrique and Adam Larsson and unlikely contributions from the likes of Bryce Salvador and Steve Bernier and a cast-off in coach Peter DeBoer and you have your Eastern Conference champions.

Los Angeles was predicted to compete for the Stanley Cup Finals this year.  However, a lackadaisical regular season that saw many players not named Jonathan Quick underachieve for most of the year and Dustin Penner becoming the butt of many pancake jokes had the Kings almost not make the playoffs.  However, a trade for Jeff Carter and the Pancake Penner-gate have helped the Kings get into the playoffs, where the likes of Penner, Carter, Brown, Anze Kopitar, and Dustin Brown have provided some offense to go along with the sterling goaltending of Quick.  A mid-season coaching change that saw Darryl Sutter come in also provided a spark and reminded everyone why Sutter was a great coach (just keep him away from the General Manager's chair).  Everything came together in the playoffs for the Kings, as all three division champions were beaten, and it didn't hurt that the Kings played like kings on the road.

Predictions will be coming either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Gone, But Never Forgotten

It has been almost nine months since a plane crash claimed the lives of the entire Yaroslavl Lokomotiv hockey team.  For the Slovakian hockey team at the World Championships this year, it also provided inspiration as they made their way to a silver medal in the event.  So, how are the two things connected, you ask?  Looking at the picture of Zdeno Chara (backwards jersey aside), you will notice that he is wearing number 38, the number Pavol Demitra wore for much of his NHL and International career.  Demitra was the most recognizable player on the Lokomotiv team that was on the plane on that fateful day.  Chara's tribute wasn't the only one by the Slovaks, as many, if not all the players wore shirts under the jerseys that bore Demitra's face on them, and more recently, Tomas Kopecky brought his silver medal to Demitra's grave.

For many of the Slovakian players, Demitra wasn't just a hockey player, he was their biggest inspiration on and off the ice.  He was also well-loved by fans and saved his best for the big stage, as the 2010 Olympics proved.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pancakes and Villains

This picture was taken from an exhibition game last September when the Los Angeles Kings took on the Pittsburgh Penguins.  As you can tell from the title of today's piece, it's all about the two Dustins, Penner and Brown.  The former was well on his way out of Los Angeles when the playoffs started and earned infamy for throwing his back out while enjoying delicious pancakes.  The latter is the team captain who was rumored to have been shopped around at the trade deadline.

Fast forward to this morning, and now both are a big reason why the Kings will be playing in the Stanley Cup Finals a week from today.  Penner scored the winning goal last night that gave the Kings the title of Western Conference Champions.  A few moments earlier, Brown was involved in a possible knee on knee hit that injured the Phoenix Coyotes' Michal Roszival that was not called for a penalty.  As you can imagine, the Coyotes and their fans did not take too kindly, and it showed in the handshake line.  For both Penner and Brown, this playoff season is their redemption in a sense, and while Penner is still likely to leave town (the Kings are close to the salary cap), he could conceivably  garner some respectable dollars for someone else, though not on the same level as Sean Bergenheim did last off-season.  I say the pancake makers need to get in contact with Penner now, as that moment of embarrassment has suddenly turned into a good luck charm for him, and he even signed a box of pancake mix a fan brought for him.  As for Brown, it's safe to say that he will remain captain for next season, no small accomplishment considering Mike Richards was all but certain to take over when the Kings were struggling in the regular season.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fading Disco

In the last few days, the disco scene of the 1970's has seen two major losses in Donna Summer and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees.  If you grew up in that time period, and even if you didn't, then both Summer and the Bee Gees were influential in that time, and both have seen periods in which their music has seen play time in some capacity.  Last week, cancer claimed both Summer and Gibb, marking a sad time for those who grew up listening to them.  Both leave lasting legacies that they managed to see come to fruition, and for those who never got to hear either of them (where have you been?), here is something to remember both of them by.

Donna Summer

Bee Gees

Fixing the Maple Leafs

With no true vested interest in the outcome of the Stanley Cup Finals, as both of my teams were gone after the first round, and with the Toronto Maple Leafs fans continuously gnashing its teeth every time the playoffs go on, today, I will put on my GM hat and attempt to get Toronto back to the playoffs next year and beyond.  As with the post about possibilities for fixing the Calgary Flames, any and all comments are welcome, so as long as they pertain to actually fixing the Leafs.

As I look at the Maple Leafs in their current state, I can identify three things the Leafs need: a top-line center, a solid defenseman, and someone to challenge James Reimer for the starting job in goal.  First, the top-line center.  It would be great if either Nazem Kadri or Joe Colborne could seize that role, but realistically, the best I can hope for either one to be is a second-line center.  Tim Connolly was the same injury-prone player he has been in his career, and Tyler Bozak is realistically a third-line center miscast as a top two line center.  A solid defenseman is another need, as our group features a mercurial Dion Phaneuf, an inconsistent Luke Schenn, and Mike Komisarek, who if we can get out from under his contract, we would.  In short, consistency is needed, and right now, I don't know if we can solve that problem from within like we could with our center problem.  As for our goaltending problem, Reimer had a bad year, but he was also beset with injuries.  Jonas Gustavsson is likely not coming back, and we need someone like a Jean-Sebastien Giguere to challenge for a starter's role, if not provide a reliable backup as insurance.

Now, how can we solve all of those problems?  As I said earlier, either Kadri or Colborne could solve our front-line center problem.  However, both come with question marks.  Kadri still needs to put on weight and Colborne hasn't shown enough to be an everyday player in the NHL.  Training camp will hopefully show how far both have come along.  A solid defenseman is another need, and though the solution is not as clear, it would help immensely if Komisarek's contract can be taken off the books without much penalty.  If we can find a taker for Schenn, it would have to be filling a need or two mentioned, and top prospects won't hurt much, either.  A goaltender who challenge Reimer for a starting role is needed, and rumors are floating around that we're in talks to get Roberto Luongo.  It would be wise to see what Vancouver wants for him and who else we can get with him.  It would also be wise to look into deals for guys such as Antti Niemi, Tuukka Rask (oh, the irony if we can get him, though it would be tough, as he has the RFA tag), Tomas Vokoun, and likely the loser of the Robin Lehner/Ben Bishop battle in Ottawa (blasphemous, I know, to inquire about a player from the provincial rivals).

Friday, May 18, 2012


Believe it or not, the Kansas City Greyhounds were not the first hockey team in the Kansas City area.  There was a team that preceded them by six years called the Kansas City Pla-Mors.  As a matter of fact, the Greyhounds would in fact, be what the Pla-Mors would become in 1933.  That incarnation played in the American Hockey Association and would be in existence until 1942.  In 1945, the Pla-Mors would return to life in the United States Hockey League and the name would stick until 1949, until they became the Kansas City Mohawks.  The league would fold in 1951, ending the team's second run, yet boasted players that would eventually play in the NHL in Al Rollins, John Jackson, Bert Olmstead, and Vic Staduik.

For more information about the Pla-Mors, just head here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Two Years Ago Today...

Ronnie James Dio left this world and a legacy that is still felt today.  And now, for some light-hearted fun at his own expense:

Monday, May 14, 2012

Back to London (Knights)

Okay, show of hands, who's surprised that Dale Hunter decided not to coach the Washington Capitals next year?  *waits a few seconds*

Besides the optimistic Capitals fans who had hoped and wanted Hunter to return for another year, most in the know were almost certain he would not return.  After all, his contract with the Capitals was only for one year from the time he was tabbed to replace Bruce Boudreau in the middle of the season.  For Hunter, he could always go back to the London Knights (and will, since he is part owner of the team along with brother Mark, who himself coached the Knights when Dale took the Capitals job), where he had coached prior to rescuing the Capitals to a playoff run this year.  What is his legacy as coach of the Capitals?  Rubbing players such as Mike Knuble the wrong way, but more important than that, getting the likes of Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Alexander Semin to commit to playing some defense.  While the goaltending situation is not entirely solved, at the very least, Braden Holtby is the front runner as the starting goaltender next season if they don't bring Tomas Vokoun back.

Sunflower Hockey

You know there is hockey in Missouri, with the St. Louis Blues and Missouri Mavericks making respectable runs in their playoff leagues this year.  However, the state of Kansas also has some hockey history, albeit not quite as much.  As you can see by the logo, there is currently a team in the Central Hockey League called the Wichita Thunder.  They have been around for quite a while, and play in the Intrust Bank Arena.  Among its players include former first-round pick Alex Bourret (in 2005 by the Atlanta Thrashers).  Did you know, however, that there was also a team in Kansas who played in the CHL by the name of the Topeka ScareCrows?  That team existed from 1998 until 2001 and played their home games in the Landon Arena.  And of course, there is the University of Kansas ice hockey team, who are not going to challenge the likes of Boston College or Northeastern anytime soon, as they are not in the elite division of NCAA hockey.  However, there is still that rivalry with Missouri, since the SEC-Big 12 conferences generally do not apply to hockey, so take heart, KU people if you're wanting more Tiger blood.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Conference Finals

Since the Conference Finals officially begin tonight, there isn't much time to dwell on what just happened.  So, off we go...



Pacific Division rivals meet for the right to represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals.  This is a fairly equal matchup, with the Kings having a slight advantage in the offensive category (I thought I would never be able to say that about the Kings this year).  The Kings have the bigger names, but the Coyotes have just as much heart.

Prediction: Kings in 6



The Battle on the Hudson is renewed for with much bigger stakes on the line.  These are not your father's Devils, as there is some offense to go with a suffocating defense.  Ilya Kovalchuk is playing his most complete hockey right now, but it is Zach Parise who makes it all go for the Devils, with Martin Brodeur providing the last line of defense.  The Rangers have had two game 7's so far, so it remains to be seen if they will have anything left in the tank.  That is no question for Henrik Lundqvist, who is at the top of his game.  Of course, it doesn't hurt that the Rangers blue line puts their bodies in front of the shots every now and then.  Marian Gaborik must step up, though, as he's been practically invisible for all except the game 3 triple OT thriller against the Capitals.

Prediction: Rangers in 7

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Stop Drinking That Twilight Shit. It...Sucks.

Today's beer is the Deschutes Twlight Amber Ale, and despite the title of this piece, it doesn't actually suck.  With an ABV of 5.0%, there isn't much of a chance for it to be heavy on the drinker.  The smell is actually impressive, but the taste leaves you wanting a little more.  There are hints of citrus flavor, and certainly, the Amarillo hops help in creating the taste.  However, it's a little too light in that department to be anything more than an above average beer, at best.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Southern Tier Jahva

I haven't written about hockey on here much lately, but when good beer comes calling, I cannot ignore it.  With that in mind, today is the Southern Tier Jahva.  It is an Imperial American Stout that comes with a 10.6% ABV.  As you can tell by the color, it has the qualities of coffee, which is particularly evident in the head.  The smell isn't particularly impressive, but once you start drinking, you know you're drinking something good.  The flavor is there all the way through, with hints of coffee and malts all about.  Even without the high ABV, the Southern Tier Jahva is a beer best enjoyed slowly to take in all the flavor.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Smoke Jumping

You see the glass of liquid in the picture, which can only mean one thing: another beer review.  Today's beer comes from the Left Hand Brewing Company and is called the Smoke Jumper.  It is an Imperial Porter and has an 8.8% ABV.  As you can guess from the color, there are expectations already for this beer, and the smell is quite promising, with a smoky smell to it.  The initial taste doesn't quite live up to expectations, but it is the aftertaste that will get the drinker.  As the beer warms up, more of the flavor gets released, making it more of a wine in terms of getting better with time.  The Smoke Jumper is alright, but you would be best to sip slowly and let it warm up a little for best enjoyment.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Desert Party

This is the image many a Phoenix Coyote fan never thought they would see twice in one season, let alone one.  If you know your Phoenix Coyotes history at all, you know that they never advanced past the first round in their entire NHL existence.  That goes all the way back to the days when they were the Winnipeg Jets, folks.  As I write this, the Coyotes are getting ready for a Southwest version of the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Kings.  Two teams in the Sun Belt region competing for the right to represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals: what are the odds?  Think about the Coyotes and their recent history: they let go of Wayne Gretzky as head coach prior to the 2009-10 season...and make the playoffs.  They let go of Ilya Bryzgalov for Mike Smith (Mike Smith!!!!!) and were predicted to finish in the bottom third of the Conference, not to mention trade a malcontent in Kyle Turris (who had a respectable year in Ottawa)...and yet, here they are, four wins from a Finals berth.  So, why are the Coyotes in this position?  It all begins with the head coach, who happens to be Dave Tippett.  Before I get to why Tippett is the main reason for the Coyotes' success, let's do a little back story.

Since the lockout ended, Wayne Gretzky was part owner and eventually took on the role of head coach.  Focusing on the head coaching job he did, it wasn't as though he was a terrible coach.  However, with so many kids on the roster, many of them will have likely looked up to Gretzky the player, and when they got to the Coyotes and saw him behind the bench, they still couldn't get Gretzky the player out of their minds.  Many of them played below expectations.  Once the NHL took temporary ownership of the team (that may be ending with a new, more permanent owner that will keep the team in Arizona), a new General Manager was hired in Don Maloney and one of his first moves was to relieve Gretzky of the head coaching role.  Tippett would be hired to coach the team, which made sense at the time because of his track record with the Dallas Stars, his previous stop.  Little did many know that Tippett would be the best decision the Coyotes ever made.  From day one, he instilled a more stringent system that relied on defense, and players bought into it.  Helping that fact would be the captain Shane Doan, who is a perfect fit for the captain's role for a team that has experienced so much on and off the ice.  As for Smith, not a lot was expected of him after failing to win a starting job in goalie-starved Tampa, and yet, he has outplayed a Vezina finalist in Pekka Rinne on the way to this point.

These Western Conference Finals will be interesting, to say the least, and the Coyotes are more than happy to be here.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Quick Work

In the past, I have been critical of the Los Angeles Kings for playing below expectations this year.  One obvious exception to all of this has been Jonathan Quick, and now that the Kings are finally playing like the Stanley Cup contenders many thought they would be before the season began, it should be noted that Quick is even more of a threat.  If you remember Tim Thomas from last season's playoffs, this is exactly where the Kings are heading, only this time, they are the eight seed.  Seeding is a deceptive tool, as the Kings were playing some of their best hockey down the stretch, and clearly, Quick has been at the center of it all.  Now, the rest of the team is catching up, and there's no telling if either the Coyotes or Predators will be able to stop the Kings' run to the Finals.  Players like Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter, and Dustin Penner (yes, that Dustin Penner) are contributing, and who knows, if the Kings win it all, will Penner get an endorsement to sell Aunt Jemina's Pancakes?  I'd buy it.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Palate Wrecking

I just looked through a few pictures that I have yet to put on the computer, and saw two beers that have yet to be on here.  One of them was tried last Friday, and is the Green Flash Palate Wrecker.  With an ABV of 9.5%, the Palate Wrecker lives up to its name.  The smell isn't particularly impressive, and the color is nice, but it is the taste that makes the beer.  Even as the beer warmed up a little, the kick was still strong, making the Palate Wrecker a beer to approach with caution, as it is no "chug it down" beer at any point.  Green Flash Brewery is fast becoming one of my favorite non-Oregon brewing companies, and the Palate Wrecker is a fine example of what they're capable of making.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cinco De Mayo

I know what you're thinking when you see this picture of Scott Gomez, and no, I am not here to make fun of least, not today.  Today is Cinco De Mayo, and in honor of this national drinking holiday, today's piece is about the hockey players of Mexican or Spanish descent.  According to the ever-accurate Wikipedia however, there are only two players of either descent in hockey: Gomez and Moises Gutierrez, the latter who was last seen in the ECHL.  Both, coincidentally, are from Anchorage, Alaska.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Never a Dull Moment

You know it's the NHL playoffs when a game goes to double overtime.  Last night, the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals went one better, making it a triple overtime affair.  Much sleep was lost, and in the end, the New York Rangers got to sleep a little better on a Marian Gaborik winner for a 2-1 win.  Meanwhile, in Nashville, fans were treated to this visual you see above.  If you read this blog at all, I will look for any excuse to post something like this, and given that Nashville had their backs against the wall, this kind of thing buoyed them to a 2-0 win and got them back into the series against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

GM Joker

The Montreal Canadiens have hired a General Manager, and contrary to the title, it is not in fact, the Joker from the Batman series.  Marc Bergevin, who in his time as an NHL player, was a well-known prankster and joker, was hired by the team to be the General Manager.  His previous office experience includes being a scout for the Blackhawks in 2010 and an assistant General Manager a year later.  For those keeping score at home, Bergevin does fit the pre-requisite of being able to speak French, so please don't send complaint letters to the Canadiens' owner.  Whether Bergevin can succeed where Bob Gainey and Pierre Gauthier failed is anyone's guess, but one wonders if he'll prank Scott Gomez on the first day of mini-camp.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Time to Light a New Fire?

With the Calgary Flames missing the playoffs for the third straight season, the inevitable question to ponder is whether the Flames should rebuild or not.  Already, the Flames will be looking for a new head coach, as Brent Sutter was let go after the season, so would it be wise for the Flames management to hold on to all of the pieces it can for the new coach or just simply start over again?  Naturally, this question centers around what the Flames decide to do with mainstays Jarome Iginla and Miika Kiprusoff, who just so happen to also be the best players the Flames have at the moment.  The problem with the Flames making a playoff run?  They're up against the salary cap ceiling, and moving one of the big contracts, be it Iginla, Kiprusoff, or Jay Bouwmeester, would be a good step towards remedying that problem.  The problem with rebuilding?  The Flames haven't really developed a great deal of young talent...since their Stanley Cup championship in 1989.  That is a track record for failure every year, and a large reason why the Flames have advanced out of the first round only once since then, when they made the Finals in 2004.  So to say the Flames' efforts to rebuild haven't been all that great would be an understatement.

This is where I put on my General Manager's hat (and assuming I already hired a coach), so if you have any comments or think I'm wrong with the following, feel free to comment and offer a solution.  Just saying that I'm wrong is not enough; I want you to tell me why I'm wrong and offer a solution if you can.

As a General Manager, one of the very first things I would do is put Miika Kiprusoff and Jay Bouwmeester on the trading block, but still listen to offers for Jarome Iginla.  Before I get to possibilities for Kiprusoff and Bouwmeester, I'd like to explain that even though I'm not putting Iginla on the trading block, I will listen to offers and if the right deal comes along, I will take it into consideration.  As with Iginla, I won't just trade Kiprusoff or Bouwmeester just to get the money off the books.  So, who could be considered trade partners for either player?  Let's look at Kiprusoff first.

Trade possibilities for Miika Kiprusoff:

  • Chicago Blackhawks: Goaltending problems were their ultimate undoing come playoff time, and depending on how much confidence they have in Corey Crawford could very well decide if they come calling.  However, they are close to the salary cap ceiling, so we would have to take back close to an equal amount of salary.
  • Columbus Blue Jackets: Let's face it, the Blue Jackets need help just about everywhere, and while it would be intriguing to trade for Rick Nash (Kiprusoff would be an attractive chip for the Blue Jackets to part with Nash) it is likely the Blue Jackets would want to throw in Steve Mason and ask for a first round pick.  Remember, we're wanting to free up money, not take more on, and that may be too much with Nash and Mason.  Of course, they would be the only real pieces that we would be interested in, and I know what you're saying, "Are you nuts for asking for Mason?"  Yes, but Mason could benefit from a change in scenery, and I would like for him to be a backup to Leland Irving.  After all, it's time to see if Irving is the long term answer, and that's part of the reason I'm shopping Kiprusoff.
  • Edmonton Oilers: Okay, I know this is blasphemy, to trade with your provincial rivals, but Edmonton needs a goalie, as Nikolai Khabibulin is no longer a number one and Devan Dubnyk is not ready for the starter's role.  However, Edmonton does have some prospects that we would be interested in, and we'd be happy to offer Kiprusoff to get some of them.  Of course, I can imagine the Oilers management shooting this idea down, too, so don't hold your breath there.
  •  New Jersey Devils: The main thing that is needed to know here is whether Martin Brodeur will be back next season.  If he retires and the Devils don't have confidence in their prospects, it is conceivable that they could be calling for Kiprusoff.
  • New York Islanders: A team that clearly needs a goaltender, as Evgeni Nabokov is a free agent this season and isn't likely to return, and Al Montoya is not the long term answer there, either.  And we haven't even mentioned Rick DiPietro and his injury history.  The major roadblock?  Very few players really want to go to Long Island (Nabokov refused to report when claimed off re-entry waivers in 2011) and there is much uncertainty around the team, with a clueless owner and a crumbling arena.
  • San Jose Sharks: Don't laugh.  If the Sharks willing to part with Antii Niemi, this is a deal that we'd be happy to take, and imagine the irony of Kiprusoff being back with the team he started with.
  • Tampa Bay Lightning: The team with an obvious need in goal and with some good players that we'd want, it's clear that there is no real prospect in their system ready to seize the starting job, so Kiprusoff makes a lot of sense here.  Maybe an NHL-ready player in addition to a prospect is the return we would like in an ideal world.
  • Toronto Maple Leafs: Another team with goaltending problems and players we could use.  However, given our history of trading with Toronto (remember Doug Gilmour and Dion Phaneuf?) I would be hesitant to pull the trigger on this deal.  However, if Toronto offers the right package, I don't think it would be easy to resist here.
What about Jay Bouwmeester?

  • Colorado Avalanche: On the surface, it doesn't look like the Avs have a real need here.  Then again, they did trade Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk for Erik Johnson and Jay McClement, so you never know...
  • Columbus Blue Jackets: Another need for the Blue Jackets, though the return would likely be significantly less, and they don't really have much to offer.  The best I can hope for?  Possibly Steve Mason and a lower round draft pick.
  • Edmonton Oilers: Again, a blasphemous notion, but it would be nice for Bouwmeester to return home and our demand would be a little better defined, like a Linus Omark, for example.
  • New York Islanders: The Isles' blue line was dreadful last year, and like the Oilers, our wants are better defined, if a little bit of a reach.  Josh Bailey, Nino Niederreiter, and/or Michael Grabner would be our targets.
  • Ottawa Senators: Half of their current six are in their mid 30's, and certainly, they would like to have a younger player.  Depending on if they re-sign Fillip Kuba will determine if they decide to go after Bouwmeester.  Our most likely target would be the loser of the Robin Lehner/Ben Bishop battle for a goaltending spot in the lineup.
So, as you can see, I've identified eight potential destinations for Kiprusoff and five for Bouwmeester.  While trading either or both would be seen as a cost-cutting move, it also has to be seen as a way to make the team better, whether it is developing the young talent we either have or get in return, spending wisely on the players we do get in free-agency, or finding a system that works for the talent we do have on the team.