Thursday, November 19, 2015

Going All In for Hamonic?

With the news that the New York Islanders' Travis Hamonic has asked for a trade for family reasons, that means the Islanders are now at the very least exploring their options as far as trade partners.  Given that Hamonic has cited a desire to be closer to family, that means the market would be rather limited, since the Manitoba-born Hamonic would be likely looking to four or five teams.  So, let's look at the teams that would be on Hamonic's list and what they can offer to the Islanders.

WINNIPEG JETS: Given that the Jets are both closest to Hamonic's home and have a plethora of players they can trade to the Islanders, it would seem that they would be the favorites to land Hamonic.  Depth on the blue line is no concern, but the Jets would be more than happy to land one of the better stay-at-home defenders, with Tobias Enstrom being the most likely to be moved plus prospects, which could be any of Josh Morrissey, Joel Armia, and either Connor Helleybuck or Eric Comrie, with other names being possibilities.

EDMONTON OILERS: The Oilers still need blue line help, and at the very least, they can offer one of their forwards (think Jordan Eberle).  Because their blue line is rather thin, as they traded for Griffin Reinhart from the same Islanders this off-season, it could be a hang-up, particularly since the Islanders would love to fill the hole left by Hamonic if he is indeed traded.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS: Another team that needs defensemen, the Canucks are in even worse shape than the Oilers.  The best shot the Canucks have would be to offer Alex Edler, as his play has fallen off recently and a change in scenery would do him some good.  However, the lack of defensive prospects could kill their chances of landing Hamonic.

CALGARY FLAMES: On the surface, the Flames would love to figure out their chemistry on the blue line, as they've only played with their planned six for a month thanks to TJ Brodie being out to start the season.  However, the temptation to add a solid two-way player may be too great, and the Flames can offer someone like Dennis Wideman or Brodie, though the latter may be off-limits due to his chemistry with Mark Giordano.  Prospects such as Patrick Sieloff or Tyler Wotherspoon could help sweeten the deal for Calgary.

MINNESOTA WILD: It has been mentioned that Hamonic would love to end up in Western Canada, but Minnesota is fairly close to Hamonic's hometown.  The Wild would be an outside shot, particularly since salary cap issues would be their biggest hurdle, and the Wild don't have much to offer, either in terms of prospects or NHL-ready players.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Moving Closer to Home

It's been a rough start to the WHL season for Nick McBride, as he was squeezed out of the Prince Albert Raiders roster thanks to strong play by both Rylan Parenteau and Ian Scott (both of whom, are still playing well).  That forced McBride to ask for a trade prior to the season, and now, at the start of November, McBride is finally going to get a chance to resume his junior league career, as the Raiders traded him to Prince George for a second round pick in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft.

McBride was in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects game last season, but went undrafted in the 2015 NHL Draft.  McBride had a promising start to his time in Prince Albert in 2014, taking over the starting job late in the season from Cole Cheveldae en route to pushing the Raiders to a playoff berth in a tie-breaker game with Red Deer.  However, like many of the Raiders last season, McBride had his fair share of struggles, and in some cases, was outplayed by Parenteau.  The Cougars currently have a goal differential of +2, and now have three goalies who have starting experience in Ty Edmonds, Mack Shields, and McBride, though it remains to be seen if the Cougars carry three goalies for an extended period of time.