Sunday, January 31, 2010

Phaneuf a Leaf After Blockbuster deal with Calgary

**UPDATE 4:44 pm:
Toronto sent goalie Vesa Toskala along with forward Jason Blake to Anaheim for J.S. Giguere.

*UPDATE 12:41 pm:
Via Helen Nothelen on her Twitter
"Giguere has waived his no-trade clause and is on his way to Toronto."
Two major deals for Toronto in a span of a couple of hours. Giguere has been frustrated in Anaheim with his lack of playing time, still believing he can be a No. 1 goaltender. With Jonas Hiller signing a 4-year extension with the Ducks, Giguere was the odd man out. Now, he's reunited with Burke in Toronto and will be given the chance to be the No.1, meaning goalie Jonas Gustavsson will have to split time.

Kudos to Burke for shaking his team up, acquiring an all-star defenseman and a starting goalie for his team. This wont be the last we hear from him between now and March 3rd.

UPDATE 12:37 pm:
Per TSN again, Toronto is also working on a deal to acquire goalie J.S. Gigure in Anaheim in exchange for goalie Vesa Toskala, and potentially another player. Giguere has a no-trade-clause and would need to waive it.

Original Post:
TSN is reporting that Leaf's GM Brian Burke has completed a deal with Calgary that will send All-Star Defenseman Dion Phaneuf, along with F Fredrik Sjostrom and D Keith Aulie to Toronto in exchange for C Matt Stajan, F Jamal Mayers & Niklas Hagman, and D Ian White.

Wow...what a shakeup for both teams, and relatively surprising. The Rangers were thought to be players for Phaneuf, with Calgary scouting their last few games. But, the Rangers needed to move considerable money to acquire Phaneuf's 6.5 million a year contract and probably didn't have enough talent for Calgary to trade for. I highly dount they had any interest in Wade Redden or Michal Rosival.

Toronto now has 2, physically intimidating defensemen in Phaneuf and Mike Komisarek. Calgary, I think, gets a little worse here; defenseman like Phaneuf don't come around too often. I'd give the edge to Brian Burke in this trade; well done.

'Yotes Howl Loud in 3-2 Win over Blueshirts

Post-Game Thoughts:
  • 5th straight loss, over 202 minutes of offensive ineptitude on the road before the 1st goal, and 50 minutes of uninspired, lethargic, and atrocious hockey = your New York Rangers.
  • Didn't I say after the last game giving up 2 quick goals to start a game, given how tight the standing are, was unacceptable? Then what's the right word for 3 unanswered goals?
  • Chad Johnson looked overmatched and nervous in a spot start for Lundqvist tonight, who is battling the flu, but settled down after the 2nd period. Precisely why this team needs a serviceable backup;  you cant rely on a rookie to do the job.
  • Michael Del Zotto was the goat in this game, 2 defensive miscues lead directly to goals by the opposition. But, he wasn't the worse Michal on the ice, that honor goes to Captain Hook-ing, (holding, and high-Sticking.)
  • 3-for-39 in the last 12 games on the PP. I say why not put the 4th line out there instead. It can't get worse, could it?
  • You think there's any correlation to the Rangers offensive woes after the Dubinsky-Christensen-Gaborik line was broken up? Gaborik and Christensen hooked up for a pretty 2-on-1. I urge thee Tortorella, put them back together.
  • Your heart had to sink when you saw Gaborik's baseball swing shot hit the post with 1:25 remaining. 
Next Game: Right back at it tonight 8:00 pm @ Colorado.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Kovalchuk a Possibility on Broadway?

Steve Zipay, Rangers beat writer for Newsday, wrote yesterday that if Ilya Kovalchuk is available the Rangers are expected to be interested.

Zipay adds that Atlanta will most likely command Brandon Dubinsky, either Chris Higgins or Ales Kotalik, a prospect such as Bobby Sanguinetti and maybe a No. 2 pick. The Flyers, Bruins, Canucks, Flames, Kings and Blackhawks could put together even more attractive packages.

  • Here's my problem with this....Not only are the Rangers in salary cap purgatory but the only way the Rangers make a move like this is if they firmly believe they're on the cusp of winning and Kovalchuk is the missing piece to put them over the top and make a run at the Stanley Cup and you're able to rid yourself of either Wade Redden or Michal Rosival's contract as well. However, I feel they're nowhere near that level so why trade young talent away when you can sign him in the offseason (He's a UFA). The Rangers should just sell off any players that have value (Prospal, Girardi, Kotalik?) and get something in return to build with.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rangers neglect to heed Hurricane Warning

Post-Game Thoughts:
  • Maybe I should stay off this blog thing... Granted, since December they haven't played better than average. Having said that, I chose a great night to begin blogging again. 
  • Giving up 2 quick goals to start a game is an absolute handicap and, given the desperation the Rangers know they need to play with right now, is unacceptable. 
  • Wade Redden only saw 7:13 of ice-time, mainly due to being benched after attempting to pinch in the neutral zone and failing, leading to the 3rd Carolina goal. He was Tortorella's scapegoat tonight. 
  • Henrik Lundqvist looked off tonight. Staal's goal was soft at best and it begs the question; when will the King get a rest?
  • Marian Gaborik is in a big time slump (2 goals in his last 12 games) and it showed tonight, shooting wide and whiffing on shots he normally buries. 
  • Ryan Callahan netted the lone Rangers goal...(no pun intended).
  • 7 goals in 4 games since being named Captain of the Hurricanes, you think Eric Staal is enjoying his new role?
Next Game:  Saturday 8 p.m. @ Phoenix to start a 3-game, West Coast trip.

Am I Pretty Enough?

With a new semester of The Neutral Zone radio show upon us, I figured the old blog could use a little media "makeover," if you will. And, with a Rangers game tonight against the Hurricanes, look for a long-awaited review of the game.

30 sec news Story

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Neutral Zone returns!

Thursdays at 10:00 am will mark the new date and time this semester you can hear The Neutral Zone. It should be another great semester of sports talk radio. And now with WKNJ FM streaming 90.3FM live, anyone around the world can listen. Tune in on Thursday and check it out!