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January 22, 2019
by Michael Menser Dell, Editor-in-Chief
We’ll recap all the trade deadline nuttiness, or lack thereof, on tonight’s big fake radio show. Until then, here are my immediate first impressions...
Calgary Flames: El Scorcho added Olli Jokinen and Jordan Leopold. Well done. Jokinen is the true No. 1 center the Flames have always lacked, and Mike Keenan knows how to get the best out of him. Leopold should reclaim his old spot alongside Robyn Regehr, reuniting what used to be the team's shut-down pair of defensemen.
These moves position the Flames to make a serious run out West. It’s now a three-team race in the Campbell Conference, assuming, of course, the Flames can have enough healthy bodies to ice a team come April.
Oddly enough, the rash of injuries created the cap space needed to bring in Jokinen and Leopold. Why didn’t the Rangers just break Wade Redden’s leg?
The Pens also plucked veteran winger Craig Adams off waivers. He’s a swell fit on the fourth line and can murder penalties with the best of them.
It would have been nice to see the Pens add another veteran blueliner and even one more gritty winger, but Ray Shero has a new top line with Kunitz, Crosby, and Guerin, meaning Dupuis and Kennedy can play on the third and fourth lines where they belong.
But consider Pittsburgh’s possible lines…
And you still have Satan and Godard kicking around. Not too shabby. The important thing, though, is Shero bolstered his lineup for another playoff run without having to deal Staal, Caputi, Letang, Goligoski, Tangradi, or their first-round pick. At worst, they’re giving up a third for Guerin, and they had an extra third-rounder anyway.
Listen, Pittsburgh remains a flawed team. But with Crosby, Malkin, and Fleury, the Pens could beat anyone in the East.
Burrows and Ryan Kesler are one of the best duos in hockey, and Gillis has them both next year for a combined $3.75 million. That’s quality.
Anaheim Ducks: It’s a sad day on the Pond. Stanley Cup heroes Sammy Pahlsson, Travis Moen, and Kent Huskins all got the boot. From a hockey standpoint, it makes sense to get something for three veterans about to be unrestricted free agents, but it still hurts.