Mar 012009
 

With less than a week until the deadline, the GMs are burning phone lines and big names are starting to pop. Here’s a look at some of the players that have “buyer beware” tags.

Chris Pronger
I still maintain the fact that the Ducks would be ill-advised to deal Pronger at the deadline. The Ducks have played uninspired hockey all year long but still have enough talent to make it to the postseason. If they do, they’ll once again boast one of the stronger defensive corps with Pronger, Scott Niedermayer, and Ryan Whitney. However, the buyer beware tag on this guy is not so much on the ice as off it. Controversy still surrounds Pronger’s exit from Edmonton and is known to be a prima donna and has publicly stated on his blog that he is flat out refusing any trade out of Anaheim. Should Pronger land in a city he does not like, sitting out and demanding a trade is not out of the ordinary for him. Pronger has one more year remaining on his contract.

Jay Bouwmeester
He’s another guy that I don’t anticipate moving considering the Panthers’ strong play and playoff bid. Consistency and dedication was a problem for Bouwmeester early on the in the year when most predicted the Panthers to finish last in the Southeast, and Bouwmeester was reportedly very unhappy with the direction of the team. Although he boasts the skill set of a potential franchise defenseman, Bouwmeester has shied away from the spotlight and many people question his ability to anchor a blueline by himself or provide any sort of leadership role in the future.

Olli Jokinen
The key stat here is zero playoff games. While this can be attributed to the Panthers’ woes for the past few years, he was expected to push the Coyotes over the top and mentor their young kids. Clearly this hasn’t been the case and he’s on the block again. Part of this is because Jokinen has been known to be rather unpopular in the dressing room. Over the summer the Panthers and Canucks were involved in trade talks that involved Jokinen and the Sedins, but talks broke down after former Panther and now Canucks front office staff member Scott Mellanby advised against it, citing “character issues.”

Milan Hejduk

It’s no secret that the Sens have fallen from the top in just less than two years, but perhaps no team’s fall from grace has been more drawn-out than Colorado’s. A perennial powerhouse before the lockout, the aging Avs sit 15th in the West and are heading nowhere fast. With Ryan Smyth also on the block, the Avs seem committed to a full-youth movement and Hejduk does not figure into Francois Giguere’s plans. However, it’s a little known fact that Hejduk has publicly announced that it is his intention to retire from the NHL after he fulfills the last year of his contract in 2010 due to a knee injury that never healed properly. He did not skate all summer because of the knee and says that if he does continue playing hockey it’ll be in Europe. Hejduk turned 33 this year.

Tim Connolly
He may be one of the league’s best playmakers when healthy, but that’s the issue, and it’s a big one. Since the lockout, the injury-prone pivot has not played more than 63 games a year, and appeared in just two in the 2006-07 season. He has limited playoff experience but boasts pretty good stats, although some question his ability to handle a much more physical game in the playoffs. He has played well lately in Buffalo and this means that he is unlikely to move unless Buffalo gets the right offer. He has missed 167 games out of a possible 309 regular season games (54%) since the lockout.

Gary Roberts
Roberts was a very sought-after veteran for playoff bound teams looking to add veteran leadership and experience into the lineup. However, after being made a scratch by Michel Therrien in Pittsburgh’s playoff run, Roberts made his feelings clear that he was very unhappy about the decision. Whichever team that acquires Roberts will have to make sure he’s willing to accept less ice-time than usual and make his impact in the dressing room rather than on the ice.

  2 Responses to “Buyer Beware”

  1.  

    In general, I think teams would be prudent to target the lesser names. Guys like Bonk and Kuba would be useful, though I certainly wouldn’t give up a bunch of picks for these guys…

    I wouldn’t mind the Nucks and Preds making a Pyatt for Bonk swap. The preds are looking for a “top 6″ forward, which Pyatt fits the mold for more so than Bonk…while Bonk, Bernier and maybe Raymond could be a decent 3rd line – I like Wellwood and all but he has no place on this team anymore, certainly not as a checkling line centre…

  2.  

    Certainly lesser names would be easier and more attractive to acquire because of the monetary reasons and contract length.

    A Pyatt for Bonk swap makes sense for both teams – although Pyatt may be marginally better offensively than Bonk. The Preds lack top six depth and size up front and both players are UFAs-to-be. Worst case scenario, Pyatt leaves Nashville at the end of the year.

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