Now that the NHL is on Olympic break and the roster freezes have set in, it seems like a great time to start looking hard at the NHL rumours that are bound to come up as we come out of the break and move closer to the March 5th.
I’ve put together 7 rumours that could be completely ridiculous… but they could also not be so ridiculous depending on how desperate or charming certain General Managers can be on the phone in the next month.
Toronto Maple Leafs get: Nail Yakupov – Edmonton Oilers get: Nazem Kadri
Calm down Leaf fans. I know you love Nazem, and I don’t blame you. But there have been frustrations and who knows what’s coming in the next contract talks – and the truth is that Coach, Randolph Robert Carlyle isn’t a huge fan of the young man. And in Edmonton, Yakupov’s troubles have been well documented. That team is stacked with young talent that needs to put it together. Maybe both of these players just need to be transplanted for their own good, and the good of their current teams.
Buffalo Sabres get: 3 draft picks, Michal Neuvirth & Brandon Segal – Washington Capitals get: Ryan Miller
Fact: Miller is 99% out the door in Buffalo. Fact: New GM Tim Murray doesn’t want to lose him for nothing. Fact: Washington could improve their team with a veteran goaltender with Ryan Miller’s skill set and ability. This deal would see Buffalo retool and Washington prepare for a playoff push. Win/win?
New York Islanders get: 2 draft picks, Mika Zibanejad, Shane Prince and a Beavertail – Ottawa Senators get: Thomas Vanek
Almost every hockey expert in the world says that Vanek wants to land in Minnesota to start next season. But the Islanders want to move him now. So why not Ottawa? They could use some more goals. And Jason Spezza would love another sniper to try and gel with.
Buffalo Sabres get: 2 draft picks & Curtis McKenzie - Dallas Stars get: Matt Moulson
Much like Vanek, Moulson needs to be moved. It was probably the plan all along when Buffalo brought him in. Dallas needs a push to get into the playoffs… they don’t want to stay in the current tie for 8th. Moulson is a good player and this deal would see Buffalo add a 23 year old winger and 2 more draft picks.
Calgary Flames get: 1 draft pick & Colton Sissons – Nashville Predators get: Mike Cammalleri
The Flames are a mess, this we know. And Cammalleri needs to be somewhere else, sooner rather than later. Nashville doesn’t score much and maybe the plucky forward would fit in well in the Country Music Capitol. The Flames can’t expect to get much back in this deal – I think a pick and an AHL player might be as good as it gets.
Winnipeg Jets get: 2 draft picks, Douglas Murray, Christian Thomas – Montreal Canadiens get: Evander Kane
Rumour has it that Kane is available. Rumour also has it that Montreal is looking for a top six forward that can put the puck in the net. It seems like a perfect match to me. Maybe Douglas Murray isn’t the guy they want to take, but Thomas could turn into something and draft picks are always available on trade deadline day.
Side note: As a Habs fan I would welcome Evander Kane with open arms.
Montreal Canadiens get: a bag of pucks & a 3rd-5th round draft pick – Any team in the NHL gets: Rene Bourque
Honestly, someone make an offer. Please.
We all know that more rumours are coming. Hell, SportsNet has been running the trade tracker for what seems like 2 months… and there’s nothing happening yet.
The best thing that we can do is keep our eyes and ears open and hope that our favourite teams make the best moves possible for now and the future.
The countdown is on!
And when her 3rd place score was shown on TV, computer, and mobile screens we exhaled and started celebrating our first Silver AND Gold medals of the Sochi games. What makes it even more extraordinary is the fact that sisters Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe will be wearing those medals for Canada.
Side note: Canada also won its first Gold medal of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics in the Freestyle Moguls when Alexandre Bilodeau shocked the world on February 14th, 2010.
Twitter has been abuzz with comments, congratulations and photos of the Dufour-Lapointe sisters since their win – and I’ve picked my favourites to share right here and now.
Enjoy and be sure to check out the Twitter accounts that they came from as I’m sure they’ll all have more Olympic goodness as the games continue in Sochi.
ℚ Will the Blue Jays be getting any starting pitching help? Like maybe A.J. Burnett or Ubaldo Jimenez or Ervin Santana… or someone else… anyone else…
ℚ Who will be the every day 2nd baseman? Ryan Goins, Maicer Izturis, Stephen Drew…
ℚ Is Colby going to get an extension or is he looking like trade bait in July?
ℚ Who is the 4th outfielder at the start of the season… Anthony Gose, Kevin Pillar, Moises Sierra, Kenny Wilson, other?
ℚ Can Brett Lawrie find the consistency and production and health needed to contribute the way he’s expected to?
ℚ Can the Blue Jays win more games in 2014 than we did in 2013?
ℚ Will Toronto finish higher in 2014 than we did in 2013?
ℚ Will the Toronto Blue Jays make the playoffs in 2014?
Here are my answers to those questions… in order: I hope so, I don’t know, No, Sierra, Yes, Yes, Yes, Ask me again in August.
I don’t know if we’re going to add another starting pitcher or not. I really don’t. But I hope so. It’s getting late to be adding someone. However, as they say, better late than never.
The Burnett fit might be best, although that would give us a pretty old starting rotation. But if we can get him without a no-trade, he could be perfect for 2 years, or 1 year, or less while we wait to see what our rehabing young guys are capable of.
At 2nd base, I have no idea. My gut says that Goins will get a chance to make this team out of Spring Training. But Izturis is still the vet and still makes more money which will probably give him an edge and a “your job to lose” situation to start the season. I do not think that Stephen Drew is coming to Toronto to play 2nd base. And while Munenori Kawasaki will be in Buffalo learning, I don’t think we’ll see him unless a) there’s an injury on the infield OR b) Izturis is moved and we don’t get an infielder back in the deal.
Colby avoided arbitration this winter, just like every Blue Jay does… but he didn’t get the big deal to stay in TO long term that I was hoping for. What I’ve heard is that this could be similar to the Edwin Encarnacion situation. If Colby can keep the strikeouts down, the defense up, the power where it is, and stays healthy – he should be presented with an extension offer sometime around the All-Star break. I’m looking forward to that news and a 4 or 5 year deal for Rasmus to stay in Toronto until he’s 31 or 32.
The 4th outfielder thing is going to come down to Spring Training I think. I would lean towards Kevin Pillar because I think he has the lowest upside and I would like to see Gose and Sierra play every day in Buffalo to develop. I also think that Anthony Gose and Moises Sierra are our best trade chips (that AA would move fastest) if we go that route for a starting pitcher. With all of that said, a HUGE spring at the plate for any of these guys could determine who gets to come all the way north.
Brett Lawrie is an interesting case for the 2014 season. Last year we know he was hurt when things kicked off and he was probably pressing when he came back. It meant a slow start and poor results. But if he can get his head wrapped around slowing the game down and having good at bats, I believe he can put up the kind of numbers we saw when he came up as a rookie. His defense should also continue to improve, which is a good thing for all of our pitchers.
The Toronto Blue Jays only won 74 games in 2013… so I’m saying yes, we will win more than that in 2014.
And since we finished 5th (last) in the division last season, an improved record (especially against the AL East) should give us a higher finish in 2014.
To make the playoffs last season in the American League you needed 92 wins. That would be an 18 win improvement for the Blue Jays this season. Can they do it? With health, better pitching and fewers downs than ups, it’s possible. I’m hesitant to say that they will, because I’m trying to be realistic…
But I really hope so!
Stay tuned to the blog as we move from the Spring Training Countdown to the Opening Day Countdown and we learn more about what the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays will look like and what we should expect from this team.
And then I got to thinking, do other people remember their first car the way that I do mine?
So I asked the Twitter and I got answers:
I noticed a few interesting things about the answers…
1) 3 of 11 people included the colour of their 1st car, even though I didn’t ask.
2) Chevy is the only brand that’s been represented more than time… and it’s only twice.
3) I’ve also owned a Mazda 626.
4) 8 of 11 people included the year of their 1st car, even though I didn’t ask.
I don’t know.
But I like it. I think it’s romantic. It’s cool that we all look back and remember those details and want to tell other people about them. They stay with us.
I bought my maroon Shadow when I was 17 and it was awesome. We lived in the country so I finally had wheels to get to school without the bus, to work without my mom, and into town to see friends instead of sitting at home.
It also allowed me to stuff in 7 passengers and head 11.5km to McDonald’s in Cobourg at lunch.
But more than anything it was one of the first steps to being an adult.
And while I don’t drive now… and don’t know if or when I will again – but I’ll always remember that car.
What was your first car? And do you still love those memories the same way that I do?