Sunday, October 1, 2006

And the final piece falls into place for Montreal.

After weeks of relative inactivity, we've bore witness to two crazy trades in two crazy days. Of course, we all heard how Carolina's Jim Rutherford, blinded by rage over the fact that his blue chip defensive prospect would have the audacity to choose not to rush headlong into the meat-grinder of the NHL at the age of 19, traded away Jack Johnson to the suddenly smart-looking L.A. Kings for former first-round defenceman Tim Gleason and centre Eric Belanger. (The only smart thing the Canes did in this was manage to convince L.A. to take on Oleg Tverdovsky's US$2.5-million as well.)

The winner in this deal is clear, as the return on this trade for Carolina is almost Prongerian in its fizzle, to say the least. But the Johnson moves pales in comparison to today's transaction involving Montreal and Dallas, which sees Mike Ribiero and a sixth-rounder in 2008 headed to Texas in exchange for Janne "Trapped Under Ice" Niinimaa and a fifth-rounder next year.

Huh? Whuh? I sort of get what Montreal is doing here, I guess. Ribiero is an undersized fireplug who can put up 50-60 points and is convinced they make the ice in his defensive end out of poison instead of water, and the Canadiens have more than enough players like that. But jeepers, guys, haven't you noticed how Niinimaa has been, you know... not very good at his position at all in the past few years? Offensively, he hasn't topped nine goals and 28 points since 2003. Defensively, he was a combined minus-12 with Dallas and Long Island last year.

Again, I'm baffled as to the return for whom one would think is a desireable player. Montreal trades away strength without really addressing a weakness, and they're paying more now, to boot (Janne's $2.5-mil to Mike's $1.9).


James Mirtle said...

They need another defenceman badly, and I'm guessing Ribeiro wouldn't fetch as much as you'd think. Good move by Armstrong hanging onto guys like Klemm and Daley, though.

Anonymous said...

I'm usually not a fan of sacred cows but I find it hard to say anything bad about Janne. He hasn't been the same since he hurt his back in the season the Oilers dealt him away. He gritted it out and played through it and I'm grateful for that. if he'd taken the time off his career might have been better off for it.


Eyeris said...

Remember those times when Niinimaa hung around the Blackdog and just seemed to be very happy? I don't, because I wasn't old enough to go to the Dog during those days. But I bet Niinimaa does since those seems to be the best days of his life, at least career-wise.

case said...

i miss metalmaa. he sullied the dog, listened to slayer and napalm death before games, and went to raised fist in ed with his wife who i think was wearing a mink. he is punk rahockey in the cheL.

Vic Ferrari said...

I hope Niinimaa is healthy again, he claims to be. I don't think I've ever seen a player take so many hard hits. Seems to be his modus operandi, buys that extra fraction of a second by standing in there. If I ignored his powerplay crappiness, he was a pretty easy player to like when he was an Oiler.

Jordi said...

Well it seems that the Ribeiro-less line scored as soon as he was out of it. Coincidence? I think not. I think Gainey was paying anyone to get rid of this guy.

Though to be fair I'm just more interested in spelling Niinimaa