I’ve mentioned before that I don’t usually pay too much attention to the draft because the Wings are picking so late and so rarely that there’s no need to stay glued to it. When Detroit does pick, it’s likely to be someone you’ve never heard of and won’t hear of again until four years later when they crack the lineup and become a superstar. Works for me.
I expected the Red Wings to deal their first round pick but it didn’t happen and they took goalie Thomas McCollum from the OHL’s Guelph Storm. This was the pick they had to make with all of their goalie prospects now in Detroit or Grand Rapids. Jimmy Howard should be the backup to Chris Osgood next year and Daniel Larsson will come over from Sweden to take Howard’s place with the Griffins so before this pick, there wasn’t anyone on the depth chart beyond that.
That said, the Wings would have no problem picking up a free agent goalie if none of these guys panned out, so I would have understood if they didn’t go for a netminder.
The trades are more interesting to me than anything.
This year we have Olli Jokinen going to Phoenix for Nick Boynton, Keith Ballard and the #49 pick. I think Phoenix absolutely screwed Florida on this one but it’s not like you’ll notice in the end ’cause the Panthers will remain mediocre; I don’t think the deal makes them worse, just that they could have gotten more.
Mike Cammalleri to Calgary came first and was a surprise to me ’cause I didn’t think the Flames would be the team to get him. I saw him going out East if anywhere.
Calgary getting Cammalleri finally made Alex Tanguay expendible and he was shipped to the Montreal Canadiens. This deal had been rumored back at the February trade deadline as Tanguay for Michael Ryder but ended up being a pick-based deal. It sounds like Montreal was the only possible destination for Tanguay, who Canadiens GM Bob Gainey said “was not comfortable with the Calgary Flames.”
The Philadelphia Flyers made two moves to wrap up the player trades. R.J. Umberger was moved to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a late first round pick in a deal that seems to show that Columbus will not persue Pittsburgh’s Ryan Malone, as had been rumored earlier this week. Umberger had a breakout season and I’m really not sure why the Flyers would deal him.
The Flyers then picked up Steve Eminger from Washington in another deal that surprises me a little ’cause I don’t know why the Caps would want to do that trade. Maybe those last two are a sign that I don’t pay enough attention to the Eastern Conference.