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PRINCE OF PUCKS: Analysis of recent trades

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At home in Prince Edward Island, Canada, he's known as Lyle Richardson. But around these parts, he's known as Spector, FOXSports.com's Prince of Pucks. Check in with Spector for the latest NHL rumors from around the league. And feel free to let him know what you think. Not a lot of rumors this week, but the mill is still buzzing over the two deals that recently went down. First, we saw the Colorado ship former Calder-winning winger and checking center to the Calgary in exchange for defenseman and grinding forwards and . It was rumored for months that the were shopping Morris in hopes of landing quality scoring depth. There's some hand-wringing in the Calgary press over losing "a potential Norris winner," but the had to do something to obtain a quality scoring forward, and it takes quality to land quality. Sure, Morris is a blueline "stud," but without offensive depth, they risked being outside the playoff picture for another season. Meanwhile, there were rumblings out of Colorado since June of Avs GM Pierre Lacroix dangling one of his good young forwards to bring in a smooth-skating puck-moving blueliner. Many believed was the likely candidate to be dealt by Colorado, so the trading of Drury came as a bit of a surprise. So why did Lacroix decide to move Drury, rather than Tanguay? Some suggest the former rookie of the year suffered last season due to 's absence. A valid point, however, Tanguay's offensive production also dipped dramatically last year, as did most of the Avs forwards, due primarily to injuries. While Drury didn't rack up as many assists as he did in previous years, he still cracked the 20-goal mark for the fourth straight season. He may have missed playing with Forsberg, but that doesn't mean he's ridden his coattails. There is a suggestion Drury was moved to cut salary, but by taking on the combined salaries of Morris, McAmmond and Shantz and comparing them to Drury's and Yelle's, the Avs actually gained $1,325,000 in salary. Perhaps Lacroix believes Tanguay has more upside than Drury? Or maybe the believe Drury to be the better man and a far better return for Morris? Whatever the reason, it's a good trade for both clubs. The shored up their blueline. The addressed their need for more offensive depth and pared payroll. Now, before we proceed, allow me a moment to finish scraping the egg off my face ¿ ahhh, that's better. You see, I made the assumption there was no way a team would swing a trade with the Ottawa for backup goalie if it appeared he would be left unprotected in the Oct. 4 waiver draft. Worse, I thought the Sens would protect Hurme and risk exposing prospect netminder , who has no experience at the NHL level. Instead, what to my wondering eyes does appear but reports of Hurme being dealt to the Florida for prospects! As I'm rapidly learning, in this business, public pronouncements regarding potential player movements are made at one's peril. This trade is a bit of a gamble for the Sens, as Hurme is an experienced backup. However, GM John Muckler obviously has faith that Prusek can step in and perform as well as — or better than — Hurme. It remains to be seen if the two prospects (center Greg Weston and goalie ) will develop into capable NHLers. As for the , they gave up little to get a quality backup for starter . Hurme also comes cheaper than his predecessor, . For the short term, give the edge to the on this deal. Check out Spector's hockey page and buy his book.
Tagged: Senators, Maple Leafs

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