Worst NHL trades since 1980

Personally, I am sick and tired of people whining and bitching about the Ryan Smyth deal. So I thought to myself why not make a list of trades that are far worse so if by the odd chance someone pissed off about the trade reads it they think, wow maybe it’s not so bad we didn’t get screwed as bas as these guys (BTW I like the trade 5.5 is too much for Smyth no matter what he has done for the organization)

Here is my list of top 10 worst trades of all time after 1980 based on player performance with the teams in the trades. As well, some people may not agree but I also considered draft picks and who the team took as part of the trade even though picks are a risky business.

Honorable Mentions:

12. St. Louis trades Chris Pronger to Edmonton Oilers for Eric Brewer, Jeff Woywitka and Doug Lynch

If I really need to explain you are not a hockey fan.

11. Martin St. Louis was put on waivers by the Calgary Flames and picked up by the Tampa Bay Lightening

Calgary got nothing while Tampa Bay got a player that since has scored 397 regular season point in 451 games while winning and Art Ross Trophy and Stanley Cup ring in 2003-2004

The List:

10. Winnipeg Jets traded Kris Draper to the Detroit Red Wings for one US dollar

Some people might point out that this does not involve any real marquis players. However, you could find a dollar on the street. Whereas, I have yet to find an 8th round NHL draft pick on the street. As well, Kris Draper was a key part in the Detroit Stanley Cups in 96-97, 97-98, and 01-02.

9. On October 16, 1989 the Toronto Maple Leafs traded their 3rd overall pick to the New Jersey Devils for Tom Kurvers. The 3rd pick ended up being Scott Niedermayer

Toronto wanted an offensive defenseman and saw that Mr. Kurvers was available. Tom ended up playing 89 games scoring 55 points with the Maple Leafs before being traded to the Vancouver Canucks. Where as Scott Niedermayer played 892 games scoring 476 points for the Devils

8. On July 11, 2001 Jaromir Jagr was traded with Frantisek Kucera from the Pittsburg Penguins to the Washington Capitals for Kris Beech, Ross Lupaschuk and Michal Sivek

Pittsburg was giving up its leading scorer in Jagr due to monetary reasons, however, trading Jagr for these guys breaks down as Jagr 806 games played in Pittsburg (regular season), 2 Stanley Cups, 1079 points for Beech (95 GP, 27 PTS), Lupaschuk (3 GP, 0 PTS) and Sivek (38 GP, 6 PTS)

7. On January 23, 2004 the same Jaromir Jagr was traded from the Washington Capitals to the New York Rangers straight up for Anson Carter

You could really flip flop 7 and 8 the only reason I have this one lower is because Washington only got one player instead of 3. So why it was bad, obviously this was another salary dump. However, in Jagr’s time in Washington he compiled 190 GP, 201 PTS. Whereas, Carter compiled 19 GP, 10 PTS before being traded to the Los Angles Kings in the same season for Jared Aulin. So this trade ends up being Jagr (previous stats) for Aulin (0 GP, 0 PTS). Both of these trades would have been rated lower if it obviously had not been a salary dump.

6. On June 23, 2006 the Florida Panthers trade Roberto Luongo, Lukas Krajicek and a 6th round (Sergei Shirokov) for Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Allen, Alex Auld

When you look at this trade two names stand out Luongo and Bertuzzi. Now granted Florida could not have seen Bertuzzi getting hurt 7 games into the year. However, he did. So the trade stacks up Luongo (the reason Vancouver will make the playoffs) at 70 GP 43-20-6, 2.29 GAA, 0.921 SV% and Krajicek 73 GP, 15 PTS for Auld 27 GP 7-13-5, 3.35 GAA, 0.888 SV%, Allen 75 GP, 21 PTS, and Bertuzzi 7 GP, 7 PTS. Then to cap it all off Bertuzzi gets dealt to the Red Wings for Shawn Matthais (and two draft picks if the Red Wings make it to the finals this year). In case you were wondering Matthais is playing for the Belleville Bulls and has 73 points in his 3rd junior year.

5. On June 24, 2000 the New York Islander trade Roberto Luongo and Olli Jokinen for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha

Well let’s see Florida got a goalie that could have easily been a major piece to build a franchise around. That didn’t happen ala number 6. However, this is still a great deal for the Panthers. In this deal they got Luongo who went 318 GP 108-154-41, 2.66 GAA, .920 SV% and Jokinen who has 478 GP and 336 points. All for Mark Parrish 345 GP, 214 PTS and Kvasha 332 GP, 156 PTS. So, if you look at this trade points-wise (Jokinen has only 24 less than Parrish and Kvasha and is still on the Panthers), intangibles (Jokinen being the current captain of the Panthers), and the fact that they got Luongo this deal is incredible. If you are wondering Parrish was shipped to the Kings with Brent Sopel for Denis Grebeshkov (GO OILERS GO) and Jeff Tambellini. As well Kvasha was shipped to the Coyotes for future considerations and a 3rd round pick. So overall trade Islander perspective Luongo and Jokinen for Tambellini, Marc Andre Bergeron, and a 3rd round pick

4. On November 30, 2005 the Boston Bruins trade Joe Thornton to the San Jose Sharks for Wayne Primeau, Marco Sturm and Brad Stuart (leaving Edmontonians to thing we had that kind of crap to give up for him)

Well where to start, over his time with the Sharks Thornton has 134 GP and 196 PTS. Not to mention he helped Jonathan Cheechoo to become one of the leagues most dangerous triggermen. Whereas, the stats for the other three read as Sturm 120 GP, 85 PTS, Primeau 101 GP, 29 PTS and Stuart 103 GP and 48 PTS. So not only has Thornton outscored them by 34 points two of the players acquired (Stuart and Primeau) were dealt to the Flames for Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew. This was done because Stuart was going to walk as a free agent at the end of the year. As well, Boston GM Peter Chiarelli was put in-between a rock and a hard place. Bruins fans did not want to have nothing to show for previous GM Mike O’Connell’s buffoonery at the end of this year (as Sturm was a free agent) so had to grossly overpay for a 50 point per year player (3.5 million).

3. On June 23, 2001 the New York Islander trade Bill Muckalt, Zdeno Chara and a 1st round pick (turned out to be Jason Spezza) to the Ottawa Senators for Alexei Yashin

Seriously this deal was highway robbery. Current day I would not even trade Spezza straight up for Yashin. In this deal Ottawa gave up a #1 center and got a better #1 center, a #1 defensemen and a 4th line plugger. Looking at the stats Yashin so far on the Island has 339 GP, 278 PTS and a jaw dropping 7.6 million dollar cap hit. Whereas, Spezza has 240 GP, 245 PTS, Chara had (left as a free agent) 299 GP, 146 PTS and Muckalt had 70 GP, 8 PTS. Plus Chara and Spezza have helped the Senators get into the playoff each year since 01-02 while the Islander have missed the playoffs twice

2. On March 20, 1996 the Vancouver Canucks trade Alek Stojanov to the Pittsburgh Penguins for little known Markus Naslund

Are you kidding me Naslund for Stojanov? Let’s compare these two: Stojanov 35 GP, 6 PTS. Whereas, Naslund 795 GP, 696 PTS. Do I need to continue? Naslund was part of one of the last great league dominating lines (with Bertuzzi and Morrison). He has been the captain of the Canucks since 2000. Worst part of the deal… the Penguins actually initiated it wanting to dump Naslund because coach Eddie Johnston though Naslund was a flash in the pan and wanted a safer prospect. Good Call

1. (b) On June 30, 1992 the Philadelphia Flyers traded Chris Simon, Mike Ricci, Kerry Huffman, Ron Hextall, Steve Duchesne, Peter Forsberg, 1st round pick in 1993 (Adam Deadmarsh), 1st round pick in 1994 (Wade Belak), future considerations and cash to the Quebec Nordiques for Eric Lindros

Seriously, again even in the 90s I would not have done a trade of Lindros for Forsberg straight up. Let us just look at those two players for a comparison Lindros 486 GP, 659 points. Forsberg 580 GP, 741 PTS, Stanley Cups in 95-96 and 00-01. Advantage Forsberg. Now you throw in all the other players even if they were busts this deal hands down belongs to the Nordique/Avalanche connection. BTW in 97 Ricci turned into Tanguay.

1. (a) On August 9, 1988 the Edmonton Oilers trade Wayne Gretzky, Mike Krushelnyski and Marty McSorley to the Los Angeles Kings for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, a 1st round pick in 1989 (Jason Miller), 1st round pick in 1991 (Martin Rucinsky), a 1st round pick in 1993 (Nick Stajduhar) and about 15 million in cash.

Are you kidding me there is no way to justify this trade. Yes the Oilers win another cup but seriously. Gretzky goes on to play 539 games and scoring 918 points. Compare that to the entire group of Carson, Gelinas, Miller (traded to New Jersey for Corey Foster (0 GP 0 PTS by the way)), Rucinsky (Traded to Quebec for Ron Tugnutt and Brad Zavisha), Stajduhar

Carson 84 103
Gelinas 258 120
Miller 0 0
Rucinsky 2 0
Stajduhar 2 0

Totals 346 223

Roughly 193 games and 695 points shy. Point. Set. Match. Worst trade ever.

I hope this puts the Smyth trade into perspective for all you candy sucking cry-babies.


Maybe it is time to....

just quit

On Wednesday night 19 seconds into the game, on a team that is missing the playoffs and probably going to finish last in the league, Todd Fedoruk thinks that it is a good idea to drop the gloves and fight Colton Orr. Now granted one of these teams has something to play for but the Flyers and Fedoruk really have nothing.

I am not saying that he shouldn’t have fought, but he didn't need too. After what happened earlier in the year (first video) maybe Fedoruk should realize that dropping the mitts is not in his best interest.

Now, what leads to this KO and the one at the hands of the bogeyman? First and foremost one Fedoruk should really learn how to protect himself. In every fight this guy has had he leaves his face wide open (probably the reason he has steel plates in both checks). Also, he is always off balance which leaves him wide open for the haymaker. All in all, I think that maybe Fedoruk should realize to leave the fighting up to people who are good at it.


Blame Game Part I

“First to worst”, “Champs to chumps”, “Absolute fucking garbage”….while working on slogans for the Oilers’ season ticket campaign I was thinking about how we could go from such glory to this. I remember the Stanley Cup being in Rexall for game 6 and thinking it couldn’t get any better than this, and that was only about nine months ago. What went wrong? Everyone wants to say it was our AHL defence, or how the “deepest set of forwards in the NHL” (a Kelly Hrudey quote) could be 29th in goals for (I hope Columbus passes us), or some even say the injuries of late, and I’m not even going to touch on the Smyth trade (though I’ll say it largely contributes to our losing streak).

But I think I’m going to say it is none of the above (well the second one is close). We are fucktacular because certain players caught KLowe (he should be a bad rapper) in a state of euphoric disillusion post playoff and bent him over the bargaining table. There contracts have forced us to remain status quo because they are payed well to play a position they do not succeed at and the money they make has tied up our budget to bring in better players. I’m going to say Fernando Pisani, Ales Hemsky, and Shawn Horcoff should take the lion’s share of blame. That’s right, those exact three players. They took playoff glory and got blank cheques from Lowe and the EIG and then went on cruise easy street in their Escalades. Now I know you going to want to say guys like Lupul and Torres have done fuck all this season and your right, but they don’t get the blame. Lupul’s contributed nothing to last years cup run so he shouldn’t have been expected to do it this year and his 2.2 mil salary is decent for the 28 goal scorer he was last season (GM’s can’t see into the future….shocking I know, now if only everyone else knew). Now you’re going to say well Torres did, and your right, but he makes 900k this season, and this post is about bang for your buck, unfortunately he’s about even or slightly below which is close enough to be left off the list, but still leaving a sour taste in my mouth after what I saw him do last year.

Now I’ll break the list down even further. Pisani has 25 points in 68 games, and 2.5 million that does not make, but he provides two way play like no other forward and it shows as he currently leads our team overall in +/- (amongst regulars). His 14 goals are about on par with what he’s accustomed to and we all have to admit he was paid because he was deemed a playoff performer (Re: John Madden) and not making the playoffs didn’t allow him the chance to earn his money. Ales Hemsky’s season can not be considered as good as his last. 49 points in 57 games is not very good but is only a mediocre drop in points per game (.86 this, .95 last). His 3.5 mil salary this season was paid thinking he would improve upon his totals of last season, his underachieving pales in comparison to the greatest cancer this team has had to bare. That’s right, the super model himself. Shawn fucking Horcoff. I’m writing this assuming that we can all agree prior to this season we knew 3.6 mil was an overpayment, we just didn’t realize how much of one. But I’m not here to argue his contract. Wow it’s the end of the third paragraph and I’m finally getting to my point. The Edmonton Oilers (as any hockey team) have needed a first line center all season and Horcoff as FAILED in that role. Shawn Horcoff is not a first line center and does not belong on the Oilers.

The expectations I hold to the 1C spot on any roster is a player who can carry the load offensively for his team no matter the circumstances (or linemates), still hold his head above water defensively. For comparisons sake, I created a list of all first line centers in the NHL. It shows their point per game totals over the past three seasons in the NHL as well as the total +/- of these seasons.






Avg. of 3

Total +/-







San Jose














































































H. Sedin













Los Angeles



















New Jersey



































St. Louis






















































*As of March 24, 2007.

So as you can see Horcoff ranks 24th out of 30 centers in scoring this season. Of the bottom 15 teams listed only 6 are in the playoffs and of the top 15 teams listed 10 of them currently hold a playoff spot. Of the top 18 teams 13 hold playoff spots leaving only 3 of the bottom 12 teams in the playoffs. Only 1 in the bottom 8 holds a spot and that is because Holik plays on a team with Marian Hossa and Ilya Kovalchuk, and the Thrashers also felt a glaring need for a #1C so they traded for Tkachuk in Feburary.

This shows a relationship between the offensive performance of you top center and your teams overall performance. Other things that stand out from the chart are the +/- of every player. Only 2 players out of the 30 have a worse +/- over the last 3 years than Horcoff. Of the 16 teams currently in playoff positions only 2 have plus with a negative +/- (Holik, Staal).

End of Part I


March Madness

Is it just me? Am I the only one that does not care one iota about American University and College sports? According to The Score I am.

If I want to know the score of the latest Oiler game I have to watch their ticker which after about 5 minutes while NCAA basketball games and in the fall football games are displayed. As well, lately, instead of leading off each and every hour of highlights with some relevant Canadian content (ie hockey and the playoff races (Toronto and Montreal in the East and how Calgary is going to be ousted by the Avalanche (yes it is going to happen))) they find it important to tell me who has won in the latest round of the NCAA tournament. Which to me and about 30 million other Canadians it is not. Now, if The Score was an American station would I have a problem with it? No, because people in America care less about the NHL then they do about NCAA.

If you look at the NCAA attendance figures available at http://www.ncaasports.com/basketball/mens/stats/stats the average attendance at the NCAA games in the March Madness tournament have been 19,150. This includes a game in Chicago on March 16 where Georgia Tech (10) played UNLV (7). This game was in the first round of the tournament and drew a crowd of 18,130 people.

Now you might say wait a minute Atlanta (where Georgia Tech is) is at least 11 hours away from Chicago (according to google maps) and Las Vegas is about a day and 2 hours away. This means that probably 15,000 or more of those who paid attendance would be from the Chicago area.

Ok, so why is it important the 15,000 people paid an average of 28 dollars a ticket to watch an NCAA game?

Well, 10 days earlier when the Chicago Blackhawks played the Los Angles Kings only 9,118 people decided to show up. Now you might say that is because the price will be so much higher, but in fact it is actually only 10 dollars higher at 38 dollars. So, roughly 6,000 more people wanted to watch a College sports over a professional hockey team.

However, to get back to my point, I think that stations like The Score, Sportsnet or TSN should not be bumping NHL hockey out of the prime time spots for March Madness even on highlight shows. The NHL has a tough enough time getting airplay in the US, so why cut it off from its largest market in the Canada. At least that is my two cents. Love it or leave it



Today it was announced that the Oilers have a new minor league affiliation agreement with a team in Springfield, Mass. Its good news considering this season we have had our prospects playing on 5 different teams and there is more players on the way for next season. So i thought I'd take a stab at next seasons AHL roster. Let me know who I forget.


Trukno-Schremp- F/A











So that is the line-up i'd go with our current prospects. Though I could see signing an AHL veteran or two to provide stability and leadership. I've given credit to Nillsson and Grebeshkov as guys who will be playing in the NHL next year. Its tough to keep guys like Gilbert down cause they are NHL ready but we just have too many rookies. One thing I did notice is that we are very weak on the right side. O'Marra is a natural center and has the tools to play the position well so someone else should probably move to the wing over him but thats just the way i put it. Bodie has had a decent ECHL season and Goulet has had a below average season for the points he put up in the 'Q' last season. I don't know if Umicevic will be coming to NA next season, i'd like him to, but if he doesnt i'd say its about time to give up on the guy. Does OK for himself in Europe (22 years old, SWE, 28pts/51gp).

I know lots of you are going to flame me for putting Schremp on our AHL team, but I truly think this is where he belongs. I would say he was having a below average AHL season (for his pedigree) until Nilsson was traded here and since then has been hot. His overall season is actually better than Pouliot's rookie campaign (though Schremp plays on a much better team) but he hasn't been asked to carry the mail offensively where Pouliot more or less was. When he's bad there have been other players scoring (Pouliot, Jacques, Filewich, other pens players). He has greatly improved his overall game (is a +2 last i checked which is better than both Pouliot and Jacques in their rookie years). But he needs to be deemed the first line center and given that responsibility to play against the top checkers and still deliver. Make him earn every inch he gets in this game. I'd like to do the same with JDD, so thats why I have him there. We'll see how the summer shakes out.
P.S. The team will continue with the name it had before. The Springfield Falcons.


Cheap shot or self preservation?

Was this a cheap shot? From what I see in the clip Tootoo hits Modano and while wheeling around sees Robidas coming in.
Robidas is obviously coming in to respond to the hit. Tootoo just beats him to the punch. Was the reaction correct. No should is be punished by the league probably.

Albertaless Playoffs

It is my humble Opinion that we in Alberta are going to have an Albertaless May and June. Here is why:

Current Standings:

8 CALGARY 72 37 25 10 84 231 200 28-7-2 9-18-8 5-4-1

9 COLORADO 71 36 29 6 78 234 221 19-14-3 17-15-3 7-1-2

Calgary 10 games left (6 away, 4 home)

Away: keep in mind that their away record is 9-18-8 or 9-26 (so on average they will win 1.5 or 2 of their final road games) so it goes

Chicago win
Wild lose
Wild lose
Canucks win
Sharks lose
Avalanche lose

Home: Very good at home 28-7-2 or 28-9 (so on average they will take 3 of their home games) but look who they play

Detroit lose
Nashville win
Avalanche win
Oilers win

With this they would end up 42-30-10 or 42-40 (win % 512) for 92 points

Colorado 11 games left (5 home, 6 away)

Away: above 500 before taking shootout into effect 17-15-3 or 17-18 (so on average they will win 3 of their away games (I am giving them one more because they play the Oilers twice in Edmonton)

Oilers win
Oilers win
Canucks lose
Coyotes win
Flames lose
Canucks win

Home: Again above 500 with a 19-14-3 or 19-17 record (so on average they will win 3 of the 5 games)

Sharks lose
Canucks win
Wild win
Predators lose
Flames win

They end with 43-33-6 or 43-39 (win % 524) for 92 points

Based on first tie breaker wins Colorado moves on to the playoffs. Also without all the stats you have to look at it as Colorado (7-2-1 last 10)is on fire right now and the Flames (5-4-1 last 10) are struggling to keep their heads above water. I think come April 8th we will share some Kleenex (or facial tissue if you dont like the Kleenex brand) with our neighbors to the south.

Shooting for the Wrong Targets?

With Rolie's comment in the paper the other day

"This was the last place I wanted to go, Edmonton," admitted goaltender Dwayne Roloson, who came here at the 2006 trade deadline


I think that the Oilers will have a tough time landing high profile UFAs. I think that correct thing to do is to make two small moves. For Example Preissing (2.5 million) and Hartnell (1.5 million) and make a splash in the RFAs with a trade.

How does NYI pick + ANI pick + Pouliot + JDD for Bouwmeester and Weiss sound?

Quirky AHL Rules

  • Veteran Rule: A limit is set on the number of "veterans" a team may dress for a game. The AHL considers a "veteran" any player who has played, as of the start of the season, more than 260 regular-season games combined in the AHL, NHL, IHL, or any European elite league. In 2006-07, teams may dress a maximum of 17 skaters (plus two goaltenders) for a regular-season AHL game. Of these 17 skaters, no more than five may be classified as "veterans."

  • Only 4 players per team are allowed to use their personal sticks, the rest must used the sponsored brand of stick the AHL provides (I believe at this time its RBK)

  • The on going eligibility age debate is very confusing. Here is what i have unofficially heard: You have to turn 20 by December 31st to be eligible to play in the AHL with a few exceptions that I know of:
  1. If you're a European whose rights are not owned by any Canadian junior team

  2. If a player has played 4 years of Junior hockey

  3. College players

  4. After a player's junior or college season is completely over (including playoffs or tournaments), the player can sign a PTO with and AHL team and be eligible to play
So basically what i understand is that the rule that you must be 20 by Dec. 31 to play in the AHL is an agreement between the CHL and NHL and therefore only applys to players who play Canadian Junior, not college or European players. This is why a guy like Smid could play last year at 19 and a guy like Schremp had to go back to London.

Greene: Boom or Bust?

There has been a lot of debate about what type of NHL player Matt Greene is. Last season he went from the AHL to the NHL in a very short time, and when he got here he played to stay. Many felt he was a steal in the second round because of his ability to play at a high level so early in his career. He was a stay-at-home defenceman who had a mean streak. Very big and strong for his age. He received a lot of comparison to Jason Smith for his style of play.

But then came the '06 playoffs and all of a sudden Greene was taking more penalties than anyone else. So the debate started, some would say it was because he is so much stronger than the forwards he's playing against, others would say its to make up for his lack of skill. According to behindthenet.ca here is the quality of competition the Oiler's defenceman have been playing against (higher the number tougher the comp):

Smith 0.132

Hejda 0.123

Tjarnqvist 0.085

Smid 0.057

Staios 0.045

Greene -0.037

Now here is the +/- of each of these players:

Tjarnqvist +3

Staios -5

Hejda -6

Smith -8

Smid -12

Greene -15

So not only is Matt Greene playing against the weakest competition of our defenceman he is getting the poorest results. He is losing battles to more skilled players and he doesn't have the foot speed to make up for it. As far as I'm concerned, Matt Greene is trade bait.

KLowe: Point and Shoot

With the all the impending decisions to be made on the back end this summer I have a feeling our defence will not be the same as it was when we started the 06-07 season (at least better not be). I figure the Oiler will have 2 open positions to fill this season. Players on our blueline from this year to next: Smith, Staios, Smid, Hejda. That leaves 2 spots for a UFA, trade, or rookie to fill. Personally I don't see a top pairing Dman in that group, but getting 2 top pairing Dman in one summer would be ridiculously beyond Edmonton's capabilities, and the lack of availability makes this even harder.

So I'll start it off with my top 5 choices for unrestricted free agent defenceman the Oilers should go after this summer. With age and 06/07 salary(not cap hit) in parenthesis.

  1. Timonen, Kimmo (age 31) (2.28mil) - A consistent offensive player who has put up at least 50 pts the last 2 season and 40 pts the 3 seasons prior to that. Half of his pts this season have come on the PP. A steady +18 this year (though a minus player over his career) shows his ability to play defence as well. Currently Nashvilles #1 defenceman. Will be looking for ridiculously big money as the top free agent defender, like Ryan Smyth money.

  2. Phillips, Chris (age 28) (2.2mil) - About a 20 pt/season player over his career. Has a heavy shot from the point but that's not his game. Is a consistent plus player over his career that logs heavy minutes. Has 0 of his 22 pts this season on the PP. As probably the second biggest name on the market, he'll be looking for approx 4-4.5mil per.

  3. Markov, Andre (age 27) (2.0mil) - Has avg 45 pts over his last two seasons. Logs top 2 minutes on MTL's blueline and has a "rocket" for a shot. Will make blunders in his own zone. Not as well known as the previous two, hes younger than the rest and is just hitting his prime. Will probably command in the 3-3.5mil per range.

  4. Salo, Sami (age 31) (1.5mil) - Avg's approx 30 pts a season while playing top 2 minutes on Vancouver's blueline this season. Owns "one of the hardest shots in the NHL" while about half of his pts come on the PP. Is a consistent plus player who can handle himself in his own zone. A big player (6'3") who doesn't play overly physical. A decent pick-up but no #1 guy, he'll probably get in the 4 mil per range.

  5. Preissing, Tom (age 27) (600k) - An offensive defenceman who can quarterback the PP. Has avg'd 30 pts in his last 2 seasons in the NHL. Half of his pts this season have come on the PP. Currently sits 3rd in the NHL in +/-. To be honest he is not a top pairing defenceman, but at 600k this year hes probably looking towards the 2.5mill per contract, which is affordable and would give us our puck moving defenceman while still allowing 4 million to get a big minute logger like Phillips or Salo.

As you can see, there is no bonafide #1 defender available. With the slim pickings of UFA's this year there will be some tough decisions to make.

NHL Waiver Wire

I found the official rules to whether a player has to clear waivers or not. One of the great mysteries of the world if you ask me, but here it is:

There is a sliding scale that is used. Players that are signed as 18, 19 or 20 year-olds are essentially exempt up to age 23 and 160 games. Then, as players reach the NHL at older ages, the requirements drop
21 year olds -- 3 years, 80 games
22 year olds -- 3 years, 70 games
23 year olds -- 3 years, 60 games
24 year olds -- 2 years, 60 games
25 year olds, one year exempt.
Goaltenders have lower games played requirements (from 80 down to 60) and go a little longer in terms of being exempt