Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Footnotes On Owen Nolan

When he went #1 in 1990, Jaromir Jagr went 5th. Darryl Sydor went 7th. Martin Brodeur went 20th. Pittsburgh's second pick was Joe Dziedzic, #61 overall in the 3rd round. For some reason (trades?), the Flyers had eight picks in the first three rounds. Their haul was Mike Ricci, Chris Simon, Mikael Renberg, Terran Sandwith, Kimbi Daniels, Bill Armstrong, Chris Therien and Al Kinisky. Minnesota did not sign any of those guys this weekend. Though they do have Chris Simon.

From 1987 to 1994, the Nordiques were out of the playoffs six times and lost in the first round once. They had the #1 overall pick in 1989, 1990 and 1991, pulling in Mats Sundin, Owen Nolan and Eric Lindros. Lindros was immediately turned into Peter Forsberg, Ron Hextall, Chris Simon, Mike Ricci, Steve Duchesne, two first round picks that became Jocelyn Thibault and Nolan Baumgartner and $15 million. In 1989, they added Adam Foote in the 2nd round. In 1987, their first pick at #9 was Bryan Fogarty, but they bounced back at #15 overall with Joe Sakic.

In 1994-1995, the improving Nordiques lost in the first round of the playoffs and then lost their home arena. In a way. They moved to Colorado and won the Cup. After years and years and years of suffering in Quebec, after back to back to back #1 overall picks, after having such a goofy front office that they traded Lindros to both Philadelphia AND New York (
an arbiter awarded Lindros to Philadelphia, cancelling out New York's trade of Doug Weight, Tony Amonte, Alexei Kovalev, John Vanbiesbrouck, three 1st round picks and $12 million) Quebecois watched their team move away and win the Cup the very first year. Like the citizens, Owen Nolan missed that Cup too. He was traded to San Jose after only nine games.

So when Pittsburgh selects #1 overall, #2, #1 and #2 in consecutive years and hauls in Fleury, Malkin, Crosby and Staal, then manages to sign a new lease and avoid going to Kansas City...maybe Marian Hossa going to Detroit isn't the worst thing that ever happened.

9:46am - The Ducks have signed Brendan Morrison to a one-year for just under $3 million. With the preponderance of one- and two-year deals, the NHL is starting to resemble the NFL. Lock up your stars long term and then shuffle cap pieces in and out every summer. As for Morrison himself, he is more or less stinky. He had a good season centering Naslund and Bertuzzi, but that's it. Whereas a winger like Sykora can be good with the right center or invisible without one, Morrison needs good wings to help him put up points or he's invisible. Normally, see, you like your center to be the one making plays, not coattailing.

9:49am - The Lightning signed Mark Recchi. I could not even begin to guess why, except that he also played forward for the Penguins at one point. Next up for Tampa, Rico Fata.


2:55pm - Jason Smith signed with Ottawa after being rumored to go to Tampa, Pittsburgh or four other places. I guess now Mike Richards can be the Flyers' captain of the future today. Jason Smith used to be pretty good. Maybe since Tampa missed out on him they'll be more amenable to trading for Darryl Sydor. Maybe something like...Sydor and Scuderi for Malone and Roberts.

2:56pm - The Lightning signed Brandon Bochenski to a one-year deal. Not sure why they were interested because he's never played for the Penguins. Bochenski has been expected to be good for about four years and four teams now. He's had good weeks here and there, but seems to be completely reliant on his linemates to produce. Of course, by my count, Tampa has 16 forwards now under contract, so Bochenski has plenty of potential linemates to try and click with.

2:59pm - The Canucks signed Pavol Demitra to a 3-year deal worth about $4 million per year. Over the course of this contract, they should get about a year and a half worth of games out of him between injuries, so that's good. I assume Demitra will skate with the Sedins because if you only have three guys on your entire team that can score, you might as well put them on the same line. All of that talk that Naslund and Demitra wanted to make sure they signed with the same team this summer went nowhere in a hurry.

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