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Attention Hockeybuzz Shoppers: The Contenders, The Pretenders & The Vendors

February 19, 2007, 1:54 AM ET [ Comments]

With the trade deadline just eight days away, it's becoming clearer which teams will be in contention for the Cup, which teams are out of it already, and which teams just don't have enough to make a serious run.

That said, I divided the league into three different lists - "The Contenders", "The Pretenders" and "The Vendors". If you scroll down to the Vendors you'll see most of the players that could potentially be available and their pro-rated cap cost for the rest of the year, so you can see who your team can afford to acquire for the stretch run..


The contenders are the teams that have a legit chance at winning the Stanley Cup. There are eleven teams in my opinion who I could see winning it all. So much of playoff hockey comes down to the goaltending, so I've listed each team's tandem:

Anaheim: JS Giguere, Ilya Bryzgalov
Buffalo: Ryan Miller, Martin Biron
Calgary: Miika Kiprusoff, Jamie McLennan
Dallas: Marty Turco, Mike Smith
Detroit: Dominik Hasek, Chris Osgood
Nashville: Tomas Vokoun, Chris Mason
New Jersey: Martin Brodeur, Scott Clemmenson
Ottawa: Ray Emery, Martin Gerber
Pittsburgh: Marc-Andre Fleury, Jocelyn Thibault
San Jose: Vesa Toskala, Evgeni Nabokov
Vancouver: Roberto Luongo, Dany Sabourin

We've already seen some of these teams make significant moves already (Forsberg, Conroy/Stuart, Nagy). Over the next couple days I'll take and take a more in-depth at the needs of "The Contenders" and throw out some names from the Vendors' lists below could fill their requirements.



The Pretenders are the teams that are trying to make the playoffs to get those extra home dates and possibly get hot and surprise some people:

NY Islanders
NY Rangers
Tampa Bay

I know that everyone always says that once you get into the playoffs you have a chance to win it all, but that simply isn't true. Very frequently we have seen an unexpected team make it deep into the playoffs, often all the way to the finals. But Cinderella teams just don't win it all, even though some have gotten very close. Here are the last twenty Cup winners:

06 Carolina - 4th overall
04 Tampa Bay - 2nd overall
03 New Jersey - 4th overall
02 Detroit - 1st overall
01 Colorado - 1st overall
00 New Jersey - 4th overall
99 Dallas - 1st overall
98 Detroit - 3rd overall
97 Detroit - 5th overall
96 Colorado - 3rd overall
95 New Jersey - 9th overall (short season)
94 New York - 1st overall
93 Montreal - 6th overall
92 Pittsburgh - 6th overall
91 Pittsburgh - 7th overall
90 Edmonton - 5th overall
89 Calgary - 1st overall
88 Edmonton - 3rd overall
87 Edmonton - 1st overall
86 Montreal - 7th overall

30% of the time the 1st Overall Team won the Cup
50% of the time a Top Three Team won the Cup
75% of the time a Top Five Team won the Cup
95% of the time a Top Seven Team won the Cup

Only once in the last twenty years have we seen a team that didn't finish in the team seven in the league standings win the Cup, and that was in the lockout shortened season when New Jersey won it all.



The Vendors are the teams are building for next year, adding young players and draft picks. Their pending UFAs should either be re-signed before the deadline or dealt to a playoff team to ensure that they don't lose the player(s) for nothing.

Here are the eleven vendors and the "goods" that they will be peddling in the next eight days. I've included their salary cap number and pro-rated number as of Feb 27th.


Pos. Name Cap Cost Pro-Rated Comments
F Marco Sturm $2,050,000 $444,850 Consistent 20+ goal scorer. Just 6 goals in 38 playoff games
F Glen Murray $4,150,000 $900,550 Plus two more years - still scoring but likely untradable due to contract
D Paul Mara $3,000,000 $651,000 Plus one more year - offense way down, a disappointment this year
F Petr Tenkrat $525,000 $113,925 Depth player
D Jason York $500,000 $108,500 Veteran depth defenseman.


Pos. Name Cap Cost Pro-Rated Comments
F Brian Smolinski $1,881,000 $408,177 Veteran with 99 gms playoff experience. Still can contribute offensively
F Denis Arkhipov $900,000 $195,300 Veteran depth player
F Mikael Holmqvist $625,000 $135,625 4th liner
F Peter Bondra $500,000 $108,500 Aging sniper could have one last streak hot stream in him
G Brian Boucher $475,000 $103,075 Good backup, had cup run with Philly in 2000
F Michal Handzus $2,128,000 $461,776 If healthy could be a huge asset. Could re-sign in Chicago to play with Havlat
F Martin Lapointe $2,400,000 $520,800 Plus one more year. Useful but too expensive
D Jassen Cullimore $1,900,000 $412,300 Plus one more year. Useful but too expensive
D Adrian Aucoin $4,000,000 $868,000 Plus two more years at $4 mil - likely not going anywhere at that price
G Nikolai Khabibulin $6,750,000 $1,464,750 Plus two more years at $6.75 mil - too pricey unless Tampa will move Richards
G Patrick Lalime $700,000 $151,900 Veteran who has some playoff experience


Pos. Name Cap Cost Pro-Rated Comments
F Joe Sakic $5,750,000 $1,247,750 Would Joe consider Vancouver for a playoff run?
F Pierre Turgeon $1,500,000 $325,500 If healthy can contribute offensively, 109 career playoff games
F Ian Laperriere $988,000 $214,396 Plus one more year - character player who would fit in anywhere
F Tyler Arnason $950,000 $206,150 Bombed in Ottawa last year. Could he move to team #4 in just over a year?
F Brett McLean $750,000 $162,750 Veteran depth player who could be a good #5-6
F Brad May $700,000 $151,900 Veteran grinder. Could Buffalo use another May Day?
F Antti Laaksonen $684,000 $148,428 Depth winger
D Ossi Vaananen $998,000 $216,566 Solid d-man. Still young (26)
D Ken Klee $700,000 $151,900 Veteran depth d-man with 51 games of playoff experience
G Jose Theodore $5,500,000 $1,193,500 Plus one more year at $6 mil - no chance at all he goes


Pos. Name Cap Cost Pro-Rated Comments
F Nik Zherdev $2,500,000 $542,500 Plus two more years. No reason to make the deal now - won't get fair value
F Anson Carter $2,500,000 $542,500 Vancouver makes sense. Can't create offense but can certainly finish
F Fredrik Modin $2,204,000 $478,268 Scored 31 last year. Won the Cup with Tampa.
D Bryan Berard $2,500,000 $542,500 Good powerplay player but a defensive liability
D Anders Eriksson $600,000 $130,200 Really emerged as a solid defender this year - shockingly
D Duvie Westcott $500,000 $108,500 Veteran depth player
F David Vyborny $2,200,000 $477,400 Plus one more year - talented player. Columbus should hold onto him.


Pos. Name Cap Cost Pro-Rated Comments
F Ryan Smyth $3,500,000 $759,500 Should and likely will stay an Oiler
F Petr Sykora $2,900,000 $629,300 Can still contribute and has playoff experience
F Petr Nedved $591,000 $128,247 He's finished
D Jason Smith $1,976,000 $428,792 Plus one more year. Very strong defensive defenceman and a leader, with an attractive contract
D Daniel Tjarnqvist $1,625,000 $352,625 Depth defenceman
D Jan Hejda $942,000 $204,414 Only 31 games of NHL experience
G Jussi Maarkanen $850,000 $184,450 Much better goalies on the market that can be had for cheap


Pos. Name Cap Cost Pro-Rated Comments
F Todd Bertuzzi $5,269,000 $1,143,373 Still waiting to get back on ice. If healthy, would be very attractive PF.
F Gary Roberts $2,250,000 $488,250 Great leader who can still play. Ottawa and Toronto are frequently mentioned.
F Jozef Stumpel $1,625,000 $352,625 A talented player who is having a strong year. Great passer - would look good in ATL.
F Martin Gelinas $975,000 $211,575 Key player in Calgary's run in 04. Leader with tons of experience
F Ville Peltonen $795,000 $172,515 4th liner
D Joel Kwitkowski $500,000 $108,500 Depth defenseman
G Ed Belfour $750,000 $162,750 Can still play at 41. Likely willing to take a backseat as he did at the Olympics


Pos. Name Cap Cost Pro-Rated Comments
F Tom Kotsopoulos $563,000 $122,171 Depth player
D Aaron Miller $2,280,000 $494,760 Strong defensive d-man with 80 games of playoff experience
D Brent Sopel $2,400,000 $520,800 Two-way defenseman who would be a good #5-6 on most teams
G Mathieu Garon $1,216,000 $263,872 Good backup who has the talent to run off a stretch of great games
D Mattias Norstrom $4,250,000 $922,250 Plus one more year - expensive but could be a great addition. Tough d-man
D Rob Blake $6,000,000 $1,302,000 Plus one more year - unlikely to move. Will tutor J.Johnson next year


Pos. Name Cap Cost Pro-Rated Comments
F Kyle Calder $2,950,000 $640,150 Can he rediscover his scoring touch?
F Mike York $1,676,000 $363,692 Was an effective offensive player prior to this season
F Todd Fedoruk $354,000 $76,818 Could add some toughness to a playoff team
G Robert Esche $1,000,000 $217,000 Decent but inconsistent goalie who could be an injury-replacement
F Geoff Sanderson $1,500,000 $325,500 Plus one more year - can still skate and still put up points
D Derian Hatcher $3,500,000 $759,500 Plus two more years - not as bad as some think but contract makes him untradable


Pos. Name Cap Cost Pro-Rated Comments
F Mike Ricci $1,520,000 $329,840 Character player who has won a Cup and played in 110 playoff games
F Owen Nolan $1,225,000 $265,825 Has been surprisingly effective this year, coming off a long layoff
F Jeremy Roenick $1,500,000 $325,500 His last run - can he convince a playoff team to take a flyer?
F Yanic Perreault $700,000 $151,900 Likely re-signing in Phoenix. Other teams missed their shot earlier in the year.
F Kevyn Adams $725,000 $157,325 Very solid 4th liner. Won the Cup with Carolina last year.
G Curtis Joseph $2,900,000 $629,300 Will be 40 come playoff team. Can still play and could be great insurance.
F Georges Laraque $1,200,000 $260,400 Plus one more year - would be coveted if Phoenix is willing to move him


Pos. Name Cap Cost Pro-Rated Comments
F Keith Tkachuk $5,700,000 $1,236,900 Having a very strong year. Could be a bidding war for his services.
F Bill Guerin $2,400,000 $520,800 Approaching 30 goals. Like Tkachuk there will be a ton of interest.
F Radek Dvorak $1,000,000 $217,000 Decent depth player. Offense really fallen off last couple years
F Jamal Mayers $900,000 $195,300 Could add toughness to a playoff team
D Eric Brewer $2,014,000 $437,038 Could re-sign in St. Louis but could also be dealt. A little overrated but still very good d-man
D Jamie Rivers $525,000 $113,925 Depth d-man
G Curtis Sanford $473,000 $102,641 Too many better goalies are available
F Dallas Drake $1,100,000 $238,700 Plus one more year - veteran who could fit in well in a checking role
G Manny Legace $1,400,000 $303,800 Should and likely will re-sign with St. Louis. Having a very strong year


Pos. Name Cap Cost Pro-Rated Comments
F Richard Zednik $1,900,000 $412,300 Solid 3rd liner. Avg 26 G btw 01-04. Past playoff success.
F Dainius Zubrus $1,850,000 $401,450 Could stay in Wash. 57 pts in 05-06, 47 pts in 51 games this year.
D Jamie Heward $675,000 $146,475 Veteran depth with a big shot, no playoff experience
D Bryan Muir $600,000 $130,200 Veteran depth with Cup experience on Colorado

Sorry about the formatting - it's not as fancy as Ek's chart but it's the best I could throw together with my very basic html skills.

Any errors or oversights, just let me know and I'll correct them. Let's hear who you think your team should pickup..


As for the other news/action from tonight, here are some quick thoughts:

* Halak looked very good and the Habs actually held on for the win - although just barely. They desperately need some vocal leadership to help turn things around.

* What are the odds of Zherdev and Brule both scoring in the same game? And I swear I even saw Fedorov battling for a puck at the end of the game - I believe it was REM who once sang "I think I thought I saw you try"..

* Very scary moment when Pronger was hit in the neck/chin by a slapshot late in the game tonight. Apparently the injury isn't serious, which is great news.

* The Kings played Anaheim very tough this weekend, taking them to two shootouts. Too bad more people out East don't get to watch Kopitar, Frolov, Cammalleri and Visnovsky.

* The Bergeron trade is a little puzzling. He is under contract for another year plus an option and is very affordable. Even as a powerplay specialist he's shown that he can be effective. I'm not so surprised M-A was dealt but as a Kings fan who is very familiar with Grebeshkov, I'm very shocked at the return.

* Vancouver didn't play their best game (although it was an exciting one) but they were lucky to see Jose in there - 5 goals on 20 shots.

* Morrison has played very well for a guy that Canucks' fans didn't want earlier in the year.

* Colorado is running out of time. I wonder if Sakic would consider going elsewhere?

* San Jose finally scored in the third after being shutout two straight games. The Sharks are struggling and could use a pick-me-up in the form of a deal.

* Dallas is just one point back of SJ, which is remarkable given their injuries this year.

* The Rangers bounced back very well after their loss to Philly on Saturday. Shanahan and Malik were out but Lundqvist and Ward were back in the lineup.

* Havlat is the most electrifying player in hockey.

* Too bad Andy Murray wasn't in St. Louis all year - their start was too poor to overcome but the Blues are 18-7-3 in their last 28 games.

* Pittsburgh is now 14-0-2 in their last 16. If you didn't think they were for real before, take another look.

* Trade talks should heat up with the GM meetings down in Florida. According to Sportsnet, these are some of the other topics that will be discussed at the meetings (with my thoughts in brackets):

- whether the league should award three points for a regulation victory? (YES)
- a re-examination of the instigator penalty (it's too late to get into that one tonight)
- the length of pre-game ceremonies (why not start them earlier?)
- "soft penalties" (could cost a team a playoff spot so please be sure when you call something)
- no-touch icing (it's time)
- goalie interference (I'm all for protecting the goalies, as long as it's within reason)
- goalies overfreezing the puck (they can put in the same rule as the icing rule, but not necessary, in my opinion)

Should be a VERY interesting week - fasten your seatbelts!

Danny Tolensky - [email protected]
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