Top 10 Regrets of 2011
The Sabres make my face hurt after watching them so I figured I'd change it up today. With 2011 coming to end this weekend I want to touch on the top 10 regrets and steals of 2011. I'll start with the regrets.
10. Philly acquires Kris Versteeg for a 1st and a 3rd pick from Toronto.
An interesting trade deadline last year also involved this trade involving Kris Versteeg. I thought Versteeg was a good pick up for the Flyers however the price was a bit much for Versteeg. He started to tail off in Toronto before he was traded. He never really seemed to fit in Philly, he had 7 goals, 4 assists and 11 points in 27 games in Philly. That's not terrible, but he was a non factor in the playoffs. The Flyers did make up some of the damage however after trading him to Florida in the offseason for a 2nd and 3rd round pick. However in Florida Versteeg has shined with 17 goals, 21 assists, and 38 points in 36 games so far this season.
9. Kings Acquire Dustin Penner at the Trade Deadline.
At last seasons trade deadline the Kings paid up to acquire Dustin Penner from the Edmonton Oilers. They traded young D prospect Colten Teubert, a 1st and a 3rd round draft pick. At the time I thought it was a lot to give up for Penner who was a disappointment in Oil country. In 45 games in LA Penner has 4 goals, 10 assists, 14 pts and is a -4. He has a cap hit of 4.5 million dollars and has been a whipping boy in LA with their poor start. Penner has also been injured this season, which has come as good news to Kings fans. The Kings will probably try to unload Penner at the deadline, but I don't see that likely with his cap hit and lack of production.
8. Avalanche Trade Craig Anderson to Ottawa for Brian Elliott straight up.
Another confusing trade at the deadline was this trade between Ottawa and Colorado. Anderson had played well for Colorado in his time their since signing as a UFA. Elliott struggled in his tenure with the Sens yet Colorado thought he was good enough for a one for one trade. Elliott was a tire fire the second he landed in Denver. He went 2-8 with a 3.83 GAA and a .891 save % in his time in Colorado. This year in St. Louis Elliott has rebounded very well, but that does not help Colorado. If the Avs wanted to trade Anderson I'm sure they could have received more. Anderson on the other hand started well in Ottawa last season. This year has been an up and down season for him after signing a contract extension at the end of last year. However the Sens have some stability between the pipes for the first time in a while for a good young team.
7. Dallas Trades James Neal and Matt Niskanen to Pittsburgh for Alex Goligoski.
Last year this looked like a great deal for Dallas. Neal was not producing and Goligowski was playing well in Dallas. However things have changed as of late, Neal is on fire this season he has 21 goals and 15 assists in 36 games. He is one of the reasons the Pens continue to win in Crosby's abscence. Goligoski has battled injuries this season in Dallas, he has played in only 24 games, he has 8 points and is a -1. Neal was a huge fan favorite in Dallas, this is perhaps a trade Dallas wishes they had a do over on when they are struggling to put butts in the seats. I'm not done with Dallas yet though.
6. Dallas does not trade Brad Richards at the deadline and he walks for nothing.
Dallas played with fire here and lost. All signs pointed to Richards not returning to the Stars after the 2010-11 season. Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk stated that their goal was to resign Richards, but with the unstable ownership situation in Dallas, Richards had no interest in staying. When the offseason rolled around the the Stars entertained the idea of trading his rights, however Richards one didn't want to do the Stars any favors because of his no trade clause and he already had his mind set on going to the Rangers. However I have to wonder why the Stars didn't work something out with the Rangers, something is better than nothing.
5. Nashville not getting a contract extension done with Shea Weber.
The Predators dropped the ball this summer. They are a very money concious franchise in a small market, however Weber is a rare talent. They failed to get an extension worked out in the offseason and low balled Weber with a offer. He recieved a 1 year 7.5 million dollar contract in arbitration in the offseason. Now the Predators were left with the task of resigning Rinnie, Weber, and Suter this season. The Rinnie deal did get done, but Weber and Suter are still waiting. Nashville will have to deal with distraction around the trade deadline with Weber and Suter both to be in the rumor mill this season. Weber is the captain of the Preds and losing him would be a big blow to this franchise.
4. Philly trades for the rights and signs Ilya Bryzgalov to a 9 year 51 million dollar contract.
This was a bit of a panic move I believe for the Flyers. Boucher and Bobrovsky were awful in the 2011 playoffs. However Bobs wasn't that bad during the regular season. To make matters worse it appears as though Philly could have signed Bryzgalov for less when Tomas Vokoun had to take a 1 year 1.5 million dollar contract from Washington. Bryz has been anything but as advertised so far this season. He is 14-8 with a 3.01 GAA and a .890 save %, the only reason he has 14 wins is because the Flyers can score in bunches. This may be a contract the Flyers are kicking themselves with in a few years if things do not turn around. The rap on Bryz out of Phoenix is that he is a system goalie and shined in Tippett's system, so far that appears to be the case. However he is pretty funny in 24/7.
3. Carolina Signs Tomas Kaberle to a 3 year 12.75 million dollar contract and Montreal Trades for Kaberle for Spacek.
From the moment I saw this signing I wondered what carolina was thinking. Did they not watch the 2011 playoffs when Kaberle was continously exposed with he soft play. He did nothing for the Bruins after his deadline trade from Toronto. He was starting tail off in Toronto and continued to do so in Boston and Carolina. In 29 games for the Canes he had 9 assists and was a -12. Same question can now be asked to Montreal, what are you thinking? Carolina can be given a little bit of credit for being able to dish him off. Montreal gave up Spacek who is on an expiring contract, but is a solid D-man. In 8 games in Montreal Kaberle has 5 assists and is a -2. Have fun with that contract to go along with your Gomez deal Habs fans.
2. Buffalo signs Ville Leino to a 6 year 27 million dollar contract.
When I saw this on July 1st I was not a fan at all. I then became even less of a fan when I heard the Sabres wanted to move him to center. The experiment has failed miserably so far for Buffalo. I always saw Leino as a good 3rd line winger nothing more. Not a 1st or 2nd line center. This was a big blunder by Darcy Regier and may handcuff the Sabres in the future. In 29 games Leino has 3 goals and 7 assists and is a -7. He was starting to find his way on a line with two young Sabres prospects Luke Adam and Zack Kassian. However in the middle of this month Leino suffered a lower body injury and was placed on IR. Leino's return to the lineup does not seem to be in the near future.
1. Penguins rush back Sidney Crosby.
Maybe it is a little harsh to use the word "rush" here, but Sid was obviously not ready to return to the lineup full time. Sid played in 8 games and had 12 points in those games. He reminded use why he is the best player in the world. However after a game against the Bruins where Crosby took a few hard hits he went back out again with concussion like symptoms. I thought the Pens were better off leaving Crosby out longer if not the entire season. The team was not struggling without him, nor was there a need to bring him back in any sort of hurry. I think Sid's season is done now and one has to wonder about his career. I don't see how he will be able to play a full season again. This could be a Lindros situation in the making, but with the best player in the world.
What do you think of the list? Did I miss anything big? Anything I should have moved up or down?
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