In this weeks Air Mail, the panel discuss the trade deadline, NHL player safety and more!
What are your expectations for the Trade Deadline on Tuesday? WIll it be busy? Will the Jets be able to do anything? Will they be buyers, will they be sellers?
Mack: I’m optimistic that the trade deadline could be busy this year. The Avs have made legit difference-makers in Matt Duchene and Gabe Landeskog available, and not just as rentals. And then cash-strapped teams who need D help can look at Shattenkirk as a rental. All the pieces are there for this to actually be a fun deadline — but I could just be underestimating how conservative (read: boring) NHL GMs are.
Art: I had been expecting a quiet deadline, even quieter than last season but the trades that we’ve had the last couple of days have given me hope that maybe we’ll have some action. As for the Jets, I really don’t have my hopes up that they’ll do much but they need to be sellers at the deadline. Move some forwards (Stafford, Perreault..) and start building the defensive depth.
Jacob: I expect a very quiet deadline from the Jets end. I think we see Drew Stafford get moved, but other than that, the Jets likely will stay pretty quiet. In terms of the league as a whole, I see a Matt Duchene or maybe Gabriel Landeskog moving in the summer and not at the deadline. I think the biggest names we could see being traded is Kevin Shattenkirk or Ben Bishop.
If you were head of the NHL Department of Player Safety, what kind of punishment (if any) would you have given the following hits: A – The Malkin hit on Wheeler, B – The Trouba hit on Stone & C – The Kadri hit on Chiarot
Mack: A – two games B – 6 games C – No games
Art: A – At least a fine. B – 2 games C – No games
Jacob: A- One game. B- 2 games . C- No games
Which team has been your biggest surprise (good or bad) as we’ve just passed the final quarter of the season?
Mack: I’m shocked that Dallas and Tampa Bay are both going to miss the playoffs. If you’d told me we were going to get a Stars/Lightning Cup final in October, I would have been on board. Did not see them dropping off the map like this. And Columbus/Minnesota are the biggest positive surprises of the year, I think. Boudreau is a wizard.
Art: The fact Carolina is building for the future as well as they are, I think the Ron Hainsey trade kind of alerted people to the fact the Hurricanes have really built a young team and have a ton of picks coming up. They could be really dangerous in a few seasons, we’ll just have to wait to see if they are still in Carolina or if they’ve moved on to Quebec City or Seattle.
Jacob: I’m quite shocked the Lightning could miss the playoffs this season. Mind you, if any team is going to go on a run to squeeze in the playoffs, it could very well be Tampa Bay. I’d be lying if I said i’m not surprised by the Leafs exciting season, because frankly, I envisioned them in lottery contention once again and a team like Buffalo being a surprise.