Saturday, February 28, 2009

5 Trade Predictons for the Deadline

There's a lot of excitement leading up to Wednesday's NHL trade deadline, most of it ignited by the endless, daily rumours reported by our favourite Insiders; Dreger, McKenzie, Kypreos, LeBrun, Morrison and....Eklund, to name a few.

I, like many this time of year, have been completely consumed with trying to get the latest scuttlebutt from prominent (or questionable depending on your point of view) hockey sources.

After listening/reading all of their "breaking news" and "sources tell me" I think I have some indication of what may happen on Wednesday's NHL Trade Deadline - or what I like to call it "Christmas 2."

Over the next few days, I will suggest (and just suggest, no sources, no rumors) 5 deals I could see happening by Wednesday, March 4th with a quick fantasy spin for each...afterall, this is JustFantasyHockey.

Trade #1:

Phoenix and Montreal

Montreal trades C. Higgins, PK. Subban and a 2009 1st Round Pick to Phoenix for O. Jokinen

Reason: Bob Gainey has been trying to obtain a big centre for well over 2 years now and he finally gets his man. Jokinen has struggled to find his game in Phoenix and will get a fresh start wearing the pressure-packed Le Habitant jersey. I have always seen him as a Mats Sundin-lite giving Montreal the kind of big, tough centre they are looking for. Higgins has been shopped around in every potential MTL deal and his speed will be a nice compliment to their young arsenal of speedsters (Mueller, Boedker, Turris and Lisin).

The key player in this deal though for Phoenix is PK Subban. With Jovanovski and Morris both on the back 9 of their career, PHX needs a young, mobile, puck-possession Dman. Keith Yandle is developing at a good rate this year, and with Nick Ross on the way, Phoenix is finally understanding that you build from the net out. Having mobile Dmen that can get the puck to their talented forwards will make Phoenix one of the best teams to watch in a few years...when they're in Winnipeg.

Cap Implications: Montreal can afford this deal with the Cap room they saved from the Lang and Tanguay injuries.

Fantasy Spin: Jokinen is rejuvenated in Montreal and finishes nearly a PPG down the stretch. He becomes their #1 centre heading into next season and with that a legit keeper or 2nd round pick in your fantasy draft. Higgins gets a slight spike as he should fit in nicely on one of the Coyotes top two lines. Subban remains a great long-term keeper option.

The remaining four trades will be posted over the next two days...

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