For more information regarding our move, please read the two last post published below.

22 June 2007

A flurry of deals...Vokoun, Toskala, Aucoin and Bell...

Just got home, and realized that some huge deals have been pulled off in the last few hours, especially in the goalie market.

For starters, the Nashville Predators traded goalie Tomas Vokoun to the Florida Panthers, about an hour and a half ago, in exchange for a first round pick and two second rounders.

Vokoun agreed to waive his no-trade clause to be dealt to the Panthers.

The Czech goaltender had a in-and-out 2005-2006 season.
He got injured for about 2 months early into the year but remained his usual solid self when he returned.
Chris Mason, however, proved to be too good to sit on the bench down the stretch and for the entire playoffs in GM David Poile's eyes.

As a result, Poile has chosen him as the team's number one goalie heading into next season.
Mason broke out of a backup role to post all-star like numbers.
I think a 2.38 GAA, 24 wins, a .925 save percentage and 5 shutouts in 40 games is pretty wicked.

Vokoun had a nearly identical season to Mason's, posting 27 wins, a .920 save percentage, a 2.40 GAA and 5 shutouts in 44 games.

But, in the end, Poile dealt Vokoun and showed the hockey world that money is still talking.

Vokoun will be paid an average of $5.5 million over the next 4 seasons, while the thrifty Mason will earn only $1.25 million over the 2 coming seasons, before being eligible to hit the open market at the end of 07/08.

That, faithful fanatics, explains the entire logic and reason behind this deal.

Vokoun is an established no. 1 goalie, something Florida hasn't had since Roberto Luongo, and certainly something they didn't get from the terrible Alex Auld and the party-wild Eddie Belfour last year.
Time will only tell how he adjusts to Eastern Conference teams and especially his new team, which is a huge downgrade from the dominating and powerful Predators he played for in the recent years.

It wasn't Manny Fernandez, or Tomas Vokoun but, hallelujah! The Toronto Maple Leafs have FINALLY gotten a respectable goalie.

And GM John Ferguson Jr. has just silenced his critics and some sour (aren't they all?) Leafs fans by getting top-notch 'tender Vesa Toskala from the cross-continent Sharks to go along with tough-hitting and scoring forward (see Blackhawks days) Mark Bell.

But it's worth mentioning Bell had a pathetic season on the scoresheet, scoring only 11 times and ending up in the coach's doghouse during the Sharks playoff run in favour of youngsters Ryane Clowe and Patrick Rissmiller.

I'm also feeling lazy today, and don't really want to write this up myself, but here are the complex details concerning the picks San Jose gets, courtesy of the Globe link above:

The deal, which includes forward Mark Bell going to Toronto, has cost the Leafs a conditional first-round selection, 2007 second-round choice and 2009 fourth-round picks. The Sharks can choose whether to take Toronto's first choice tonight (13th overall) or the 2008 first-round selection. If the Sharks choose the latter condition and the Leafs have a top-10 pick next June, the Sharks have to wait until 2009 for Toronto's first-rounder.

And where does this leave Andrew Raycroft, whom the Leafs gave top goalie prospect Tuukka Rask to the B's so he can go back to his Calder days, and be their solid number one goalie.
He did neither, and had a very streaky season in goal.

Toskala didn't quite repeat his terrific 2005-2006 year, he was good, but not better than the wall named Evgeni Nabokov, who re-claimed top-goalie status after losing it in the previous year.

Adrian Aucoin's miserable and injury-raddled days in Chicago are over.

TSN is reporting that the Flames will acquire the former star defenceman from Chicago, along with a seventh round choice for defenceman Andrei Zyuzin and prospect Steve Marr.
Zyuzin was a quite "gets the job done" type player for Calgary last year, and was well-liked by the media and fans.

Aucoin, on the other hand, was not.

Constantly booed, injury and lost on the ice, Aucoin's tenure in Chicago has stained his successful career, and has erased all memory of his glorious Islanders days as a top scoring point man.

His hefty salary of $4 million over the next couple years is also a major cap hit in Darryl Sutter's books, and the Flames clever GM must be praying this pans out for him.

Aucoin may be a replacement for impending UFA's Roman Hamrlik or Brad Stuart, one of which is expected to pack his bags and play elswhere next year with the most likely being Stuart.

And that's all for now!

If anything else happens, you'll hear from me later or if I'm still lazy, tomorrow.


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