Monahan and the World Juniors
There are a number of junior-aged Canadians who won't be making the trip to Sweden this Christmas and for the most part, it's warranted.
My favorite line of the above link comes from Adam Oates re: Tom Wilson:
"For me, (Wilson is) an NHL player," Capitals coach Adam Oates told reporters. "He's conquered junior. Nothing against that tournament at all. I think he’s moved past it."
That about sums it up, no?
It pretty much rings true for all of the names mentioned in that article and we're probably all nodding our heads collectively, save for one important point.
For the likes of Wilson, Nathan MacKinnon and Morgan Rielly it is especially true, given their respective teams will be in season-long battles for the playoffs and playoff positioning.
That's not the case for Monahan. Although fortunately he seems to be in coach Bob Hartley's good books which helps dictate his ice time, he will still be playing for a team with no actual future for the season.
Maybe it's making something of nothing because the bottom line is that he's a fine prospect. But, time will tell, and I can't help but look at what the vaulted expectations did to the treatment of Sam Gagner in Edmonton.
Feaster's Trading Prowess - Mike Cammalleri
I like the word prowess. That's the only reason it appears in the heading above. It should more something like ", or lack thereof"... still...
I love the Ladislav Smid trade. It doesn't entirely go with the whole "rebuild" thing but essentially they added a very useful player for some not very useful (open to interpretation) assets.
Great trade. But, it - of course - has Brian Burke's fingerprints all over it. And, also they weren't exactly dealing with a powerhouse franchise, either.
So, before anyone could get too excited that perhaps Jay Feaster was going to start making quality moves he pulls the ol' Tim Jackman for a 6th then a 6th for Lane Macdermid switcheroo, seemingly to improve the size, youth and grit in Abbotsford.
I'll give him one thing, he has most certainly done well with Abby. A+ for the Heat, baby. Everything else continues to be nothing more than treading water when it comes to transactions by Harry Jay.
Remember, he gave up a 5th rounder for Pierre Luc-I'm-not-even-going-to-finish-typing-his-name (PL3) who was totally useless, then traded a useful player of the same role for a 6th. He has no vision for value, must like Darryl Sutter before him. The Flames continue to be very good at overvaluing players they don't have and undervaluing the ones they do.
And this is the guy who wants to trade Mikael Backlund? And that's ok with people? Another topic for another day but it leads me to my next point.
Everyone just assumes he's going to get traded as part of the rebuild, for a 1st rounder maybe +.
Just throwing this out there, but do prepare yourselves mentally for the fact that this is surely not a foregone conclusion. If Cammy continues to perform Jay Feaster will look at him as a guy they need to keep, not a guy they need to trade. Jay Feaster doesn't trade players at peak value, he trades them at their lowest.
Then, let's say he somehow realizes Cammy shouldn't be part of the rebuild, like we all assume he already knows, if you and I set his value at a first rounder, you should temper your actual expectations. Maybe more help for Abby and a 2nd rounder?
Just don't start stockpiling the draft picks before you give this some thought.
Ramo and Berra
I'm not even sure this warrants much discussion but here goes.
No one was really sure what to expect from Reto Berra coming in - he was average in the Swiss A then lights out at World's - but with every passing game it becomes clearer that he was not the best goaltender outside of the NHL. And, Ramo might be better, but that isn't saying much.
I don't get the angst over Berra starting... over either of them starting, really... because neither are the answer.
Jon Gillies is the potential answer but even if he takes the Ryan Miller path, he's still 3+ years away from being a playoff calibre goaltender so be a bit patient on that front.
So that's that for this week. I continue to look at this season with very cautious eyes.
I still don't think we've seen rock-bottom for this club, which could be a good thing in terms of acquiring some elite prospects but with what seems to me to be a lack of direction in the front office, nothing is a sure thing.