Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Evaluating My Predictions

They say a broken clock is still right twice a day. My trusty crystal ball performed a bit better than that, but clearly it's in need of a tune-up before I go out on a limb and make any more predictions. Next time I'll use the ouija board.

Things started on a promising note. I woke up this morning to learn that Mike Comrie signed a one-year extension for $4M. That's second-line center type money, just as predicted in yesterday's post. So it wasn't even 8AM and I was already one-for-one on my predictions. My feeling is that this was a necessary move by our young GM. I've been as frustrated by Comrie's play at times this season as anyone. But looking at the dearth of talent that will be available this summer, we needed to lock up our #1 scorer and solid second-line centerman. Hopefully Snow can work some magic this summer and get a true #1 center to complement this signing.

I was also right-on with the McCabe non-trade. Sure, it's not that hard to predict something that won't happen, but this was the only substantiated rumor we had heading into the final 24 hours before the deadline. Without knowing what may or may not have been offered, I am generally happy that this deal did not happen. Unless we could have acquired the Leafs first-round pick next year (a longshot, at best), I wouldn't have been happy taking on McCabe's hefty cap hit.

From here, my guesses got downright ugly. Again, there's no way to know how close we were to seeing a deal go down, but Satan and Fedotenko will both remain with the team. At this point, my gut tells me neither guy will be re-signed. That said, I wouldn't be shocked if both are. The bottom line is, we need to suit up a full roster next year, and right now any outcome is possible. Especially given Nolan's predilection towards veterans over the newbies. But if I assume for the moment that neither return next year, I would have liked to see a move made. Not so much with Fedotenko, where I doubt we would have seen much of a return. But for Satan, I would assume we could have gotten, at worst, a second-round pick or solid prospects.

Finally, a few deals were done that my Magic 8-Ball failed to foresee. First was the news of the trading our 7th round pick to the Sharks for big defenseman Rob Davison. I can't claim to know anything about the guy other than what you can read on nhl.com. Still, for the depth it provides and the toughness it adds (especially in the absence of Sutton and Witt) it wasn't a bad move. Next came news of Chris Simon going to the Wild for a sixth round pick. I'll give this an A+. Even before the Hollweg and Ruutu incidents, I was questioning Simon's role on the team. His days as a reliable (and responsible) enforcer were behind him, and he didn't contribute enough offensively. In fairness, I didn't so much have an issue with Simon as with the way Nolan over-used him. But seeing as that probably wasn't going to change, given their close relationship, I am happy to see this move made. Lastly, we moved MAB to Anaheim for a third-round pick. I don't exactly understand this move from Anaheim's perspective, but I'm also not an expert on all things Ducks. I've never been a Bergeron hater (he gives me far less heartburn than Berard), but it was clear he was never going to be fully accepted in Nolan's system. Given that, a third rounder seems like fair compensation.

So another deadline came and when. Certainly not the barn burner we had last year, but nothing to get too upset about either. As an Islanders fan accustomed to controversy, I'll take it.

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