Monday, February 23, 2009

Likely Destinations

Bryan Murray told the press today that he has been in contact with the agents for pending unrestricted free-agents Chris Neil and Filip Kuba, but that neither were close to signing a new contract with Ottawa.

He vowed not to let them leave this summer for no compensation and would explore trading both before next Wednesday's trade deadline.

I've already written about why Murray should bend over backwards to re-sign Neil and keep his special skill set on this team but I also understand why he doesn't want to let him or Kuba walk for nothing.

As for Kuba, I don't think he has a future with this team. His 3 million salary is not prohibitive but he's sure to demand a raise and I don't think he's worth it. He's calm with the puck but he rarely shoots it, something that has hurt this team on the power-play. While it's tough to give up on yet another puck-moving defenseman, recently acquired Chris Campoli seems like a good replacement at a cheaper price.

So if Murray feels he has to move both of these players (hopefully in Neil's case, they come to a contract agreement), where would be the best fit around the league?

Chris Neil

Calgary: Not much to base this on but the fact that Neil is definitely a Mike Keenan-esque player - a guy who can play the game and drop the gloves.

Dallas: Once you get past Steve Ott, this team is soft as butter. That's one of the reasons they took a chance on the now departed Sean Avery. Neil would be the perfect counterpart to skilled players like Brad Richards, Mike Ribeiro and Mike Modano.

Minnesota: Another team with little toughness outside of Cal Clutterbuck (and Derek Boogard of course!!).

San Jose: This rumour has been making the rounds for some time but the Sharks have a glut of forwards already. Do you sit Jeremy Roenick, Mike Grier or Claude Lemieux, guys who seem handpicked by GM Doug Wilson to make hay in the playoffs?

Vancouver: They don't have much depth at right wing or on their third or fourth lines. Neil would be a perfect fit with the Canucks, short and long-term.

Filip Kuba

Columbus: This team needs to make the playoffs this year but Mike Commodore is their second highest scoring defenseman. That's not a good sign. Kuba can definitely fill a need and in the right package, might even fetch Ottawa young defenseman Kris Russell, whom Murray is rumoured to be hot after.

Dallas: Kuba isn't exactly Sergei Zubov, but with the Stars fighting for their playoff lives, Kuba would be a nice-fill in for the injured star. Players like Matt Niskanen and Trevor Daley are doing a good job but Kuba would give them some much needed depth.

Los Angeles: Don't laugh. The Kings are still in the playoff hunt with Kyle Quincey being their only defenseman with over 20 points. They need help on the back end big time and they have a plethora of prospects to deal.

Minnesota: The Wild are just barely holding on to that last playoff spot in the West and could use a boost on the back end. They are already familiar with Kuba and he would be an upgrade on Martin Skoula. They already have their big guns in Brent Burns and Marek Zidlicky but Kuba would give them one of the deepest set of blueliners in the West.

New Jersey: They definitely need another offensive blueliner but word is they are hunting bigger fish than Kuba.


Canucnik said...


You digress! You didn't make the calls! Good reporting, options well laid out, but no conclusion?

Neiler to Pittsburg to passify Sid.
They said they offered Chris 1.5M to stay, I think it was more like Laraque's 1.3M. Neil's agent wants 2M.

Kuba stays! We forget what a gun he was out west. He wants to be the gun again (They say he has the first cent he ever made, therefor price is no object). I'm not sure I like this. Way back, GM/BM made a curious statement about holding Philipe till the summer if he didn't get a big enough offer for him and they would try to resign him here at that point. Also, Mr. Kuba has a no trade clause if he wishes to use it.

hambown said...

Oh shit yeah. I'm just waiting patiently for Murray to announce Kuba's been traded to a playoff contender/Columbus, and for the sweet, sweet return of picks. If BM could get Kris Russell, I'd be thrilled. What about Chicago though JM? Don't you think either Neil or Kuba would garner a look there? Plenty of good quality defensive prospects sitting out these days in Chi town. Make it happen Murray!

Anonymous said...

I see Neil ending up in Boston, San Jose, or Detroit.

No idea where Kuba lands. I hope it is for picks. I don't want Kris Russell. We need a bonafide #1 d-man. That and a goaltender should be the priorities in the summer.

The way I see it, Phillips and Volch take up two spots. Brian Lee takes up a third spot. Campoli gets a spot because he was just acquired. That's four spots. We need one spot for a new bonafide #1 d-man. That's five. We have Smith, Picard, Bell, Schubert, and maybe Karlsson fighting for the last spot. I don't see wher there is room for Russell, unless he projects to be a stud who can fill the #1 role.

Canucnik said...


You fantasy GMs!

You don't know where Neil or Kuba is going but you do know you need a goalie that you cannot pay for. Gator (Too old), Schub Too Bullheaded) and Bell (the dreaded two way) are gone as of the coming of Campoli. Picard is the lock with his NHL 5 hole contract for next year.

You have had CAP $$$s for over a year now for your big defenceman but your plan is so cluttered you can't pull the triger.

By the way who is this fantome goalie all you guys say is out there?

PS: Manny is a front runner!

Anonymous said...

Dude, start your own blog!

If you really have all the answers, get'em out there. Trolling just weakens every argument you make.

Also, Backstrom is the goalie everyone is talking about.

Canucnik said...


Good point! Duly noted.

You are the worst of all of the anonymous trollers you are a big chicken and because you never contribute, all you have is chicken sh%t!

By the way who are you to tell me about weakening arguments, you have not won a arguement with me in recent memory because you are an arseh*le and will not identify yourself!

Anonymous said...

goodbye muckler and peter chiarellie, hello incompetant butt frak murray. goodbye franchise, hello tailspin.

Anonymous said...

Only you think you've won every arguement. If you're going to write, learn to spell.

Canucnik said...

12:32 You are officially "CS".

I don't "think", I know I have won every arguement with you.

Come to think of it I cannot recall any dicussion that you have had with anyone where your analysis carried the day.

By the way get your own "Closed" blog and quit trying to referee the internet. You don't have the intelligence!

Post Script: If we both had to write for a living, I know I'd get paid but as for you my friend, not so much.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you actually found the spellcheck!

Anonymous said...

It's funny that you think "Anonymous" is one person.


Canucnik said...


There are three of you in your little group alone and you are the least of the conspirators! I have you under technical analysis at the moment but am thinking of ignoring your words from now on.

Post Script: Stop refereeing, I liked you better as the off target, exadurator of old.

Anonymous said...

PS: You first 'exadurator'.