Friday, 16 February 2007

A King's Ransom, And More Masks

Peter the Great was moved by the Flyers yesterday. If you've checked out any sports website, hockey blog, or newswire, you probably have seen how the Nashville Predators picked up Forsberg for Scottie Upshall, Ryan Parent, a first-round and a third-round pick. I'll be honest here: if Forsberg plays as well as he has in the last few weeks for Nashville, it will certainly be worth the cost. However, if his foot injury flares up again, it could be trouble in Music City. The Flyers acquired some decent young talent, and a couple of high picks in this year's draft. Has Nashville acquired the player that can put them over the top in the competitive Western Conference? Only time will tell.

In acquiring Forsberg, Barry Trotz seems to be a happy man. "This trade could be our defining moment and we didn't want to look back 20 years from now and wonder whether or not the Peter Forsberg trade might have made a difference on helping the Nashville Predators win the Stanley Cup," he told TSN. But is he a good fit in Nashville?

Nashville has many young players who can benefit from the experience and leadership that Forsberg brings to the dressing room. David Legwand will most certainly benefit. Bringing in a man with 162 career playoff points will almost certainly help in both the stretch drive and the opening round of the playoffs. The only asterisk on that last statement is "if he plays". Injury worries are common with Forsberg, but he has looked confident on his skates in the last couple of weeks. Perhaps he has solved some of the injury concerns.

Forsberg is scheduled to join the team in St. Louis on Friday. He will, however, suit up on Saturday in Nashville when the Predators take on the Minnesota Wild. I assume that he will be wearing his traditional #21 as the Predators website already lists his under that number.

Reuniting him with Paul Kariya will most likely happen as Kariya had a decent season in Colorado alongside Forsberg. Throwing Steve Sullivan on the right-side could make the line one of the most potent in the NHL. Both Kariya and Sullivan are good scoring threats, and Forsberg sees the ice as well as anyone. I expect the Nashville powerplay efficiency to increase as well. Forsberg's ability to control the powerplay along the sideboards is as good as anyone in the NHL.

The Flyers, in return, acquired Scottie Upshall and Ryan Parent, along with a couple of picks. Upshall had a hard time cracking Nashville's top three lines, and has spent more time with the Milwaukee Admirals than he has with the Predators this season. He does, however, have two goals and an assist with 18 PIMs in 14 games with the Predators this season. Upshall is a good agitator, and can score. He'll get to see the ice with the Flyers more than he would with the talent-laden Predators.

Parent is still playing junior hockey with the Guelph Storm in the OHL. He has only played in 32 games so far this season due to injury, and is currently sitting out with a bulging disk in his back. He is the Storm captain, though, so he may be the next Dersjardins if he cracks the NHL. Bob McKenzie of TSN calls Parent "a top-four defensive defenceman", and that's an encouraging sign for Philadelphia who, for the most part, need some youth and defence injected to their defence corps. Parent currently has three goals and six assists for the Storm this year statistically.

Overall, I see good things for Nashville coming out of this trade. I think this may be what they need to get them past the first-round of the playoffs. The Flyers probably won't see this trade pan out for them for a few years, but with the picks and Parent, they have set themselves up for a bright future. Having two first-round picks this season could be a blessing in disguise.
The more I thought about mask designs last night, the more I kept coming back to the same ones I really liked. I think it has to do with the uniqueness of each mask, and how the designs really stand out when compared to other masks of that era or any other era. Here are a few more that caught my attention.

Gilles Meloche, Cleveland Barons: The thing about Meloche's mask during this era was simply how detailed the mask was. I am a big fan of how it resembles a shield insignia that you'd find on a knights' shield from medieval times.

Kim Martin, Team Sweden: One of the female goalies to have her helmet decorated in the Olympics, Martin's mask carries all the traditional colours of Team Sweden. The 2002-2-22 written on the throat protector indicated the start of the Olympics. Sara Da Costa of the US, Erin Whitten of the US, and Kim St. Pierre of Canada all had their masks painted for the Olympics as well. They are quite a bit more artistic than the mask Manon Rheaume wore with the Lightning.

Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks: This is his alternate mask, not his everyday mask. However, I love it. It's simple in its design, has the cool throwback logo, and features Johnny Canuck, the long-lost mascot and logo of the Vancouver Canucks from their PCHL days.

Ok, I wanna see your favourite masks as well! If you're a goalie, post them here as well! Until tomorrow, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice job with the goalie mask pics. I'm really pleased to find a good one of Luongo's alternate mask. Thanks! :)