Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Sean Avery's Residual Effect

Sean Avery, formerly of the Los Angeles Kings, is now a New York Ranger. The deal went down two days ago, right before the Rangers promptly went out on MSG ice and blew a 3-1 lead against Detroit, losing 4-3. The Rangers picked up Avery and prospect John Seymour from the Kings in exchange for right-winger Jason Ward, and unsigned draft picks Marc-Andre Cliche and Jan Marek. A friend asked me who I thought "won" the trade. There's no definitive answer here, but I'll take a stab.

I like the players that Los Angeles picked up, particularly Marc-Andre Cliche. Cliche played on the gold-medal winning Canadian junior team this year, and is currently playing in the QMJHL for the Lewiston MAINEiacs. Cliche is a hard-working forward who can score, posting 15 goals and 21 assists in 35 games. Jan Marek is the second-leading scorer in the Russian SuperLeague with 43 points playing with Magnitogorsk. He is a flashy scorer, and could be another scoring threat to compliment the youthful Kings' players such as Anze Kopitar, Mike Cammalleri, and Lubomir Visnovsky. Jason Ward is a solid third or fourth-line winger, and can step in and contribute right away for a team needing solid checking and better defense.

New York, on the other hand, picked up the agitator in Sean Avery. Avery is an energy guy who can score. He has 28 points in 55 games, but brings a definite energy to the rink, leading the Kings in PIMs last season, and ending up fourth in hits. John Seymour has six points in 34 games with the Brampton Battalion of the OHL. The centreman appears to be a third or fourth-line centreman at this point in his junior career, but has registered a career -18 over four years in the OHL.

From the statistical aspect alone, I would say that the Los Angeles Kings won the trade. They picked up two excellent prospects, and a winger who will make them more defensively sound while contributing points.

However, one cannot overlook the "residual effect". With Sean Avery and Elisha Cuthbert being a couple, perhaps Cuthbert's career will benefit from the move to New York as well. She's a talented actress and a beautiful woman, and the move from Los Angeles to New York won't be a step backwards.

After taking that last bit of information into consideration, I'd say the trade is even. But from a hockey perspective, I think Los Angeles will benefit from this trade after all is said and done, especially since the Rangers appear to free-falling from the playoff race.
Scores: Lots of great games last night that had many playoff implications. Here we go.

The Boston Bruins defeated the Washington Capitals 3-2 in a shooutout. Washington and Boston are tied for the 12th spot in the Eastern Conference with 52 points, nine points out of the 8th and final playoff spot. Boston has three games in hand on Washington. Brandon Bochenski scored his first of the season for the Bruins, and Phil Kessel scored the shootout winner.

In a battle of division leaders, the Barney Rubble Hairpieces defeated the Atlanta Thrashers 4-3 in a shootout. Daniel Briere had another big game, and the win gives Buffalo a four point lead on New Jersey for top spot in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta occupies the 3rd seed with 67 points, five points up on division rival Tampa Bay who sits in 7th. Briere had two goals for the Hairpieces in regulation time, and scored a fantastic goal in the shootout to decide the contest.

The Phoenix Coyotes shut out the Columbus Blue Jackets by a score of 3-0. Curtis Joseph picked up the shutout, and the Phoenix Coyotes improved to 11th in the Western Conference, ten points behind Minnesota for the 8th playoff spot. Columbus is tied for 13th in the West with Chicago, three points ahead of last-place Los Angeles. Reinprecht, Doan, and Zigomanis scored for the Desert Dogs.

The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 last night. Frantisek Kaberle's first goal of the season on the powerplay held up to be the winner. Carolina's two points moved them into 8th spot in the East, one point up on idle Toronto. Toronto, however, has two games in hand. Kovalev scored for the Canadiens, and Williams scored Carolina's other goal.

The New Jersey Devils defeated the New York Rangers in a shootout last night by a score of 3-2. The free-falling Rangers picked up a point to give them 55 points to date, good for 11th spot. They trail the New York Islanders by two points, and sit six points out of 8th. The Devils matched the Hairpieces with their two points, and remain in 2nd place in the Conference, four points back of the Barney Rubble Hairpieces. Rachunek and Jagr scored for the Blueshirts, while Martin and Parise replied for the Devils. Brian Gionta scored the shootout winner.

The Pittsburgh Penguins upset the NHL's top team, the Nashville Predators, by a score of 4-1. Pittsburgh and Ottawa are tied for 5th in the Eastern Conference, with Pittsburgh having a game in hand. The Penguins trail the Montreal Canadiens for 4th in the East by one point. Nashville's 77 points are still tops in the NHL, leading the Barney Rubble Hairpieces by one point, and they lead the West by three points over the Anaheim Ducks. Staal, Malkin, Recchi, and Ruutu scored for the Penguins, while Scott Nichol replied for the Predators.

The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Los Angeles Kings in a shootout by a score of 3-2. Tampa Bay occupies 7th spot in the East, one point behind Pittsburgh and Ottawa, two points behind Montreal, and one point ahead of 8th-place Carolina. Los Angeles is last in the West. Weaver and Armstrong scored for the Kings, while Lecavalier and Jones scored for the Lightning. Brad Richards' goal in the shootout decided the contest.

The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the St. Louis Blues 2-1. Toronto kept pace with the Hurricanes and sit one point out of 8th. The Blues sit in 12th place in the West, two points behind 11th-place Phoenix, and 12 points behind 8th-place Minnesota. Ponikarovsky scored for Toronto in the first. Johnson tied the game for St. Louis in the second before Alexander Steen's powerplay marker held up to be the winner.

The Dallas Stars rallied to beat the Minnesota Wild 4-2 after Marty Turco allowed two goals on seven shots. Dallas sits in 6th spot in the West, three points back of 5th-place San Jose, and two points ahead of 7th-place Vancouver. Boucher, Modano, Zubov and Barnes scored for Dallas, while Nummelin and Dupuis responded for Minnesota.

The Colorado Avalanche defeated the Florida Panthers in overtime by a score of 5-4. Florida is in 14th spot in the East, 10 points back of 8th-place Carolina. Colorado is tied for 9th spot in the West with Edmonton, both having 56 points. They trail Minnesota by six points for the final playoff spot in the West. Wolski, Arnason, Clark and Stastny scored in regulation for the Avalanche, while Jokinen, Horton, Gratton and Stumpel scored for Florida. Joe Sakic's powerplay goal 25 seconds into overtime sealed the win for Colorado.

The Chicago Blackhawks rallied in the third period against the Calgary Flames, and then won the game in a shootout by a score of 3-2. Chicago is tied with Columbus for 13th in the West, 15 points out of a playoff spot. Calgary is the 3rd seed in the West by virtue of leading the Northwest Division, and sit one point up on Vancouver for the division lead. Friesen and Huselius put Calgary ahead 2-0 before before two goals from Martin Havlat, including the tying goal with 28 seconds left, forced the shootout. Havlat also decided the game in the shootout with another goal.

The Vancouver Canucks flexed a little muscle in handing the Edmonton Oilers a 5-2 defeat. The Canucks are currently in 7th place in the West, but sit one point back of division-leading Calgary for 3rd seed. Calgary, however, has one game in hand on the Canucks. The Oilers are tied with Colorado for 9th spot in the West, six points back of Minnesota. Daniel Sedin had a hat trick, while Naslund and Pyatt also chipped in. Edmonton got goals from Horcoff and Stortini.

And in the last game of the night, the Anaheim Ducks hammered the San Jose Sharks 7-4. The Ducks sit atop the Pacific Division with 74 points, and occupy the 2nd seed in the West, three points back of Nashville for top spot. The Sharks occupy the 5th seed in the West with 69 points, and trail Detroit by five points for 4th seed. Anaheim's goals were scored by Travis Moen, who had two, Pahlsson, McDonald, Rob Niedermayer, Penner and Getzlaf. Grier, Marleau, and Cheechoo with two scored for San Jose.

Well, after all that, I'm looking forward to some more great hockey this week and weekend. Until tomorrow, keep your sticks on the ice!

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