ďThe TrapĒ is back and with tons to report. A new CBA is rumored to be on the horizon. If this comes up, expect real ages, division alignment which would come with teams being contracted, and free agency issues to all come up this offseason. General managers really need to prove themselves by the end of the season or risk being contracted.
The DWSHL recently welcomed the arrival of its newest general manager: Pierre Desjardins of the Chevaliers. Desjardins is the ninth GM of the Montreal franchise and will need to be aggressive in order to fix some of his teamís problems.
Kingstonís general manager Brett Harvie has awoken and will likely make big changes in his team. Nothing official yet, but itís possible that this is the year that Nicklas Lidstrom finally gets moved.
The rebuilding efforts of GM Kyle Raspburg have now gotten to the point where it is clear he is trying to lose games in order to have the first priority draft selection. Raspburg had both starters J.S. Aubin and Jussi Markkanen benched just after his arrival. Fans have decided that they no longer want to watch the Riptide, evidenced by recent attendance figures stating fewer than 9000 fans showing up to IGT International Arena. With talk of contraction, this team is in very bad shape.
Speaking of rebuilding, the Stockholm Kings are headed in that direction as well. Mike Modano was put on waivers, but since no one picked him up, the Kings must call him back up to avoid breaking the $2 million rule on the CBA. Expect Modano gone from Stockholm shortly if the Kings are willing to lose that fat contract for nothing.
Similar actions by the Brahmas are expected as the Long Beach franchise will likely get the last lotto pick.
Sources from Edmonton say that several players are on the block, including Tom Poti and R.J. Umberger. If they do make moves, they will be looking to keep their youth and presigned players intact, while trying to get out of debt.
The Rams seem to be packing it in early. After a start that had them just outside the playoffs, they are expected to move a few key players for youth, picks, and prospects. Look for a team needing a boost on defense to pick up Bryan McCabe soon.
GM Ryley Weir says that big things are to be expected in a trade that could see $14 million exchanged and we could also see two to four more deals occur because of it. Henrik Zetterberg was rumored to be on the market for a while, so we will watch this develop. Weir says that his team wants to win now and have a big offseason with the expiring contracts that he has.
Shane Doan is rumored to be on the market. GM Jones has not aggressively tried to move him, but may do so soon. There is talk of rebuilding in San Diego, but there is no evidence that Jones would do this. Rumored to also be moved is Paul Ranger, but Jones has been completely silent on that.
Rumors out of Boston are almost nil and none. The team has done very little to improve its sad state and may be a candidate for contraction if nothing changes.
The Justice GM has recently stated he will make the playoffs. He has traded many assets, including two potential lottery draft selections in 2012 recently in order to flip his team into a contender. With the addition of Henrik Lundqvist, Willie Mitchell's position with the team appears safe however we could see Rod BrindíAmour moved.
The Crunch has reportedly offered Kevin Bieksa and Brooks Laich for an up and coming defenseman, but there are no indications that the deal will go through. The Crunch have been dealing for young players for some time now and this would likely be another deal that GM Alex Smith is looking at with wide eyes.
Look for one of many expiring contracts for the Blaze to be moved by the deadline. GM Notarianni made key moves to get the largest of those contracts out of the way and is fighting to keep his teamís playoff hopes alive.
The Sabercats are pushing for the playoffs and could be a candidate to pick up some of those contracts from the Blaze.
The Attack have not been very aggressive at all for a team fighting for a playoff spot. Offering only the backup goaltender is the most we have seen from Ottawa lately.
Ilya Kovalchuk has been signed to a long term deal with the Prowlers, but his name is still floating around out there.
The Skyleafs have been red hot lately, so donít expect them to make any major changes before the deadline. Overrated players are the only thing that will likely be dealt and barring injury, this team is a lock for the Jim Beam regular season title.
Nashville is looking to move Nikolai Khabibulin. We are not certain what GM Tyler Weir is looking for, but is expected to try and maneuver for another goalie.
After trading away Henrik Lundqvist, the Phantoms are now searching for a goaltender that will carry them through the playoffs. They are also looking to move Sundin and Prospal.
The Spartans may be content to keep Jagr and Shanahan since they will be providing $15 million space for free agency. If Zetterberg does indeed hit the market as expected, this is the team that may try and push for him. Unless the Wolves or Bison make late charges, the Spartans wonít make huge changes.
The Texas Cannons have slowly developed their team into a playoff contender. Weíll be keeping our eyes on that playoff race over the next month.
Donít forget that teams lose money for poor finishes on the farm league. Teams that are far down in the standings may want to find ways to add to their rosters better to avoid taking a hit in the finances.
Houstonís 2011 first round pick Angelo Esposito has really taken the DWSDL by storm this season. He and teammate Richard Clune lead the DL scoring with 82 and 80 points respectively.
COACHING HOT SEATS:
After a horrible season, Ron Wilson may be on the hottest seat yet, as the Racers are likely going to miss the playoffs for the third straight season, with two of those under Wilson.
With a team that has high profile names as Sakic, Gagne, and Liles, Mike Keenan has done miserably with the team that should by no means be a basement team. Unless Keenan turns it around for the Nighthawks, heís not going to remain with the organization much longer.
The Great One canít do it all apparently. After being a borderline playoff team for most of the first half of the season, the Rams have taken a nosedive, losing six straight games to fall way out of contention. Because of this, Wayne Gretzky may be the first one of all of these coaches out the door.
The Icedogs are barely in contention and for a team that should be a lot better, that could spell trouble for Craig MacTavish. GM Brett Harvie is likely to start changing up his team and MacTavish could be the first thing to change.
GM HOT SEATS:
Boston, Calgary, Houston, New York, Sundsvall, Zurich as well as any teams that are in debt. The one post a week rule is in effect and GMs really need to earn their spot in the next few months. With a new sim on the way, bigger pools are expected and GMs must maintain the one post a week minimum or they may not be asked back for the 12th season.