LOTS of rumors in this edition with many big names mentioned. Alittle bit of all-star news, Trade report...and DL updates as well. Thanks to Tyer, Ommen, Osterloh, and Ryley for the input.
Rumors out of Nashville have Brad Richards being demoted to the second line after his ongoing slump. The Battalion were entertaining the option of dealing Richards, most notably seeking Rick Nash from Winnipeg in return.
Michigan is shopping around goaltender Marty Turco. It was thought that the club had a deal on the table but that appears untrue. Possible destinations for Turco include Calgary, Jacksonville, New York, Arizona, Antwerp, and Winnipeg. Although GM Steffer confirmed he was available, Turco reportidly wont be had easily.
The Winnipeg T-Rex are still activley looking to trade Steve Yzerman and Brett Hull. The two have been on the block for the better part of the season, which makes you wonder if the T-Rex just havent recieved the right offer, or if they havent gotten any offers at all.
Rams GM Jason Mazzei is looking to shed payroll with the recent aquisiton of Darryl Sydor (4.7 mill). Steve Reinprecht and John Madden have been specifically mentioned.
Its rumored that Calgary was considering dealing Jarome Iginla but plans appear to have fallen through.
Arizona is also on the move as word has circulated from the desert that the club has been involved in many heated trade talks, with Martin Brodeur among the possible players on the move.
Tim Connolly could be had from the riptide. The struggling forward has just 6 goals in 40 games for the riptide is a -19 on the season.
Looking for a veteran defenseman, Blizzard GM Mike Osterloh is reportidly willing to move center Matt Stajan and winger Anthony Stewart. Stajan and Stewart are two of the few players who arent doing their part in what has been a very successful season for the Blizz.
The Brahmas, now at the bottom of the league need a GM who will unload its veteran players in the near future. The aquisition of Olaf Kolzig hurt the team much more than it helped, and the team is virtually stuck with him under the new CBA. Luc Robitaille and Jan Hrdina could be attractive to playoff bound teams if and when they get an owner.
Trever Kidd has turned his career around. Back-stopping the Chevaliers to another great season, Kidd has been voted in as the starting goaltender for the Jim Beam team at the 8th DWSHL classic. To make it more special, he will be playing in front of the chevs home crowd in montreal.
Antwerp is disappointed with the play of rookie goaltender Devan Dubnyk. GM Ommen was hoping this season would be a good time to bring along the young net-minder with a strong defensive squad playing in front of Dubnyk, but the youngster has not made the most of his opportunities. Also disappointing is the plus/minus of rookie blueliner Andrej Meszaros. Ommen may end up moving Dubnyk down to the farm or out of Antwerp all together if he's lost all confidence in him. Meszaros, on the other hand, is likely to stay in Antwerp as the IceBats prepare to part ways with Philippe Boucher, either by way of trade or free agency this off-season.
Its getting kind of hard to be a fan in Zurich these days. The key problem being that the organization is built entirely of youngsters. Brandon Nolan (???) is the teams top point getter. It would be interesting to see GM Therres make deals for guys already mentioned like Yzerman and Reinprecht, as it would be possible considering the youth they have available. The question is, do they want to take themselves out of the 1-2 draft position with Kessel and Johnson at stake. Probably not.
Which is the better team...the Seattle Spartans or the Nashville Battalion? The two teams have dominated play in their respective conferences and both seemed poised to make a run to make for what could be one of the most exciting drunks cup finals of all time. Its true there is still alot of hockey to be played, but neither team looks ready to slow down. The playoff races and positiong are shaping up to be closer than ever as well.
Prior to the hiring of Trevor Peters by the Birmingham Blaze it was thought that the league would keep on Duff McFadden on a condition of indefinite leave.
The Hanover Galaxy could be in the market for a new coach after a first half. Virtually unkown head coach Hans Zach has his talented roster sitting just 3 games over .500.
Grumblings from Kingston indicate controversial GM Brett Harvie is on the hot seat following a lengthy sabbatical. Harvie who has been a part of the league for many seasons, has semingly vanished. His team remains right in the middle of the JB playoff race.
2 new gms have been hired, as the league now expects bigger things from the Skyleaf and Justice organizations.
The DWSHL could foster a champion's challenge amongst rival leagues, an idea tossed around since inception in 2001.
The WTQ is also rumored for a return but is expected to face some revision.
Another rumor that won't die is the possibility of a DWSHL radio show depending on participation and demand.
Darryl Sydor is on his way to the Rams, as the Attack continue to re-tool for next season. Sydor can still be considered a top 3 defenseman and is a good pickup for Seoul. The Attack also reached their goal getting a decent pick, a future DWSHL'er in Jeremy Colliton, and a automatic replacement for Sydor with McGillis.
The blockbuster at the midway point of the season is one between division rivals. Maxim Afinogenov and Vincent Damphousse to the Phantoms....Adrian Aucoin, Nathan Horton, Mark Bell, and Cale Hulse to the T-Rex. After registering just 12 points for the Phantoms in the first 31 games, Aucoin has since hit his stride with 12 points already in his 11 games for the T-Rex. "There was no doubt that he would be a better fit with the T-Rex than us" said GM Joe Scanlon. "Maxim and Vinny have been good for us to say the least though, and we are consistantly winning games again. Im glad it has worked for both teams."
The Riptide put a nice package of youngsters together, and it was so good that the Hornets couldnt refuse it for star winger Milan Hejduk. Heading to the Houston are Blake Wheeler, David Vyborny, Stefan Meyer, as well as the Riptides 1st and 2nd round choices in 2009. Hejduk's contract is the only reason the Hornets, or any other team for that matter could consider dealing him. At 9.4 million and a UFA to be, the Riptide have sacrificed much of their future in search of the playoffs and beyond. Hejduk is a point a game player thus far for Reno.
RW Thomas Vanek, C Petr Taticek, C Rostislav Olesz, LW Benoit Pouliot - Selkirk Rush. Together they have guided the Rush to a 29-8-4 record, which is good for first in the JB conference. They lead the second place Mosquitoes (QC) by 10 points. These four have simply dominated the DWSDL. The T-Rex have overachieved as it is sitting 3rd in the Jim Beam during their "rebuilding phase". As these four continue to play like they are, watch for the T-Rex to do even more damage in 09 with this talented collection of young stars.
Justin Peters, G - Tampa Scarecrows. Even though he has the top team in the JD conference playing in front of him, 19 year old Justin Peters deserves alot of credit. Its not often a DWSDL goaltender consistantly posts a mark under 2.00 like he is doing right now.
You can find 14 of the DL's top 24 scorers on either the Rush or Scarecrow rosters.
Trent Klatt, RW - Denwood Leafs. At the age of 35, Klatt is still going strong and putting up numbers in the minors. Prior to the season many thought Klatt would be hanging up the skates. Good thing he didnt, as he ranks 12th among all DWSDL scorers with 52 points, and is helping to keep the Leafs competitive. Maybe one more chance in the big league before he calls a quits.
Start emailing stuff for next week!! Thanks again!