Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Where's Tavares Heading?

Conflicting reports came out hours before the Gold Medal Game. Sportsnet and the Fan 590 both reported that the London Knights had acquired the best forward in junior hockey.

It's believed that in return for Tavares, the package would include Knights forwards Phil Varone and Christian Thomas, defenceman Scott Valentine, as well as an undisclosed draft pick and cash considerations.

Some fans say they are giving too much for a player that's most likely not returning next season. If I was a London fan, I wouldn't worry at all. The Hunters know how to bring players into the program. They always go for the high profile player and usually have success bringing that player to London.

Bob McKenize
said he had heard the total opposite on the pre-game show. For good measure, the Oshawa Generals sent out a press release. It's not on there website which is odd. You know something is up when Sportsnet can't get a hold of the Knights.

Knights general manager Mark Hunter couldn't be reached and the Generals issued a statement denying that Tavares had been traded. The Windsor Spitfires were also believed to be in the running for the offensively gifted Tavares.

This deal should bring the London Knights right with the Windsor Spitfires. Both teams want to make it to Rimouski for the Memorial Cup. What do they do to answer back? Most say, they will be looking for a goaltender. They have already acquired the rights to their goaltender of the future in Brandon Maxwell who's with the United States National Team Development Program. They might go after one of the two goaltenders on USA's World Junior Team in Thomas McCollum and Josh Unice.

Before the World Juniors, if you asked me who they should go after, I would of said McCollum because I thought Unice was shaky in the Memorial Cup last year. What McCollum showed me at the World Juniors was nothing. Unice knows what's its like to play in a big game. Maybe Windsor still goes after McCollum because the price might be cheaper but they also need a defenseman also. The Kitchener Rangers have defenseman Dan Kelly and Ben Shutron that could be available.

Where will Sweden's Mikael Backlund end up? The Kelowna Rockets look like the destination. McKenize reported on HFboards (Post 81) that it will be Kelowna who acquire his services for the rest of the season.

Backlund will be joining Kelowna after the WJC. It's my understanding it's been agreed to and will happen, although my experience with international transfers is that it's not truly done until you see the player in the lineup...that said, Backlund is expected to finish this season the Dub.

The Rockets are in second place in the B.C. Division behind the Vancouver Giants. There's 21 point gap between the two teams. Could the Calgary Hitmen make a trade for Backlund because the Flames own the Hitmen. I think the Flmes want to have close eye on him. I don't know who thry would offer because Kelowna is still in the playoff picture.

Finally the Drummondville Voltigeurs have acquired Chris DiDomenico from the Saint John Sea Dogs. In return, the Sea Dogs obtain goaltender Simon Giroux, winger Mathieu Gingras, a first round pick in 2009 and a second round pick in 2010. I have been keeping track of all the recent QMJHL trades here.

That's My Take

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not sure about Unice. Prior to the U20 he was pulled from games and pretty much parked.