More new on the Sandis Ozolinsh trade. Number one because I don’t understand why Florida let him go for so little and number two because nothing else is going on in hockey (unless you count that synchronized skating event they called the All-Star Game).
Greg Cote from the Miami Herald doesn’t get the trade, either. His column is titled “Why This Trade–And Why Right Now?”
It’s a great question. Cote’s guess is a salary dump. Ozolinish was making $25 million over five years. By trading him, the Panthers save about $950,000 for the rest of this season and about $1.5 million next season. Sure Florida wants good players, but not if they have to pay them.
The All-Star break is always a busy time of year for Ozolinish. He was traded to Florida from Carolina 17 days before last season’s All-Star game.
Someone in Florida is happy about the trade, though. Rookie Jay Bouwmeester. He’s going to get a lot more ice time and become the cornerstone of Florida’s defense (albeit a defense that gave up 12 goals in one game this season).
Also, Ozolinish was so “upset” and “stunned” and “embarassed” by his trade, he skipped the skills competition. He’s played in Sunday’s game, though. He was introduced as a Mighty Duck, played for the East, and wore a jersey with no team logo. That is kind of embarassing.