You Can’t Avoid the Draft

Wow. Kind of an exciting draft weekend. Although I am with Jeff Z. Klein in that I too find it a little annoying that you don’t know if a team had a good draft for something like five years. That’s why I like draft-day trades. They’re way more immediate.
The Flames got Mike Cammalleri from LA and shipped Alex Tanguay to Montreal.It was a great move for Calgary, that let them get a little younger and a little cheaper, and Cammalleri, should he stay healthy, has a lot of upside. I think he has the ability to be a great playmaker, something the Flames could really use. The Flames kicked the tires on Olli Jokinen, but GM Darry Sutter said the price was way too high. As you may have heard, Jokinen went to the Coyotes, making Phoenix the big winner in the draft (according to USA Today‘s Kevin Allen). I thought Jokinen would have been a great fit in either Calgary or San Jose, but I can see him in Phoenix. They’re trying to become one of those big Western Conference teams that swarm the net and pretty much smother goaltenders and opposing defensemen.
I was intrigued by the Flyers’ moves to upgrade their defense, trading R.J. Umberger for a first- and third-round pick and then trading a lower first-round pick for the rights to defenseman Steve Eminger (from Washington). Philadelphia knew the big burn on their defense was how slow it was, so you can see they’re trying to get faster right away.
I was also proud of St. Louis for picking-up goalie Chris Mason from Nashville. Mason has solid career numbers, with a rough ride last season. He can start and that gives St. Louis some options in goal, something they didn’t have last season. Slowly but surely the Blues are becoming a respectable NHL franchise.