First blog in a long while. Lets get to it.
Well the trade deadline has come and gone and its time to look back at what changed with the Preds roster.
D Denis Grebeshkov
2010 2nd round pick
Thoughts: I had a mixed reaction. When I got a text from a colleague and friend from a news source informing of this trade, I said to myself "seriously? did we actually make a trade?" Comments from Oilers fans were somewhat mixed, leaning towards negative. He looked great in his first game, potting a goal and adding an assist. My hope is that he becomes what Christian Ehrhoff has for the Canucks. Ehrhoff was the target of fans' scorn in San Jose, ultimately earning the nickname "Errorhoff" for his defensive lapses. While Grebs hasn't gotten that kind of scorn, this season has been rough for all players donning the Oilers sweater. What I hope this doesn't become is another Brendan Witt trade where we give up something huge (a 1st rounder in Witt's case that turned out to be Semyon Varlamov) and lose the player after the season. Fortunately, Grebs is a RFA and a deal should happen, whether it be long term, short term or arbitration. This trade appeared to be a domino for Dan Hamhuis to be moved. It was clear that Hammer was being shopped and numerous teams were interested. Ultimately, Dan told David Poile that he did not want to be traded. I was really happy to hear this. Not only is he committed to this team this season, but sounds like he wants to return and spend a longer time with this franchise, with the aim of winning a Cup. We know he has had his struggles this year but he is definitely a good defenceman, clearly indicated by the interest he drew.
Grading this trade out of 5, I give the Preds front office a 4 on this transaction.
F Dustin Boyd
2010 4th round pick
Thoughts: I absolutely LOVED this trade. We got a hard working forward who has talent and has yet to fully pan out. While the Preds have compared him to Vernon Fiddler and that is decent comparison, I think the ceiling is much higher for Boyd. I'd like to see him work himself onto the 2nd line if possible. The Preds still don't have 6 top 6 forwards but with the likes of Ward, Hornqvist and now Boyd, we've got guys who can, together, get the job done of a top 6 forward. A lot of Flames fans expressed extreme displeasure with this trade. Essentially, it was the Phaneuf deal that made this happen. The influx of forwards from the Leafs to the Flames sent Boyd to the press box for a few. This kid is still young and could be a nice gem of a pickup.
I give this trade a 4.5/5.
F Ryan Jones
Thoughts: I know that this is a waiver pickup but I wrote it this way to illustrate what we just did with letting Jonesy go. I was saddened to hear that they waived him, knowing that he was pretty well a lock to get picked up by a team. Personally, I think the Preds dropped the ball on this big time. It was ironic to see Marek Zidlicky get an extension on the same day that the player that the Preds got for him, Jonesy got waived. Jones does a lot of things that most of the Preds roster doesn't. He has grit, he goes to the net, he's got good hand-eye to deflect pucks, he can play well in the corners and he's always moving his feet. These are things you love to see in a player and Jones was one of my favourites on this team. I know he's no Rick Nash but it was tough to see him go and go for nothing in return.
While it was a waiver claim, I will still grade it and give the Preds a 1/5 for it. Brutal.
I like the new additions and I can't wait to see what Dustin Boyd can do. This team has won 3 straight and they look motivated. Here's to hoping that they can keep this up so maybe I can take a trip to Nashville sometime soon!