Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Judging from the rumoured deals all over the internet, Kevin Lowe isnt going to get close to market value for Pronger, but thats no suprise. Theres a lot of mention of all the amazing FA defencemen who will hit the market on July 1st, and using the basic principle of supply and demand, Pronger simply isnt worth as much. But are all of these premier defenceman what they're cracked up to be? Lets run down the list:

Jovonovski: A good number 1 defenceman who appears to keep getting better. His progression from his 6-7th role on Team Canada on 2002 up until now has been impressive. Probably the single most dominating member of the Canucks over the past several seasons. Eddie has two downfalls though; a) He often makes bad decisions away from the puck. Yes, I love to see his physicality come out, but he still isnt great at picking his spots. (b) The guy is injury prone. He hasnt even gotten close to a full season over the past 3 years.

Lidstrom: All hail the god of defenceman!! Am I missing something about this guy? Yes, he makes great first passes. Yes, smart decisions away from and with the puck. Good skater. 4 time Norris winner. I just can't get excited about him though. Personally, I love defenceman who can lay down a hit, and Lidstrom never seems to do it. In my opinion, Pronger dominated Detroit's forwards in the series this year, while Lidstrom was relatively innefctive at controlling what Edmoton did. Finished a -4 i the series. Still, probably the best all round defenceman in this crop, especailly when you consider his longevity potential.

Chara: Can we finally get over this guy? Probably the single most overrated defenceman in the League. I've never heard so much praise heaped upon a man who has done so little when it mattered most. I hear he's asking for 8 million...I wouldnt touch a deal like that with a 10 foot pole. Appears to have no offensive talent whatsover, although all Ottawa players have highly inflated numbers. Would be an awesome #2 or #3 defenceman. For $8 mil he better be able to strap on the pads once in a while...

Redden: Part duex of the most overrated duo in hockey. For a guy I hear nothing but good things about, Redden has really accomplished nothing in his career. Projected to crack the Canadian Olympic roster for years, he joined Canada at the World's 2 yeas ago to stink it up. He joined Canada at the Olympics and was their 2nd worst defenceman. Looked alright in the first round this year against Tampa, only to collapse in the 2nd round and make a horrible defensive play on Buffalo's short handed series winner. Has regular season +/- constsantly in the mid double digits, while his playoff +/- looks like about an average of -3. The question is; Are Redden's numbers and poor playoff performances a cause or symptom of Ottawa's post season problems? If Edmonton is thinking about signing this guy, they should think again.

McCabe: As I write this it sounds like he's off the free agent market, to the tune of about $5.75/year, thereby making him the world's most expensive PP specialist. A total disaster in terms of decision making, with and without the puck. Is physical but cannot pick his spots at all. Canada's wost defenceman by far at the Olympics, and thats saying something, because he was only getting about 7 minutes a game (or so it seemed.) Good luck Toronto. You'll need it.

To end off my column, congrats to Pat Roy and Harley Hotchkiss in making the HOF. Without Hotchkiss there probably wouldnt be any hockey in Calgary, and without Roy we'd never get an outrageously huge ego that actually matched the level of play he brought each and every night. I'm sure we havent heard the last of these two either.

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