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Arnott, Horton and Graeme McDowell

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June 21st.  The longest day of the year, and more importantly, my Dad’s birthday.  So happy birthday, Dad! 

That’s the downside of living away from the family – birthdays (and events like Fathers Day) are never quite the same.  Lookin’ forward to getting back to Kelowna in a month.

*****

Soooo, stuff’s going down in the offices of hockey GM’s all over the country huh?  I’m excited to see who does what with who when.  Or something like that.

You sir, Arnott my favourite player.

The Devils just picked up Jason Arnott, a player I’ve taken great pleasure in hating over his NHL career.  (For absolutely no reason.  Just don’t enjoy his style of play).  Despite my lack of love for him, he’s a quality player to have in your locker room and lineup – big bodies with the ability to finish are a TRUCKFUL of dimes a dozen, so that’s great that the Devs are willing to put up that truckful.

At first glance, it seems odd that they’re interested in taking on a 4.5 million dollar cap hit before finding out if they can re-sign Kovalchuk and Paul Martin, but hey, what do we know?  If anything, maybe we can infer that they’ll be trading somebody away to make cap space soon.  Lou’s always got a plan.

So here’s my question of the day….

Why is Dale Tallon (supposedly) interested in trading away his team’s best assets?  When you hear of a GM going to a team and wanting to shake things up, it boggles my mind when a name like Nathan Horton comes up.

Easy on the celly buddy, it's the Rangers... not THAT much of a feat.

Wouldn’t you expect that he’d be one of the core pieces you’d build around?  What are the odds of any prospect developing into a player as good as him?

He’s 25 years old, 6’2, 230, has goal totals of 28,31, 27, 22, 20 (injuries the past two season limited him to 60ish games), and only makes $4 million a year.  What more do you want from a player?  He’s what you hope your draft picks develop into. 

Do you want a younger guy that has a 15 year career ahead of him with a few year learning curve, or a guy who’s through the adjustment period and into his best years?

The problem is with the rest of the team, and every good team needs a nucleus to build around.  He’s your nucleus.  Don’t trade this guy away, Dale, and if you do, trade him to the Islanders.

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The best of the US Open this year, by A MILE was the reaction by Graeme McDowell’s Dad after he won with a two-putt on 18.  I could cry just thinking about it. 

For the already likable McDowell, that moment pushed him over the top…. I’m a fan.  (Incidentally, I’ve become a fan of Dustin Johnson too, but that … what’d he shoot, 83? on Sunday, for a guy they called an emotional ”flat-liner” was just a nightmare.  US Open pressure must be fierce.  I guess it’s like that at all majors, really.)

Jump to 3:45 to catch a quick glimpse of the moment… it was pretty special. 

*****

Short and sweet today.  Hope everyone’s enjoying the summer heat, and hopefully the Leafs trade Kaberle so I can stop hearing his name ASAP.

Comments

9 Responses to “Arnott, Horton and Graeme McDowell”
  1. jtbourne says:

    Think I got the comments bug taken care of…. sorry about that, folks.

  2. lew says:

    cool, now i know someone exciting I share a birthday with.

  3. Jeff says:

    My comments never make it through on the first try… not sure if I keep posting two or three times. As you can tell, I am extremely computer-literate. I apologize if I am spamming!

    Tallon is on the ball w/ Horton – right now his trade value is (probably) way higher than it should be based on what he has shown to date at the NHL level. Sometimes the consistency switch turns on overnight (Lecavalier is a perfect example of this), but sometimes it never does. Horton hasn’t shown willingness to compete night-in and night-out. Physical gifts can only carry you so far.

    Agree 101% with your Kaberle comment. I wonder if Tomas is growing a beard to protest all of the rumors? Even if he was, would anyone be able to tell? The rumors will finally end soon, but then we will have to read a dozen Cox/Simmons “articles” about how Burke didn’t get enough in return, the Leafs inability to do anything (since 1967), and the behind-the-scenes look at Dion Phaneuf’s swagger.

  4. nightfly says:

    Disagree, Jeff. What exactly does Horton have to be consistent with down there? And rumor has it that the only ‘safe’ Panthers are David Booth, Dmitri Kulikov, and the misfortunate Tomas Vokoun, who surely wishes that Keith Ballard could just put him out of his misery, already.

    If you want to trade guys, they should be guys who need a change of scenery or whom you can sell as guys who are close to breaking out, or vets with some value to others. Tallon’s real problem is that guys who would otherwise have value are unmoveable thanks to their gravity-bending cap numbers (Rusty Olesz, Bryan McCabe, Corey Stillman). Other guys (like Olesz or Reinprecht) won’t bring back a whole lot in exchange. Really, they’re stuck until those horrible contracts expire, but nobody likes to hear that, especially from the new GM who probably got the job by claiming (and perhaps believeing) “I can fix it, it’s not that bad, watch this genius move right here!”

    I think they’re better off if they keep Horton, Weiss, and Frolik along with Booth and Kulikov. At least they’ll have a core in a year or two. Also, if they do trade a vet, it ought to be Vokoun. He’s 95% certain to walk at the end of the year; he’s running out of prime years to waste in Florida. Tallon should be able to get at least what Montreal got for Halak, in the right deal.

  5. Dave says:

    “Sometimes the consistency switch turns on overnight (Lecavalier is a perfect example of this), but sometimes it never does. Horton hasn’t shown willingness to compete night-in and night-out. Physical gifts can only carry you so far.”

    A change of scenery will get this guy playing to his potential. Playing in front of 6,000 a night has something to do with his consistency.

  6. rm says:

    Another person with the Father’s Day/Dad’s B-day double header. My Dad’s birthday is the 20th. We celebrated with pizza and the US Open. My parents anniversary is the 29th, so June does put a dent in my disposable income.

    As a new resident to South FL, I need to get up-to-date with things Panthers. I had heard that there were going to be changes made and the Panthers apparently have a number of 2nd/3rd round picks that I think they wanted to package with current players in their system for more established players. But yeah, I’m with you, you don’t give up on a 25 yr old kid who can net 20+ goals/season.

  7. lazydaisies4u says:

    Off topic, but not going to lie, glad to hear I’m not the only one to hate Arnott for absolutely no reason.

  8. Richie says:

    I hate Arnott for the trivial fact he consistently scored on me in NHL 2001-2003 as a Star (I used Phoenix so they play each other alot).
    That is all.

  9. Alex says:

    Tallon spilled the beans today after the trade went thru – he says Horton told him he wanted out.

    I suppose it’s now a question of whether or not he should have “sold” the future of the Panthers to Horton – my take is that in the beginning of any major rebuilding process, get the disgruntled out ASAP, especially when their trade value is as high as Horton’s is at present.

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