Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Scratching Colby

Sorry for the lack of updates, the enemy of every blogger "real life" has been kicking up. I will try to do this as best as I can.

Colby Armstrong has been a healthy scratch in the past two games. Rookie Tyler Kennedy has pretty much stepped in his stead and been playing with the energy, speed and desire you'd have hoped Armstrong should be bringing to the table. Georges Laraque's groin seems to be good enough for him to play now, and he's been actually a decent hockey player, and not just the reigning NHL Heavyweight Champion.

Rumors of a trade are swirling, reports say the Penguins have been following Dallas around, and the whispers of Montreal still liking Army have never quieted.

Point 1: Pittsburgh plays Dallas in about 3 weeks time, so it's not really that groundbreaking to me that they'd have scouts take a trip simply to gather data about how an unfimiliar opponent is playing at the moment.

Point 2: There have been 0 trades in the NHL this season. That is for a reason. In this new salary cap era, the league's transactions have shifted towards the NFL, another league where free agency ages are low. There is more emphasis on the draft, more emphasis on free agency, less interest in trading players during the season.

This trend will probably change near the trading deadline, as the buyers and sellers become a little more obvious, but the the wheels of change are rolling. Scouting and developing are becoming more important than ever in the NHL, while trades are clearly becoming less frequent.

Point 3: Rumors state the Penguins usual trade bait (Erik Chistensen, Armstrong) are being offered up for a goalie. Marty Turco has even been mentioned. That's ridiculous on many levels: A)Dallas is a competitive team, why would they trade their #1, B)The Penguins would have to offer up a lot more than usual and C)Turco has a no trade clause.

Rumors to Montreal often state the Penguins are interested in goalies Jaroslav Halak or Huet, neither of whom are exactly established NHL goalies themselves.

In conclusion, I don't see the Penguins on the verge of trading Armstrong in the near future; it's just that other players in the lineup are doing well---Kennedy, BGL and even Jarrko Ruutu when he can stay out of the penalty box. Plus none of the oft-mentioned teams really have mutual reason or bait to make something happen.

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