Back in business
Let's start with an apology. I know I haven't contributed to this site for a while and I'm sorry for slacking. But with Thanksgiving and all and ... right, you don't want to hear it. We're all busy.
Anyway, wanted to discuss again the trade rumors thing, specifically as it pertains to Marc Denis. There have been lots of rumors out there that Tampa Bay is looking to trade the goaltender for whom it traded the very popular Fredrik Modin. Don't believe it. There are several levels on which that rumor doesn't make sense.
First, we are only 25 games into the season. Yes, Denis has struggled and Johan Holmqvist has played well (Tuesday's game notwithstanding). But Denis has a solid track record and Holmqvist, prior to this season, had played just four NHL games, and, well, it's just a bit too early to turn the position over to someone with so little experience, especially when the only backup in the system even close to being NHL ready (and he is not) is Karri Ramo. In that context, Tampa Bay would almost certainly have to gain a goaltender in any deal, and why would the team waste part of a blockbuster trade filling a position that already is full?
Second, Holmqvist is under a one-year contract. He is an unrestricted free agent after the season. Even if Tampa Bay wanted to do something with Denis, it would not until Holmqvist is under contract for at least next season. And teams cannot, I believe, begin such negotiations until January.
Third, the Johnny Grahame factor. Grahame was brilliant at times during the 2003-04 when Nikolai Khabibulin, if anyone remembers, almost lost his No. 1 spot. And we all saw what happened when Grahame was given the job, not to mention the PRESSURE, of the top spot. It is a lot more crushing when you are the guy with it all on your shoulders rather than the backup everybody loves. Ask any backup quarterback.
This is not to say Denis might not someday be traded, and it makes for good conversation, but it is not in the works right now.
Thanks for your patience.