Bertuzzi's blown town in Vancouver, and the Canucks are getting their first really good goalie since... hm, Richard Brodeur might be stretching it, let's say Kirk MacLean in 1994. Cloutier's fine, no doubt about it, but you have to wonder if there's something to his playoff performances, and has the man ever not been hurt during the regular season? Of course, now the Canucks have two starting goaltenders. I don't know much about Kracijek, but Bryan Allen's a fine defender - what you see is what you get, I think.
Pronger's agent is saying that a trade request has been put to the Oilers. I don't know what's up with that. "Personal, family reasons" can mean anything - of course, Oilers fans, particularly the hysterical HFBoarders, will claim it's because his wife hates the city, and will take it personally. I'm not sure why a guy would sign a 5 year contract one summer, then want to leave town the next - but c'est la vie. I have no doubt that if he really wants to go, Lowe will accomodate him, once the right deal is in place. The draft is a good time to make that deal: Edmonton's without a first round pick, and Pronger's certainly worth that - and more. However, I'd rather not see him depart for just a pick. Ryan Smyth isn't getting any younger, and neither are the defensive corps. If Pronger leaves though, Edmonton needs a big time #1 defenceman coming the other way, whether it be in that trade or another.
Georges Laraque is coming up on UFA. He'd said before that he would never play for any other team, but in the post-season interview (courtesy he backtracked a bit and said that "this year more than ever I'm ready to move on." The difference? "Not playing every game. Pretty simple, eh?" I think when he didn't play much during the Finals, that was the writing on the wall for Le GG. He still thinks he can play every game, and he'd like to be back, but if that doesn't happen, he'll move on. I suspect that next year, if there's an Oilers tough guy with a French name, it's going to be JF Jacques, not Georges Laraque. I'll miss him, I think he brought a certain je ne sais quoi to the team, but he was pretty expensive for a guy who scored like he did. If taking down Todd Fedoruk twice in one game was his swan song though, it's not a bad one to have.
I expect Lowe will ask Dwayne Roloson what he wants, ballpark, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Rolo go to UFA. I expect the Oilers will likely make him an offer - bum knee and 36 years old and all, he's still a better bet than Markkanen keeping up his hot streak and Conklin re-finding his game. Considering the Leafs are even worse off, and Rolo's just about old enough to make the Toronto all-rookie squad, JFJ is likely to give him a good offer. Whether he'd take it or not is something else again - the Leafs aren't going to be a good team next year, and I don't know that I'd be too crazy about finishing off my career with a lousy team in a crazy city.
The draft should be interesting from an Oilers perspective, that's for sure.