Sorting through the trades
But the big news is all the trading going on around the draft, and after a few days of letting it all sink in I'm going to try to make some sense of it all, at least as far as the newly relocated goalies. Naturally, the biggest deal to hit the press so far is the Luongo-Krajicek-draft pick to Vancouver for Bertuzzi-Auld-Allan trade. (I will leave my thoughts on Todd Bertuzzi out of this discussion, as this is certainly not the right forum for that sort of rant.) Vancouver picked up their much needed "#1" goalie, though I'm not sure where that leaves Cloutier, as the Canucks said they are not planning on trading him. Luongo was reportedly surprised by the deal, having thought he and Panthers management had a verbal agreement to a 4-year deal, complete with three conditions: publicly state that they won't trade him, bring on Francois Allaire as his goalie coach, and sign Jamie McLennan as his backup. Panthers GM said Luongo was asking more money than they could spend, but it sounds like the "pain in the ass" tax was getting a little high as well. So Florida now has Alex Auld, presumably as their starter. The Panthers did not pick up Jamie McLennan's option, but instead sent a 2008 draft pick to Chicago for Craig Anderson, Blackhawks backup and goalie for the US team at the 2006 World Championships. I'm wondering about that, because based purely on stats, McLennan has the upper hand (3.01 GAA and .906 SV% in 17 games vs Anderson's 3.32 GAA and .886 SV% in 29 games).
The other big move found 2003-2004 Calder trophy winner Andrew Raycroft going to the Maple Leafs for Finnish phenom Tuukka Rask, currently playing in Finland's elite league, SM-Liiga. This kid won't even see his 20th birthday until October, and was named best goalie in this year's under-20 World Junior Championships, and was named to that tournament's all star team. According to The Hockey News' website, Rask is "one of the best goaltending prospects currently out there. [He] was one of the best goaltenders in the 2006 WJC, and is a sure-fire NHLer in a matter of 2 or 3 years". Sounds like he'll fit right in with Tim Thomas, the Bruins' late season surprise who actually played in the SM-Liiga for four (non-consecutive) seasons, and countryman Hannu Toivonen. Hopefully the change of scenery will help Raycroft will shake off whatever fog he was in this season.
And in most recent news, Buffalo extended a qualifying offer to Biron, who whether or not he accepts, has made it known that he would like to be traded. Also, Huet signed a two-year, $5.75 million (US) contract with Montreal, though there is no truth to the rumor that he celebrated by partying with- I mean, at - a Hilton.