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And it finally happened.

Friday, June 30, 2006
TSN - Lightning aquire Denis from Blue Jackets

Now that it's finally happened, I really don't know what to say. For all my going on about Denis all but being traded to another team up until now, it's weird to see it come to fruition. Maybe because Denis has been with the Jackets since day one? Sentimental value and whatnot from the fact that he was an original Jacket.

But this had to be done. There was no way around it. Denis wanted the starting role, and MacLean was unable to give that to him now that Leclaire is ready to take on the mantle of Jackets starting goaltender. In the end, this will be good just not for the Jackets, but also Denis, who will now have a chance to help another team out in desperate need of goaltending. Even if he is now a Lightning, all fans of the Blue Jackets should wish him all the best for everything he's done throughout the years he has been around here.

Waxing sentimental aside though, let's focus on our new Blue Jackets: Fredrik Modin and Fredrik Norrena.

First, let's take a look at Modin. 31 years old, 6'4" 220, and a 54 point scorer last season. In fact, he has three 50 point seasons, and almost a fourth one with his 48 point season in 1999-00. He's a Winger (Left to be specific), so now the question arises concerning who is put on the first and second line. Rick Nash is a shoe-in for the top line, no doubt, so that fills one Left Wing slot. What this means, then, is that most likely Modin will anchor the second line's Left Wing, with Nikolai Zherdev taking on the Right Wing. The good thing about Zherdev is that he seems to have no bias towards one side or the other.

Even though I say Modin would fit well into the second line, there may be that possibility he could fit into the first. Though David Vyborny's output last season was commendable, with 60+ points, Modin has notably more experience, games under him, and total point output over the past several seasons. It will be interesting to see where Gallant puts each of them.

Now let's take a look at Fredrik Norrena, who I have never even heard of before. 32 year old goaltender who has never played a game in the NHL. TSN lacks any sort of scouting report on him, and so I really have no idea what to expect. He's definitely been playing a long time in pro leagues outside of the NHL it appears, and even has a silver medal from the Turin Olypics with Finland. What really opened my eyes was his .939 and .934 Save Percentage over the past two seasons where it was recorded. In the 05-06 season where he lacks a percentage, his Goals Against Average is still notable at 2.16.

I'm going to take a stab in the dark here and say it looks like MacLean went way out of his way to find a backup goaltender, by looking beyond the NHL. Will Norrena, who is in his early 30's and only now coming to the NHL, be able to take on the backup role in a sufficient and stable manner? Here's hoping.
  • At 2:31 PM, Blogger Drew said…

    My guess is that Norrena will not be with the big club this year, and that MacLean might be looking at the UFA market to get an NHL-ready goalie.

    I've been wrong before, but I think that Norrena was little more than filler on this trade.

    If he is with the team, I think we'll see Leclaire somewhere in the neighborhood of 60-65 games this year.

  • At 3:10 PM, Blogger Drew said…

    Okay, I've changed my mind after analysis. I think Norrena will be up with the team.

    Way to be quick on the draw and announcing this one. Keep up the good work.

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Name: Michael
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About Me: A mid-20s male who feels much too old even before he's 30. Has a degree in Sport Management and after branching out and trying a few other things in the job market, has finally decided to go back to his first love of hockey and hope he can break in with a team, big or small, somehow.
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