OK, I don’t get this. The Edmonton Oilers were a game away from winning the Stanley Cup, and suddenly everyone’s jumping ship. OK, maybe Chris Pronger had “personal reasons” for wanting out, but there seem to be a lot of players who are leaving Edmonton. Obviously Pronger was traded to Anaheim, but a bunch of free agents have also left: Ty Conklin, Georges Laraque, Sergei Samsonov, and Jaroslav Spacek have all signed with other teams. Mike Peca is supposedly in talks with the Leafs (though that seems to have stalled), and Radek Dvorak has stated that he has no interest in returning. I’d have figured that after having been that close to winning it all, you’d want to stay with the same team, and try to get just that little bit better next year. Maybe after Pronger asked to be traded, a bunch of the free agents figured there was no chance of that, and so they all jumped ship.
Kind of sucks for Edmonton fans, though they probably still have a better
chance of winning it all next year than the Leafs. The Leafs should sign Peca and
Anson Carter quickly, then sign Eric Lindros to a cheap contract (if he’ll take
one; if he wants more money than last year, let him go), and dump Jason
Allison. They already did the right things in buying out Ed Belfour and Tie Domi
(I like the guy and all, but he’s getting too old, and is too expensive for what
he brings to the table), and they resigned Nik Antropov to a fairly cheap
contract, which is good (well, the cheap part is good). Not a big fan of
Antropov’s — we’ve been waiting years for that guy to turn into the star
player he was touted as, but so far in his career, as Bob McCown would say, he’s
just a guy.