Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Federov Without Him: Ducks Dump Sergei And His Salary Into Columbus' Hands

In a surprising move, Anaheim traded Sergei Fedorov to Columbus for pennies on the dollar, or in layman's terms checking forward Tyler Wright (a former first round pick of the Oil), defenseman Francois Beauchemin, and a 5th Round Draft Pick.

You could simply call this move a salary dump, call it a day, and it would probably suffice. Anaheim's last in their division, 12th in the conference, but are still sitting at .500, so the season is far from lost. Given that they brought in Scott Niedermayer this off-season, it's not likely that they are looking to rebuild either, though they do have a good young core of talent. Perhaps they feel they played well enough without the former Mr. Kournikova in their lineup, or are clearing space to make another trade to bring in a scoring forward (the more likely reason). I find it hard to believe they couldn't have gotten a better return, but perhaps this is the trade-off for not having to assume any of his salary.

From Columbus' end, Fedorov gives them the Center they've been missing to play with the (currenty injured) Rick Nash and the promising Nikolai Zherdev. Nash has missed most of the season, and is a few weeks away from returning, so if nothing else Sergei should be able to help fill the void. And while I'm ambivalent about the Jackets as a club, I have both Nash and Zherdev on my fantasy team, so I hope Fedorov clicks with them and helps them break out.

We'll see if this move helps Columbus rebound for their slow start, and what Burke can do with his newly created cap room. I'm giving him until Christmas to maneuver something before I formally renounce my prediction of the Ducks appearing in the Stanley Cup Final.


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