Kings win out in Johnson deal
From a friend of mine, a few minutes ago:
I'm more confused by the Johnson trade today. I get the whole "our window is open now so lets trade the future to make a run in the present" mentality. But I would have thought Jack Johnson would fetch more than this. They need a scoring winger, and some help on D. Did they really get that?Carolina GM Jim Rutherford did lose out in today's trade, there's no question, but I think it's a little more even than most are saying.
Belanger and Gleason are both underrated, and Gleason was a high pick — he was one of the top defencemen in the OHL three years ago. I think another big thing that people miss is that they had to dump Tverdovsky's salary, which frees up $2.5-million from a guy they really weren't going to play at all. I mean, he rode the bench all through the Cup run. (Of course, combined Belanger and Gleason essentially make $2.5-million so there'll likely be no 'picking up another player' like Bob McKenzie suggests.)
Still, if Johnson turns into the second coming of Scott Stevens, this trade makes Carolina look bad three or four years from now.
The thing I don't get is why there was so much pressure on the kid to play in the NHL before he wanted to. He's only 19, and the 'Canes would get another, likely more productive, year out of him before free agency if he plays in the NCAA. Johnson had always wanted to play for Michigan, and I don't think pressuring him to leave the school after one year was a wise move.
You can really see what the Kings are building in California — first the deal at the entry draft that saw Pavol Demitra dealt for Pat O'Sullivan and a first-rounder, and now this. This team is shaping up well for next year or further down the line.