Saturday, June 23, 2007
Draft Day Trades
Yesterday was draft day in the NHL, and while many teams were looking at what players to draft, some were focusing on their team right now.
Before the Draft even started, there were some draft day trades. First, the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Mark Bell and Vesa Toskala from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a conditional first round pick, a second-round pick in 2007 and a 2009 fourth-round pick.
This will force Andrew Raycroft to play better in the pre-season, because Toskala has an equal chance of being the starting goalie. Toskala seems very excited to be a Leaf. "I think every player in the world wants to play in Canada at one point in their careers," Toskala told CP. "The fans, the media, people live for hockey in that country, especially in Toronto. I'm actually very very excited to take on that challenge." Mark Bell is also a young talent, that was a 20 goal scorer with Chicago, but had an off year with the Sharks last year.
Another trade happened that included a goalie. Tomas Vokoun of the Nashville Predators was traded to the Florida Panthers for a first-round pick and two second-round picks. Vokoun will really help an up-and coming team that missed the playoffs last year by less than 7 points. "We saw Chris Mason emerge as a No. 1 goaltender in 2006-07 and with full confidence in Chris and Pekka Rinne, we felt as if we could make this move," said Predators general manager David Poile. "Mason won 24 games for us this past season, starting 21 in a row at one point, and finished with the second-highest save percentage in the NHL.
For coverage on the actual Draft, look to the post below