Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Will the East be any better this year?

As we all know, the East has been getting its' ass kicked up and down by the Western conference this past season, to the point that Ottawa stood almost no chance against a Western team after playing it's creampuff Eastern schedule. Just to put this in prespective the Western teams' combined record against the East was 82-48-20 (63-48 in regulation) and only a single Western team(Columbus) had a losing record against the East. So will the East be any better this year? Well one way to find out is to see if the East has picked up more quality free agents than the East. So without further ado, here's all the players that have switched teams from West to the East and those that have switched from the East to the West, with the bigger names in bold.

West to East:
Radek Dvorak
Shawn Thorton
Brett Mclean
Todd White
Petr Sykora
Dany Sabourin
Daryl Sydor
Roman Hamrlik
Kevin Klee
Bryan Smolinski
Ted Kostopoulos
Bill Guerin
Vitali Vishnevski
Joe Motzko

East to West:
Brian Rafalski
Yanic Pereault
Cory Sarich
Jed Ortmeyer
Ryan Smyth
Tom Preising
Greg DeVries
Radek Bonk
Brad Isbister
Eric Belanger
Shane Hindy
Sean Hill
Trevor Bryne
Shane Willis
Mike York
Todd Fedoruk

So really there's been no change, two medium-name defencemen and two medium-name forwards are lost and gained by each conference. If anything the biggest surprise has been how few big names have switched conferences, with the biggest name being Ryan Smyth who only went to the East on a deadline deal.

Of course there's also trades. From this we have a bit more movement:

West to East:
Jason Smith
Jeoffery Lupul
Thomas Vokun
Mark Bell
Vesa Toskala
Manny Fernandez
Kimmo Timmonen
Scott Hartnell
Jassen Cullimore
Tony Salmelaien

East to West:
Joni Pitkanen
Geoff Sanderson
Sergei Samsonov
Darryl Sydor
Petr Klaus

Here the East has finally made some gains, aquiring three of the preds best players and three starting goaltenders while the only good player the West gets back is Joni Pitkanen. So looks like the East is primed to make up at least a little ground, in part because of The Great Nashville Sell Off(tm).

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