Eklund vs. Willis vs. Koules

I’ve long held the opinion that any reasonable fan with an idea of the cap situations around the league could make up rumours as believable, or more believable, than the ones that “Eklund” posts on his site every day.

Of course, doing it on a day to day basis gets boring pretty fast, so it would be awfully convenient to test the theory on something big, like say a Top-25 Most Likely to be Traded list like this one that Eklund posted yesterday:

  1. Marian Gaborik
  2. Jay Bouwmeester
  3. Ilya Kovalchuk
  4. Nik Antropov
  5. Keith Tkachuk
  6. Brian Gionta
  7. Andy McDonald
  8. Erik Cole
  9. Mark Savard (sic)
  10. Bill Guerin
  11. John Madden
  12. Jere Lehtinen
  13. Martin Havlat
  14. Brandon Dubinsky
  15. Richard Zednik
  16. Mike Modano
  17. Mattias Ohlund
  18. Cory Murphy
  19. Derek Morris
  20. Greg deVries
  21. Mathieu Schneider
  22. Tuomo Ruutu
  23. Petr Prucha
  24. Alexandre Radulov

Goalies

  1. Khabibulin
  2. Kare Lehtonen (sic)
  3. Dwayne Roloson
  4. Manny Fernandez

So, using my brains, published media reports, and some salary cap numbers (with no inside information whatsoever) I’m going to put together my own list, and come March 4th, I’ll revisit it and see whether it was a better predictor of trades than Eklund’s rumour-mongering. As an extra bonus, I’ll also count the total number of players traded by the Tampa Bay Lightning—it’s a long-shot, but it is entirely possible that Koules team churns out more trades than either list predicts. I know Wanye will be cheering for him.

Without further ado, my list:

F – Chris Kunitz – Anaheim
F – Bobby Ryan – Anaheim
F – Jason Williams – Atlanta
G – Ondrej Pavelec – Atlanta
D – Adrian Aucoin – Calgary
D – Frantisek Kaberle – Carolina
G – Nikolai Khabibulin – Chicago
D – Brett Clark – Colorado
G – Mathieu Garon – Edmonton
G – Dwayne Roloson – Edmonton
F – Rob Schremp – Edmonton
F – Zach Stortini – Edmonton
D – Jay Bouwmeester – Florida
D – Sean O’Donnell – Los Angeles
F – Marian Gaborik – Minnesota
F – Benoit Pouliot – Minnesota
D – Martin Skoula – Minnesota
G – Jaroslav Halak – Montreal
F – Mike Comrie – New York Islanders
D – Dmitri Kalinin – New York Rangers
F – Antoine Vermette – Ottawa
F – Mike Knuble – Philadelphia
F – Keith Tkachuk – St. Louis
F – Chris Gratton – Tampa Bay
F – Jussi Jokinen – Tampa Bay
F – Gary Roberts – Tampa Bay
D – Carlo Colaiacovo – Toronto
F – Alexei Ponikarovsky – Toronto
F – Taylor Pyatt – Vancouver

Twenty-nine names, picked completely based on speculation, with no inside knowledge whatsoever. I would have picked more pending unrestricted free agents with sure-fire non-playoff teams, but I think Eklund got almost all of them, and I wouldn’t want to copy.