Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Brian Burke: O for Federov

If there was an over/under on the length on time that Sergei Federov would remain a Mighty Duck, the smart money would have been on his departure being sooner than later.

In the first major trade of the new NHL, the most expected of departures took place. A Federov and a Burke parted company. When Brian Burke was named GM of the Ducks, many figured that Sergei's days as a Duck were limited. Burke had many a run in with Sergei's brother Fedor while Burke was running the Vancouver Canucks, Fedor would show the odd flash of potential and then return to a lethargic way of play, banished to Manitoba for most of his time as a Canuck. Fedor is presently toiling away with the New York Rangers, appearing in three games so far with no points as of yet. Fedor is described in his bio as a durable player who has an excellent team attitude, something which would never have passed a proof reader named Brian Burke!

As Burke arrived in Anaheim, many hockey observers wondered if the equally enigmatic 15 year veteran Sergei, would mesh with Burke's hard nosed work ethic. For those doubters it would seem the answer to that is No. But Burke had nothing but kind words to say about Sergei, he did admit however that the trade was a financial instrument for the Ducks, giving them some room to maneuver through the season.

Sergei is off to the Columbus Blue Jackets taking his 6 million dollar salary off to the Midwest and freeing up some valuable salary cap space for the Ducks. Coming to Anaheim is forward Tyler Wright clocking in at 945,000 dollars a year and rookie defenseman Francois Beauchemin who takes home an annual paycheck of 500,000 dollars.

The Blue Jackets are hoping that acquiring Federov will help them pick up their scoring while they await the return of the injured Rick Nash. If Doug McLean is really in a gambling mood he should track down Fedor and make the Rangers an offer to take him off their hands. Putting the Federov boys together might be an interesting tactic for a team trying to keep its nose up in the standings. It might be the spark to get Fedor's career back on track, or take the Jackets down the road to ruin for this year.

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