I’m hearing from reliable sources (104.5 and Paul Nicholson and ESPN.Com) that the Preds have traded fan favorite goalie superb-as Tomas Vokoun to the Florida Panthers for three draft picks, including next year’s first round.
When I heard that Vokoun had a contract clause that was going to kick in to the tune of 5.5 million on July 1st, I had a pretty strong feeling that trading Vokoun was going to be an earnest goal of the current ownership and that little could actually save Tomas from leaving the Preds.
The good news is that Chris Mason was actually the better of the two goalies for most of the last year, thanks to Vokoun’s injuries. The bad news, and here I put on my cynical cap, is that I truly believe that Leipold does not want the Preds to make the magic 14,000 average ticket sold mark so that the team he is trying to sell can be more readily moved to the Kansas City/Winnipeg/Hamilton of choice. Even if the Balsillie dealie doesn’t go through, I don’t think that he believes a serious Gnashville buyer will skate onto the scene.
For some reason I’m reminded of a great old Kinks song: ‘Who’ll be the next in line?’.
Selling off two players who have been with the franchise from the beginning and who are beloved players (Timmonen and Vokoun) is at least the first few characters of writing on the wall. I’d love to be wrong. I have my tix for next year and will support the team.
But will I be supporting a lame duck franchise…when the writing on the wall becomes legible is it gonna read ‘see ya, don’t wanna be ya!’??