Monday, October 24, 2005

 

Q. What's this picture?

A. The saddest face in Hamilton.




On a related note, mike at Covered put out the call yesterday for armchair Oilers GMs. The big question here, and I'm not necessarily trying to be snarky, is what do the Oilers have that would be attractive to another team? I have an answer to this question, and it may surprise you:

Michael Peca.

Why, might you ask, would any other team have an interest in a $4M/yr faceoff specialist? Don't NHL GMs read this blog? The answer can be found on a parquet floor near you.

The other two big leagues with a salary cap are the NFL and the NBA. There are virtually never in-season trades in the NFL; the season is relatively short, there's systems to learn, etc.

The NBA is much more comparable: the season is longer, and players can pretty much step right in and contribute. And the biggest things in demand as the NBA trade deadline nears are:
  1. You know, good players that can help the team, and
  2. Large and expiring contracts
There are always a handful of teams, and not necessarily ones that have given up on their season, who are looking for cap space next year. Regardless of whether Peca qualifies as (1) for some team, he most certainly qualifies as (2). A team liable to trade for Peca needs to fit most of the following criteria:
Essentially, this imaginary team would trade the Oilers some player(s) (salaries ~$4M) who are contracted beyond this season, for Peca, in order to free up cap space to re-sign their key players in the offseason (or sign a big UFA).

The fact that this team might "lose" the trade on merit is not a deal-breaker by any means. I wish I had some good links for this, but players who are out for the year on IR, if they have big expiring contracts, are actually hot commodities at the NBA trade deadline.

The Havlat rumour, given all this, is somewhat implausible, since he's an RFA at the end of the year. However, say Edmonton traded Peca to Ottawa for Havlat and Varada. Sens fans would scream bloody murder, until two weeks from now, when Muckler announces that he's signed Chara and Redden to extensions. (Unannounced: that Peca will not return). The Sens then call up one of their many capable farmhands, and it's Peca and New-Guy in the lineup instead of Havlat and Varada.

Stranger things have happened. High-priced veterans will move near the deadline: not just as rent-a-players, but as salary slots. The Peca trade won't happen, for two reasons:

Comments:

wow...those are some pretty great ECHL stats for the oilers new goalie.
 


Though inevitably mixed in with some of that famously classy Flames-fan snarkiness, I think you've suggested a very plausible scenario. The lynchpin is, of course, Lowe's willingness to admit Peca isn't doing anything we agreed to pay him to do except win faceoffs, which I sincerely doubt will ever happen. At this point, though, I'm willing to do whatever the hell we need to do to win a hockey game. Just one. I don't care against who. Give me a win against Columbus, and I'll say everything is right again.
 


Somehow I doubt this trade is going to happen.

If you're working under the assumption that the Sens will trade Havlat because they cannot afford to keep him , then why would they trade him for someone who they also don't plan to keep? That makes about zero sense.

Martin Havlat in 2005, even if he's kicking people in the balls and getting suspended, is worth about 10 Michael Pecas. The Sens are gearing up for a Cup run and would sooner just keep Havlat with the idea that this is their best shot at the Cup, and then do whatever with him in the offseason, than hurt their chances by taking on an inferior player.
 


Here's Kevin Lowe's speech (it works better if you imagine a Scott Joplin rag playing in the background):

"I apologize to Michael for the upheaval in his life. We had the full intention of attempting to resign Mike this next offseason, and expected that he would be a key part of our team for years to come.

But considering the struggle we've had to score goals this year, and the quality players [Boston] was offering, we made the difficult decision to trade this fine player.

We are fortunate that Jarrett Stoll has developed into a fine faceoff man, and that all of our young forwards are able to discharge their responsibilities in the defensive end.

We will never make a trade expecting that it will solve all our problems, but we will always make a trade that will benefit our club. This trade will benefit our club, and I expect [the new players] to fit in immediately.

I was in the dressing room an hour ago, and there was obvious excitement at acquiring [the players]. I hope our fans share in this excitement, and I have high expectations for our revamped club. Thank you."

 


"Martin Havlat in 2005, even if he's kicking people in the balls and getting suspended, is worth about 10 Michael Pecas."

Heh - you're arguing with the wrong guy, 'Other C-Mac'. Furthermore, I agree that the trade is implausible, and I said as much.

However much this whole post was BS though, look at your last sentence again, and admit: that's wishful thinking. You may be right, but it's what you hope, not what you know.
 


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Oops.

Totally unrelated, but the NFL trading deadline is way earlier in the season than with the NHL or NBA. It happens two weeks before mid-season, some time right after Week 6. I have always hated the early deadline, but it is probably intended to provide the players with some sense of security, since they don't have guaranteed contracts. Here is an article on the NFL trading deadline
 

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