Monday, March 02, 2009


On The Record

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

Winner: the team who pries Kari Lehtonen out of Atlanta. He's going to be a headache to sign as an RFA; he's had injury issues; and most importantly, "yeah, he puts up nice SV%, but his team still never won". Considering the Roberto Luongo deal is one of the consensus Top 3 Most Lopsided Trades of the Decade, and that was almost exactly the book on him in summer '06, it would be a very good 'gamble' for a GM to acquire him. Then just sit back and let the "his new surroundings have really invigorated him" stories wash over you.

Loser: Brian Burke, if he really trades Tomas Kaberle. Yes, he has more value than almost anyone in your organization, but what (or, when) exactly are you building for? If Burke can dump a contract or two here, and get some better goaltending before September, the Leafs are probably a good team next year (I assume they're adding an elite player or two on July 1). Kaberle has a very reasonable contract for two more years, and past that is a long damn ways away. Trading him for "future value" implies, IMO, a degree of foresight that probably isn't possible given everything that you don't know about what will happen over the next 2+ years.

Winner: the team that can acquire Milan Hedjuk. As far as I'm concerned (and certainly in the games I've watched this season), Ryan Smyth delivers on his contract -- but I can't imagine that (with the dollars and term remaining) he's movable. Which means that the Avs might be pushing to move Hedjuk, which means someone else should be jumping at the opportunity. He's not a passenger; he's a fine player in his own right that has been delivering results -- outscoring results -- for years. And at ~$4M he's good value for it.

Loser: Jacques Martin. Because you know he's going to screw this up somehow. The correct move is almost certainly to deal J-Bo, but get some good present value along with future value. And given the cap/economic situation that some (many?) teams are in, I'm equally almost-certain that it's possible. Fr'instance: the Flyers are apparently interested in Bouwmeester, and are hard up against next season and beyond. Why not get Timmonen+ in return? He has a cap hit of $6.33M for the next 4 years, but you're only paying him $5.5M per. You've replaced your shutdown D, and relieved the Flyers of some $$ problems. McCabe is your main PP guy, etc. Naturally, it'll end up being Lupul+.

Winner? Loser?: Darryl Sutter. I'm definitely biased (personality-wise) towards the Stand Pat end of the spectrum. My biggest hope is that he doesn't deal anything of value for Olli Jokinen; I just think you can do as well for a smaller price and a cheaper ticket. I also hope that the annual acquisitions of (A) depth on D and (B) a backup goalie go for naught. Warrener is recovering from injury, and Eriksson is on the farm: this should be adequate as 6th-D Insurance. The backup G isn't going to play, and even if he does, there's scant evidence that whatever veteran flotsam is available for cheap is a superior option to McElhinney.

If he does make a deal, I hope it's for one of two things:
  1. A genuine difference maker up front who's signed thru next season (i.e. Hedjuk, and possibly no one else)
  2. A sound 2nd/3rd-line type (i.e. another Bourque/GlenX/Moss). Due respect to Marty Reasoner, what I'm talking about is the tier(s) just above him. If TB is really looking to move Jeff Halpern, I'm interested.

[AM Update: Hedjuk has a no-trade and is a career Av. And, as noted, is on a good deal that doesn't run on forever. Why on earth would the Avs trade him unless they were worried about paying the rent? And why wasn't this clear to me last night before I posted it? Duh.]


I have Lehtonen in a keeper league and am just praying that the Thrashers move him to a contender at the deadline.

I have him in Two! (or, Both!) keeper leagues. That would be awesome.

You said sound 2nd liner.. that's enough for us Marty-lovers to know you're not talking about him.

I heard the flames picked up d-man francois boot off waivers.

Francois Boot!

Dale Durgeon is waiting by the phone!

I think Dale is playing for Lugano. He'd need to clear waivers.

So Jokinen for Lombardi, Prust, and a 1st rounder. Ouch, I don't think you'll be very happy with GM Sutter, Matt. This seems to be the very definition of "dealing something of value" for Jokinen. Can't wait for your thoughts.

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