Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Trade Deadline Eve

So much for this trade deadline being a quiet bore. There have been more swaps than a Yu-Gi-Oh game at recess and there will be much more to come.

As I peruse the news, a few thoughts spring the hamster in my head to get running.

1. It's a sellers' market. The teams that appear to be getting the better end of the deals are the weaker teams selling off their rental assets for a nice juicy market. Want a 36 year-old goaltender with little playoff experience? It only costs a FIRST ROUND PICK! The trade deadline tends to be a sellers' market since the few teams giving up are outnumbered by the number of playoff contender... but..

2. The amount of teams that believe they have a real shot at the Stanley Cup seems to be greater this year. You know what? They (whoever they are) are right. We've seen that any team can make a good run...all you need to do is make the damn playoffs and have the stars align right. There are few teams that are so far above everyone else and every playoff-bound has a legitimate shot (Except the Canucks, since they'll never do anything). This is creating a hungry market for the few sellers out there.

3. There have been a LOT of contract signings before this deadline. In the past, the player would simply wait until the offseason and then gouge the GM's through arbitration, holding out, or being unrestricted. The unrestricted market was always small and drove up the costs, while holding out for RFA's was generally giving them a lot of leverage.
With the salary cap in place and a larger pool of potential UFA, it seems the players aren't quite to eager to test their worth on the market.

Now, the GMs have played a part by opening up the chequebooks. $4+mil per season for Norstrom? GMs seem to be afraid of losing their players on the open market and would rather have their player back in the fold rather than turning over a large chunk of the roster and disrupting that precious chemistry. Teams seem to be paying a premium to retain 'certainty'.

Some deal analysis...

1. Canadiens trade G Jose Theodore to the Colorado Avalanche for G David Aebischer.

This appears to be a straight-up swap with no $$ involved. I'm definitely not the only one who thinks Colorado got reamed like RuPaul on this one. Although Aebischer was playing very well after an atricious start, Theodore is injured and was sucking eggs before his injury, the Avs felt the need to swap goalies.

The numbers:
2003-04: 62GP 32-19-9 2.09GAA 92.4SV%
2005-06: 43GP 25-14-2 2.98GAA 90.0SV%

Theodore2003-04: 67GP 33-28-5 2.27GAA 91.9SV%
2005-06: 38GP 17-15-5 3.46GAA 88.1SV%

Does GM Pierre Lacroix expect Theodore to find himself after he gets out of the media spotlight and away from his mafioso family? It could happen, but Theodore has his monster season *4* years ago. Jose also comes with a contract that is very expensive and will hamstring the Avalanche for the future. The d00d is not Patrick Roy, redux.
Good job, Gainey!

2. Los Angeles Kings acquire forward Mark Parrish and defenceman Brent Sopel from the New York Islanders in exchange for defenceman Denis Grebeshkov, forward Jeff Tambellini and a conditional third round pick.

Parrish is going to be UFA this summer and Sopel has one year left on his deal for around $2.5 mil. Grebeshkov and Tambellini are very highly touted prospects, so this is a very expensive rental for the Kings. I like Sopel from his Vancouver days, but he seems to have struggled this season as he was expected to do more for a weaker Islanders club. Parrish is a very good, albeit streaky, goal scorer. He needs to have a good playmaker on his line, but will be the key man in front of the net on the Power Play. This deal doesn't get made if Dave Taylor doesn't think his team has a real shot at the cup.

The Kings are giving up two very good prospects. I think Isles GM Mike Milbury made a pretty good haul (for once)

Parrish: 57GP 24-17-41 -14 16PIM
Sopel: 57GP 2-25-27 -9 -9 64PIM

3. The Coyotes on Wednesday agreed to terms with Derek Morris and Steve Reinprecht on three-year contract extensions with Morris getting a deal worth $11.75 million and Reinprecht signing for $6 million.

Derek Morris was set to be a UFA and is the cornerstone of the Coyotes defense. I think that deal is reasonable for his skill level and for the Coyotes. Reinprecht is a bit pricey for a fairly average player, in my opinion. Overall, the Coyotes do alright for themselves.

Now, is Canucks GM Dave Nonis going to be able to get a defenseman? I hope he doesn't get suckered into paying a ripoff price for a veteran like Eric Weinrich. Draft picks are fine, but don't go giving away Cory Schneider or Luc Bourdon.

I'm starting to think that the Canucks may actually make a big move.

I just hope we don't give up Bourdon, Kesler or a first rounder.
Actually, my gut reaction to the Aebisher/Theodore was pretty much what you said. I think my exact words were "What the fuck kind of dumb-ass trade is that?". I've seen some people, though, who think that Colorado is getting a good deal here. Maybe the altitude is getting to them.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?