Another trade deadline has come and gone and NHL fans are growing increasingly frustrated by the lack of movement at the deadline now for 4 seasons. I think we may as well get used to it. So many things these days hinder trades. The amount of players signed to ridiculously long term deals the last 5 seasons, the cap, NTC’s. But most of all I believe its the GM’s these days and how most of them have too big of an ego to make a deal they SHOULD make.
I’ll start with the obvious and that’s Mike Gillis in Vancouver. MAYBE the biggest ego out of all the GM’s now that Brian Burke is without a job. He sat on Luongo, and sat and sat and sat….and sat and sat and sat and sat….he stood up, stretched, scratched some private area’s, then sat and sat and sat and then the deadline came today.
It’s reported that he turned down Kadri, Reimer and a 2nd round pick from the Leafs prior to the season. That price reportedly dropped and yet he still didn’t get a deal done. Darren Dreger just said on twitter that today they wanted Ben Scrivens and “multiple picks” from the Leafs. MULTIPLE picks?! Mike, you’ll be lucky to get a pick this summer!
He had a guy with an albatross of a contract, not much of a market, and he will HAVE to move him this summer as with him the Canucks have over 63 million tied up in only 14 players for next season. The cap is going to be 64.3 mil. Who is going to give you ANYTHING for him in the summer Mike? All the GM’s know they have to basically give him away or else Gillis will have to really swallow his pride and talk to ownership about buying him out.
Ryan Miller will likely be moved (just 1 year left on his deal), Jonathan Bernier could be moved, Michal Neuvirth could be dealt, maybe the Blues move Jaroslav Halak with Jake Allen emerging, Mike Smith is a UFA, Bryzgalov will probably be a UFA (if he’s bought out). ALL these guys are likely as good of an option if not better than Luongo(when you factor in the contract). Gillis just seems completely blind to the fact that the value of this asset is fading drastically. I’m amazed he was even going to get anything for him in the first place.
As we all now know Jay Feaster and Flames management let their ego’s get in the way for the last 2 years and it’s killed them. The rumor in December of 2010 was that the Flames (who were struggling badly at the time and had missed the playoffs the previous season) were offered Brayden Schenn, Jonathan Bernier and a 1st round pick from the LA Kings for Iginla. They ended up with a 1st round pick because lets be honest the prospects they got are nothing (neither were in the Pens top 10 prospect list). 2 cornerstones and a 1st round pick (which who knows what that pick would have ended up as but the Oilers eventually got it and it became Klefbom).
They should have dealt Kipper this summer when his NTC was up. Toronto needed a goaltender and likely would have gave something great back! But again the Flames management (weather it was Feaster or ownership) didn’t want to listen to people telling them they needed to know better. Everyone else was being ridiculous, the Flames knew better. Well, no you didn’t! Bob Stauffer said it best. The Flames were that guy who is going bald and were trying to do everything they could to mask the inevitable. Just get it over with and shave it all off! As I said last week, all this was too little, too late for the Flames.
Doug Wilson despite having a great trade deadline in San Jose (where he essentially got the same guys back that he dealt for cheaper) is likely going to do the same thing in San Jose. The talk started after last season that the Sharks needed to blow it up, yet they just continued to add bit pieces in hopes of turning back the clock.
Had they started to rebuild last summer, not only would they have got a lot for their guys (Thornton in particular) and still have guys to build around like Logan Couture. Although it is possible that Wilson only watches TSN where we know they don’t give poor Logan as much love as he deserves….
Joe Nieuwendyk finally wised up after 2 blown deadlines the previous 2 seasons and cleaned house. 2 years ago he had to hang onto Brad Richards for their big playoff run…that didn’t happen. Nieuwendyk was fully aware that Richards was going to leave for nothing yet no trade offer was good enough for him.
A lot of GM’s in hockey have tried to take what they could from the way Billy Beane operates the Oakland A’s. Yet the one thing that seemingly none of them take from him is the fact that he stays as far away from his team as he possibly can. He doesn’t let emotion over take him when trying to improve his team. I don’t know of any NHL GM that does this.
Most of them are set in their ways and they simply won’t change. If you make a mistake you need to own it and move on. Steve Yzerman could have had Ben Bishop last season for only a 2nd round pick, today he paid more than that. He didn’t let his ego stand in the way of making his hockey team better. But most can’t do this, they just delay the inevitable which will likely make their team worse and they still look bad.
Follow me on twitter and see why I’m smarter than all GM’s @TJ_Soups