I actually had no intention of doing a piece like this. Then I accidentally stumbled upon a piece I did 23 months ago about how all these deals we’re without a doubt going to happen around the draft and July 1st, and not one of them happened. Now, in the following days, Shea Weber signed an offer sheet with Philly and Rick Nash got dealt I believe the next week. But it was still nothing like what was expected.
Let’s not forget last year at the draft. Cap going down, teams MUST shed salary…right? “There is so much talk right now, expect an endless amount of trades.” Of course I’m paraphrasing, but it was basically said in some form by all the top insiders. Yet what happened? Schneider was interesting, but it wasn’t some huge deal. Dave Bolland? Ok, it was something of interest. But really Bobby Ryan was the only big trade that went down between both the draft and July 5th last year.
So here we are, same time next year. O…M….G….it is going to blow your mind how many trades get made right?! Save it. Sure, it might happen. It does seem this season with Thornton, Spezza, Kesler and O’Reilly that there is a little more meat on these bones, but I’ll believe it when I see it (I said that already).
GM’s are terrified to make a deal these days. Oh they’ll tell you “it is just SO difficult to make a trade these days with the cap and trying to fit guys under the cap, and on and on and on”. It is just an excuse and code for “I can’t take the heat if I make a bad move, so I don’t want to do a thing until I have no other choice”.
Ray Shero is a perfect example of this. Now this in no way is why Shero lost his job, but Shero should have been moving one of Malkin or Jordan Staal after the 2010 season. That was the perfect time to do that move. Both of their value was through the roof and he needed to cash in. But he instead chose to just sit on what he had until he was backed into a corner and finally had no choice but to move Staal to Carolina for what they were willing to give up.
If I were their new GM, I would be looking to move both Malkin and Kris Letang and surround Crosby with much more depth, size, and 2 way ability so he didn’t have to do so much on his own. But Jim Rutherford won’t do that. Heck, I would be shocked if Rutherford hardly touched the team the next few seasons.
In some ways I don’t blame these guys, I wouldn’t want to lose my job either. But as a fan it drives me insane. There are so many potential trade partners out there and moves to be made, but GM’s are simply scared to death. This is why I’ve always at least had respect for Brian Burke because he was never one of these guys. The Kessel deal was a killer for the Leafs, but at least he had the balls to go out and get a guy he wanted. It was incredibly stupid to give what he gave in their position for a 1 dimensional winger, but he wanted his guy so he went out and got him.
There are WAY more Steve Tambellini’s out there than Brian Burke’s. And where does it get you?! Tambellini still got fired from a team that won’t fire anyone in their front office!
I hope these guys prove me wrong this weekend. The fan in me definitely wants to see a boat load of guys on the move and teams looking to really improve their organizations. But I have seen this script before. The Canucks don’t HAVE to move Kesler, the Sharks don’t HAVE to move Thornton, the Avs don’t HAVE to move O’Reilly, so they probably won’t. I would guess Jason Spezza gets moved, and then Florida will trade down from the 1st pick, the Islanders will move the 5th pick, and then maybe 2 or 3 more flips of picks and 2 or 3 small moves.
Is that a flood? More so feels like 10-20 mm of rain. Moves will be made, but don’t buy the hype. I have no doubt that there is a boat load of talks going on around the leagues and that the insiders aren’t misleading anyone. But when it comes time to make a move, I would bet most of these GM’s get cold feet….like always.
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