Held off a day to do this. Well, I actually just forgot to do it on Sunday night. But then when I remembered I had forgot on Monday morning, I thought it would actually be fine since it was the trade deadline so it would make more sense to do post trade deadline. I’ll hit on all the teams and what I thought of their moves or lack of moves, but as always, I must talk a lot…maybe far too much…about the Oilers, and once again Peter Chiarelli’s failure’s as a GM.
Let’s go over the whole weekend. The Brandon Davidson trade, I hated it. Now, some really liked it. They liked it because they viewed it as “you can’t pay a number six/seven 1.6-1.75 million a season in a cap world”. Others liked it because “you turned a waiver pickup into a third round pick in what’s projected to be a terrific draft”. Real strong points. Here’s why it was ridiculous though: Brandon Davidson shouldn’t be this teams six/seven, he should be their number five. He’s proven under Todd McLellan that he’s a capable number five defenceman. I would have felt extremely comfortable going into next season with Davidson as their five. Maybe you’ll want to upgrade on this at next year’s trade deadline, but he was full value to get that chance. Instead, going into next season as the number five guy? Kris Russell, at four million per. THAT’S my problem with it. And you know that Chiarelli won’t even explore getting rid of Russell.
Next up, Letestu. And this was actually a terrific deal. I had to look at it twice. Pontus Aberg, as I said on Twitter, I’m a big fan of! Great wheels, plays with some balls, was looked at as a possible first rounder in 2012 because of the skill he possessed, and is only 650K next season. So I really liked it! How did Peter Chiarelli, a man who has lost so many deals lately crush this one?! I could have heard this wrong, but it sounded like in his presser yesterday that Chiarelli said that the Preds approached him about doing it.
Finally, Patrick Maroon. This was my major concern around Friday or so, when watching “Insider Trading” on TSN, Pierre LeBrun talked about the Oilers possibly being able to receive a first round pick for Maroon, but then went onto say that Peter Chiarelli wanted a prospect who was NHL ready. From that minute on I really felt like Chiarelli was going to drastically drop the ball here and boy did he ever deliver on that! Reading between the lines of what Chiarelli said at his press conference, it really felt like had they just wanted picks, they could have got something like a 2018 second and a 2019 third, or a 2018 first, or maybe even a 2019 first (guaranteed it would have been lottery protected), which as I said earlier is projected to be a much better draft. Any of those would have been tremendous value for Maroon. But Chiarelli just HAD to get that prospect. Couldn’t not get a prospect. And it couldn’t be any prospect, it had to be an older prospect. Preferably a “ready” prospect. Who did he get? J.D. Dudek, who is being outproduced at Boston College this season by Oilers 2016 5th and 6th rounders Graham McPhee and Aapeli Rasanen…who are also two years younger than Dudek…and if you added either one of them to a trade offer you’d likely get laughed out of the room (although I personally like both and do believe they were great picks for where they were picked). It’s just so FUCKING typical of Chiarelli. He gets fixated on getting a certain return, and he can’t adjust that. He doesn’t have a plan B, C, D, E, well you know the alphabet! And if you’re going to be a good GM in this league, you need to have about 25 different plans ready to go, so you can adjust when things don’t go exactly as you have planned. I shouldn’t be able to tell you exactly how a GM is going to completely fuck up a trade, but last week, I did!
“Now, having said this, as I said the other day, this is where Peter Chiarelli fucks himself. He has something he’s willing to deal, and he doesn’t seem to adjust his price and ensure he gets the best value. Taylor Hall brought back Adam Larsson, when it should have been Larsson and probably two other assets. Brandon Davidson brought back David Desharnais, when it should have been Desharnais and a mid round pick. Jordan Eberle brought back Ryan Strome when it should have been Strome and a 2nd round pick. But he seemingly gets the prototype of what he wants in his head, he just simply does the deal. He wants a RH shot defenceman for Hall, he wants a veteran centre for Davidson, he wants a centre/winger with a cheaper cap hit for Eberle, and for Maroon there is some belief that he wants an older prospect who can play next season. It would be so very much like Chiarelli to do Maroon for a kid like Ivan Barbashev or Adam Erne.”
Man, do I EVER wish he’d have been able to get one of Barbashev or Erne right now!!
How many more moves is this man going to get to make before Bob Nicholson and Daryl Katz wake the fuck up and get rid of him? He’s ruining this franchise. He could not have been given a better situation when he arrived in 2015, and it is shocking the way he has both pissed away their top assets for pennies on the dollar AND completely screwed up their cap situation. Do they think Connor McDavid will put up with this horse shit forever? Another year of THIS, and it wouldn’t shock me at all if McDavid is going to Jeff Jackson (his agent) and saying “get me out of here.” In fact, it would be in everyone’s best interest if Jackson placed a call to Nicholson stating as much.
As for the rest of the league, I’ll try and keep this short (won’t for some), so I’ll just do a bit on everyone in the league.
Anaheim – Didn’t like it. Feel like the Pacific is wide ass open and this team is about to have their window slam shut. Can’t believe they weren’t going hard on Erik Karlsson seeing they had all the resources imaginable to pull it off.
Arizona – If one of you care, let me know. I’m betting nobody gets a hold of me.
Boston – I’m not big on Rick Nash, he has an awful history of not showing up in the playoffs and specifically in big moments, and feel like this wasn’t much of a need for the Bruins. So to pay what they did (and yes, I know part of it was shedding the Belesky deal…although they only shed half of it) is possibly going to be a case of them pissing away assets. Their play right now suggests they’re a contender, but I’m not sure they’re making it out of the first round.
Buffalo – They did ok for Kane, but likely overplayed their hand by setting too high of an initial price on him.
Calgary – Treliving did what he could, which was next to nothing, because he pissed away his first and second round picks on a shot defenceman that he didn’t even have a need for. That Hamonic trade…YIKES!
Carolina – Little surprised that Francis did NOTHING. They’re in the hunt for the second wildcard spot in the East, they have deeper pockets with a new owner on board, and a lot of assets. Maybe Francis is thinking “I’ll see if this group can do it and if not I’ll have my bullets saved for the summer”.
Chicago – Stan Bowman with a heist for Ryan Hartman. I like Hartman, but you can’t turn down that deal.
Colorado – Kind of in it, but have really fallen off lately and because of that I agree with the move to just stand pat. This season is a win for them already in my mind as I thought without a doubt they’d have the top odds to land Rasmus Dahlin.
Columbus – Liked it a lot. They need some help to get in the playoffs, and they didn’t break the bank to get what they needed. Letestu, Cole and Vanek are all cheap pickups, but make them better.
Dallas – Did nothing, don’t get it, but they feel like a hell of a dark horse pick come playoff time.
Detroit – Ken Holland, in likely his last deadline as Wings GM, did incredible in one deal, but then dropped the ball on Mike Green. And hey, you might talk about Green’s neck injury hurting his value. But A) they still could have done something, make everything conditional if you have to, or B) have done something about a month ago because they shouldn’t have been messing around with a rental who has a massive injury history. Having said that, what a freaking heist for Tomas Tatar. That was just stupid…but terrific for Detroit.
Edmonton – Read the opening.
Florida – A little surprised they didn’t do much (Frank Vatrano) with how they’re playing.
Los Angeles – Dion Phaneuf? Ok. I guess they were able to shed Marian Gaborik while doing it, but that’s not much of anything. This team reminds me right now of the 2015 Vancouver Canucks. After years of being good, they had fallen off in 2014, made some changes, made the playoffs, but really just lived off a great start. By the time the playoffs rolled around, nobody took them seriously and they couldn’t even get by a Flames squad who fluked their way into the dance. They were in no man’s land, which is where the Kings are today.
Minnesota – Speaking of no man’s land…it’s not like Chuck Fletcher could do much, but they’re just waiting to die so to speak. No chance at being a serious contender, need to tear it down but have yet to do so.
Montreal – I was fine with what Bergevin did. Plekanec got them a good return, and I liked getting Mike Reilly for cheaper than what they gave up Joe Morrow for.
Nashville – Their big trade was Turris. I don’t like what they paid for Hartman, but I get the attraction. I think that kid is going to flourish there playing less of a puck possession game and a lot more chip and chase and harder forechecking. He’s a Laviolette type guy.
New Jersey – Most underrated team at the deadline. I worry that Pat Maroon won’t fit, but they paid next to nothing for him and he gives them some size and toughness that they don’t have at all. And I love the fit of Grabner with the speed they play with. Combine those moves with the Sami Vatanen/Adam Henrique swap, and I really like how the Devils look both now and moving forward.
NY Islanders – I love Brandon Davidson, but he’s fixing nothing with that club. They don’t play in their own zone and have weak goaltending. I know Craig Anderson isn’t having a good season, but I’d hope they at least looked at him. I’m just don’t get why John Tavares would go back to this mess.
NY Rangers – They’re tearing it down to the studs, and I applaud the move. I’m not sure they got enough for McDonagh AND Miller, but they definitely got a good haul. As I said earlier, they won the Rick Nash deal (especially with Nash likely going back as a UFA), and they did well for Grabner (especially with Grabner likely going back as a UFA). They’ll likely sink in the standings now, have a shot at a top three pick, and are doing a good job at re-stocking the cupboard.
Ottawa – What more needs to be said about them? What a shit show, and what a shame.
Philadelphia – Not surprised that Ron Hextall just stayed the course. They’re playing with house money likely getting in the playoffs this season. Now wasn’t the time to push all their chips to the middle. Washington is falling off, Pittsburgh won’t be great for much longer, their time is coming.
Pittsburgh – Loved the Brassard trade. If you’ve read my stuff, then you know what a big believer I am in having three centres. Now, Mike Sullivan can put Phil Kessel back on the third line, this time with a better playmaker than Nick Bonino was. I guaranteed they weren’t winning the Cup this season due to the grind being too much, but I don’t know now. This was a hell of a move. I do laugh though when the media drools all over Jim Rutherford’s dealings. He missed the playoffs 15 of 20 seasons in Hartford/Carolina and was running the Penguins into the ground before he made a coaching change from Mike Johnston to Mike Sullivan.
San Jose – Sneaky deadline by Doug Wilson. The only problem here is that they maybe should have done more. But they got Kane for a bit cheaper than he probably should have gone for, and as a rental I believe Kane is going to be on his best behaviour and be a beast for them.
St. Louis – Doug Armstrong….WELL DONE!!! The man refused to buy the bull shit. He recognized that this is what his team actually is and ignored the standings which claimed they were an ok team. The haul for Stastny was great, but more so the balls he had to pull the pin on the season. No reason they still couldn’t get in the playoffs, but should they now miss they are even better setup than they were. This could be a terrific rebuild on the fly by Armstrong when it’s all said and done.
Tampa Bay – Good job by Steve Yzerman once again. It’s tough to believe that it was only two years ago I was writing a blog about how the media seemed to refuse to acknowledge that Yzerman was a bad GM. And at that time, it really appeared to be the case! But now, he got Stamkos to sign an extension that made sense for the team, did a terrific trade for Jonathan Drouin (didn’t piss him away for pennies on the dollar no names mentioned Peter Chiarelli…), and now has acquired McDonagh AND J.T. Miller (forgotten in the deal, good player), and didn’t blow up his system. Sure, he dealt a 1st, Howden, Hajek, and Namestikov, but just go look at what is still in their system. Easily could afford it.
Toronto – I like what they did. I know they needed a defenceman, but this team isn’t ready yet. Hell, they’re at least a year ahead of schedule. And as of late, I’ve really noticed the need this team might have moving forward down the middle. Now, they might move Nylander to centre again which would nullify that, but then why didn’t they do that instead of getting Plekanec? They don’t want to. So it’s best they hang onto that first round pick for now, and best they maintain a pick in every round as they did. They look great for years to come, but the build isn’t complete so now isn’t the time to go all in.
Vancouver – The Vanek return was awful. So that alone made me hate their deadline. Jim Benning learned under Peter Chiarelli in Boston, so….yeah.
Vegas – That Tatar trade was embarrassing. I don’t know what it is with the mentality of GM’s in this league where they believe that if they own a lot assets then they better start pissing them away. George McPhee, you ACTUALLY think your team is going anywhere this spring? This season is already a massive win, taking a series seven would be amazing, winning a series would be unimaginable, what in hell does an overpaid winger do to enhance any of that?! What a garbage move. If they had acquired Karlsson, that would have been impressive, but I wonder if they’re going to figure out that it’s best to maintain a winner rather then looking to go for a Cup and piss away their assets on average players? Three chips that would have been much better used to get a Karlsson this summer.
Washington – Didn’t do anything, couldn’t do anything, won’t make it to the conference finals yet again.
Winnipeg – Best for last? I don’t know if that’s the case, but Stastny sure gives them three quality lines. This might be the deepest team in the league right now, and are primed for a run. I wouldn’t take them to beat Nashville, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they beat Nashville. And I think whoever comes out of the Central is winning the West. So they’re a legitimate contender, at least to win the West.
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