Monday, February 28, 2011

Trade Flatline 2011

So, a crazy February in the National Hockey League went out with a fizzle on a deadline day that can only be described as boring (okay, that’s a lie.  It could also be described as lackluster.  Or disappointing for trade fans.  Or quiet.  Or low 60s and sunny in Santa Clara, California.  But you get the idea).  Disappointing as a 13 deal day that was headlined by the likes of Dustin Penner and Dennis Wideman may be, it was actually a fairly busy trade season, a fact obscured by the time that it was spread across.  Consider the names on the move since January 1st:
Dustin Penner will have plenty of chances to kick Ryan Getzlaf
in the face, now that he is back in the Pacific Division.

Jason Arnott
David Steckel
Dustin Penner
Sergei Sampsonov
Bryan Allen
Brad Winchester
Chris Campoli
Scottie Upshall
Sami Lepisto
Rotislav Klesla
Dennis Wideman
Radek Dvorak
Niclas Bergfors
John Mitchell
Fredrik Modin
Chris Higgins
Maxim Lapierre
Brad Boyes
There was a lot of empty space here.  Bar Refaeli is still hot.
Also it was super awkward, looking for this picture while in the library.
Brett Festerling
Brian McGrattan
Bryan McCabe
Tim Kennedy
Alex Sulzer
Dan Ellis
Curtis McElhinny
Alexei Kovalev
Brent Sopel
Nigel Dawes
Cory Stillman
Ryan Carter
Alex Goligoski
James Neal

Pictured: bi-winning (best. quote. ever.)
Matt Niskanen
Eric Johnson
Jay McClement
Chris Stewart
Kevin Shattenkirk
Tomas Kaberle
Blake Wheeler
Mark Stuart
Rich Peverly
Craig Anderson
Brian Elliot
Derek Joslin
Ian White

Michael Scott wears white 9k RBK skates. Nice.
(Hey, look, I don't have to fill anymore space!)
Eric Brewer
Jarkko Ruutu
Paul Mara
Chris Kelly
Aaron Voros
Kris Versteeg
Mike Fisher
Francois Beauchemin
Joffrey Lupul
Michael Frolik
Jack Skille
Ben Eager
Michael Rozsival
Wojtek Wolski
Jamie Langenbrunner
Ty Wishart
Dwayne Roloson

That is 63 names, all of regular NHLers, all of whom changed address this year.  None of them are stars along the lines of an Ilya Kovalchuk or a Marian Hossa, certainly.  Still, though, let’s look at this on the Jackson Morgus 5 BOOM rating system (simply put, 0 BOOMs is a minor leaguer, 1 BOOM is a border line 4th liner/6th d-man, 2 BOOMs is a role guy, 3 BOOMs is a regular 2nd/3rd liner, 4 BOOMs is a 1st liner/potential star and 5 BOOMs is a superstar- the JM5BRS was originally a 5 star system, but BOOMs are way more badass).
There were no 5 star guys, but there were 13 4 BOOM guys.  That sounds like a lot.  There were also four guys that got a 3.5 BOOM rating, which is, without any doubt, almost 4 BOOMs.  There were 20 guys that got a 3 BOOM rating, which is almost definitely average, two guys got a 2.5 because I am a pretty indecisive person like that, and there were 13 2 BOOM guys, who aren’t as good, presumably, as the four BOOM level players, or the five BOOM players (of which there are none).  Finally, there are 2 guys that got just one BOOM, and they definitely need to pick their game up.  That’s probably why they got traded (a combination of that and an inability to use waivers on the part of the teams that traded for Chris McGratton and Aaron Voros). There aren't any zero BOOM guys, which begs the question of why I bothered to define what a zero BOOM player would be in the first place.
At this point, you are probably noticing that that is pretty good.  Or maybe you are thinking that it is pretty bad.  Maybe you are completely confused.  I know I am.  I hope that you aren’t thinking about how I listed 63 players, but the BOOMs only add up to 54, but you would have every right to, since they do (and I am too lazy to go back and figure out how I messed up, especially when it is easier to blame it on my brain being toasted from partial derivatives and future value equations- damn you economics).  Still, though, my original point was to prove that there were a number of good players traded, and while the fact that that system was 100% arbitrary and completely confusing made it so that I didn’t end up making that point, I have completely forgotten where I was going with this.  But what are you going to do? Win some lose some, I suppose. 
By now, I have digressed so far, and so nonsensically, that it would be more or less completely pointless to attempt to return to the trade deadline.  On the other hand, this blog is nothing if not almost completely pointless, so let’s do just that. 
The biggest name in the group moving on deadline day would have to be Dustin Penner.  Penner is a good player, but this move doesn’t make sense to me.  The Kings have guys like Andrei Loktionov (productive in limited time in LA this year), Brayden Schenn (Canada's best player, in my oppinion, in Buffalo), Maxim Kitsyn (a Russian tearing it up for Mississauga), Tyler Toffoli (another World Junior defenseman, one of the best in the O this year), Brandon Kozun (a hometown product, yet another world juniors guy for Canada, and a Tyler Myers level traitor...LOS ANGELES IS NOT IN CANADA, BRANDON.  Clearly we need better public schools) and Derek Forbert (yet another World Juniors guy, one who knows what country he is from) coming through the pipeline to add to a promising young core of Jack Johnson (24), Drew Doughty (21), Jon Quick (22), Anze Kopitar (2freaking3), Wayne Simmonds (22), and Dustin Brown (26) (as a Sharks fan, I just threw up a little bit in my mouth), this team’s time is in 3-5 years from now.  
Trading away a World Junior caliber defenseman with a first round pick makes little to no sense to me.  It is taking nothing away from Penner (only 28, admittedly), but I don’t see them as a team that is making a run this year, or next, even.  They are scary down the road, so I’m not sure why they would want to get older (especially given that Teubert and the pick are likely to amount to at least as much as Penner). 
Other than that, there isn’t much to waste words on.  Naturally, I will do just that.  In no particular order:
Washington got a bit better with Sturm, Wideman and Arnott joining the squad.  Only downer is Wideman’s -23.  I’m not a plus minus believer, in general, but an aboration like that suggests that it is no accident. 
I was happy to see Patrick Rissmiller go to a place that he might crack a lineup.  I had the same thoughts about Hugh Jessiman.  Both went to Florida.  Weird. 
The Sharks were probably right to realize that they had 13 of the last 15 reasons not to mess with what they have at the moment. 
Kovalev has already made himself worth the conditional seventh rounder with that shootout laser the other night. 
Brad Boyes is solid enough, although I’m not sure he justifies a second rounder.
I still hate Maxim Lapierre, and I still hate the Ducks (especially Corey Perry), and am disappointed to see that I can’t hate them together anymore (although it may have been worth it to hear Michael Faber say that Lapierre can help if he ‘takes his clown hat off).
Chris Higgins got traded.  Chris Higgins went to Avon Old Farms, a school that hasn’t won the Founders League for at least two years, because KENT WENT BACK TO BACK, BABY.
Brian McCabe was a good, sneaky acquisition for an already deep New York blueline. 
I am incapable of listening Son of a Preacher Man in the library without looking foolish.  I have earbuds in and my head is bobbing EXTREMELY rhythmically.   God I love this song (sorry, just seeing if anyone is still paying attention.  Sure, we can keep going).
The biggest moves (Goligoski/Neal, and Johnson/Shattenkirk) went down a couple of weeks ago, and I already commented.
If I were Daniel Alfredsson, Milan Michalek, Chris Phillips or Jason Spezza, I would be PISSED.  That was a freaking fire sale.  And they got nothing back.  A conditional seventh rounder, a 6th rounder, Craig Anderson, a first rounder, a second rounder, Ryan Potulney and a conditional pick is not nearly enough in return for what amounts to the better part of the core of their team.

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