Am I the only one that had a little bit of trouble adjusting to life after Olympic hockey? What an amazing tournament with such speed, skill and intensity. Then two days later, we have to watch the Canucks take on the Blue Jackets? Tough transition, but I think I’m getting back into the swing of things. The Canucks are on a nice little post-Olympic roll, beating the Blue Jackets in a comeback and laying a surprising beat down on the Red Wings.
They did this, despite not making a significant trade deadline acquisition (apologies to Andrew Alberts and Yan Stastny). The only thing tougher to do than watch Blue Jackets-Canucks hockey two days after one of the greatest moments in Canadian hockey history is watch TSN/Sportsnet/CBC hours upon hours of non-events! True, Wednesday’s trading deadline set a record for trades, but none were of the spectacular variety. TSN went on the air at 5am Pacific time on deadline day! The biggest names (Kovalchuk, Phaneuf, Jokinen) all moved before the Olympic trade freeze, which made for a challenging day for all the insiders. Including this guy:
It’s always difficult to judge a GM’s trading ability because we simply don’t know what he was offered. The only thing we can really do is to look at the other big names that moved, and judge whether or not we would have given up more to get that player. Looking at the list of players that moved, there weren’t many that would have significantly upgraded their defense or forwards. Of those who would have made a mild impact, they were given up for more than the Canucks should have been willing to give up (ie. I wouldn’t have given up a second round pick for Eric Belanger).
So what would I have done? Well, a 6th rounder for Milan Jurcina would have been smarter than getting Andrew Alberts for a 3rd rounder. Getting Scott Walker might have been well advised as well, considering that it only took a 7th rounder to get him. Other than those, I don’t see what the Canucks had to give up. They’re thin in the prospects pool, and just because you have Cory Schneider to trade doesn’t mean that you give him up for nothing.
So who is Andrew Alberts? He’s a 28 year old big defenseman that was a plus-player playing 15 minutes a night for the Hurricanes. Seems promising that he was a plus-player with such a terrible team, but averaging only 15 minutes a night worries me a little bit. I’m not certain that he’s an upgrade over any of their top 6 defensemen when they’re all healthy.
Mike Gillis also made a couple of other moves on deadline day, acquiring Yan Stastny for Pierre-Cedric Labrie (minor leaguer for another minor leaguer) and getting rid of Mathieu Schneider for Sean Zimmerman (depth defenseman for the Moose) and a conditional 6th round pick (I assume it’s conditional on Schneider clearing re-entry waivers).
All-in-all, a very underwhelming trade deadline day, but probably for good reason. Making a deal for the sake of making a deal usually doesn’t turn out well, nor does giving up draft picks and prospects for 2nd or 3rd liners. Stay patient, I say, build-up the farm and then roll the dice.
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