We’re now less than 24 hours away from the NHL trade deadline (the deadline is at noon on Monday) and there are plenty of rumours going around. The latest has the Canucks interested in Marty Reasoner. I first brought up this idea 11 days ago, and it’s nice to see that it looks like Mike Gillis has listened. Matthew Sekeres reported that the Canucks have indeed inquired about Reasoner, but he and the Panthers are talking about a contract extension. Sekeres also offered up this tidbit, that the Canucks tried to acquire Reasoner at last year’s trade deadline, but the Thrashers (his team at the time) wanted a 2nd round draft pick for him.
In my mind, Reasoner is the best affordable player available to fill the Canucks need at the 4th line centre position. He’s one of the top players in the league in faceoff percentage, kills penalties and has a scoring touch. It’d be nice if he also had some Stanley Cup experience, like a guy like John Madden (who may or may not be available), but that would cost more. If Mike Gillis can acquire him for a 3rd round draft pick, I think that’s a move he should do.
With that said, general managers should be very careful about giving up draft picks, especially high draft picks. In the last few years, teams that are “sellers” at the deadline have bolstered their teams with draft picks they received in exchange for rental players. Here’s a sampling:
2006 – Milan Lucic:
The Oilers were largely applauded for their acquisition of Sergei Samsonov at the 2006 trade deadline. He did help the Oilers get to a Stanley Cup Final, but he left as a free agent in the offseason. He was traded for Marty Reasoner, Yan Stastny and a 2nd round draft pick. The Bruins used that pick to select Milan Lucic.
2007 – David Perron:
Looking to load up for the playoffs, the San Jose Sharks gave up Ville Nieminen, Jay Barribal and a first round draft pick to get Bill Guerin. The first round draft pick turned into David Perron and Bill Guerin signed with the Islanders after the season.
2008 – Tyler Ennis:
Again looking to load-up at the deadline, the San Jose Sharks parted with their 2009 first round draft pick and Steve Bernier in exchange for Brian Campbell. While Campbell certainly had something to offer, he left for the Chicago Blackhawks in the offseason and the Sabres used the draft pick acquired to pick Tyler Ennis. Ennis already looks like he will be a good player in the league for many years to come.
Lots of draft picks changed hands in 2009 and 2010, but it’s a little early to see what those players will go on to become in the league. But what these three trade deadline deals all have in common is that all of the veteran players acquired left at the end of the season and none of them won a Stanley Cup with the team that got them at the deadline. Further to this, all of the so called “experts” thought that Edmonton (2006) and San Jose (2007 & 2008) had made excellent acquisitions. As we found out, they paid a higher price than most people thought.