Monday, 24 March 2008

I Want A Paper Clip

I don't know if you have heard of Kyle MacDonald, but it's time for NHL general managers to start thinking like him. MacDonald is now in the Guinness Book of World Records under the category of "Most Successful Internet Trade". MacDonald, the Belcarra, British Columbia native, traded the paperclip in the picture to the left for a variety of things in order to acquire his house. That's right: he essentially traded a paper clip for a house.

Of course, there were smaller trades made for larger, more lucrative items, but that one red paperclip garnered him international attention for his innovative idea. It spawned a book, and he even has a blog about his adventure.

So how does this relate to NHL GMs? Some of the smaller trades reaped large rewards for teams. The big names that got moved have, in some cases, cashed in, but it's the smaller names who have begun to really help their new teams out.

If you picked Brad Richards as one of the stars of the trade deadline, you'd be right. In nine games with Dallas, he's picked up two goals and seven assists. A point-per-game average is exactly what the Stars need with some of the troubles they have putting the puck in the net. If the Stars can continue getting solid production out of Richards, they will have a much better chance of going deep in the playoffs than without him.

When the Penguins acquired Marian Hossa at the deadline, no one even spoke of the throw-in player named Pascal Dupuis. Everyone, including myself, saw red lights flashing all over the NHL as the Penguins were thought to be an offensive juggernaut. In five games, Hossa has one goal and five assists - pretty good in terms of showing up as advertised.

But what of Pascal Dupuis? To me, he's been the player who has made the Penguins a much better team after this trade. He's a speedy fore-checker, a relentless back-checker, and has discovered his offensive touch after struggling in Atlanta. In eleven games with the Penguins, Dupuis has scored two goals and nine assists. Scoring while in a checking role is a huge boost to any team. Scoring like Dupuis has done as a checking forward makes your team dangerous in the playoffs.

The Sharks had talked of acquiring a puck-moving defenceman for a long time before acquiring Brian Campbell. They wanted someone who could help their transition game in getting the puck to their talented forwards. In Campbell, they got exactly what they were looking for.

Campbell has recorded two goals and ten assists in thirteen games thus far, and has fit very well in the Sharks' system. One of those two goals was his spin-o-rama goal past Mike Komisarek to help the Sharks down the high-flying Canadiens a couple of weeks ago. Campbell makes the Sharks better offensively, and they finally have the catalyst on the blueline they need so that Joe Thornton has the puck more often.

The guy that Brian Campbell was swapped for hasn't done poorly in his new surroundings either. Steve Bernier has looked very comfortable in the Barney Rubble Hairpieces' colours, and can skate with the fleet-of-foot Sabres as well.

In ten games, Bernier has scored two goals and six assists. While he's gone pointless in his last three games, Bernier has looked impressive thus far as a Sabre. While it remains to be seen if the Sabres make the playoffs, Bernier has certainly helped them stay within striking range of that final playoff spot.

The last guy who have been impressed with basically needed a change of scenery. Andrew Ladd went to Chicago where the youth movement is on, and he has turned on the scoring in Chi-town. In 43 games with the Hurricanes before the trade, Ladd had nine goals and nine assists, and Jim Rutherford basically saw him as expendable.

The 4th overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft arrived in Chicago after spending time with the AHL's Albany River Rats, and has done all that has been asked of him to help Chicago's floundering playoff hopes. In 14 games with the Hawks, Ladd has scored four goals and seven assists. Pretty good for a team not going to the playoffs.

In terms of consistency, the Detroit Red Wings are the epitome over the last two decades of that term. And it all starts with preparation, so I'm told. Congratulations goes out to Mike Babcock who set the record for posting three 50-win seasons in a row after taking over a team. Babcock has always been regarded as a great coach through his entire coaching career, and this is just a reflection of how good he is. Congrats, Mike, and here's to another 150 wins over the next three seasons!

Congratulations also goes out to Joe Sakic of the Avalanche who recorded his 1000th career assist against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. Sakic became the 11th NHL player to attain that mark.

"I'm sure one day, when I look back, I'll think about it as a good accomplishment for myself to have," Sakic said to the Denver Post after Colorado's 7-5 loss. "It's tough to think like that after a game you need to have."

Congratulations, Joe. I'm sure you'll appreciate it more once you get a chance to reflect on that amazing accomplishment.

That's all for today. I'm missing the Penguins-Islanders game as you read this, so I'm gone. More on Jonathan Roy tomorrow as the QMJHL hands down their disciplinary actions regarding Saturday night's melee in Chicoutimi.

Until then, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

Kirsten said...

Holy shit, a paperclip for a house? Wow.

I bow at Joe Sakic's feet. He's so awesome.