Monday, 2 March 2015

Trade Dud-Line!

I kept an eye on Twitter. I had the TSN TradeCentre page open. I checked in with Sportsnet when I could. However, when all was said and done today, the rich got a little richer and the tankers got a little tankier. I had no interest in keeping up with who went where today because all of the intriguing trades went down last week. The asking prices on some of the bigger names left on the market - Phaneuf, Kessel, Lecavalier - make no sense whatsoever, and I'm kind of happy to see teams not give in to stupidity.

Of all the teams to do something today, I happen to like what Anaheim did. Korbinian Holzer won't see the ice much with Anaheim's top-six defencemen logging minutes, but he's an excellent option in case of injury and definitely an upgrade over the aging Eric Brewer. Adding Simon Despres won't put the Ducks over the top either, but he's a young, puck-moving defenceman who can step in next season nicely if some of the rentals this season part ways. While Lovejoy brought a little grit to the blue line, Despres is the better overall defenceman.

However, the big addition was James Wisniewski from Columbus, and he'll be added to an already-dangerous power-play unit. Wisniewski has one of the better shots in the league, and it was apparent that they needed someone to replace the injured Sami Vatanen as he'll spend the next few weeks on the sidelines. Vatanen leads the team in power-play points with 17 and has seven goals with the man-advantage. Wisniewski comes to the Ducks with 14 power-play points on the season and seven power-play goals. He'll most likely take Vatanen's spot on the power-play until the Finn returns. With his return, the Ducks could have two solid power-play units to take them into the playoffs where special teams are always important.

I think the Rangers and Lightning overpaid for players that will help in the short-term, but won't make them any better for an extended period of time. Both teams acquired defencemen who will help in this year's playoff push, but they gave up a lot to get them. In fact, they gave up too much when it comes to both players.

Keith Yandle is decent, but Anthony Duclair, a first-round pick and a second-round pick in 2015 is idiotic when the draft is as deep as it appears. Glen Sather overpaid in a ridiculous way. Sending Duclair to Arizona, where they are stockpiling young talent, means he essentially traded a kid who looked like he was going to make the Rangers' roster next season and two excellent picks away in an effort to make a push for a Stanley Cup this year. Mortgaging the future for the sake of now is one of the things I've never understood in hockey, and it's probably why I'll never be a GM. Duclair, a second-round pick, and John Moore? Acceptable. Adding the first-rounder? Ludicrous.

Steve Yzerman, who I've always considered to be a shrewd GM, lost his marbles when it came to adding some grit to the lineup. The Lightning traded for Braydon Coburn, sending the Flyers injured defenceman Radko Gudas and first-round and third-round picks in this year's draft. They did pick up a second-round pick in both 2015 and 2016 from Boston for Brett Connolly, but they gave up a shot at acquiring another great young player with that first-round pick. The Lightning, who have been building with youth over the last couple of years, were one of those teams that guarded their first-round picks closely so they could add to their talent pool. This year, though, it seems that the Lightning are all-in with Coburn despite the value of that first-round pick.

TSN featured llamas, an offensive tweet about Joffrey Lupul, a dozen analysts and personalities, and a one-man band who, for the most part, added no value to the show. Sportsnet did their thing where they have about six different locations with analysts and personalities taking about all sorts of analytic numbers and intangibles and which teams need what kind of player. At the end of the day, I'm not sure if it was good TV, but I knew one thing when all the dust finally settled.

I didn't care.

If the networks are smart, they'll look at the trades that go down before the deadline day and adjust their broadcasting accordingly. This race to report a trade happening first is beyond ridiculous at this point. TSN was posting trades with incorrect info, player names that changed sides more than once, and had TBD on their website more than any site should. However, that's sensationalism TV in this era.

I'm done with Trade Deadline Day. Let's get to the stretch drives to see if Florida makes it in, if Los Angeles, Calgary, and San Jose can sort out who wants to get in, and if Winnipeg and Minnesota can sort out who wants to play Nashville or Anaheim first. Honestly, let's get back to hockey because this dud of a deadline wasn't worth the build-up or the hype.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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