Saturday, 17 December 2011

Brought To You By Fleecy

I was sitting at home today, awaiting the broadcast of CBC's Hockey Night In Canada, when news of a trade broke in the NHL that literally left my jaw gaping. I still, for the life of me, don't understand how this trade went down from the perspective of one team while the other team has to be overjoyed. There isn't a shadow of a doubt in my mind that one team got fleeced in this deal because of what they put up in the deal. If you're still unsure of what happened today, read on because I'm quite certain that one team was a definite winner in today's deal.

Look, I'm excited for the Jets-Ducks game tonight because not only will it be on CBC, but Teemu Selanne will finally be back in Winnipeg to play professional hockey. While he's not playing with the Jets, there's no doubt that the people of Winnipeg still hold Selanne near and dear to their hearts, and he'll undoubtedly hear the cheers from the Winnipeg faithful tonight. But alas, I want to look at the trade today, so tune into tomorrow for some additional Selanne coverage.

Around 2PM ET today, the Ottawa Senators sent highly-regarded defenceman David Rundblad and a second-round pick to the Phoenix Coyotes for forward Kyle Turris. Yes, the same Kyle Turris who thought it was better to hold-out for a ridiculous amount of money over a ludicrous amount of time than to actually play the game and do something more than a career-best 25 points. As for right now, the Ottawa Senators are slotting him into their second line, and the Coyotes are laughing all the way to the draft with David Rundblad becoming an important piece of their solid, young defence corps AND a second-rounder to spend at this year's NHL Entry Draft.

Does anyone here think this is an EA Sports trade?

If that reference doesn't hit you, the artificial intelligence in most of EA Sports' NHL Hockey series trade on the strength of player ratings. Draft picks are held to a higher standard most often, so you often have to package a solid player with a good pick to get back a player that has huge potential. If you have another player that can step in, you can usually swindle the artificial intelligence for a solid player and a high draft pick for a player that may not offer much beyond a good year or two.

I understand that David Rundblad wasn't turning out as well as the Senators had hoped. They watched Erik Karlsson turn into a star, but Rundblad was certainly holding his own in both zones and was nothing to discard at this point, especially when dealing for a player who has had a vast number of opportunities in the desert, but has never panned out to this day.

Turris will get a load of opportunities in Ottawa, but there are two things that Turris never picked up while playing for Dave Tippett: a work ethic, and the defensive responsibility that comes along with being a solid two-way centerman. Ottawa is short this season in two-way players, but there is reason to believe that Turris may develop into one under the watchful eye of Paul MacLean.

Had that been the end of this trade, and all would be forgotten as two young players swap jerseys in the hope that they can become something bigger than what they were with their previous teams. Instead, Ottawa tosses in a second-round pick to sweeten the deal for a guy who has 46 points in 137 NHL games!

That would be like exchanging $20 for two $10 bills, and then throwing in an extra $20 for a tip. In short, it's idiotic, and I hope someone is writing up Bryan Murray's walking papers as you read this! If stupid trades define a career, Murray is currently etching out one of the best careers ever written, and this trade may define his era with the Senators.

Of course, if Turris decides to show up, play hard, skate his butt off, and score some goals, everything may change. That second-rounder may be forgotten if this trade propels the Senators into the playoffs. My guess, however, is that it won't, and Turris won't even scratch the 25-point mark this season.

The nation's capital needs some help, and I doubt they'll find it in Turris. This trade is brought to you by Fleecy because Bryan Murray didn't just get taken to the cleaners. He got fleeced.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!


Peter Santellan said...

While I think the Sens overpaid to get Turris, I wonder if Rundblad is fast approaching Keith Ballard territory. By that, I mean a player that will likely be on the move often despite considerable talent. Remember, the Coyotes are Rundblad's third team before he has even finished his first year in the NHL. Ballard didn't even suit up in the NHL until his third team, which just so happens to be the Coyotes.

Time will tell if Ottawa truly got fleeced here, as history indicates that they ended up winning the Dany Heatley trade to the Sharks in the long run.

Teebz said...

I don't necessarily agree with the Heatley assessment.

Arguably, the team is not as successful as they were with Heatley in the line-up, and while Michalek has panned out, Cheechoo was ditched by both teams.

As for other deals I think he got fleeced in?

- Filip Kuba and Alex Picard for Andrej Meszaros.
- Pascal Leclaire and a pick that became Robin Lehner for Antoine Vermette. The jury's out on Lehner still.
- Boston 2nd-round pick for Chris Kelly. Who now has a SC ring.

Murray brings in quality role guys, but he hasn't found anyone to build a second line around. Spezza, Alfredsson, and Michalek are great, but it gets thin after that.

Dealing a young defenceman who got caught in the Karlsson backdraft isn't very smart when looking to bring in high-risk, high-reward players like Turris in my view.

Peter Santellan said...

I'll agree with you on Vermette, but Kelly wasn't going to be much more than a second line player, at best. The most obvious problem has, and always will be until otherwise proven, goaltending. The Anderson for Elliot trade last year may have worked out for them last year, but now...