Trade Talk Getting Ridiculous

Keith Tkachuk

Well, the NHL All-Star weekend has come and gone and now it is onto the stretch drive in the NHL regular season. 

With the stretch drive comes an all-too-familiar brand of talk: trade rumours.  Listening to the local sport talk shows on the Team 1040, all you hear now is “will the Canucks make a big deal?” “the Canucks’ time is now, so why not take a chance and land a big name?

Canucks’ general manager Dave Nonis, maybe one of the more underrated GM’s in the NHL right now, has done his best to put to rest all the ridiculous and meticulous chatter of possible trades and all the other garbage dealing with trading players in the NHL.

Nonis, who was on the TEAM 1040 morning show with Barry MacDonald and Scott Rintoul, flat out said he was getting fed up with the talk trades.  He made a good point.  Actually two good points.  One was that you cannot force a trade to happen.  If a trade is there that fits what the Canucks actually need, which is to say that maybe the bigger names like Marian Hossa, Mats Sundin or Rob Blake may not be the best fit in Vancouver, then Nonis will go out and deliver a trade so long as it fits what he feels his club needs.

The second point is this.  Why sell out your team’s future for a big-name-rent-a-player?  Look at what happened last year with the Atlanta Thrashers and the Nashville Predators.

The Thrashers traded a roster player (Glen Metropolit), a first and third-round pick in the 2007 NHL entry draft and a second-round pick in this year’s entry draft for Keith Tkachuk in a bid to make a run at the Stanley Cup.  The Thrashers did win the Southeast Division, but were swept by the New York Rangers in the first-round of the playoffs. 

Peter Forsberg

Wow.  Throwing away the foundations of a franchise for a rent-a-player and a quick first-round playoff exit.  Yep, seems worth it.

The Nashville Predators went out and landed Peter Forsberg from the Philadelphia Flyers for defenseman Ryan Parent, Scottie Upshall, a first-round and third-round draft pick in last year’s NHL draft.  Nashville was knocked out of the playoffs in the opening round to the San Jose Sharks in six games. 

The point of knocking the trades of the Thrashers and Predators is to illustrate that selling parts of the future of your organization for a player won’t necessarily help your hockey club make it to the finals, or anywhere in the playoffs for that matter.

Nonis knows this.  Does the Canucks general manager have assets to trade?  You bet he does, but he won’t play that card.  Sami Salo and Matthias Ohlund probably won’t be Canucks for more than a few more seasons, so when they go down, who’s going to fill their shoes?  Luc Bourdon and Alex Edler, who may be the best Canucks young defenseman as of right now.  Why trade a prospect for a player who may not even help your team win? 

The bottom line is this:  You can talk about trades all you want, you can say ‘hey go for the gusto and pick up a big name and let’s take a legitimate shot at winning the Stanley Cup’, but that doesn’t mean that everything will work out on the ice the way it should on paper.

Look at last year’s examples of major trades that went absolutely no where but to the golf course.

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3 Responses

  1. well didn’t Atlanta trade Tkachuk back to St.Louis for a first rounder in the offseason? Ya I know it’s besides your point but I’m just pointing it out. Well if Nonis can land a Sundin and sign him to a deal for a few more years, then trading some future might be worth it.

    Hosea C

  2. I think we can probably dangle Corey Schneider in trade talks and get something decent. If you assume Luongo will play 70+ games per year and he’s not anywhere near the back-end of his career, it’s not like Schneider will get any playing time anyways.

  3. I hear LA is willing to trade everyone on their team except Kopitar, Brown, Johnson, and O’Sullivan. Here’s a link: http://www2.sportsnet.ca/blogs/hockey_hearsay/2008/01/29/for_sale_sign_up_in_la/

    I’m just thinking. Hello Frolov??
    Although if Nonis makes a deal with LA, I’m probably thinking it’ll be something weak like a second rounder for Nagy, or Handzus, or Calder. Something along those lines where it doesn’t consist of a big name player.

    Hosea C

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