The long weekend is here FUCKING FINALLY which means it’s time to spend enormous amounts of time on our smartphones while family members talk in the direction of our heads. Let’s get started!
The Iginla Trade
I know Iggy had the hammer on this one with his no trade clause, and maybe it just came down to him knowing that the Penguins had an offer on the table and refusing to waive his clause for anyone else, but this seems like an awfully low return for what was supposed to be the best rental on the market. Two college players, neither of whom have played pro at any level, one of whom is a former third round pick and the other a former fifth? Both Agostino and Hanowski have good numbers in the NCAA, but neither have what the race-horse-minded might call pedigree, or were ranked particularly highly on Hockey’sFuture AKA what people without scouting departments look at. Plus, they’re both wingers, so you’re not building from any particularly foundational position—goaltender, or puck-moving defenceman, or first line playmaking center, for example.
Perhaps the weirdest is that they dealt their best hand well before the trade deadline. There was no waiting to see if the offers might sweeten, no playing one party off of the other until the bitter end. It seems unfair to say this was botched, but it certainly is underwhelming. One gets the sense that maybe, to their credit, Calgary wanted to end the uncomfortable situation for Iginla as soon as possible.
One hopes that if this really is the start of a Calgary rebuild that they keep going—convince Kipper to accept a trade, send off Bouwmeester, Tanguay, and Cammalleri if they can, etc. Because they just traded their most cherished player for two guys who project as complementary wingers and a late first round pick, and that’s not going to do it. We’re a long way from Atlanta trading a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round pick along with a roster player for Keith Tkachuk.
The Trade Deadline
Why do the networks keep doubling down on this disappointing spectacle? TSN and Sportsnet are ramping up, as if any of us really plans to watch their networks from 8am until 3pm to see a panel endlessly debate why team X traded a 3rd round pick for depth player Y. Morrow and Iginla are already traded; Getzlaf, Perry and Semin have re-signed. Most teams think they’re still in it, except for Florida, whose big trading chips are all hurt. We’re looking at a deadline day where the big trade may be Mike Rebeiro or Matt Cullen—though both of their teams are at least in the hunt and will probably stand pat. Despite all this, the networks are running epic, slo-mo commercials in which they display their armies of analysts, ready to spring into action with insufferable rhetoric and hyperbole. I’m pretty sure at this point we could all just pick up a newspaper the next day and get what we need, or follow Bob MacKenzie’s Twitter if you really need to know about how Jagr’s negotiations are going in Dallas.
Meanwhile, in Ottawa, Murray doesn’t have any of those delicious 2nd round picks he likes to trade at the deadline, but we are blessed with a semi-interesting GM who always surprises his fan base. I’m sure he and Tim Murray have their eye on at least one or two Turris-like players—young enough to play on an upcoming club and be a part of the future, and worth giving up substantial assets for. Any late 1st rounder who the Murrays pick at the draft this summer would be 3-4 years away from playing, and then another 1-3 years from hitting their prime, which is probably past when Ottawa wants to be competing anyway. So maybe they could package that 1st with Bishop and get a quality player. Or maybe we’ll do what we did at the start of Free Agency last year and go, “who the hell is Mike Lundin?”
Eugene Melnyk is still an idiot
Can’t say I’d act much differently if I was a billionaire who owned a sports team, and so had an open invitation to show up on any Toronto radio show I wanted, but man is this guy an embarrassment for the franchise. I wrote earlier how Euge has to be made to see how this conveys an impression of Ottawa as a small time market full of obsessed hockey fans and media, who, like most Canadian markets, are more difficult to play for and impossible to please. Stuff like this makes me shake my head that we ever thought Corey Perry was going to sign with an Ontario team. Why wouldn’t he take big money, the extra year on his contract, and the chance to play somewhere warm and not insane (or insane for different reasons) like Anaheim? You don’t see their owner embarrassing everyone associated with him on the radio.
Eugene. Stop it, man. Just stop it.
You’ve got to feel for Thrashers fans (they existed, I’m sure of it) who waited it out and waited it out and never lived through a simultaneous Carolina / Washington swoon, which would have allowed them to ‘win’ the pathetic Southeast division and enter the playoffs as the third seed in the conference. Now Winnipeg—only four games over .500, and almost ten full points back of the 4th place Boston Bruins—will enjoy home ice advantage, and probably against the Leafs. They’re going to make so much money during that playoff series. They’re at least six points up on their SE competition, which is pretty insurmountable with only about 15 games left, so they can probably shell out at the deadline for something—anything—to help out poor Andrej Pavalec.
Enjoy this, Winnipeg fans, because realignment is going to kick your ass.
Who’s Ottawa playing tonight?
The Rangers? Pfft. We got this.