Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Kings Gameday: That Seemed Pointless

LA Kings (Oof!) @ New York Islanders (24-21-6, 8th in Eastern Conference)

4:00 PST, FSN West

Last year the New York Islanders were fighting for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. In order to secure that spot, they traded Robert Nilsson, Ryan O'Marra, and their first round draft pick to the Edmonton Oilers for Ryan Smyth. Smyth did help them get into the playoffs, scoring 15 points in his 18 games. The Islanders were defeated in the first round by the top-ranked Buffalo Sabres and then watched as Smyth signed a long-term deal with the Colorado Avalanche. This season, 22-year old Robert Nilsson has tallied 22 points with the Oilers, 20-year old Ryan O'Marra is playing in the AHL, and their first round draft pick (defenseman Alex Plante) is playing significant minutes for the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL. The Islanders? They're currently in 8th place, fighting for a playoff spot.


Now, my question to you is: what the fuck was the point of trading for Ryan Smyth? Did he promise to sign with the Islanders, only to renege? Because otherwise I honestly can't understand why they'd mortgage a good part of their future for the right to get their asses kicked by Buffalo. Anyone?


Of course, I should point out that the Kings did the exact same thing in 2006, trading Jeff Tambellini and Denis Grebeshkov to the Islanders for Mark Parrish and Brent Sopel in an attempt to make the playoffs. Parrish scored 8 points in 19 games for the Kings before signing with Minnesota in the off-season, while Sopel played admirably with the Kings for 2 seasons and then was traded last season for the draft pick that would eventually become Wayne Simmonds. Tambellini looks like a bust (he hasn't caught on in New York at the age of 23), while Grebeshkov is currently playing in Edmonton.

Whoops, Part II

The trade ended up not hurting the Kings (Simmonds could end up being the best player out of everyone), but that doesn't mean it was a good idea. I see the merits of a team like Detroit or Dallas making a deadline deal, but what's the point of making these deals just to get into the playoffs? Sure, they work occasionally (Edmonton in 2006), but most of the time it just ends up closing a team's window of opportunity too early.

(Wait, does me saying this reduce the number of suitors for Blake and Nagy? Umm, nevermind, the Rangers should definitely try to get Blake.)


I can't find the link now (someone want to help me out?) [SLEEK EDIT: Here ya go, pal.], but yesterday there was a Canadian columnist that proposed a bunch of trades he thinks should happen. Among them: Devin Setoguchi and a 1st round pick for Rob Blake and Ladislav Nagy. I would just like to say that I wholeheartedly support this trade. Make it happen, Doug!

Prediction: Have the Kings been playing good hockey lately? I actually think so. Kings win, 4-2. Goals by Frolov, Handzus, Blake and Brown.


Mike said...

The reason these trades are made are twofold:

1. The GM wants to make it look like he's trying to win and make the playoffs so he holds onto his job.

2. Playoff tickets are big bucks. Lots of times ownership even forecasts a playoff appearance in their revenue projections.

It could just be because the GM is an idiot. As for that trade proposal, I hereby institute the Nagy Principle™ : Any team that receives Nagy in a trade is the trade loser.

Justin said...

Though I agree with your sentiments toward deadline deals, the real reason a team will mortgage a huge chunk of their future for the short term is this: nowadays, any team that makes the playoffs can win the Cup. A team can barely sneak in by the skin of their teeth and still make it to the Stanley Cup Finals. Look at Edmonton in '06.

Granted, the chances of being that one team that reaches the finals from the 7th or 8th seed is very slim, but a GM with a team that may not make the playoffs is probably in a desperate situation anyway. So a move that may not be the smartest could be the very one that saves his job.

Mike in OC said...

Everything above is well said.

Last year in particular it seemed like one team made a move to take a run at the cup (Like Nashville) and that forced other teams to follow suit (Like San Jose, Dallas and Detroit) Burke was desperatly trying to get somthing done as well. They all thought the Preds bought the cup with Forsberg.

How many draft picks did all those teams give up to come up short?

Kirsten said...

I agree with all the above posters, but I still think it's not as bad as the Thronton trade, or the Luongo one...

But really...wtf, NYI? Such a bad idea. Also wtf, Oilers? I want to know why he REALLY left Edmonton.

Seitz said...

If you've got a good goalie, like DiPietro, I'd say it makes sense. We're at a point in the NHL where almost ANY team in the playoffs has a shot at the cup. In three of the last four playoff years, a sixth, seventh, and eighth seed have made the finals. It seems now that just getting in give you a legitimate chance.

It's easy to look at a seven or eight seed and say they aren't real cup contenders, but you never know who's going to catch lightning in a bottle, and even two rounds of playoffs is a lot of money for an owner.

And more selfishly, I've been watching the the classic series stuff on NHL network. They've recently shown both of the rounds for the Kings in 2001. Man, I'd kill for a real playoff series for the Kings again. I wouldn't want to mortgage the future, but I can still remember jumping around in my apartment when Murray scored that goal to send the Colorado series to a seventh game.

Seitz said...

And of course, if I'd read the previous comments, I'd would have seen that my points were already covered.

Doogie said...

their first round draft pick (defenseman Alex Plante) is playing significant minutes for the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL.

Well, he might be if he'd played more than three games in a row this season. And I'm a season-ticket holder, I'd have noticed.