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

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sitting still at the trade deadline

I won’t lie to you, I’m surprised as hell that the biggest move B. Burke pulled off yesterday was Brad May, who reportedly offered an attractive $100 bounty to the GM who could trade him to a playoff-qualifying team. That is not to say that Burke didn't warn us fans that there might not be any moves, but really, Burke lies to us all the time.

I guess all this e2 talk got me fantasizing a little bit, though. I mean, it’s tough not to stagger a bit as players like Forsberg, Smyth, Tkachuk, Guerin, Bertuzzi, etc., all get moved to other playoff-hopeful teams, while Anaheim gets a mention as possible destinations for all of them. But still, I gotta give some props to Burke for sticking to his guns—given the contracts of Niedermayer and Pronger, and the emergence of the kids, this is not a one-time shot-at-the-cup, no matter the unused cap space this year.

It’s kind of amazing, but for a guy who talks a lot about the trade market, Burke has actually touched the roster very little in the past year—observe the resulting lineups from last year’s trade deadline to this year’s (names in red represent players moved or acquired). Other than the Pronger trade (incidentally, the price paid for 4 years of Pronger was not dissimilar to the price for 40 days of Forsberg / Smyth / Tkachuk), the roster is fairly untouched.

My point, I suppose, is this: If I believed in last year’s squad's postseason chances, I certainly think this year’s squad is improved from that point, both by a year’s experience and by the addition of Pronger. Burke’s on-ice product is still strong, and short-term additions didn’t cost us the farm.

I can’t help but wonder, though, at what point Burke decided not to make a big splash at the deadline. Is he conniving enough to continue to act as a potential trade competitor, just to drive up demand and prices for other teams’ rental acquisitions? I wouldn’t put it past the guy.

I'm happy enough with consistency and long-term building; let's show these quick-fix teams how it's done.


The Puck Stops Here said...

Your observation that the price for 4 years of Pronger is about the same as the price for 40 days of Forsberg/ Smyth / Tkachuk is brilliant and very accurate.

Unknown said...

I agree that this Ducks team should be fine in the playoffs this year, despite the lack of movement. I read a comparison of the Ducks to the 1999 Dallas Stars who did no major deals at the deadline while others teams traded away, and I think we know how their season ended. Just as the Stars added Hull the previous summer to help them win the cup(i won't mention the whole foot in the crease thing in the finals... oops, too late), the Ducks added Pronger and stayed relatively quiet through the deadline and are trusting the team they have in place. With the parity that is in the league now, especially the West where every team has a chance to make the finals, I like the Ducks chances and think they will be competitive throughout the playoffs.

I'm not sure how i came across your blog, but i've followed it for a while now and i appreciate all your comments Earl. Keep up the good work!

Earl Sleek said...

Incidentally, if any other team bloggers (this site or others) would like to put together a comparative roster (today vs. one year ago), I would be interested in seeing it done for other squads.

Unfortunately, I'm a bit too out-of-touch with opponent rosters and lazy to do it myself.

Sean Zandberg said...

So Brad May was signed for experience then, replacing O'Brien?

Earl Sleek said...

I have no idea what the real motivation was for Brad May, probably just Vancouver ties with Burke, but I am fairly confident that O'Brien being moved for a first round pick was NOT done in anticipation of getting May.

No, there was probably something bigger in mind when S.O.B. got moved, but it didn't really come to fruition, apparently. But hey, it might be nice if the Ducks actually used that first-round pick to actually draft someone; I had given up hope of us ever using a first round pick when we gave our next several to EDM for Pronger.

Anonymous said...

Maybe May was acquired in case there's a loophole that you can scare your way to a Cup, in which case Parros' mustache just might be your Conn Smythe trophy winner.

How many brawlers do the Ducks need, anyway?

Earl Sleek said...

Y'know, I feel a little guilty for some reason--it's irrational that my perspective should matter to the team, but I had really low expectations for Burke yesterday. Pretty much all I was looking for in terms of deadline deals was an upgrade to George Parros. Of course, though, I was thinking along the lines of a big-name top-liner who would drop Kunitz or someone down to a more logical role.

Thanks, Burke. Met my demand by the barest of margins.

Anonymous said...

Well said. When the other teams that made the huge deals don't finish with the Cup, they wasted the talent they had. Next season they lose that depth and become top heavy. The Ducks will have another year under everyones belt and hopefully a title. If not, then maybe its the next three years with titles.

Those teams made deals to compete with Anaheim, just to be on that level, the Ducks are on the plateau already. 6 of the teams that won the Presidents trophy over the last 20 seasons have won the cup, not a great stat.

Alexander Dubcek said...

Or maybe Brian Burke is such a genius, as all you Schmucks fans allege, that he realized Brad May was the only difference between Cup pretender and contender.

Start planning that Disneyland parade now, Anaslime!

VeryProudofYa said...

"6 of the teams that won the Presidents trophy over the last 20 seasons have won the cup, not a great stat."

I'd say it is. Considering that's 30% percent of the cups going to the top team, while there are 16 different seeds vying for it. Pretty good, indeed.