I was perusing The Hockey News today, and ran across a Trade Deadline article. I really enjoy these, much for the same reason I enjoy playing NHL games. The hypothetical trade is one of the best, and arguably the worst, talking points in North American sports. You can spend hours on it, and it’s about as useful as discussing “What if Game 7 went different?” However, it’s fun, mostly.
This one though wasn’t as fun. Mainly because the top two trades Sean McIndoe highlighted were deals the Canucks should make. Both make sense, and both would be great. Not because I want Ryan Miller and Alex Burrows gone, but because I want a return for guys who are most likely gone.
Predicting how anything will turn out is impossible, my sports gambling history reflects that perfectly. You play the probabilities though. And the probability the Canucks win the Cup is very low. Hell, even their probability to make the playoffs isn’t great. So why not get something in return? It’s become the norm in the NHL, but not for the Canucks current Front Office.
Growing up just outside Detroit, I watched the Red Wings do this every year in their glory days. Tomas Sandstrom, Todd Gill, Jamie Macoun, Kirk Maltby, Larry Murphy, Chris Chelios, and so on, and so on. It made sense for both sides. However, Jim Benning doesn’t believe in that, and I am down with being at odds with people’s opinion. In the modern day its called “Social Media.” What drives me insane is when there is stupid reasoning behind it.
You can read all about Jim Benning’s reasons (Can’t say enough about how good Canucks Army is) for not making deadline deals, or why he won’t ask a guy with a No-Trade Clause to waive it. They’re all stupid. If his reason was “We are trying to win the Cup” would make more sense than “…I want to try to limit the unnecessary distractions so our players can focus on getting better and winning games.” What? So maximizing a player’s value to help the team in the future isn’t as valuable as a player doing something the coaches are supposed to?
I’m not saying there is no value in having a veteran presence on the team, but how many do you need? You have a couple guys with the same last name that have had pretty successful careers who can do that. Plus Hansen, Sutter, and Skille. While they might not have the pedigree of Burrows, they do have a combined 30 years NHL experience. You don’t need to be Gretzky at the end of his run, to help a young guy acclimate to the NHL product, especially with Dan and Henrik.
I just don’t get not wanting to maximize your return whenever you can. Even if you don’t use the draft picks or develop the prospects you get in return, you can package them for immediate help. I just think it shows a real lack of creativity to not want to maximize your roster.