Picks for Goalies can be a Good Thing

Hot off the presses, Blue Jackets Scott Howson just traded three draft picks to the Flyers for goaltender Sergei Bobrobsky.

Good move, Blue Jackets.  Really.

I know, it’s weird, that the Blue Jackets and GM Scott Howson can make a good trade.  It doesn’t seem possible, like Phoenix drawing a sell out crowd, or the Kings winning a Stanley Cup.  I know, that sounds like I’m picking on these teams, but I’m really not.  Narratives are being rewritten all the time, and the story in Columbus could be taking an turn, starting now.

The Blue Jackets have an immediate need.  They have had this need for a long time, as Steve Mason wasn’t the goalie he was cracked up to be.  It was pointed out (I think by Justin Bourne of Backhand Shelf, but I could be wrong) that Mason was given the starting job in Columbus not after a good season, but a good half season.  Considering the goalie woes they suffered through previously, any ray of light was going to look like the clouds parted and the hand of God had reached down and touched the netminder on the shoulder.  Instead, it turned out to be foot of God from Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

Foot Of God squashes goalie

In the situation the Blue Jackets are in, they had an immediate need, and only two assets they could trade to get that need filled, draft picks and Rick Nash.  So why not just trade Rick Nash for the sweetest goalie ever, one with rocket launchers built into his blocker, and a few hockey cards in the spokes of his bike wheels?  Because Rick Nash, with his no trade clause, controls his own destiny.  You would be limited to where the big guy was willing to go to for trading partners.  That’s just not acceptable.

I’m all for trading picks for goalies, within reason.  If you have the number one draft pick, you probably shouldn’t trade it away for a goalie.  That is, if you knowingly have the number one pick.  But sure, throw a first rounder out there.  Worried that you are overpaying?  You tell me, would you rather have Angelo Esposito or a starting  goalie?

In fact, let’s go to the draft in Columbus in 2007.  Name the draft position you would feel comfortable with dealing away for a starting goalie.  And don’t forget, you don’t have a starting goalie in your system.  I would start at pick ten (inclusive), and that’s with the benefit of hindsight.  Now look at this draft class.  Where would you start?

I wrote about it when the Avalanche traded a first and a second round pick for the rights of Semyon Varlamov.  I thought it was the right move for the Avs, and I feel that it’s the right move for the Blue Jackets.  They have enough players in their minor league system to be able to spare a few lower draft picks in this draft.  What they don’t have enough of are puck stoppers.  Find a need, fill a need.

Strangely, the Blue Jackets did just that today.  It just looks weird because it happened in Columbus.

Downie in the Dumps

By now, every Avalanche fan with an internet connection knows about the trade of Kyle Quincey to the Tampa Bay Lightning for forward Steve Downie.  Then Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman quickly flipped Quincey like a house in 2007 to the Detroit Red Wings for a first round pick.

My immediate thoughts on the trade were negative.  I couldn’t see a good reason for the Avs to trade away a perfectly decent defenseman when for a bona fide fifteen goal scorer that has a history of suspension.  After further consideration, I still don’t get it.

First, let’s look at Downie.  He has a history of suspensions that can’t be ignored.  From Wikipedia (with severely clunky language for hockey fans to stomach):

During a September 25, 2007, preseason game against the Ottawa Senators, Downie was involved in an incident in which he checked unsuspecting left winger Dean McAmmond into the boards, while Downie’s feet were off the ice. Due to the extent of McAmmond’s injury and having left his skates during the hit, Downie was suspended by the NHL for 20 games three days later for deliberate injury to McAmmond, as the NHL were cracking down on any play resulting in a head injury. To date, it is the fifth longest suspension given by the league.

And:

On February 28, 2009, Downie, by this point playing for the Norfolk Admirals (the Lightning AHL affiliate), slashed a linesman in the shin following a controversial empty-net goal in a game against the Hershey Bears, receiving a game misconduct for physical abuse of an official. Under AHL rules, this penalty carries an automatic 20-game suspension, which would be Downie’s second such lengthy suspension.

Aside: Make sure you take a look at that Wikipedia page, and the first picture they have of Downie.  He’s in the penalty box, isn’t he?

So lets not kid ourselves, we have us a real winner here.  Downie seems to have settled down under the tutelage of Yzerman and Coach Guy Boucher.  He did have twelve assists in the seventeen playoff games the Lightning were in last year.  So sure, he may have changed his ways.  He doesn’t have an ungodly amount of penalty minutes, but he is a minus fifteen (a stat I take with a grain of salt).  The Lightning do have a -31 goal differential right now, so even if that isn’t surprising, minus fifteen is tied for second worst in Tampa Bay (and make sure you say hello to Brett Clark who has the worst +/- on the team (miss you, buddy)).

What does this trade do to the Avalanche (and you will notice I didn’t use the phrase ‘for the Avalanche’)?  Some say it brings ‘sandpaper’ to the team.  And fine, I can see that.  I can also see plenty of opportunities in the past for the Avalanche to bring in sandpaper, and even at reasonable prices (Sean Avery comes to mind, even if I wouldn’t want to see him wearing Burgundy and Blue).  And Cody McLeod and Shane O’Brien are sandpaper guys, and can probably mix it up even more if needed, without getting in penalty trouble.  If sandpaper is the issue, why not trade TJ Galiardi? Oh, right, because no one is buying Galiardi.  Sandpaper, grit, toughness, whatever you want to call it, it’s a good thing to have.  Downie’s brand of it?  That will remain to be seen.

My other big question is how is Downie going to get along with Joe Sacco?  Boucher and Yzerman have been positive influences on Steve Downie, but put him in the current managementland in Colorado and step back.  We don’t know when this baby is going to blow.

There are two ways to look at the trade, with the deal between the Red Wings and Lightning, or without.  I prefer to look at it without the deal with Detroit, because the buck really stops for the Avalanche with the trade they were actually involved in.   But just for the fun of it, let’s look at Quincey for a first round pick.

Detroit shelled out a first for a guy they signed and quickly waived, and who wanted to show the Red Wings they made a mistake.  They traded that pick to former Red Wings star Steve Yzerman’s team.  Saying the Red Wings overpaid for Quincey is an understatement, until you remember this is a Red Wings pick, so it will probably be in the low to mid twenties by the time it comes up in the Draft.  Still, if Yzerman is shedding dead weight, and pick in the first round is valuable to him.  And lo and behold, he just shed a boat anchor about five minutes earlier.  Remember kids, it’s always good to not burn bridges when you leave a job or organization.  You never know when they will help you out.

According to plenty of media types (but I got my info from Puck Daddy), the Sherman and Red Wings GM Ken Holland had been in discussions about Quincey, but neither side cared for what was available in the end.  So Greg Sherman had his chance at a Red Wings first round pick and chose to say no.  That I can understand.  A late first round pick is less valuable to Sherman than a roster player.  And he did get a roster player, but it happens to be Downie.

As for the Avs and Tampa deal, Tampa is the obvious winner here.  Even if they had kept Quincey, they would have gotten a puck moving defenseman who isn’t scrawny, and there is always a need for those.  Instead, they got a draft pick that could be used to move up in the draft, or put them with two first round picks overall.  And they are still wheeling and dealing.  They could get more.

What does this say about what the Avalanche are doing in their final stab at making the playoffs?  Does this signal that they are selling, buying, or have gigantic pockets to be picked?  Has there been a trade that makes it look like there is any plan whatsoever in place for the Avs as they rebuild?  And is that why they don’t like to call it a rebuild, because they don’t know what the word really means?

For the record, Dater and Mile High Hockey disagree with me.  I’m willing to give this one a time will tell, but can I say that I’m happy with the trade?

I’ll leave the final word to my twitter account.

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/tapeleg/status/172069908102905856"]

Deadline Day Favorite Tweets

I wanted to compile a list of some of my favorite trade deadline day tweets, just to share the love as an overview.

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/darrendreger/status/42251154725408768"]

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/darrendreger/status/42251413694320640"]

I kind of liked the first one better.

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/wyshynski/status/42273057171177472"]

Hey, welcome to the new media landscape.  Anyone else getting a little tired of this complaint from the MSM?  They do a lot of work, I get that, but if you want to live in a bubble, get off the internet. Then see how things go for your career.

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/mirtle/status/42274599383080960"]

No kidding. Boring!

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/jlupul/status/42299317050032128"]

Joffrey Lupul tweeting his own trade? Tweeting his own Trade RUMOR?

(update below)

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/Tapeleg/status/42301365153841152"]

Yeah, I said it.

——————–

Lots of fake twitter accounts out there.  Even some real MSMers were fooled by fake tweets and fake trades. Not that it matters. People have been paying for fake news and reading fake tweets for a long time (e4).

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/biznasty2point0/status/42303952288616448"]

BizNasty was going to be the only single guy on the bench. Now he has to learn how to lay out lines of cocaine on the bench.

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/emcerlain/status/42304906744434688"]

Ouch.

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/darrendreger/status/42307040974086144"]

Things happen fast. I guess he should have talked to his co-workers?

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/puckdaddyradio/status/42305272462577664"]

I mean, jeez….

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/darrendreger/status/42307579623391232"]

Oh, well. Alright then.  Proving that the one thing twitter has to offer (immediacy) is also it’s greatest folly.

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/tapeleg/status/42308050400456704"]

Because a trade of pizza would be more interesting than most of this trade deadline day.

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/gsdgsd/status/42309389624950784"]

Let’s not get crazy, here.

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/tapeleg/status/42315715180642304"]

Still waiting….

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/milehighhockey/status/42317618950045696"]

Pretty much. Looking forward to that high draft pic? I am.

 

Well, I have to publish this thing some time.  I’ll update if there is something else that tickles my fancy.

Update and correction: the Lupul rumor was started by @DownGoesBrown as a prank:

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/downgoesbrown/status/42278140361453568"]

Which, frankly, makes it a lot less enjoyable.  It’s the conundrum of the web.  If you don’t follow the starting point, you miss part of it. Oh well, it was fun for a moment, now the shine is gone. Thanks to @cfCollision for ruining all the fun. :)

Avs Trade Leopold to Flames for Bag of Pucks

See you later, Leopold. Don’t let the door hit you.

That may sound kind of mean. I don’t ned to pick on Jordan Leopold, his services, when available, were decent enough. But it hasn’t been easy to get the taste of his first season with the Avs out of the mouth. It wasn’t always his fault, but the Avs needed him, and he wasn’t there. Now he gets to go back to his old team for very little: a 2nd round pick, a defensive prospect, and a defenseman with some serious frequent flyer miles. From TSN:

This is the well traveled Nycholat’s third team in a week after the Flames claimed the Calgary native off of waivers from the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. He has one assist in 14 games with the Canucks this season.

Well, welcome aboard, Lawrence Nycholat. You will find the underachievers over there, and the Lake Erie Monsters over there. Enjoy your stay.

On the positive side, I don’t have to type “Jordan Leopold was out of the Avs lineup” ever again.

Deadline Day: Ready or Not, Here it Comes.

Trade deadline day is always a circus. Even if the team you love doesn’t make a lot of moves, watching the carnage around you is always spectacular.

For the pre-deadline chat, Tom Luongo and I talked about some of the big names that may be moved on our podcast, The Rink. You can find that episode here. We are also going to be doing a post-deadline podcast to sum up who won, who lost, and who looked like a tool. I’ll post a link here when that is done.

As for breaking news, no one is going to be coming by here for it, so I leave that to the big boys. I’m going to be driving from Portland to Seattle while the deadline is ongoing, so I won’t be updating through the day.

I expect the Avalanche to shed a few players, but who is still in question. The obvious ones are Ian Laperriere and Jordan Leopold, but I could see Andrew Raycroft going for some depth player or a pick to someone who needs a backup (like the Sabres). My biggest feeling is that there isn’t much the Avs have that is tradable. Guys like Stastny, Wolski and the like aren’t up for grabs, and many of the rest aren’t desirable lately.

I’ll put my take on things up tomorrow, as well as a few more game recaps (I’m falling woefully behind on those). Hopefully, the Avalanche are still going to be worth watching after tomorrow (Too Late!).

TDD: The Boys are Back in Town

And just like that, Adam Foote is back with the Avalanche. TSN is saying that the Avs got him for a first round pick, part of what is looking like a Blue Jackets fire sale (Fedorov to the Capitals).

To it’s looking like the old gang again. Now if only Rob Blake waives his no trade clause, we could have the trifecta of free agent defections back. Oh, what will Coach Q do with all these new guys? Hey, what’s Ozolinsh up to these days?

Greg from the Post Pessimist has a good point:

1996 was a great year, sure, but it may not be best to try and relive it.

I think he may have some stories to tell. Looks like things are shaping up for the Avs.

TDD: And Now it Picks Up

And as soon as I put up my last post, things start heating up. Brad Richards moves to the Western Conference, and Cristobal Huet goes to the Capitals. Brent Johnson, it’s been a pleasure knowing you.

10:24 AM MST: And now we have our first Avalanche trade, with the Avs picking up Ruslan Salei for Karlis Skrastins. Poor Skras. You have to wonder if his time in the NHL is coming to an end. Overall, to someone who doesn’t pay a lot of attention to the Eastern Conference, this looks like a good deal for the Avs. One stay at home defenseman for another, but Salei might have some legs left in him. And his name is shorter. Always a bonus.

Happy TDD!!!

Good Morning, and happy Trade Deadline Day, still a holiday at the Tapeleg house. I was excited enough to get up early and watch the action, including 5:30 AM. I didn’t even know they made a 5:30 AM. The internet at the hotel here is spotty, but holding up so far. Until then, I can sit and watch the action. So far, I’m not seriously excited about anything, seeing as how the big news for Avs fans happened yesterday, and there has been little happening in the Western conference. Unless the Brad Richards thing is going down. That could be interesting.

Here’s what I’m looking at all day:

Screenshot 05-3

A few sites on auto refresh, and I a little other work in the background. Yep, I’m in total junkie mode today.