Re: The NHL's All-Time Gave Up Too Soon Team
posted at 7/11/2013 11:51 AM EDT
Yeah, the whole "who won the trade" thing is a little silly, though, if you're a team, a GM.
It's like the conversations we have around here where the Bruins win hockey games and some people worry that the other team had more hits. In the end, the Bruins win the stat that really matters. The more I've thought about this in recent years, the more I've come to believe that the real measure of a trade is is the team better off now than before the deal. That's not as simple to decide as it sounds partly because of the point steve makes that we'd probably all agree is true: it's almost impossible to assign a team success to one player (not even Butch Goring). Hockey's the ultimate team sport, so this is particularly true in hockey.
Take the Oates/Tocchet/Ranford, Thornton, Kessel and Seguin deals.
O/T/R - Oates was still the best player at the time. Ranford was a better goalie than Carrey even then. The Bruins tailspun to the first overall pick after this deal. They made the playoffs the following year thanks largely to Allison performing like a #1C, though. They got JT in the draft and got better quickly due to a transfusion of youth. Who wins that trade? Caps went to the finals the following year, and Kolzig was their clear #1 with Carrey and the headache out of the way. Bruins went from zero to playoffs in one year. Does it matter who "won?"
JT - Sharks got the best player. Bruins managed to make the most of the return by dealing Stuart for Ference and Kobasew, then Kobasew for a 2nd rounder. Sharks have won nothing. Ference was a key player in the Cup run. And the move opened the door for the Bruins to clear a ton of room in the new Cap world to sign Chara and Savard. The move made the Bruins much, much better - just not in a way that you can say they won the trade. Does that matter?
Kessel - Leafs got the best player because he was the only player. Four years later, he's still the best player. That hurts to write. But the move made the Bruins bettter because it meant keeping Krejci, making the move to get Horton, and drafting 2 or maybe 3 exciting young players. And Horton and Krejci were instrumental to winning a Cup. So who cares what Kessel does, ever?
If you want to hedge a bit, call Seguin for Eriksson a wash - neither team got the best player, but the Stars got the best of superstar potential. On the other hand, the difference between teh salary for Eriksson and the salary for Seguin (not including bonuses) is roughly what they committed to Iginla in regular salary. It looks like the Bruins will have the best second line in the league with Eriksson - a great two-way line that will light you up if you try to cheat to generate offense against them. Iginla is a terrific alternative to Horton on the DK line. And the move cleared additional salary and brought a few senior prospects with some NHL experience into the organization. I think Chiarelli made the team better with taht deal, so I'm not going to worry if Seguin makes a bigger difference for the Stars than Eriksson does for the Bruins. The team is better. It will be measured by how many games it wins in the playoffs next year (2 more than this year!) not whether or not Eriksson is a better player than Seguin.
Are you not entertained?!?!