The trade deadline is such a fickle event. There are deals that are made that make you gasp. There are deals that make you say hmmm. Then there are deals that you turn to someone and go, how come our team didn’t get this person.
The last one is primarily for Toronto Maple Leaf fans.
Lets start back with the Peter Forsberg trade on February 10th. Nashville received an aging, injury prone, power-forward, with great vision and the softest hands in the game. Although he may be on the decline in terms of skills, when he is healthy he is still one of the most feared players in the game. The Philadelphia flyers received Scottie Upshall, a blue chip prospect currently playing for the Guelph Storm in the OHL and a pair of 2007 draft picks, a 1st and 3rd round pick. Did the Flyers win in this trade? Oh yea, as much as it pains me to devalue Peter Forsberg, Scottie Upshall has a better fit in Philadelphia because he is able to use his size more, a well as having younger parts who can play with the grit that Upshall has. Ryan Parent, although he is still in Guelph he appears to be a solid 1st line defenseman. Compare him to Dion Phaneuf if you want to but this guy will not get you more than 5 goals a year, but he will send more players to the injury ward and create a lot of headaches for opposing players. The Flyers also draft extremely well as previously stated about a month ago. The first round pick will be around the 26th spot, but the Flyers scouting staff has done an excellent job in the past decade.
Here is one for the Leaf fans, Anson Carter going to the Carolina Hurricanes for a 5th round pick. Ferguson cannot complain about not having draft pick to deal, nor can you use the excuse that there is not enough cap room. At this point in the season it doesn’t cost much for a rental player like Carter to make the playoffs. Poor Leafs, losing again.
After sending away Peter Forsberg to get ‘younger’ although less skilled. The Flyers make another move that sees them pick up a Former Canadian World Junior Gold Medallist in Braydon Coburn. All they had to give up is Alexi Zhitnik. A pretty good deal I think. Trade a 35-year-old defenseman for a 22-year-old defenseman. You may not remember Coburn that much from the World Juniors, especially in 2004, when the blue line was filled with guys named Phaneuf, Webber, Seabrook, Dixon… Definitely a good crop of Defenseman. Flyers have talent but why can they not get it done on the ice.
Go Ducks Go, Go Ducks Go. What a team they are, and what a deal they struck. Tampa Bay Lightening receive D Shane O’Brien and a 2007 3rd round pick, for one of the greatest goalies out off the London Knights, Gerald Coleman and a 2007 1st round pick. Ok it may not be great players, or even players who have proved themselves. Coleman is a stand up goalie with great rebound control, really a lot like Bryzgalov. With the right people on the ice with him Coleman will steal the show for the Ducks when the other goalies go down.
The other great deal made before the deadline was by GM Dave Nonis of the Vancouver Canucks who acquired 2 good players by placing Ryan Kesler on Long Term Injured Reserve. Canucks reacquire D Brent Sopel who excelled along side Bryan Allen and Mattias Ohlund back in the day. He may have more miles on him but still solid along side an offensive defenseman. Canucks also receive C Bryan Smolinski, which adds to the lack of depth in the centre position. Not to mentioin the grit that Smolinski has, you never know whom Smolinski can ignite and finish with great numbers in the final 15 games or so. Oh what did they have to give up, only a 2007 2nd round pick, and a 2008 2nd and 4th round pick. Not bad when you consider that they want the cup, or at least a western finals appearance NOW.
Trade deadline is a mere hours away, but my focus is on MLB, we are just 32 days away till the season begins and I will be reporting on each one right up until the opening pitch.