Friday, June 23, 2017

Silly Season

The Vegas expansion draft was a couple days ago, and the entry draft goes tonight/tomorrow, and it's been a wild couple of days for the NHL, made all the more exciting because this league is so goddamn boring so much of the time.

So what in the sam heck are the Blackhawks doing?  Panarin for Saad looks like a big downgrade for me, those guys have identical cap hits and are basically the same age, and Panarin has cracked 70 points the last two years and I doubt Saad ever even gets a sniff at 60.  So what gives?  Saad is signed for 4 more years, while Panarin is signed for 2, so I guess you could argue that long-term cost-certainty has some value, but I just don't understand this move at all.  Chicago followed that up by trading Hjalmarsson for Connor Murphy, at least in this deal the Hawks get younger but again these players make basically the same $$ and Hjalmarsson is pretty good, while Murphy is, to my mind, massively overpaid; when he wasn't paired with OEL in ARI he looked seriously out of his depth, I guess you could say "well he's good when he plays with someone good so let's play him with Keith" but, as near as I can tell, Chicago got the worse player in both deals and didn't save any money, so WT actual F?

The other side of this coin?  The Coyotes.  The water-carriers around the NHL have been blasting them for dumping Shane Doan, and trading Mike Smith, and now getting rid of Dave Tippett, but I looked at those moves and went "41-year-old who needs to retire, 36-year-old who can't stay healthy, and a coach who's missed the playoffs 5 straight years and has never won a damn thing" and I think yeah, those decisions look pretty smart to me, Arizona have some decent young pieces so let's get rid of the deadfall and maybe something will start to grow there.  Then today the other shoe drops, they get the good end of the Hjalmarsson/Murphy deal, and they follow that up by getting Raanta and Stepan from the Rangers for Anthony DeAngelo and a 1st-round pick.  Now maybe in the long run DeAngelo turns into a top-tier defender and that pick (7th overall) could be a winning lottery ticket, but Stepan and Raanta are massive upgrades and all of a sudden, the Yotes have added a 1C and a top-4 D and a starting goalie, and I don't wanna jinx it but is this team a playoff contender next year?  The big issue has always been money, the team doesn't have any and doesn't want to spend any, and the last couple years they've been taking on dead contracts just to get to the salary floor, but I think Chayka looked around that division and saw an opportunity.  SJ/LA/ANA aren't the terrifying trio they were a couple of years ago, Vancouver's a dumpster fire, and Edmonton still seems committed to their strategy of trading elite forwards for pennies on the much as I like poking fun at the Oilers, they should be the class of that division next year, and after them it might be Calgary (though I have my reservations about Mike Smith), and beyond that it's wide open in the Pacific.  Now perhaps I'm underestimating the Ducks, that blueline is still stacked and Getzlaf is still a stud but every team that Randy Carlyle has ever coached has gotten worse the longer he's been there, and my money is on that trend continuing, so I really think Arizona could catch some people with their pants down this year and push for a wildcard spot, if not top 3 in the division.

Last, the Oilers.  Black Dog Hates Skunks broke it down way better than I ever could, so you should just go read that, but I'll just sum it up by saying I think the Eberle trade sucks, they sold low again on a first-line talent, Eb's "bad" year this year was better than anything Strome has done so far, maybe Strome plays with McDavid and puts up some big numbers in Edmonton and maybe Eberle goes to the Island and sucks, but I think the Isles fleeced the Oilers here.  Now you can say that Edmonton needed the cap space, and maybe they did, but they turned around and used all the $$ they saved on re-signing Kris Russell to a 4X4.  Now Russell is a place where opinions strongly divide, I don't hate him as much as some people do, but I think he's been drastically over-valued, he's an ok option as a depth defenseman, but you don't give depth defensemen 16 million bucks.  Serviceable player, bad contract, and if that deal was the reason you traded Eberle then it just goes from bad to worse, I mean it's not "buy out Grabo to sign Clarkson" bad but it's pretty bad.  Next on the chopping block is probably Nuge, my guess is he's the one to go next off-season, and then after he's gone, who knows?

I'm sure there will be plenty of other shit to hit the fan before the draft is finished, but that's all I've got for now.  So let me just end by saying, if Kris Russell is still an Oiler in 4 years and Connor McDavid isn't, it'll be some of the funniest shit ever.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home