The NHL Trade Deadline was accurately named for 2017, it was fairly dead. If you looked at the fan base of the New York Islanders, you would think that GM Garth Snow was dead as well seeing that he politely abstained from making a deal of any kind today. The Internet melted.
Trade deadline day is when GMs panic and pull off the idiotic trades they believe will make immediate improvements NOW for a CUP NOW. If you want your team’s GM to destroy a team’s future, encourage him to make a deadline deal. This year’s trade deadline showed much promise and provided little satisfaction. Jarome Iginla not withstanding, Thomas Vanek, Curtis Lazar, and Eric Fehr were the biggest names to move which is easily the saddest sentence ever written about a trading period.
Each GM dialing a phone on March 1, 2017 had hardline valuations on his assets. His rivals aim to undervalue those same assets to get a better price. When the GM of your favorite team doesn’t budge on his price leaving an asset unmoved, or that same GM doesn’t pay the artifical market price for an asset you the fan covets, then the GM of your favorite team has “failed”. This is nonsense and does not reflect the reality of trading in a sports league.
Garth Snow has not made a trade since June 25, 2016. With that knowledge, the popular opinions had Snow swooping in and salvaging Matt Duchene to be the final piece of the puzzle to effectively guarantee a playoff berth, and playoff success, and world peace. Garth didn’t get Duchene. Or Landeskog, Vrbata, Iginla, Parenteau, anyone. Reports had Snow and Sakic talking frequently about the price of Duchene and all conversation bearing no fruit.
Joe Sakic, on the other hand, started the day off with AHL deals, followed by a befuddling return for Jarome Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis Iginla, then a resounding Meh deal with Montreal. Colorado had the biggest pieces to move and the most to gain yet Sakic couldn’t figure out how to negotiate the best deal for his club. Joe takes a lame duck dead last team into the summer without picks and prospects that make the Avalanche fanbase feel even the tiniest bit better about the coming rebuild.
The popular (populist, really) position is that Snow failed because he moved no one and acquired nothing. When the biggest pices moving are 4th liners, bottom pairing defensemen, and AHL nobodies, Snow had no imperative to budge on anything. If the price to acquire a franchise-altering player is that you must trade away players whow would benefit from the incoming player, there’s no point in makling the deal. That’s a Milbury move. Don’t be that guy. Suitable arguments against Snow’s inactivity is that he won’t part with his own draft picks due to loyalty nad that he doesn’t make calls but sit back and take them. Commendable but accurate. The lowest, most simplistic, and asinine judgement is that he “did nothing” or “didn’t try”. These are lazy and unprovable insinuations. From all accounts Snow actively went to Colorado looking to deal, but Sakic wouldn’t budge. Not Garth’s fault if Joe rejects a package of Michael Dal Colle, Jaroslav Halak, Nick Leddy, 3 first round picks, a timeshare in the Hamptons, and majority ownership in Sixpoint Brewery, Oyster Bay Brewing Company, and Blue Point Brewing Company. Fans do not influence rival GMs when it comes to asset valuation. It doesn’t happen.
What does happen is he Draft. The Draft floor is a different economic environment. The Vegas expansion draft will have completed, adding another team and another variable to the player stockyard. Team executives are face to face for the better part of a week and have time to conduct low stress conversations. Big Deals happen at the Draft, ones that can be measured without the impedning guillotine of 3pm EST. Garth Snow can walk the floor with an arsenal of healthy (or clearly injured) roster assets (re: Hamonic, Grabovski), clearer postions on contracts (Halak, Bailey), and better understanding of the market (is Joe Sakic really Ralph Wiggum?).
And Joe Sakic can realize he blew his chance to catch another GM in a vulnerable position, making him the mark. Duchene should be cheap if he’s healthy.