Monday, March 2, 2015

Trade Deadline Fail....Or...

Jarmo finally gets rid of the other guy's players
At the trade deadline this afternoon the Columbus Blue Jackets traded the booming shot on the right point of their power play for a second round pick, a prospect (decent), and a player (below average).  Now Jackets fans should familiarize themselves with the opposition putting heavy pressure on the power play points, without the fear that they would wade into one of James Wisniewski's slap shots, and thus be reduced to a quivering heap on the ice.  That aspect of our power play is gone, and we don't have a replacement for it.  We never had that quality before Wiz arrived, and we don't have it now.  This is not a good hockey trade, and the organization is weaker for it.  This is two trade deadlines in a row with Jarmo getting absolutely schooled on a deadline trade by his west coast counterparts.

The Clarkson trade I can see.  That's a hockey trade, where both organizations benefit.  The Leopold trade was the right thing to do anyway, and his daughter's letter was the icing on the cake.  Once again, that was a hockey trade.  Jordan Leopold came in when we had a bunch of D-men hurt, and he provided good service.  He was then frequently scratched, but handled himself like a pro.  We owed him the destination that made sense for him and his family, and the Wild was that destination.

The Wisniewski trade doesn't make sense.  Why get rid of him now, for less than he was worth?  Could you have gotten more in the summer?  Or do you think this draft is loaded enough clear to the bottom of the second round (doubtful if its THAT loaded) that it's worth it for an extra second round pick this year.  It's hard to figure.
Mike Reilly, the alternative explanation
The only thing that I can figure out, is that once Minnesota is out of the NCAA Men's Hockey tournament, Mike Reilly is eligible to go pro.  And chances are you need to have an NHL spot if you are going to get him to sign, otherwise, he waits till the end of summer and becomes an unrestricted free agent.  When you think of Reilly, you think of a Kris Letang kind of defenseman, not real big but incredibly mobile.  He has 6 goals and 31 assists for Minnesota this season.  Even if you give him a generous contract, it is going to be far less than Wisniewski's.  If he is ready to be a mobile scoring defenseman at the NHL level, than this may have ended up being a good move.  I think that is a pretty big leap at this point, but they have seen this guy in development camp for a few years, and have scouted him for sure.  So maybe it is Mike Reilly time.

James Wisniewski has always played hard for the Blue Jackets.  He has done the things that he was brought here to do, and the flaws in his game were known when he came.  I wish Wiz well on the West Coast, and at this point I hope he is the latest Blue Jacket to be the 'last piece' to a Cup winning team.

I like the Cam Atkinson signing for two main reasons.  First, is because he is a good player, and he's going to score some goals in the NHL.  Second, because he serves to keep our young talent down in the developmental leagues until they can prove they can be better than Cam.  If we have young talent coming up that can prove they're better than Cam, then that's a good thing for us.  So I like that signing as part of trade deadline day.

On the home front, the CBJ are faced with ferocious tanking all around them.  I guess we just need to keep up with the Joneses if we are to preserve an advantageous draft position.

Ultimately, there is one other message that Wiz's trade deadline deal sends.  And that is the message that this year's results do not meet standards.  The injuries are vast, and debilitating.  There is a fine line between a reason and an excuse.  But there have been long stretches where it is hard to argue that the guys on the ice have played well, in spite of the injuries.  So the message is that the result is unacceptable, and that a price must be paid, no matter what.  In that regard, Wiz may be taking one for the team again.  But this is certainly not how we want to spend next year.



  1. Great point of view. Thanks. I was trying to make sense of the Wiz trade. It's reassuring that you have the same view as me, not a hockey trade, makes little sense... Just deal with it and move on.

  2. It was Wiz who helped me make sense of the senseless as the Mayan calendar shifted and Scott Howson somehow was still employed. Now, he's gone. I will be forever bitter.

    Then there's the Atkinson signing. Will someone come out and just say that he's not a great fit? He desperately wants to be a showhorse on a team of workhorses, but he's a smurf minus the power legs of Martin St. Louis. I hope that the new contract was to tie him down in the hopes of getting something more suitable for him in the next round of trading.

    Ah well, Jarmo's the latest genius. We all should trust him because...we've been told that we should, and that's why.

    Guess that's all that I can say about this deadline. The half-ass play since December warranted much more.

  3. We talk about Jarmo making these trades, but doesn't Davidson have any veto power over moves? Doesn't Jarmo consult with him and maybe even Priest before these moves are made?

  4. If we played the entire game on the power play I might agree with what you said about Wiz. The fact is we do not. The fact is he is not a good defensive defensemen. Because you think we should have gotten more for him (and Jarmo got schooled) does not mean teams were offering more. Given Wiz's age he is likely at his peak in value now, not a year from now, certainly not 2 years from now.