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05-10-2004, 01:19 PM
Drake1588's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Northern Virginia
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One obstacle in this proposal is the underlying motivation. The proposal is driven by a successful pairing of Briere with Heatley at the Worlds... so some want to talk trade. It is not difficult to understand why Atlanta makes a trade, but look at it from Buffalo's point of view, look to Buffalo's depth. Teams generally make trades out of surplus to fill gaps. Apples for oranges.

In Buffalo's case, they are not overflowing with skilled scoring centers. Briere is cheap, productive and just what Buffalo needed. After Drury, the talent pool at center takes a real dip. Brown is now in SJ, and Briere is a rather key cog in the machine in Buffalo. So they need to bring back a center if they deal one of their more productive centers away. So we're down to discussing apples for apples proposals, trades that so rarely fit team needs.

Why do these teams make a deal? Well it's easy from Atlanta's perspective -- the key player in question has chemistry with their star winger. From Buffalo's perspective, the likely centerpiece is Marc Savard, plus something extra. Now while Savard is coming off a very good season, cut short by injuries, one could make a convincing argument that he has a checkered history. One cannot say with confidence that in a new season, in a new environment, he can be counted on to produce at a 60-point pace once again. Maybe he will, maybe he won't, but Buffalo would be dealing what they consider a sure thing and accepting some risk.

So from their standpoint, I do not believe it makes sense unless that "something extra" from Atlanta is significant. Atlanta would resist adding much more than a third or perhaps second rounder, and I think a trade like this falls apart at that point. You have to find a way to convince Buffalo management that the team improves. Briere for Savard and a 3rd/2nd does not really do that.

Apples for apples trades rarely work, chiefly because it is not a simple matter to come up with a swap that measurably improves each side when the centerpieces are similar player types.

What I gather Buffalo really needs is a trade for a bruiser, a Denis Gauthier, for example, though I am not certain what assets from the farm or the forward corps would fit the bill.

Last edited by Drake1588: 05-10-2004 at 01:23 PM.
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