Between a rock and a hard place
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04-29-2009, 11:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Sure, we could use another star player -- but blowing up the team and sucking-and-drafting is not much more likely to generate a Cup contender than building slowly and then adding a star player afterwards. There's plenty of teams that tried that route and failed. The strategy may result in spectacular success... and spectacular failure. It's a much bigger gamble.
And that's my point: going after high picks is a big gamble, one that's highly likely to fail, and it needs to be approached with that in mind. I'm not looking for a guarantee, but I want to emphasize that swinging for the fences in this way is a low-percentage move, one that maybe you need to make, but one that's most likely to net you a good-but-not-great player.
It may also not be possible most years because the players are not available or, if they are, the team with those picks will be unwilling to deal it. Which means that most likely you need to take your chances in a year where the high pick yields a player that's not a surefire prospect, or else you pay a team-crushing high price for the surefire star.
Trading for an established star is much safer, if more expensive. The likelihood of getting someone willing to trade a star player is about the same as someone willing to trade a high pick in a year where that pick may yield a surefire star.
You're presenting this as "trade for a high pick and draft a superstar". I'm not against it in principle, but it is nowhere near as simple as you make it sound.
Let's put on a concrete example... the last time I know of that the Habs made a serious pitch for a high pick, it was the Kovalchuk pick. IIRC, the asking price was a package that included high picks (including the Komisarek pick if I'm not mistaken), Jose Theodore, and Andrei Markov, no less. Had they made that trade, the Habs would have had a superstar forward... and yet, probably be further from being a Cup contender now.
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