Thread: Confirmed with Link: Gagne Would Only Waive To Tampa
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07-20-2010, 08:03 AM
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It's nice and all that the players know Holmgren and the administration have their best interest at heart, even beyond the six-figure paycheques they receive every other Thursday and all the perks of being a professional athlete. But Paul Holmgren's job is to make his franchise as strong as it can possibly be, no? After every other deal he has made this off-season, whether I agreed or not (mostly the latter), at least I could say that he hadn't weakened the roster. Well, now Paul Holmgren has weakened the roster without any significant benefit. It's arguable, to say the least, that Walker + a 4th is better than just waiving Gagné and pocketing the full $5.25 mil cap space.

But warm-hearted Paul Holmgren couldn't do that to a longstanding veteran of this proud franchise, could he? Better to just latch onto a mediocre D who eats into the cap freedom and a pick in a round that doesn't require setting the alarm the night before.

Anyone with at least half a brain could see where the various off-season deals were leading: a position of weakness. Need help on the 3rd D pairing? Let's trade for, not sign, one defenseman with a large cap hit and sign another at a total cap hit of $5 million. Getting close to the cap? Doesn't matter; let's sign a goon! So then, to the surprise of no one, Holmgren targets a player with an NTC to move and allows the player to dictate where he will go. Very nice for Mr. and Mrs. Gagné and all the little Gagnés; this will warm my heart in February when this team is going into their usual late-winter swoon, probably as a result of the single most pressing need of the offseason – goaltending – not being addressed. But at least we have enough "warriors" on this squad!! Because that's what wins games, you know. How on earth did Holmgren come to the MENSA-like realization that our warrior quotient was a bit south of where it needs to be to equate to an additional two wins in the Stanley Cup finals?????

I just cannot rationalize that, even with zero leverage, Holmgren couldn't have received from TBay a) a higher draft pick than 4th in what's anticipated to be, according to the gurus, one of the weakest drafts in years, and/or b) a player who wouldn't eat ONE POINT SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS of the cap space that was sought in dealing Gagné in the first place. Add to that the anti-logic of adding a third defenseman this off-season, meaning at least $1 million will have to be sent to the AHL. And what's the over/under for dates that Holmgren will try to bring Walker back up through waivers?

I just can't wait for what's next. Giroux for Orr? Richards for Probert?

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