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06-28-2011, 12:47 AM
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LyleOdelein's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
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I'm about to get off on a huge rant here... but this blog just struck me the wrong way.

It's so easy to sit back and use imperfect analysis to lambast any sports team. It's especially and cherry pick rental trades which were made to fill short term needs and lament the loss of longer term assets spent to make those short term gains.

Let's use Moore for example:

When this deal was first made, the initial outrage was that it was too high of a price to pay for a player of Moore's caliber. Moore performed very well in his depth role and helped the team reach an unexpected amount of success that year. You'd figure that the criticism would fade...

Nope, the goalposts just get moved to continue the criticism. Even though the Moore deal was a rental deal that successfully met a short term need, the focus becomes "losing Moore for nothing". Fans start to think that the Habs have to sign Moore, otherwise that 2nd round pick wouldn't be merited if he became a longer term player for the Habs. He ends up signing for the Lighting and somehow people start chalking that deal up as an overpayment and one that was lost in hindsight.

Even though signing Moore as a free agent has no bearing on the original deal, it now gets rolled into analysis of the trade. The fact that a guy like Moore is replaceable at a lower cost (as we saw with Halpern this year) doesn't matter in this analysis. All that matters is a free agent who was acquired as a rental was lost.

Another example is the Wisniewski deal:

Markov's injury drastically impacted this team. Subban was going through some consistency issues and PG acquires Wiz for a 2nd and a conditional 5th rounder in 2012. The condition on the 5th round pick was that Wiz had to play in 50% of the Habs games and that the Habs make the playoffs, which tends to give a sense of the perspective with which the Habs viewed this deal as a short-term one to shore up the defense.

Wisniewski stays healthy, continues his fine year and helps the Habs make the playoffs. Hell, he ends up being one of the better rental acquisitions made this year (certainly a lot more beneficial than Chia's acquisition of Kaberle at a later date and a much higher price). Mission accomplished as far as the trade is concerned, right? I mean, a pick of moderate value (2nd) and a pick of little value (5th) seems like a fair price for half a season plus the playoffs of Wiz's impact this year, right?

Nope. Now we'll move the goalposts again and assess the deal based strictly on whether or not Wisniewski re-signs. Even though this completely ignores the context and actual exchange of value that the trade was based on, people will use this to determine whether or not it was a good deal.

Assessing short term deals based on free agency is illogical, but it doesn't end there:

- Criticizing PG for not qualifying Pouliot, but ignoring that D'agostini wasn't qualified is selective analysis at best.
- Lamenting the Desjardins/Ramo deal because Ramo is in Russia while completely ignoring the fact that Desjardins could very well find himself owned by another team as he is a UFA on July 1st and currently injured is once again another extremely selective take on things.
- Max Lapierre was good enough for depth duties on the Canucks, but wasn't good enough to stick with the Ducks (once again, ignored).
- The absurd complaint about losing an AHL coach, a capologist and an assistant coach "for nothing". Should the Habs have fought tooth and nail to have the league change the rules about compensation for coach/management transfers?

I'm not "stretching" to justify these moves at all. I just think it's fair to analyze trades within their context, rather than offering a limited take on them to make harsh criticism easier.

The most significant irony is that the blog is trying to make the connection between the great legacy of this franchise that is being stripped away as the process of "Senatorfication" (that's what I'll call it), takes place. The complicit implication is that us as fans of such a great franchise don't deserve to be shortchanged in this way (I mean, we do drink $10 beers and buy jerseys). I don't buy that at all. In fact, I think that some fans of this great franchise symbolically owe a little bit more to the team.

Maybe some of us should step down from our historical pedestal as fans and try to view the transactions that occur over time with an understanding as to why they were made at the time? Maybe we should try and recognize our self-annointed designation of being an knowledgeable fanbase and at least look at the whole picture, before spitting on the frame of it? Maybe we should get rid of our sense of entitlement and stop thinking that the current GM has to rob other GMs in every single transaction he makes. Maybe we should also realize that management in this era of the league is much different than it used to be and every team, every single team is impacted by free agency, the rental market and salary implications, no matter how ingenious we think their front office is.

Maybe then, we will realize that things aren't as terrible as a few poorly selected and misrepresented arguments might make them seem. Maybe then, we might deserve better.

Last edited by LyleOdelein: 06-28-2011 at 12:56 AM. Reason: added a "that" in the 3rd last paragraph (like anyone will notice)
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