Thread: Fire Feaster?
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03-01-2013, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Calculon View Post
Hmm, I forget about that one. But I'd still hesitate to base a whole lot of anything from that move specifically because while did Burke demonstrate terrific acumen in that transaction, at the same time all he really did was take advantage of a desperate and panicking GM in Darryl Sutter.

The circumstances around that trade can't be ignored. Darryl was feeling a lot of pressure from ownership given a) four straight first round playoff exits and a general inability to deliver on his promises b) the third system switch in his tenure wasn't working c) he had traded that years 1st round pick for a ill-fitting Jokinen and d) the team was out of the playoffs and mired in a multi-game losing streak (that would reach a total of 9 games).

It was obvious that Sutter's attempt to bring back tough-nosed defense first hockey was failing and that the team simply did not have the depth to score enough goals. The Flames had few if any prospects in the system that could alleviate that. No valuable first round pick either. And on the roster, the only player with the value high enough to generate a return that could at least patch the offensive holes that didn't have a NTC was Phaneuf. Sutter was desperate to save his job and turn the ship around - it's not hard to see especially since just a couple of months prior, Burke had inquired as to availability of Phanuef, only to be rebuffed in the strongest of terms.

Furthermore, the timing of the trade can't be ignored either. Moving a 6.5M contract with term is very hard to do mid-season. The amount of trading partners is significantly limited, as opposed to a trade in the off-season, where teams have more leeway in taking on salary or shed cap if needed. The only team at that time that was looking to make major changes was Toronto, which was why they were the first and allegedly, only team Sutter called.

I'd consider the Phaneuf deal an outlier, but it still shows Burke knows how utilize leverage to achieve the best possible return.
Don't underestimate that this is a valuable skill.

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