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03-13-2013, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by ABasin View Post
I don't believe your argument is without merit, however is it filled to the brim with conjecture - Stewart might tail off, Shattenkirk wouldn't be as good here, there's a #11 pick who could be great, etc. What we currently know, gleaned from sheer 100% factual information, is this:

- There are three NHL players from the trade on the two teams.
- The two players the Avs gave to StL are playing terrific offensive hockey, to the tune of a combined 133 points per 82 game season.
- The two StL players are playing at least acceptable defense, as they are playing large regular minutes for Ken Hitchcock on a playoff-caliber team.
- The one Col player is playing a quality defensive game. If you wish to make the case that EJ is playing superior defense to the two StL players, fine.
- The one Col player is playing marginally offensively, to the tune of 12 points over a 82 game season.

These are all facts. No conjecture, no crystal ball. This is what we have today.

Given that, there's 120+ point difference in the two. I'll ask the question again: What kind of defense does EJ have to play, to make up 120 NHL points?

The answer IMO: There is none.

Let me draw you an analogy. An imperfect one (as all analogies are), but one that may lend some clarity to my point here. Who in your opinion is the finest defensive defenseman in the NHL? One who plays really quality defense but does little at the other end? Chara perhaps? Scuderi? Staal? I'll use the latter as the example (Chara an imperfect example, because Chara is a much more offensively productive defenseman than EJ), but feel free to put in who you feel is the best defensive defenseman in the NHL. Here's my question:

Would it be good or bad trade for Pittsburgh to trade Sidney Crosby (and his 130ish points) for Staal? Or for whatever defenseman you wish to call the best defensively? Would it be a good or bad trade for Pittsburgh to trade Sidney Crosby for Staal and Duncan Siemens? Because this is what a number of you are suggesting. And no, the analogy isn't perfect (Crosby is a generationally special player), but I believe it makes the point in a different way: 120 points is special and very valuable, whether it comes in the form of one player or two.

In the end, I see no way on earth anyone can call this trade anything but a landslide (at this point in time) for StL. The Avs traded away 130 points per season for a single quality defensive defenseman.

No single player's defense is that good.
These are all pretty unfair analogies, and the 120 point thing is just rhetoric. It's not a fair point to bring up when you're comparing two players combined point totals to one, and on a different and much better team, with a much better coach. It's not an apples for apples comparison, it's more like an apples for one grape from a different country comparison.

Shatty has played 133 games for the Blues, and Stewart 131. You can't combine an offensive defenseman's points, with an offensive wingers points in a combined 264 games, and say because they have more points than a two way defenseman in 109 games, it was a bad trade. That simply isn't fair.

Sure there's conjecture in my argument, but your premise that EJ can't be better isn't exactly based on proven fact either.

Your crosby analogy is a bit of a strawman too. Unintentional I'm sure, but no my position is not that trading a great offensive player for a great defensive player is a good trade. I think you're looking for things like stats, or analogies to prove why this was a bad deal, when really we haven't seen the end product from anyone yet. You can't define EJ's importance in a stat, and I can't quantify for you why I believe he is a better defenseman to build around then Shattenkirk.

Stewart is two months into a good season, following up an entire disappointing season. Shattenkirk looks good, but it's still early in his career. Remember how in love everyone was with Fowler a couple years ago. Even Liles looked to be a great defenseman in the making playing behind Blake early in his career. Not saying that Shatty will turn out like those guys, but defenseman can have their ups and downs early in their career. EJ could become a 40 point guy with the right partner and the right coach with a system that knows how to actually use the defenseman.

Or maybe EJ, Stewart, and Shatty stay exactly at the level they are now, and Siemens turns out to be mediocre. The trade would be a loss in hindsight, but it wouldn't be a horribly one sided deal because EJ's presence and stability for the D unit is very important, and a 30 goal power forward like Stewart is great to have but not exactly a Hart trophy winner.

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