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(HFNHL) Everything old is new again: Columbus / Washington trade rewrites history

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03-16-2010, 01:24 PM
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Ohio Jones
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(HFNHL) Everything old is new again: Columbus / Washington trade rewrites history

On the heels of last night's announcement of a trade with Dallas which saw Columbus acquire winger Scottie Upshall and defenceman Roman Hamrlik, Blue Jackets GM Doug Emerson announced follow-up trade with his former club, the Washington Capitals.

Washington receives Hamrlik, forward John Mitchell, and prospect centerman Adam Henrique. Columbus receives defenceman Trevor Daley and its own 1st round pick in 2010.

Henrique was originally sent from Washington to Columbus as part of a package that included Kirill Petrov in incoming GM Josh Howell's first major move (where he acquired veterans Martin St. Louis and Scott Hannan). That deal was partly reversed when the Jackets sent Petrov back to Washington as part of the package for Ed Jovanovski. Henrique is now another piece Howell has re-acquired for his farm system.

Columbus' first-round pick was sent to Philadelphia at the Entry Draft in a swap for their 2009 first-rounder, which netted the Jackets defenceman C-O Roussel. It's unclear what happened to the pick at that point (anyone?), but it eventually landed in Washington, where Emerson was happy to re-acquire it.

"(Henrique) is developing into a well-rounded prospect", Emerson acknowledged. "We hate to part with him. Add in (Derek) Stepan, (Brendan) Smith and (Maxime) Sauve, and we've taken a huge bite out of our prospect depth this season. Hopefully the picks we've acquired can help us recoup some of that depth."

In the process, Emerson shaves off nearly $3 million in salary -- an urgent priority for a team hovering on the edge of receivership.

"Our revenues haven't been what we'd expected when we started the season," Emerson admitted. "We've got a winning team, we're close to a sell-out every night, but it's hard in this league to support more than $45 million in salaries. Endorsements will help keep us in the black, and hopefully so will a long playoff run, but at the end of the day we have to make responsible financial decisions, and we believe this trade reflects that."

Daley's youth and speed will be a welcome addition to the Blue Jackets blueline, where youngsters Mark Giordano, Ladislav Smid and Carl Gunnarsson are offset by veterans Ed Jovanovski, Marek Zidlicky and uber-greybeard Rob Blake. However, it's unclear whether Daley will be staying for long, as rumours suggest Emerson is already in talks to flip the defender, as he did with Hamrlik just 24 hours before.

"Boy you guys just love to make stuff up, don't you?" Emerson quipped. "He's a talented young player with great wheels and good puck movement, on a terrific contract. I'd have to receive a tremendous offer to part with him."

All that may be true, however Emerson -- or "Trader Doug" as he has come to be known by Jackets fans this season -- seems to have taken on the mantle of the HFNHL's most prolific horse-trader.

"Well, that sounds ignominious," Emerson chuckled at the suggestion. "Fans and the media seem to love the excitement of trades, but I can tell you the players, the coaches, they prefer some stability. Working on systems, getting chemistry with your linemates, building friendships... look at how Mike Fisher, David Booth and Manny Malhotra have struggled since we acquired them earlier this year. Changes take a while to process - eventually you have to go with what you've got and give the guys time to gel. Fortunately, I think we're very close to the team we'll be seeing in Columbus for the next couple of seasons."

None of which, to this reporter's ear, is a denial that Daley is on the block. We'll see what develops the next day or two before we decide if "Trader Doug" truly is turning over a new leaf.


Last edited by Ohio Jones: 03-16-2010 at 01:54 PM.
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03-16-2010, 01:44 PM
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In other news, Emerson confirmed that the team had signed the following players to contract extensions:
  • L/RW Alex Burrows
  • C/W Mike Fisher
  • LW David Booth
  • L/RW Dustin Penner
  • RW Chris Thorburn
  • D Ladislav Smid
  • D Kurt Sauer

Said Emerson, "We're truly committed to putting a core group of players in place, and keeping them here. We believe these moves signal to our fans - and to our players - our commitment to winning, both now and going forward."

You would have had to be listening very closely to hear Emerson mutter under his breath, "Rob Blake had better f***ing retire this summer!"


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03-16-2010, 01:53 PM
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[*]C/W Mike Fisher
Mike Fisher on the wing? Now that's one I've never seen listed. He's been tried there once or twice this year for the first time I can ever remember, but having him listed as C/W would be a new one to me. Sens fans have been calling for it forever because Fisher has the tools to be a power winger, but apparently he's not comfortable there at all. His lack of positional flexibility was even cited as the reason he probably had no shot at Team Canada.

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03-16-2010, 01:56 PM
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Mike Fisher on the wing? Now that's one I've never seen listed.
I compiled and sent Matthew about a dozen references to Fisher playing on either side of center on multiple occasions with Ottawa and discussions of his versatility in being able to play either wing being a asset in his being considered for the Canadian Olympic team.

So for HFNHL purposes, that means he's a C/W.

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03-16-2010, 02:00 PM
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I compiled and sent Matthew about a dozen references to Fisher playing on either side of center on multiple occasions with Ottawa and discussions of his versatility in being able to play either wing being a asset in his being considered for the Canadian Olympic team.

So for HFNHL purposes, that means he's a C/W.
Hmm. They tried him there a bit when Regin made the team and when Matt Cullen was acquired, but my impression was he was always moved back to center because it didn't work. Granted I haven't seen as many Senators games this year as usual, but that still surprises me.

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03-16-2010, 02:10 PM
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It's good to see your mistakes come full circle. The only thing worse than admitting you made a mistake is not being able to fix it. I'm glad we had the opportunity.

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03-16-2010, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Ohio Jones View Post
I compiled and sent Matthew about a dozen references to Fisher playing on either side of center on multiple occasions with Ottawa and discussions of his versatility in being able to play either wing being a asset in his being considered for the Canadian Olympic team.

So for HFNHL purposes, that means he's a C/W.
Are articles discussing a player playing a certain position good enough for a position change? I thought it had to be a player profile page from a major site to get it done?

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03-16-2010, 04:32 PM
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Are articles discussing a player playing a certain position good enough for a position change? I thought it had to be a player profile page from a major site to get it done?
I can't speak for Matthew's decision making process, but my sense has been that common sense rules the day. If major sources refer in unambiguous terms to a player's ability to play multiple positions, and they are backed up by other major sources, that can be taken as sufficient evidence to support the change, even if it's not part of the player's original position description. So for example there are a number of players that waymoresports lists as C, but in the description it says "versatile, can play any forward position". That's been sufficient for as long as Matthew's been simming, particularly f it's supported by other sources saying the same thing.

In this case I provided multiple reputable websites and articles (including one from nhl.com) all making specific reference to Fisher being able to play one or another wing position (or both) in addition to center.

In cases where I've only been able to find one or two such references, I've generally left it alone. (For example, for years Jere Lehtinen was listed as both LW and RW, but in the past two seasons sites have listed him only as RW. While there are still occasional references to his being a "switch-hitter", I felt they were to few and to ambiguous to make a strong case. So RW he stays.) Fisher's references were unambiguous, and all current to the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, and at the end of the day they sufficiently satisfied Matthew's burden of proof.

I'd say "your mileage may vary", but I really don't think it will: if you can present a substantial enough case for a position change, it is likely to be accepted.


(To be honest, this isn't the topic that I expected would generate discussion from this thread -- I thought someone might be tempted to challenge my claim to the dubious distinction of the HFNHL trading crown. Guess not.

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03-16-2010, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck09 View Post
Are articles discussing a player playing a certain position good enough for a position change? I thought it had to be a player profile page from a major site to get it done?
We have precedent in the past where we've allowed position changes based on player descriptions from the major sites. So for example if a player is listed as a LW, but in the player description it says 'can play all three forward positions' we've allowed the description to count.

However - these have to be from major sites (and not from the fantasy listings or descriptions) and there has to be concrete evidence from those sites that they are playing that position. And it has to be a recent description, not one from 2003.

In Doug's case, and a for one or two others this year there has been enough evidence to change a position (although more times than not, there isn't). And Jeff, I think you and I've been through the search already this year for certain players determining their eligibility - Doug showed from major sources, and minor (but still reputable) that Fisher has played those positions recently (even if it was poorly)

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03-16-2010, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Ohio Jones View Post
I can't speak for Matthew's decision making process, but my sense has been that common sense rules the day. If major sources refer in unambiguous terms to a player's ability to play multiple positions, and they are backed up by other major sources, that can be taken as sufficient evidence to support the change, even if it's not part of the player's original position description. So for example there are a number of players that waymoresports lists as C, but in the description it says "versatile, can play any forward position". That's been sufficient for as long as Matthew's been simming, particularly f it's supported by other sources saying the same thing.

In this case I provided multiple reputable websites and articles (including one from nhl.com) all making specific reference to Fisher being able to play one or another wing position (or both) in addition to center.

In cases where I've only been able to find one or two such references, I've generally left it alone. (For example, for years Jere Lehtinen was listed as both LW and RW, but in the past two seasons sites have listed him only as RW. While there are still occasional references to his being a "switch-hitter", I felt they were to few and to ambiguous to make a strong case. So RW he stays.) Fisher's references were unambiguous, and all current to the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, and at the end of the day they sufficiently satisfied Matthew's burden of proof.

I'd say "your mileage may vary", but I really don't think it will: if you can present a substantial enough case for a position change, it is likely to be accepted.


(To be honest, this isn't the topic that I expected would generate discussion from this thread -- I thought someone might be tempted to challenge my claim to the dubious distinction of the HFNHL trading crown. Guess not.
Sorry for hijacking your thread. I sure as hell would have something to contribute on the question of who is the league's trading champion, but I figured I was best side-stepping that.

My only concern about the 'common sense' rules the day approach is that I really don't think it should be left to Matt K (or any sim guy) to judge common sense. Not that I don't trust Matt's judgment (the Northwest division wishes he had less), but I would be very wary of adding an extra responsibility to his sim duties. I don't think he should really have to make a judgment call on whether a collection of articles or citations is definitive proof or not.

It is to some extent a slippery slope. I could collect a few links talking about Brooks Laich playing defence, because he has filled in there a couple times this year when injuries hit, but that would obviously be disingenuous. Kevin Bieksa and Kris Letang off my roster both played up front when injuries hit and the cap got crunched too for example. Players can play out of position in the HFNHL sim (at least they used to be able to), which we always figured had some detrimental effect on their effectiveness. The same would happen if Laich played defence in the NHL though, while he can fill in there if need be, his effectiveness would decline.

All of that is to say, while I have no doubt that any series of articles could be assembled to make a case for a lot of players to change position, I do think the above is a fairly strong argument in favour of needing one of our classic list of links to show a player at multiple positions. I've actually always been pretty impressed at how TSN in fact updates their positions in their player profiles. Matt Cullen had been stuck at center for me for a while, but recently was changed to C/LW, I can only assume because in Ottawa he is now playing the wing. Their old write-ups were always terrible, but the positions were pretty good.

I guess that's more of a conceptual comment than really one about Fisher. I only noticed Fisher because Fisher has always been frustratingly un-versatile positionally. This year is the first season they have even experimented with him on the wing after a decade of fans hoping for it, and it didn't seem to work anyways.

Signed,
The guy with Eric Staal playing left wing for the last half decade.

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03-16-2010, 07:07 PM
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Sorry for hijacking your thread.
No apologies necessary - it's a legit question, and if you didn't raise it someone else would have.

Quote:
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The same would happen if Laich played defence in the NHL though, while he can fill in there if need be, his effectiveness would decline.
Switching a player between forward and defence doesn't work with this version of the sim because of the unbalanced effect of the offensive ratings. But yes, generally you're right.

Quote:
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I only noticed Fisher because Fisher has always been frustratingly un-versatile positionally. This year is the first season they have even experimented with him on the wing after a decade of fans hoping for it, and it didn't seem to work anyways.
It's interesting to hear you say that. According to source s- and indeed the reports of several of your fellow Ottawa fans on these boards - he's played both RW and LW on a number of occasions (and more than just a one- or two-game stint) over the last few years, and never have I heard his performance described as sub-par. On the contrary, when those line combinations haven't worked, it's generally been perceived as the failure of the player stepping into the middle (e.g. Vermette). So from what I've been given to understand, Fisher has generally been returned to C, not because he makes a poor winger, but because he's a better center than their other center options (at times including Spezza!).

If it makes those of you with concerns feel any better, Fisher will be returned to center following this season.

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Signed,
The guy with Eric Staal playing left wing for the last half decade.
Heh - nothing like pointing out one's own glass house before someone else does!

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03-17-2010, 12:21 PM
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With this trade, the Blue Jackets' League-appointed auditor reports that the team has got its pro payroll under $50 million for this season, and is on track to finish over $1,000,000 in the black. That is before counting endorsements and possible playoff revenues, so coming out of a series of trades this year, the team is finally in better shape financially.

"It's still a precarious situation," indicated a spokesperson from Beane/Counter Associates. "They are still losing money, just not as quickly. And the Blue Jackets have committed to several big-ticket salaries for the coming years that threaten to push their salary commitment back over the $50 million threshold. The League will continue to monitor the situation, and in particular the activities of the team in the upcoming Free Agency period."

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