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ANA -- STL -- Your Team (if you want Barret Jackman)

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06-01-2009, 01:19 AM
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
Anaheim fans who want to work within this concept: Try and think of a top-6 forward you want from another team besides the Blues and ask yourselves, would that team trade that player for Jackman straight up? Jackman obviously has the established value to return a top-6 forward on his own, that isn't debatable. And his contract is pretty straightforward and shouldn't mess up anyone's cap if they're subtracting a roster forward of similar value. That part of the equation is much more about finding the right trading partner and situation than it is about debating the value of Jackman.
This is exactly my issue. If Pronger goes for only 2 pieces, the caliber of a top-6 forward I want is very high. Too high to be worth Jackman straight up from a 3rd team.

edit: to put it into perspective: I'm not too familiar with the Blues forwards. But I don't think I'd accept Pronger for Perron + 1st (it's close, but I don't think that highly of him). I would accept Berglund/Oshie + 1st, and give up a little from Anaheim if necessary.

So I'll ask Blues fans this: would you trade Perron 1 for 1 for Jackman (if Jackman wasn't on your team)? If not, then I doubt the hypothetical top-6 guy is good enough for me to make that trade.


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06-01-2009, 01:21 AM
  #27
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Just to touch on the point of Pronger's value then versus now,I want to point out a few things.

- Pronger demanded out of EDM. That lowers his value. He has expressed no desire to leave Anaheim.

- EDM apparently really wanted Lupul, a local boy, who fresh off a great playoffs looked like he may become a 35-40 goal guy.

- Other teams (if you believe reports) fell through due to who the Oilers asked for. Example: Toronto wouldn't send them Steen. Thus Anaheim made the best offer, doesn't mean it was Pronger's actual value.

Now, I personally do agree that 4 years of Pronger has much more value than 1 year left. However, some teams may actually see it as a good thing in regards to the salary cap. 6.25M is below current market value for Pronger, but with the cap rumored to decrease next summer, they might be glad to not be on the hook for more years at that price. Especially if they are a contender or close-to-contender right now with a few highly-priced players or young budding stars who will need new deals in 1-2 years.

Another item is that Pronger has won a Cup now and proved you can count on him in the playoffs and his Oilers' run was not just a good year/fluke.

So all things considered, I think under the right circumstances, to the right team, Pronger can still be worth a young top-6 or top prospect and a first rounder or so.

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06-01-2009, 01:59 AM
  #28
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Originally Posted by snarktacular View Post
This is exactly my issue. If Pronger goes for only 2 pieces, the caliber of a top-6 forward I want is very high. Too high to be worth Jackman straight up from a 3rd team.

edit: to put it into perspective: I'm not too familiar with the Blues forwards. But I don't think I'd accept Pronger for Perron + 1st (it's close, but I don't think that highly of him). I would accept Berglund/Oshie + 1st, and give up a little from Anaheim if necessary.

So I'll ask Blues fans this: would you trade Perron 1 for 1 for Jackman (if Jackman wasn't on your team)? If not, then I doubt the hypothetical top-6 guy is good enough for me to make that trade.
You're not asking for a top-6, you're asking for a young top-3. Which is ok that you're asking for it. If I were Anaheim I'd ask for as much as I could get. One thing I'm saying is, I think this is too much value for Pronger from the Blues' standpoint, and they should definitely risk someone in the league will be a taker on that who also happens to be on Pronger's shortlist.

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06-01-2009, 02:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varius View Post
Just to touch on the point of Pronger's value then versus now,I want to point out a few things.

- Pronger demanded out of EDM. That lowers his value. He has expressed no desire to leave Anaheim.

- EDM apparently really wanted Lupul, a local boy, who fresh off a great playoffs looked like he may become a 35-40 goal guy.

- Other teams (if you believe reports) fell through due to who the Oilers asked for. Example: Toronto wouldn't send them Steen. Thus Anaheim made the best offer, doesn't mean it was Pronger's actual value.

Now, I personally do agree that 4 years of Pronger has much more value than 1 year left. However, some teams may actually see it as a good thing in regards to the salary cap. 6.25M is below current market value for Pronger, but with the cap rumored to decrease next summer, they might be glad to not be on the hook for more years at that price. Especially if they are a contender or close-to-contender right now with a few highly-priced players or young budding stars who will need new deals in 1-2 years.

Another item is that Pronger has won a Cup now and proved you can count on him in the playoffs and his Oilers' run was not just a good year/fluke.

So all things considered, I think under the right circumstances, to the right team, Pronger can still be worth a young top-6 or top prospect and a first rounder or so.
Your final paragraph... is what I have them getting... a young top-6 forward and a first rounder in exchange for Pronger. If you agree with that, then who could that be... who would you fill in as the 3d team and player Anaheim gets?

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06-01-2009, 02:26 AM
  #30
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Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
Your final paragraph... is what I have them getting... a young top-6 forward and a first rounder in exchange for Pronger. If you agree with that, then who could that be... who would you fill in as the 3d team and player Anaheim gets?
The first rounder is not guaranteed though; although I do suspect only a few teams would be able to sign Pronger and the Blues are amongst them. Additionally, the Ducks lose a first-rounder if they re-sign Pronger next summer (where in trading him to other teams, that may not be a condition; they would get value for him and still have the same shot at re-signing him).

My other issue, which I feel is the same as many other's here, is what level of young top-6 guy could be had for Jackman? I think Jackman is a solid Dman and would never mind him as a Duck, but I'm not sure how high his value is compared to a young top-6 forward that the Ducks would want for Pronger.

Lastly, this team giving up the young gun for Jackman, wouldn't they just want Pronger instead by adding a little more? Unless they are right against the cap or not ready to compete (and feel they have no chance to extend him), I'd think they would rather Pronger > Jackman.

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06-01-2009, 09:55 AM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
You're not asking for a top-6, you're asking for a young top-3. Which is ok that you're asking for it. If I were Anaheim I'd ask for as much as I could get. One thing I'm saying is, I think this is too much value for Pronger from the Blues' standpoint, and they should definitely risk someone in the league will be a taker on that who also happens to be on Pronger's shortlist.
Young-top 6/top 3 is a semantics thing. Those guys are top-6 players now, not top 3 IMO. But the prospect's potential (even if not completely likely) has to be top 3 (instead of top-6 potential, which is what I think Jackman can net). That's what I want. The term "Young top 6" includes both types to me.

It may well be too much from St. Louis' point of view, but that's my point that I don't think your offer is quite enough.

Meeting in the middle might be something like the lower type top-6 you're thinking of with a guaranteed 1st pick from St. Louis, and maybe a throw-in prospect or something.

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06-01-2009, 06:45 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by Varius View Post
The first rounder is not guaranteed though; although I do suspect only a few teams would be able to sign Pronger and the Blues are amongst them. Additionally, the Ducks lose a first-rounder if they re-sign Pronger next summer (where in trading him to other teams, that may not be a condition; they would get value for him and still have the same shot at re-signing him).

My other issue, which I feel is the same as many other's here, is what level of young top-6 guy could be had for Jackman? I think Jackman is a solid Dman and would never mind him as a Duck, but I'm not sure how high his value is compared to a young top-6 forward that the Ducks would want for Pronger.

Lastly, this team giving up the young gun for Jackman, wouldn't they just want Pronger instead by adding a little more? Unless they are right against the cap or not ready to compete (and feel they have no chance to extend him), I'd think they would rather Pronger > Jackman.
Could a top-6 forward be gained for the #15 overall pick, Brendan Mikkelson and a Kent Huskins equivalent? You yourself offered that very package for Jackman a few months ago.

If the value of that package couldn't get a top-6 forward, why not? I feel like you guys have in mind a very few selected young but established high upside players, maybe you all should draft a list of all the players in the league who fit that bill, there can't be that many of them.

Btw, for point of reference, I was looking at old Jackman threads from within the last year, and a Canes fan offered Erik Cole straight up, and nobody freaked out over that value or even argued it.

Without converting it into a roster forward, that's the equivalent of two first rounders, a fairly solid defensive prospect and a 5-6 roster d-man worth of value. Maybe it's not enough for Pronger, especially with you guys wanting to put no conditions on any of the picks (e.g., he could just return in UFA to Anaheim a few months later since he likes SoCal and the Ducks are probably on his short list also). But if it's not enough total value, the Blues aren't your partner. They'd be smarter to wait for UFA and risk him getting traded to one of his short list teams and extending.


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06-01-2009, 09:38 PM
  #33
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How about Jackman, Steen and a 2nd for Pronger.

A defensive pairing of Pietrangelo and Pronger sounds good to me.

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06-01-2009, 10:00 PM
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How about Jackman, Steen and a 2nd for Pronger.

A defensive pairing of Pietrangelo and Pronger sounds good to me.
Believe me, I wouldn't have gone through a 3d team if I thought Anaheim was interested in a defenseman as the main piece back. You could make that deal a 2d guaranteed and a 1st conditional (90% chance) if Pronger extends. It's just, I've been trying to pay attention to what Anaheim is saying they want, and that's why I'm trying to get it to them via a 3d team. But, as no 3d teams are stepping forward in this thread, maybe it won't happen.

Cant help but notice that Blackhawks and Isles fans are starting separate threads trying to acquire Jackman. Today I looked through some recent-past Jackman proposal threads and saw plenty of offers that IMO represent Jackman's value enough that we can get the objective of this 3-way met, including the one I cited to Varius. Anaheim's fans are the ones rejecting the deal pre-emptively without knowing who these potential 3d team returns are, not rejecting specific players. We're arguing about 1st liners vs. top-6 forwards but it's a bit abstract.

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06-01-2009, 10:27 PM
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Post #23 might just be the longest post-response I have ever seen on these boards.

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06-01-2009, 10:36 PM
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Post #23 might just be the longest post-response I have ever seen on these boards.
Haha, I'm excited for you, you pushed new horizons and new life experiences are typically good.

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06-01-2009, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
Could a top-6 forward be gained for the #15 overall pick, Brendan Mikkelson and a Kent Huskins equivalent? You yourself offered that very package for Jackman a few months ago.

If the value of that package couldn't get a top-6 forward, why not? I feel like you guys have in mind a very few selected young but established high upside players, maybe you all should draft a list of all the players in the league who fit that bill, there can't be that many of them.
I don't think that package I offered for Jackman would get the young forward I'd like if moving Pronger.

To list a few guys I'd want (not that their teams would likely move them):

- Loui Eriksson
- Milan Lucic
- Andrew Ladd
- Wojtek Wolski
- David Booth
- Mikkel Boedker

If any of those teams actually moved any of those guys, I don't think Jackman could get it done.

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06-02-2009, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Varius View Post
I don't think that package I offered for Jackman would get the young forward I'd like if moving Pronger.

To list a few guys I'd want (not that their teams would likely move them):

- Loui Eriksson
- Milan Lucic
- Andrew Ladd
- Wojtek Wolski
- David Booth
- Mikkel Boedker

If any of those teams actually moved any of those guys, I don't think Jackman could get it done.
Bolded part is why I asked and that's why you guys should frankly not move Pronger and just hope he extends with Anaheim and take the risk you'll get nothing for him. You already sense none of the guys you want are going to be moved by their teams, because they're young and coveted for a reason. You will not get the value you hope for unless you take advantage of a team. Now, that could happen. Happens all the time. But teams like the Blues (who legitimately think he's a decent chance to sign if he elects UFA) can't subsidize that hope by overpaying.

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06-02-2009, 02:24 AM
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Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
Bolded part is why I asked and that's why you guys should frankly not move Pronger and just hope he extends with Anaheim and take the risk you'll get nothing for him. You already sense none of the guys you want are going to be moved by their teams, because they're young and coveted for a reason. You will not get the value you hope for unless you take advantage of a team. Now, that could happen. Happens all the time. But teams like the Blues (who legitimately think he's a decent chance to sign if he elects UFA) can't subsidize that hope by overpaying.
I agree, I don't wish Pronger to be moved.

Ideally, Ducks sign Koivu to a one-year deal, trade Hiller (or Hiller+) for that young LW, Giguere rebounds, Scott signs for one last season before the Olympics and the Ducks take one last serious run before needing to replace Scott/Teemu/Pronger(potentially).

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06-02-2009, 10:34 PM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
Bolded part is why I asked and that's why you guys should frankly not move Pronger and just hope he extends with Anaheim and take the risk you'll get nothing for him. You already sense none of the guys you want are going to be moved by their teams, because they're young and coveted for a reason. You will not get the value you hope for unless you take advantage of a team. Now, that could happen. Happens all the time. But teams like the Blues (who legitimately think he's a decent chance to sign if he elects UFA) can't subsidize that hope by overpaying.
What you're hitting up against is the difference between total package value and individual player value. If there's only 2 pieces in a deal, then yes we want very good pieces. And since the 1st probably won't be high (only good teams are going to want Pronger now to push them over), the young forward has to be VERY good. Probably near untouchable.

Now if you add another first or a B+ prospect (~ a former late 1st pick) something, now you've got a package that compensates for a Jackman-level forward vs a Lucic-level forward.

That's why superstars are typically traded for multiple pieces. Teams just won't give up 1 or 2 assets big enough to net a superstar.

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06-02-2009, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by snarktacular View Post
What you're hitting up against is the difference between total package value and individual player value. If there's only 2 pieces in a deal, then yes we want very good pieces. And since the 1st probably won't be high (only good teams are going to want Pronger now to push them over), the young forward has to be VERY good. Probably near untouchable.

Now if you add another first or a B+ prospect (~ a former late 1st pick) something, now you've got a package that compensates for a Jackman-level forward vs a Lucic-level forward.

That's why superstars are typically traded for multiple pieces. Teams just won't give up 1 or 2 assets big enough to net a superstar.
Oh, I agree that it's what you normally see. But how often do you see it when a guy has a specific short list of teams/situations for his next contract and thus probably 26 of Anaheim's potential trading partners should know they're only getting one year and then you have neither the star nor the big value you just traded?

As for the other pretty small handful of teams whose situation Pronger likes for UFA, they all know that if they wait they might not have to give up anything. I and a bunch of others have been advocating on Blues boards for doing exactly this, we've all been discussing it a lot lately. Most (but not everyone) is pretty comfortable with just waiting, actually. I'd MUCH rather wait than overpay. After all, if you trade him to a team he'll probably just leave at the end of the season (and that's most of them), the Blues are cool with that.

The only thing we'd not want to see is him being traded and then extending with that team. It's enough of a risk to merit an offer.

Now, I don't know what a "Jackman-level forward" is -- but your compatriot Varius said Jackman was worth a 15th overall in this deep draft, a solid 2d-pairing D prospect and a roster 3d pairing D-man. Within the past year we've gotten reasonable board offers like Erik Cole for Jackman straight up, Kris Versteeg for Jackman. (And in the real world the Blues have turned down a lot of good offers over the years for Jackman.) The 15th overall pick is a pretty strong pick. You'd basically be getting the Blues to pay you a package worth 2 mid-firsts (including one in this stacked draft), plus a little more value in a good prospect and a serviceable roster d-man. Now, I respect your right to say: that's not enough. But hopefully you'll respect my right to say: if the Blues added any more value it'd be irresponsible and they should just take their chances and wait.

From an organizational responsibility standpoint, the Blues cannot trade for him if he's only going to be there one year. I mean, that's the whole point from the Blues perspective. To have him for 3-5 years. And he very likely would extend with the Blues.

I don't know which other teams are on Pronger's short list, or if those teams know they're on it the way the Blues clearly do. So I can't say how comfortable those teams are with waiting and risking he'll sign with one of the other shortlist teams in UFA. But, either way, getting Pronger w/o giving up assets is an attractive idea. Especially to the Blues who don't expect to be Cup-competitive in 09-10, but expect to be more competitive starting with the summer 2010 (that coincides with his free agency).

Nobody on the Anaheim side of this discussion seems to want to help the acquiring team manage that risk of him leaving. Either by working with conditions on first round picks or by lowering the sights a tad on the roster forward coming back. You all want an established, non-prospect young 2d line center to slot in behind Getzlaf, that's what I seem to be hearing. Moreover, the caliber of player expected is a caliber that you guys seem responsible enough to acknowledge that those teams won't want to trade those guys. And certainly they wouldn't for the risk of one-year thing... unless they panic or delude themselves about the extension. And you don't want to help with that part of it either by working with conditions.

Maybe you secretly want to trade Pronger for big value, have Niedermayer for one more year, then hope Pronger comes back in UFA because he likes SoCal? It's not a secret to other teams that maybe Pronger would do something like that, so they're skittish on the whole point of extending him once they acquire him.

Even after we've all acknowledged that four years under contract is much different than one year under contract, let's go back to that point and re-emphasize it. Four years under contract is MUCH different than one year in the new NHL with lower UFA ages and a cap. Even for a superstar player. Sometimes especially for a superstar, because each team can only pay so many big salaries.

Bottom line is, he may be more valuable to Anaheim, with you guys hoping he extends with you or that someone panics and overpays. You guys seem very comfortable that you could lose him for nothing, and I respect that, you guys know your own situation better than I do.

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06-03-2009, 11:26 PM
  #42
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Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
Now, I don't know what a "Jackman-level forward" is -- but your compatriot Varius said Jackman was worth a 15th overall in this deep draft, a solid 2d-pairing D prospect and a roster 3d pairing D-man. Within the past year we've gotten reasonable board offers like Erik Cole for Jackman straight up, Kris Versteeg for Jackman. (And in the real world the Blues have turned down a lot of good offers over the years for Jackman.) The 15th overall pick is a pretty strong pick. You'd basically be getting the Blues to pay you a package worth 2 mid-firsts (including one in this stacked draft), plus a little more value in a good prospect and a serviceable roster d-man.
...
Nobody on the Anaheim side of this discussion seems to want to help the acquiring team manage that risk of him leaving. Either by working with conditions on first round picks or by lowering the sights a tad on the roster forward coming back. You all want an established, non-prospect young 2d line center to slot in behind Getzlaf, that's what I seem to be hearing. Moreover, the caliber of player expected is a caliber that you guys seem responsible enough to acknowledge that those teams won't want to trade those guys. And certainly they wouldn't for the risk of one-year thing... unless they panic or delude themselves about the extension. And you don't want to help with that part of it either by working with conditions.

Maybe you secretly want to trade Pronger for big value, have Niedermayer for one more year, then hope Pronger comes back in UFA because he likes SoCal? It's not a secret to other teams that maybe Pronger would do something like that, so they're skittish on the whole point of extending him once they acquire him.

Even after we've all acknowledged that four years under contract is much different than one year under contract, let's go back to that point and re-emphasize it. Four years under contract is MUCH different than one year in the new NHL with lower UFA ages and a cap. Even for a superstar player. Sometimes especially for a superstar, because each team can only pay so many big salaries.
That's exactly the caliber of player I had in mind when I referred to a "Jackman-level" forward.

But you've mistaken what I'm expecting. To make it clear since I didn't really explicitly state it: for a 3 piece deal, it would be a "Jackman-level forward," plus a mid-level prospect, plus a guaranteed late 1st pick. St. Louis can have a pick if you're afraid he'll go back to Anaheim (which I wouldn't expect. If he's traded, he's gone from the team and we couldn't even afford him if we wanted to because that would mean they re-signed Niedermayer).

I only expect a guy-other-teams-won't-want-to-trade-type if it's a 2 piece deal (with the other piece being a late first). IMO, that's a significant downgrade from the Edmonton-Anaheim package, and I think it's a realistic expectation. So you don't need to reiterate 4 yrs vs 1, I think I have accounted for it.

As to moderating the risk, it's all nice in theory to say that, but it seems to me that in past history that there are rarely explicit conditional returns. The deal itself is already adjusted for risk, but the returns are mostly guaranteed. Just like how contracts are guaranteed, without performance bonuses.

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06-05-2009, 12:13 AM
  #43
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It seems like most Anaheim people expect to get way more then they will realistically get. Pronger is a very good player but most people are over valueing him, also isnt Anaheim debating trading him bc of $$$ which is why they were saying they would keep him if niedemeyer didnt come back but if neidemeyer came back they would trade pronger, and since other teams now they need to get rid of pronger they wont offer as much. Just like trading Andy Mac for doug weight, they needed to cut $$$ so they didnt get as good a deal as they could have. I dont know if the blues would even give up Jacks + 1st, considering they wouldnt give up oshie straight up. Plus STL is very close to the top of prongers resign list theres maybe only one or two teams if any that pronger would rather go to, so the blues would offer even less then other teams.

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06-05-2009, 12:32 AM
  #44
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Originally Posted by shorton724 View Post
It seems like most Anaheim people expect to get way more then they will realistically get. Pronger is a very good player but most people are over valueing him, also isnt Anaheim debating trading him bc of $$$ which is why they were saying they would keep him if niedemeyer didnt come back but if neidemeyer came back they would trade pronger, and since other teams now they need to get rid of pronger they wont offer as much. Just like trading Andy Mac for doug weight, they needed to cut $$$ so they didnt get as good a deal as they could have. I dont know if the blues would even give up Jacks + 1st, considering they wouldnt give up oshie straight up. Plus STL is very close to the top of prongers resign list theres maybe only one or two teams if any that pronger would rather go to, so the blues would offer even less then other teams.
where are you getting these assumptions(as of now) from? The Blues wouldn't trade Oshie for Pronger straight up?

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06-05-2009, 09:38 PM
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the blues beat writer Andy Strickland wrote about if after the deadline, ANA offered pronger for oshie and the blues said no, and you should be able to get more for a player at the deadline then in the offseason.

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06-06-2009, 09:47 AM
  #46
snarktacular
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Originally Posted by shorton724 View Post
the blues beat writer Andy Strickland wrote about if after the deadline, ANA offered pronger for oshie and the blues said no, and you should be able to get more for a player at the deadline then in the offseason.
I'm not sure I believe that that was an actual offer, compared to say just some kind of preliminary discussion. Or maybe just a leak of internal Blues discussions. It's counter to the MO of all the moves Murray made at the deadline.

The TD moves the Ducks made have a few directives to me.

1) Sell off some of the upcoming UFAs who they didn't think they could keep (Moen, Pahlsson, Montador).
2) Acquire guys to replace the UFAs (get Nokelainen)
3) Strengthen the team for next year's playoffs, with taking a semi-stab at this year's playoffs as a secondary goal (bolster a weak and UFA-filled D-corps with Whitney, Wizniewski).

Moving Pronger for Oshie accomplishes none of those things, unless they were sure they were getting Niedermayer (who still hasn't decided) back, which might then help address secondary scoring. But in the team's blueprint, defense >> secondary scoring, so Pronger is much more important than an Oshie next season (which he's still under contract).

I just don't see Murray making that offer once he decided to go the way he did.


PS here's the rationale straight from Murray's mouth http://ducks.nhl.com/team/app?articl...e&service=page
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What did we try to accomplish here? Over the last few years here, chasing another Cup, we’ve let assets get away from us and got nothing for them. That had to stop now. We’re out of the playoffs today and we could be in the playoffs tomorrow. Another point here is everybody will say you sold off players.

I fully expect this team to run for a playoff spot here. I don’t think with this defense, I don’t think we’re anywhere near out of it. I expect our players to make a good shot at it. I see no reason why they can’t. If I sense in any way, shape of form that some of our players think we’ve sold and they quit, well there is two times in a year when you get to do things with your team. One is the trade deadline and the other is at the draft. If I sense these players throwing in the towel, the draft is not that far away and we’ll rectify that situation.

We just couldn’t let these unrestricted guys go and not get anything for them. In talking to these guys, it’s tough. You talk to Travis, Sammy and Husky. They love it here and wanted to stay here, but they all look at you and say, ‘I’ve got to try free agency’. The contract negotiations were going nowhere. It’s just the way the game is. They all want to get to that free agency and I understand that as a former player. They understand that I had to do what I had to do going forward because it would have been totally irresponsible of me to not get the best I could for these unrestricted guys.

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06-06-2009, 06:03 PM
  #47
PocketNines
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Take it from Blues fans, Oshie is untouchable. It isn't just that he's a great young player, it's that the city has bonded with him in a way that it hasn't with a Blues player in a long time.

Consider the story.

Blues take Oshie originally 24th overall in the 2005 Crosby draft, and the flash reaction was that Jarmo had reached, gone off the board etc. The Blues had already had a crap lottery draw at 24 (that was the year the draft orders were drawn by lottery and followed the snake pattern where 29th, 30th picks 31st, 32d, etc.) and now they take a kid few have heard of/been talking about, etc.

Remember, in summer 2005, the Blues hadn't had a major 1st round success in probably two decades since Brind'Amour in 1988 and they'd hired the hyped Jarmo Kekalainen in 2002 as lead scout before the 2003 draft, so fans were hungry for their first rounders to hit. Also, summer 2005 was the low morale point for Blues fans in many, many years. They'd made the playoffs for 25 years in a row, then the demoralizing end to the 2004 playoffs where guys like Tkachuk completely quit on them in the playoffs by game 4, the bizarre Danton arrest, the demoralizing lockout, and then Bill ****ing Laurie spitefully and gratuitously dumps Pronger on a pure cash dump for the best bag of pucks Pleau can find. Summer 2005 was bad. Then the Blues finished dead last that year. By the following draft, the only bright spots fans were counting on were having the #1 overall pick and Oshie's eye-popping development year.

Seriously, to understand the value of T.J. Oshie to the St. Louis Blues and their long-diehard fanbase, you gotta understand context.

So, the kid goes to North Dakota where he's an instant star on the Toews line. Whichever Blues fans who were initially upset had begun thinking maybe this kid is a great pick after all.

As the Blues amass top picks and the fans start getting excited again about the future, Oshie tears it up for three years in the NCAA building the anticipation (especially after Toews had already come out and Oshie still was outstanding) and finally comes to the Blues this year, makes the team out of camp. Team starts out dead last in the West, kid looks really good early, hurts his ankle, misses 25 games.

Kid comes back, Blues start putting together an epic 2d half where they go from 15th to 6th, capturing the imagination of the city in a snowball effect, and in the closing climactic stretch, in a six-day period in four consecutive games, Oshie does:

This to Dustin Brown on March 24
This to Vancouver and Luongo on March 26
This to Rick Nash on March 28
And again to Nash on March 29

(special bonus to hilariously goobertastic BJ announcers on the two clean hits, esp. the absurd "cross-check" and "elbow" on the 2d one)

The Blues won all four of those games, Oshie had 2G, 3A in them, and three of those games were in front of the home crowd. In each game, it wasn't just some random hits or a random goalie, he absolutely monstered the other team's captain: Brown, Luongo, Nash, and Nash again when Nash was looking for revenge.

It was a truly special week, the emotional apogee of the overall emotional season in St. Louis. It was electrifying. With his fearlessness and skill, Oshie absolutely captured the imagination of the fan base. He symbolizes the rebirth of the Blues through the draft, finally having arrived after a long five-year stretch since 2004.

This is why Blues fans consider him untouchable. He's our guy. We're living or dying with him. As much as fans loved the skill of Pronger, Hull and MacInnis (I certainly did), I don't know if Blues fans have felt that way about an individual player since Brian Sutter played (and the one Stevens season).

Those four games in the above links were part of an overall five-game win streak, and in the March 20 game in Calgary that started it, Oshie also opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal, because he's a top penalty-killer too. Just look at that Luongo video and that expression on Oshie's face when the guys go to hug him. That's Oshie and the Blues right now. He's the heart and soul for the future.

Even with EJ, who is the flagship cornerstone guy that Blues fans love, even he's not in the Oshie imagination zone, perhaps in no small part because the Blues did this last year's magic without him (I think EJ is extra motivated, and has said as much to reporters, because he missed out on being part of that special year). You'd have to go back to Scott Stevens' 90-91 season with the Blues to find the last season where there was a similar emotional impact with one player. As much as I love Pronger and as much as Blues fans came to be in awe of his value to the team by that 99-00 season, I don't think even he ever had an individually emotionally-connected season like Oshie just had.

There is just no way he's being dealt. When the Blues one day start losing a few guys from this core to free agency, he and EJ are the two likeliest to be the permanent fixtures. His value to St. Louis is extraordinarily high, much more than his numbers (at 14-25-39 in 57 games project to a 20-36-56 over 82 games in a rookie year).

Also consider that that particular home stretch of the playoff push happened after the deadline when it was reported widely (in Blues-ville) that Anaheim had asked for Oshie in a Pronger deadline trade and that the Blues had immediately considered it a non-starter back then.

Blues fans have been so hungry for this kind of player. He transcends his paper value. There'd be mutiny if the Blues traded him.

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