From Tom Benjamin’s NHL Blog: Still Pretending

I don’t know why hockey fans still get sucked in by all the trade talk in the period that leads up to the draft. I don’t know how hockey reporters can keep buying any of the trade whispers they hear. The fact is there are very few trades in this league. That should quash virtually all rumours as very unlikely, however logical they sound. Every year we hear about the big names who are about to move and every year nothing happens.Furthermore, the trades that are made usually turn out to be inexplicable. I haven’t heard a good explanation for either of the two trades made last weekend. Here’s Eric on Pronger:As GM after GM will tell you, the only real reason to make deals at the draft is if you’re after draft picks in return. The Anaheim Ducks received the equivalent of three first-round choices for defenceman Chris Pronger Friday night.I can understand why the Flyers would like to have Chris Pronger and I can understand why the Ducks wanted to deal him. But why did he cost so much? It seems a crazy price to pay for one year of Chris Pronger. On the other hand, the fact that Pronger is on an expiring contract could enhance his value.If that one seemed weird to me, the other “big” deal seems to be a waste of time. I don’t understand why Calgary bothered to send Florida a draft pick for Jay Bouwmeester a few days before Bouwmeester becomes a UFA, particularly since his agent made it clear he is going to test the free agent market.

Via Tom Benjamin’s NHL Blog [just noticed the link is broken; sorry]


  2 comments for “From Tom Benjamin’s NHL Blog: Still Pretending

  1. dbushik
    June 29, 2009 at 12:32 PM

    While I get that trades in general are less frequent and more difficult to pull of in the current economic environment in the NHL (both the economy in general and the salary cap), I think all this dismissal of trade talks around the draft is a bit overstated. Trade talks heat up around the draft and are intimately asssociated with it for a number of obvious reasons. It’s a huge gathering of GMs where they have time to talk deals face to face. There are assets in the form of picks that are about to be decided on (just like as mentioned in this reference). Free angency is just days away at the draft and decisions on those players need to be made. Teams are also evaluating their previous seasons and getting ready to make corrects for the coming season, which could very well mean making roster changes.

    Again, I hear all the reasons why trades don’t just come pouring out, but to say that hasn’t been the case in the past is just plain incorrect, and to say trade talks around the draft occur for no logicaql reason is also just plain incorrect.

    Clearly sports journalism has a big componant that revolves around hype instead of actual substance. I don’t terribly like that myself, but clearly there are tons of sports fans out there interested in the sizzle over the steak itself. Basketball simply existing as a major league sport I think speaks to that fact. So, right there you are going to have plenty of loose, questionable talk about trades and rumors. But aside from that, there is going to be a lot of talk based in substance at draft time because there are mutliple factors contributing to this being a time when trade pressures are high.

    I think there is a huge story which relates to this in that mutliple sources ont he floor this year mentioned that there were tons of deals out there to be made for top name players. The story turns out to be about those deals not happening because all those top name talents carry bloated contracts that are for practical reasons untradeable, but that is still I think a big story and about trade rumors essentially. So, to me, all this talk about how the rumors should logically just not happen, based on that, just doesn’t hold water.

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