Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Fedorov To Columbus

The biggest trade so far this season occurred today. The Anaheim Mighty Ducks traded Sergei Fedorov and a fifth round pick in the 2006 draft to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Tyler Wright and Francois Beauchemin. TSN's story is here.

I think the story is that Brian Burke never liked Sergei Fedorov. He never wanted him. He had a bad time with his younger brother Fedor Fedorov in Vancouver and quickly saw Sergei as more of the same. Fedorov has accomplished nothing at all this year to change Burke's opinion of him (he has only 1 point so far this year in five games). So Burke wanted to get rid of Fedorov. He's 35 and wouldn't come back when his contract ends (2008). With all the free agents in the new CBA, an unwanted player can be replaced easily as long as salary cap room exists. So Burke wante to dump him.

Now its hard to dump a high priced underacheiving player in this salary cap system. Few teams have the cap room and willingness to take on a big contract like Fedorov's. The only teams with cap room are likely teams that have no shot at competing this year and have the least use for an underacheiving 35 year old who expects first line ice time. They certainly cannot get anything in return.

Up steps the GM who least understands how to build a good team that has the cap room in Doug MacLean of Columbus. He trades some spare parts and brings in Fedorov. With any luck, his team will now improve and become the second or third lowest scoring team in the NHL instead of the lowest scoring team.

NOTE: We learn today that Columbus has place Todd Marchant on waivers to make some space for Fedorov. Marchant is a useful 32 year old centerman with a ridiculous contract paying him $2.47 million this year, $2.47 million next year and $2.66 million the year afterwards (all numbers before escrow - they wont actually pay him that much). A quick look at the TSN player pages says Marchant is hot right now with four points in his last four games. Although a healthy Fedorov would most likely be better than Marchant, it certainly sends the wrong message to dump onto waivers one of the few Blue Jacket players who was actually playing well. TSN's story is here.

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