Friday, February 16, 2007

Nashville Trades For Biggest Name At Trade Deadline

Now that Nashville has acquired future Hall of Famer Peter Forsberg for Scott Upshall, Ryan Parent, a first round pick and a third round pick, what is left for the actual trade deadline day? Most likely, Forsberg is the biggest name that will be traded this year. Most likely, the best defenceman available Brad Stuart has already been traded to Calgary. Does that mean that the biggest trades have already occurred? What impact players are left that might be traded? Todd Bertuzzi? Ryan Smyth? Bill Guerin? A surprise?

Does this make Nashville the prohibitive cup favorites? I once called Peter Forsberg the best player in the NHL when healthy. That caveat of when healthy is a big one. More than likely, Forsberg isn't healthy and will not be 100% healthy this season. How valuable will an unhealthy Forsberg be to Nashville? It certainly helps the team, but it doesn't guarantee them the cup. More than likely, I bet the Predators do not go to the finals.

As for the players they gave up to Philadelphia. Four young guys. Two to be determined in the draft (not super early picks, the best will be in the late 20's). Upshall and Parent may become solid NHL players, but neither is projected to be a star. Probably it is more than Forsberg will be worth to Nashville (unless the Predators win the cup).

What is disturbing is the way the teams load up at the trade deadline under a salary cap. Effectively, teams can subvert the salary cap by obtaining a player for a small portion of the season and only have his salary on the books for a small period of time (but have a total payroll well over the cap). That means that next year there is no way the team can keep the player. He is definitely a rental. In the old CBA, many players obtained as "rentals" were actually resigned by their acquiring team (Rob Blake in Colorado and Chris Chelios in Detroit are two prime examples). Teams would acquire a player approaching UFA status and if he worked out shorterm, they would have first chance to lock him up longerterm. They paid for the chance to sign him as well as for the rental. In a salary capped environment, a team that wins cannot be kept together as the players who succeeded deserve raises bigger than the salary cap allows. When you start out already over the cap due to "rentals" it is impossible to keep them. No longer do we get dynasties. The team that wins the cup gets built in February and broken up in July. There is no chance to repeat. They are not even the same team we saw play at Christmas time in their cup winning year. What is more memorable? A good team that wins (or at least has a good chance to win) several cups in a row or a team that stayed together for about 4 months? We will start to see more and more teams that win cups being forgettable teams that don't last long enough to repeat and were not even together for one season. Carolina did it last year with Mark Recchi and Doug Weight. Who is next?

Tom Benjamin makes similar points on his blog.

Ridiculous. Forsberg's not a hall of famer. Unless you get in now by being injured.
You get in by doing thingfs like leading the NHL in scoring or winning the Hart Trophy. Forsberg has done both. In the first 5 years of the current decade, I would argue Forsberg was the best player in the world. That gets you into the Hall of Fame.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?