The trade deadline is generally a terrible time to acquire players given the circumstances – teams know “buyers” are desperate for that piece to put them over the top, so they pit them against one another, and wham-o, suddenly you’re giving up two second-round picks for a guy you might hesitate to grab off waivers in November. Those bidding wars, they’ll get ya.
There’s also this phenomenon:
Funny how the desirability of a player seems to rise in direct proportion to his availability.
— E.E. (@theory_of_ice) March 3, 2014
It’s an easy time of year to talk yourself into something you don’t really need, like shopping with a gift card. “Oh, Mike Cammalleri is available? I remember when he scored 82 points in 2009-10! Great release! Let’s pull the trigger on this.”
Then you get home, take your Mike Cammalleri out of the bag, and notice you’ve actually acquired a one-way player tallying under 0.5 points-per-game making six million (prorated) who’s gonna walk come summer. That’s some flea market stuff right there, so caveat emptor in March, my friends.
That said, there are certain players that I believe you make the exception for around now, one of which is Canucks’ centreman/winger Ryan Kesler. Here’s a few reasons why it’s worth giving up a lot for top talent:
The difference between elite and good IS the difference
It is simply not that hard to acquire capable players to play on an NHL roster. You can mine free agency, the American hockey league, Europe, or your opponent’s rosters at any point during the season and find guys who can play 12-13 capable minutes a night. Congratulations. You now have an NHL team.
The problem now is, you now have a bad NHL team. You need players who aren’t just okay, you need elite skill to best the copious amounts of averageness out there. Before the Sabres started their total rebuild their roster really wasn’t that much of a disaster, it was just built of a bunch of Drew Staffords. Good, fine, whatever at the NHL level…not winning you a Cup. Read the rest of this entry »