Gone and passed is another iteration of the NHL’s Trade Deadline, and what started as an absolute snore ended with a windfall of deals coming in the last hour leading up to the deadline.
Big names — I’d reckon we can still call Marian Gaborik a big name — were on the move, while the minor deals will go largely unheralded as the future effect will be little more than a blip or a fun fact years down the road.
Fans in Minnesota lauded the move of Minnesota Wild GM landing former Buffalo Sabres captain Jason Pominville, albeit coming at quite the cost. Philadelphia Flyers fans screamed at their phones and televisions as Steve Mason moved from Columbus to the City of Brotherly Love. Completing the spectrum, armchair GMs are left scratching their head on what exactly went on to get Washington Capitals GM George McPhee to give up Filip Forsberg less than a year after he drafted the Swede in the first round of the entry draft.
While nearly every team added at the deadline — either in the way of future picks, prospects, or roster players — there are a few which stood pat. On deadline day, the Detroit Red Wings, New York Islanders, and Montreal Canadiens made nary a roster change.
Granted, pre-deadline the Wings added sought after defense prospect Danny DeKeyser, and the Canadiens sealed a deal with Los Angeles for Davis Drewiske. In addition, it’s not as if the Islanders didn’t try to improve as, come deadline day, they reportedly kicked the tires on Brandon Saad because apparently Garth Snow thinks Chicago Blackhawks’ GM Stan Bowman can’t tell his head from a hole in the ground.
But with the lack of moves, some fans threw their hands in the air in outrage. A large sampling of Twitter action would probably be quite profanity-laced, as fans derided their favourite team’s management for not doing anything. But what is the sake of trading for trading’s sake?
If GMs made deals at the behest of fans who cheer for the club they run, it’s safe to say that franchise’s would be run into the ground.
A litany of Red Wings fans have cried for Johan Franzen to be moved or outright waived without a thought as to the implications for the team going forward. If the Wings could have found a suitor for Franzen — if he was on the block, he would have had several, of that you can be sure — the return they would have gotten could have been slim. Fair market value for a proven playoff performer is something these fans aren’t even taking into consideration.
Fans who are making snap decisions just want to see something happen. They want something to happen so they can be apart of the flurry without careful consideration as to the implications of a deal. Making a deal, just any old deal, doesn’t necessarily provide anything to the team.
When addressing the media as the buzzer sounded on deadline day, the aforementioned Bowman told the press the management team had, “to ask ourselves the question, does it make us better? And to make a move just to make a move, we don’t believe in that.”
And as should be the case.
Sometimes staying the course is better than making a decision you’ll later regret. The GMs are doing what they believe is best for the team they’re trying to build. Whether it’s the right move or not, that’s to be seen. But there’s a careful calculation to be made.
Sometimes doing nothing is the best move to be made.