Saturday, August 22, 2009
Can't Have It Both Ways
Finding out you can't have it both ways is usually something you figure out right after you find out you can't have it both ways.
We's a funny bunch of humanity.
Twice The Pronging
Think about the Chris Pronger trade for a second.
If that trade is about the 'now' then there is no way Ryan Getzlaf isn't part of that equation. Even if it is done Iginla style: i.e. Pronger for Getzlaf straight up.
If that trade is about the 'future' then Bobby Ryan and Ladislav Smid are your two must have targets and if you can get a 1st round pick to round out that package you take it.
And you make Brian Burke make that choice.
But when you try to have it both ways then you get less. Plain old less.
Doubles Your Fun
Of course, as free-thinking people, it is our right to double our fun. Think about the Smyth situation for a second.
If you aren't going to trade him then you sign him. Early. Even if at a slight premium.
If you are going to trade him then you hold an auction and get the best package out there.
But to go into a negotiation, without time or leverage, having acted in a manner that says you kinda-wanta-but-maybe-not-so-much, then maybe, just maybe, acting as if you are the one holding the gun is a bit much.
Which is how one winds up with a package of Nilsson, O'Marra and a 1st instead of a guy like Okposo or some other worthwhile asset from another team that BID HIGHER THAN THE ISLANDERS.
Trying to have it both ways. Maybe not so good.
If Your Protected
And it isn't just about the trades. Think about the product for a second.
If it's about being competitive 'now' then veteran players get signed to fill holes on defense, or on the forward lines, or wherever you need them to play.
If it's about developing a team for the future then none of Smid, Gagner and Cogliano play when they did. And Penner and Souray don't get signed.
But If Not
Think all that through real careful like. Go deep.
Say Pronger gets traded for Bobby Ryan and Ladislav Smid and a 1st (which is still #30) and say the team dedicates, right then and there, to a rebuild situation. Not a liquidation per se but no half-measures either.
Tjarnqvist is still a probable signing but does Roloson get a 3-year deal? Maybe Roloson does. Hard to deny the heroes so lets say that everything else remains the same
that Smid is played as a call-up (or stays in the minors another year) and if Smyth isn't signed then he is traded for 'best' package available. We'll call that package 'Okposo' equivalent.
With the season more or less playing out as it did the team is down a Plante but up a Ryan and an 'Okposo'.
Getting a little more speculative now but lets say that in 2007-08 Smid plays his first year and Gagner and Cogliano do not. Pouliot gets full play (for better or worse) and a couple of Sanderson's are playing in place Nilsson and Penner.
Does Souray get signed (better question - does Horcoff? I believe he would actually but you may think differently)?
So where does this team end-up in the draft? Worse than the Blues and Islanders but not as bad as Atlanta? Is Luke Schenn now an Oilers draft pick?
Finally we get to the end of the 2008-09 season. Gagner and Cogliano have played their 1st year and maybe even Ryan and 'Okposo' have as well. Regardless of how well they do that is an awful lot of rookie minutes to shelter. If Souray isn't signed a couple of years back then odds are good we finish below LA and maybe even Atlanta - is Braydon Schenn now an Oiler prospect?
Gagner, Cogliano, Smid, Ryan, Nash, 'Okposo', Eberle and Schenn(s) make for an amazing future line up. Time to start signing guys like Glencross.
And it didn't take incredible leaps of logic (timewarps aside) to get there.
Reverse it all and think of what coulda woulda shoulda if this team had gone the competitive route (Getzlaf, Smyth signed at $4.75 million when he should have been, Glencross on the team, etc).
EITHER WAY - it is better than what we have now.
You Could Be Screwed
Which is where we are now I think. This team, as constructed, could make the play-offs. 'Could' is not spelled 's-h-o-u-l-d' in this case however and that is the essential problem with trying to have it both ways.
The future is bright, but not so bright I gotta wear shades, and the 'now' is overpriced and 'iffy' competitively. Hell. Our future will be overpriced too.
You want to know what the most interesting thing about the Heatley saga was (did he send Patrick Kane a 'thank-you' note btw?)? For me it was Bryan Murray pushing the Oilers to the point where the package for Heatley included Cogliano.
Somehow I think that were the roles reversed the Oilers would have accepted Nilsson instead of Cogliano in the package.
Which would have been a package I could live with.
Because I wanted it both ways. Or perhaps I knew I could not.
Have a great evening everyone.