Monday, 25 February 2008

Trade Deadline Musing - 2007-08 - Impressive

Paul Holmgren, GM of the Philadelphia Flyers, is really starting to impress me.

I have previously posted on, what I thought, was the smartest trade of last year:

Meyer & conditional 3rd

To me this was a pure speculation play. Holmgren knew that, barring a miracle run by his team, he would be able to get more for Zhitnik, than for Meyer, at the trade deadline because of Zhitnik's 'veteran' status and previous play-off experience. Lo-and-behold this came true in a BIG BIG way at the deadline as Waddell (the Thrasher's GM) was dieing for just such a player. Thus Holmgren was able to secure:


What a trade. Amazing return.

Flash forward to this year and Holmgren does it again (imo). He trades a decent, but not great (certainly not a Coburn type), young defenseman and a conditional pick for a LW that may just help his team get into the post-season. The trade:

Picard & conditional pick (2nd or 3rd)

Now. I will grant that Prospal is having a great year getting fed sugar time with LeCavalier and St. Louis so maybe I am giving Holmgren too much credit BUT think about it - he gives his team an honest chance to make a play-off run WITHOUT giving up any key pieces from his roster.

Just look at the year prior: where Atlanta gave up a future cornerstone defenseman (at the very least Coburn will be a great #4 guy on defense) for a run at it all Holmgren gave up is a future okay defenseman (Picard might become a great #4 guy on defense).

The nature of the GM game is that you have to lose sometime but right now Holmgren is making moves that weigh the odds in his favor and he is doing so to such an extent that I have to think he is one of the top-5 GM's in the NHL.

Right now.

Note: For more Holmgren lovin' you can also visit PunjabiOil's site (link to the right).

Have a great evening and a great trade-deadline tomorrow everyone.


PunjabiOil said...

What happened to the smaller font from the previous entries ;)

I think it's a fair trade for both parties. Picard is still young (22), and has some offensive ability (22 in 63 last year, and doing well in the AHL this season). For Philadelphia, this is a good move towards making the playoffs.

If Kevin Lowe receives the pink slip this summer - I wouldn't terribly mind the idea of MacT at GM - but how about Doug Armstrong? He's built a great team, and the Modano signing was astute. I love the way he built that Dallas team. I don't believe he should have been fired, and it makes you wonder - how in the world did Kevin Lowe receive a 4 year extension in the FALL of 2007?

YKOil said...

I agree that Picard isn't a lost cause but given he IS already 22 I won't hold my breath he will be a top-2 guy.

Can't seem to get this computer to give me a smaller font - I will edit when I get a chance though :-)

Armstrong might be a decent choice, I would have to review his time with Dallas though to have a better idea about it.

No idea how Lowe got that extension - I will share some speculation at a later date however.