Monday, February 26, 2007

Trade Breakdown

So the Sharks did make a deal with the Montreal Canadians over the weekend, but not the one I posted about last, thank God. The trade went down like this- Josh Gorges and the Sharks 2007 1st round pick to the Canadiens for Craig Rivet and a their 2008 5th round pick. The Sharks still have their 1st round pick they got from the Devils for taking on Vladimir Malakhov's cap space.

The worst news about the deal is that Rivet will be unrestricted after this season. But I'm hoping that Doug Wilson has already inquired about locking up Rivet for next season and perhaps beyond. According to the Mercury News article on the trade,

Rivet said one of his first phone calls after the trade will be to his friend Vincent Damphousse, the former Canadiens and Sharks captain, to ask about life in San Jose. "From what I hear, I'm really excited to get down there,'' Rivet said.
This is probably just putting a happy face on the deal, but it makes me feel better than the stuff Joe Thornton said when he was traded. Which was more or less "This is just part of the deal playing in the NHL, and I'll miss Boston." Anyone remember that?

This trade is superior to the rumored Souray deal in several respects. For one, we aren't giving up a top-flight young player. I admire the kid's heart, but I've never been on the Gorges bandwagon. I think he's too small, not physical enough, and lacks the vision of a steady NHL blueliner. Also, we're getting a 'even' player over his career, a long career in which Rivet hasn't scored much. That means he's a solid defensive defenseman, exactly the kind of player we need. I think Souray is clearly the better player, but I'd rather have the focus be on preventing goals rather than creating them.

So let's look at the worst case: Rivet walks after the season. So we would have lost Gorges, and one of our two first round picks. First rounders aren't anything to sneeze at, but given how young kids are drafted, doesn't mean you have a star on your hands. Looking casually at the drafts from about 1998-2004, there seem to be about 5 great-to-star NHL players, with most of them being in the top 5 to 10 picks. The Sharks' pick this year will certainly not be in the top 10. So the changes the Canadiens will turn the pick into a great or star player is probably about even money. I think it's a good gamble for Doug Wilson to take.

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