(WECK 1230) — Another first-round pick was moved today to ensure a team makes the playoffs. This one was moved inside the trading team’s division. Predictable names have had their long-rumoured asking price met and moved. Names not many knew were available also moved to new locales.
Darcy Regier has moved from his office chair to his car and back.
It’s irresponsible to verbally crucify any general manager for not dealing yet when a move could be announced any moment and render any critical opinions moot… unless you’re someone like me who advocated the oft-insecure Regier should set the market himself.
The Senators have sent Mike Fisher to Nashville for a first-round pick and also moved forward Chris Kelly to Boston for a pick. Yep, the latter was in division. Boston closed down Marc Savard for the season and then acquired playmaker Rich Peverley from Atlanta to fill his role. Worse? They gave up an actual asset in Blake Wheeler, underperforming as he may be.
It’s not just Boston whom Regier figures has “lost its mind.” The Canadiens gave up a couple picks to get James Wisniewski from the Isles when Andrei Markov was lost for the season. The rationale was “Why wait?”
Then there’s the Maple Leafs. Bryan Burke is generally regarded as a shrewd hockey mind, and he has eschewed traditional wisdom by not once, but twice working with a first-round pick within his own division. First he sent picks to Boston in exchange for Phil Kessel two years ago. Today, he used the same trading partners to acquire a first-round pick and the kid Boston took for Tomas Kaberle.
The rub of this whole thing — and it is infuriating — is that Burke out-Regiered Regier. The Sabres general manager only likes to give up picks when he can get them back. Well check the math with the primary pieces in the two trade:
Boston gets: Tomas Kaberle, 1st rder 2010 (Tyler Seguin), 2nd rder 2010 (Jared Knight), 1st rder 2011
Toronto gets: Phil Kessel, Joe Colborne (1st rder 2008), 1st rder 2011, conditional second round pick.
Look at that! He gets Kessel and use of Kaberle for an extra year in order to — what? — move a couple spots around? Colborne, for the record, is a pretty well-regarded prospect.
Sorry to be blunt, but with every move that goes down — admittedly with time to spare — Regier looks more and more like the wimpiest general manager in hockey. Quite literally every team in the division has made moves for now or the future. Regier has Paul Byron in the NHL well before he’s ready, which used to be the against the GM’s credo.
This is brutal stuff, and unless he’s operating on a no-trade list that involves every player on the team, here’s hoping Terry Pegula is seething. The new owner is about to inherit a team that falls behind in future prospects (Ottawa and Toronto) and playoff prospects (Montreal and Boston) every single day.