Trading Futures for Tomorrow
The first round pick (San Jose’s) will fall somewhere between 21 and 30, I’d imagine. It seems an awful lot to give up for Campoli and a few months of Mike Comrie though… As for trading futures for today when you’re 13 points out of a playoff spot? Melnyk probably ought to have fired the GM when he did the coach. It’s just crazy.
I don’t know whether this will turn out to be a good trade for Ottawa. It will depend on how Campoli turns out – I don’t know the player – and what the Islanders manage to do with the first round pick. I do think, however, that this is the type of trade that Murray should be trying to make. (Given that I’ve ripped Murray fairly regularly over the past couple of years, that’s not the easiest admission to make.)
First, I don’t think Murray is delusional enough to believe that Ottawa can catch a playoff spot. He is buying – and Snow is selling – but deadline dealing it is more complicated than the way we have come to view it at this time of year. Teams out of the playoffs are supposed to be sellers. What’s going on?
I think you have to consider the Ottawa position. They might want to rebuild, but they can’t. They have several star players locked into generous contracts. I don’t think they can trade Jason Spezza or Mike Fisher or even Dany Heatley because their contracts are so unattractive. The Ottawa core is not going to change significantly over the next three or four years.
Murray’s challenge is to improve the Ottawa team for next year and for the three years after that. If he fails, he – or his successor – can blow it up down the road when the big contracts will be much closer to expiring. For now he has to work with what he has – a not very good expensive team. He can’t add via the free agent market this summer because he doesn’t have any money. A late first round pick won’t help until he is ready to blow up the team.
A Chris Campoli can help. He is cheap, he has experience and he is still young enough to get better. And given the state of the Eastern conference, it may not take much to get Ottawa back to respectability. Which player would help Ottawa more over the next three years – the first round pick or Chris Campoli? I think Campoli will help more. Indeed, if the pick turned out to be Chris Campoli quality in four years – a legitimate NHL player – it would be marked as a successful pick.
Would Garth Snow trade Chris Campoli for a late first round pick? Obviously not, because Murray gets nothing out of acquiring Comrie. Snow made Murray sweeten the pot by taking Comrie’s contract and saving Snow a million bucks. That’s how I see this trade. It is a late first round pick plus a million dollars for Chris Campoli.
Its a good deal for the Islanders because they are in full rebuild mode. It will be a good deal for Ottawa if Campoli helps make Ottawa a better team over the next few years. If they manage to find a few decent – but cheap – players to fit around their expensive stars they can improve and perhaps get back to respectability. What’s their alternative? They don’t have the cap space to add anyone good. They can’t trade any of the ill-advised contracts.
I think their best bet is to find several guys like Chris Campoli, guys who are young, cheap NHL players with maybe some upside. The Sens didn’t trade futures for today. That is, as Tyler said, crazy.
The Sens traded futures for tomorrow.
Postscript: While nobody will criticise Snow for the deal, I really wonder about this full rebuild mode. If you don’t really suck for several years, it doesn’t really work very well. You end up like the St. Louis Blues. And even if you do really suck, you get great like the Pens or Sabres. Then the cap bites you in the ass and you end up like the St. Louis Blues.