Update: Thanks to the folks at edmontonoilers.com for providing me with the team’s banner celebrating Anaheim’s trip to the Stanley Cup finals.
You’ve done it again. Joffrey Lupul, Ladislav Smid and TWO first round picks for Chris Pronger? AND we get to pick at number six this year?
Well done, sir. Well done. Of course, none of this would have happened if Steve Yzerman was alive. It must be shocking, yet somehow unsurprising to the Detroit fans to see their string of twenty two Stanley Cups with him leading the Red Wings come to an end. Now they probably won’t win again until End Days, when he returns to Earth to smite his foes and, well, whatever else it says in Revelations. I’m pretty sure that Flames third jersey figures it into somehow.
Anyway, main point here: even with that second first round pick, this trade is still worse than an abomination. I never thought I’d think longingly about Jimmy Carson…if you live long enough, you’ll see everything, I guess.
By the way, I wholeheartedly encourage this thread turning into a cheapshot Kevin Lowe and the Oilers thread. I was kicking this around with Dennis on MSN and so far there’s “I think it’s very impressive that the Ducks could win without Lupul and Smid…speaks to their depth” and “Kevin Lowe has now built two contenders: the 2005-06 Oilers and the 2006-07 Ducks.” Further suggestions are wholeheartedly encouraged.
Does that sound a little over the top? I really don’t think it is. Dennis pointed me to a story in the Sun where Lowe is gloating about this trade. Now, if ever there’s a time to engage in such behaviour, it’s in a story that will get published on the Saturday of May 2-4, but still…it’s a spectacular story.
“My mom actually said ‘You have enough draft choices.’ ” laughed Lowe. [With respect to getting another pick if Anaheim won the conference.]
Now, I’m not opposed to getting draft picks. Still, Lowe’s mother is kind of the voice of sanity here: You have enough draft picks. Start trading for actual hockey players as opposed to draft picks and B level prospects.
Lowe said he’s talked to Ducks’ GM Brian Burke a lot during the playoffs.
“I talked to him just the other day, after the Pronger suspension,” he said.
“I told him I thought the Ducks would win that game without Chris.”
The two general managers have had a bit of fun throughout these playoffs kibitzing about the conditional pick.
Burke tells the story this way: “Kevin said ‘Burkie, I’m handing you a ticket to the finals.’
“I told Kevin, ‘OK, if that’s true, I’ll throw in another first round pick.’
“I had no problem doing it. And I’ll be happy for Kevin and happy for the Oilers and the fans in Edmonton if we get there.”
I can’t be the only one who thinks that he’s not laughing with Lowe about this, so much as laughing at him. Of course he’s happy to give Edmonton another draft pick – he’s given him pretty much garbage so far, in exchange for one of the best defencemen in the NHL, in his prime. Giving up that extra draft pick means that his team made the Stanley Cup finals, so who cares what he gave up in terms of a most likely late round extra pick.
“But it all started because we were hung up. I wanted five assets for Pronger. With Smid and Lupul and the two draft picks, we’d got it to four,” recalled Lowe.
If there’s any justice, this is Kevin Lowe’s “Pronger should have got a divorce” quote. As near as I can tell, scouting in Edmonton means counting the number of things that you get that are or were drafted in the first round. Even by that standard, you’d think that they’d have gotten around to asking for Vitaly Vishnevski. Of course, Brian Burke might have responded “I’m not in the business of handing out useful things within my conference.” Interesting policy, that.
This is not a great draft year. The pick may or may not ever get to the NHL.
Not to mention the poor bastard will have to carry the cross of having been a first round draft pick of the Oilers. He’ll be lucky if he’s not dead within three years, let alone playing in the NHL.
But next year …
Scouts are already calling it one of those rare years that come along every decade or so.
“There’s a lot of high-end depth in next year’s draft,” said Lowe.
Wow. Sounds pretty sweet. Kind of like the 2003 Entry Draft, when the Oilers had the 17th pick. Of course, rather than take Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Brent Burns, Ryan Kessler, Jeff Tambellini, Corey Perry, Patrick Eaves or Patrice Bergeron, they manged to turn the pick into Marc Pouliot and JF Jacques. To be fair to Pouliot, there are signs that there’s something there but all of the players named have enjoyed more success so far. To be fair to the Oilers, they also got JF Jacques out of the deal and he may have well set an NHL record for most time on ice without being on the ice for a goal for this season, which is a nice thing to tell your grandkids that you witnessed as a fan.
I hope to God that Lowe doesn’t believe any of this, knows he got destroyed on this deal and understands why. I suspect that he doesn’t and that ultimately, there’s no real hope for these guys, other than drafting John Tavares this year and hoping to win the court case.