Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cost of a Rental

True, the trade deadline is over a month away, but all this trade inactivity has us restless. We compiled a list of last year’s significant UFA-to-be players and the return they fetched.

--Peter Forsberg for Scottie Upshall, Ryan Parent, a 1st and a 3rd
--Ladislav Nagy for Mathias Tjarnqvist and a 1st
--Keith Tkachuk for Glen Metropolit, a 1st, a 2nd and a 3rd
--Craig Rivet and a 5th for Josh Georges and a 1st
--Bill Guerin for Ville Nieminem, Jay Barriball and a 1st
--Dainius Zubrus and Timo Helbling for Novotny and a 1st
--Ryan Smyth for Robert Nilsson, Ryan O'Marra and a 1st

A gold star to those who can pick the trend. For nothing more than about 2-4 months of play from a vet, a team generally has to sacrifice 1-2 young players/prospects and the constant, a first round pick.

With all the whispers whipping up of if Marian Hossa might be on the market, that should throw a bucket of cold water over would-be GMs heads.

Also, the T-bombs just overtook 1st place in the division, largely in part to the offense Hossa supplies. For a franchise still searching for that first playoff victory why deal him when you're a 1st place team at the moment?...If Don Waddell's proven anything it's that he's not afraid to see a UFA walk. Hell, he's the fool that paid a king's ransom of picks for Tkachuk and got virtually nothing in return.


Doc Nagel said...

What would be the result of a more long-term analysis of late-season trades to add those final pieces to a playoff-bound team? I'm guessing that it's more common that they don't make a difference. It probably helped the 90-91 Pens win the Cup. Anyone else?

Hooks Orpik said...

doc, I believe a blogger around the internets reported exactly on this.

I forget the exact data, but generally rental FA-to-be doesn't lead his new team to the Stanley Cup (they only give one out a year, of course) and more often than not he ends up in a new city soon.

For example, of the seven instances I cited, only Craig Rivet was retained by his new team all the other UFA's defected.

Plus of the six different teams involved, only one player (Zubrus) made it to the Conference Finals. And his role on the Sabres was very much a secondary one.

Sometimes being a "buyer" works (Ron Francis to the Pens, Ray Bourque to the Avs--albeit that took a year) but more often than not it seems like the lift doesn't work.

But then again players on contending teams often pyschologically expect/hope for the GM to make that amazing move to deal prospects/draft picks to grab the ever elusive "missing piece" that could bolster them for a run to the Cup. Sometimes if the club doesn't grab a UFA rental that adversely affects the pysche of the team

One thing I'd be interested in seeing is something that I don't think has been studied: what the return of young players/draft picks ends up being for the "sellers".

I'll try to find some time later this week to dig up a lot of data and see what direction it points.