Sunday, August 14, 2005

Senators to trade Wade Redden?!?!?!?!?!

Actually, no, they're not. Yet anyway. But if you just skimmed over Don Brennan's column in yesterday's Ottawa Sun, you might come to that conclusion. Apparently, that's what many people did, as that noise you hear last night was what an entire city screaming "nooooo!" sounds like.

Obviously, the piece was op-ed, and was not about them trading him, but asking whether or not they should. And frankly, it's a valid thought.

Even if they don't unload Bryan Smolinski and/or Greg de Vries and their salaries, in all likelyhood, the Sens will be able to accept whatever the arbitrator issues for Marian Hossa (likely to be in the $4-5 million range) and keep the core of the team together for a Cup run this season.

But, you have to look beyond this year, and specifically, to next.

With Redden, Zdeno Chara, and Hossa entering unrestricted free agency eligibility next summer, and Martin Havlat and Chris Phillips the year after that, the team will have some real issues to address.

Unless league revenues go up significantly, and there is no reason to suggest such an event will occur, then the chances of keeping all of the above players within the salary cap are very slim. So you have to select which ones you want to ensure you keep, and hope and pray the others do as well.

For the Senators, the keys for this offseason have to be Chara and Hossa. In Chara, they have something no other team has: a 6-9, 250 pound blueliner who can play big minutes against opponent's best players and contribute offensively. Letting that go, maybe even to a rival, is out of the question. In Hossa, they possess a player who's on the verge of turning into an elite, top five player. He's not there yet, and thus his demands to be paid as such are not fair, but you don't want him to finally reach that status playing for another team, after spending nine years developing him.

That leaves Redden the odd man out.

And it looks like Sens brass are aware of this. They drafted Brian Lee with their first round pick this year. His skillset is remarkably similar to Redden's: fast, puck moving defenceman with great hockey instincts. Sound familiar?

The Senators also have stronger depth at defence. Chris Phillips' play in the '03-'04 season, and especially in the playoffs, was excellent. He elevated his game and showed he can be a top defenceman. He'll be cheaper to lock up than Redden, and it's my belief he's capable of carrying that load. They also have Anton Volchenkov, who's development continues at a rapid pace, and prospects Andrej Meszaros and Christoph Schubert, both of whom are probably NHL ready now. Meszaros is expected to be a very good defenceman for many years to come.

That same depth can't be found at forward.

One option discussed has been trading captain Daniel Alfredsson and his $4.5 million a year contract. After all, he's the oldest of the core at 32 (33 in December). While I can understand the initial logic in such a suggestion, it's just not wise. On a team where heart has been questioned, can anyone really ask that about Alfredsson? Unlike almost every recipient of a big contract from the team (Alexei Yashin, Alexandre Daigle, Radek Bonk, I'm looking at you), effort has never been an issue for #11.

His "leadership" has always been questioned by a vocal minority of fans, but honestly, I've usually chalked that up to prejudice against Europeans. Even if he played like Bobby Clarke, these people would still say a Swede can't be captain. Only Canadians can! They know what it takes to win. They point to Joe Sakic in Colorado and Steve Yzerman in Detroit, ignoring that both those teams had those awful Euro's in prominent, leadership roles - Peter Forsberg for the Avalanche, Nicklas Lidstrom and Igor Larionov for the Wings.

In addition to his leadership and consistent work ethic, Alfredsson still puts up significant numbers and has a thing for big goals. Trading that away would not be sensible.

So the question then is do you hold onto Redden for this year, knowing that he'll probably bolt in the off-season for greener pastures, getting nothing for him, or trade him to a team with some cap space who thinks they can sign him and get some value back? It's not an easy query. If the Sens are to make a Cup run this year, which everyone including Las Vegas expects, then they'll need him.

From where I sit, it's worth keeping Redden and losing him for nothing next July than it is to unload someone of his talent when Lord Stanley seems closer than every before. Whatever the Senators could get back in a trade would not only not equal Redden's value, but they likely won't help us win this year, which should, ultimately, be the goal. As fans, we've looked to the eventual future for too long. This isn't to suggest that we don't keep our on eye on it so that we don't end up destitute in a few years. However, it can no longer be the primary perspective. Not with this roster. One and two year plans make more sense.

Some have suggested that Redden and Chara will take less money to stay in Ottawa. It's a wonderful thought. Very romantic. But based in reality? Doubtful. Betting that a professional athlete will put stability and happiness over financial gain is asking to lose. Though Redden seems to have great character and by all accounts enjoys playing in Ottawa, it's hard to believe he would take $4 million to stay when his peers are getting millions more a season.

In this new CBA, sadly, sacrifices have to be made. For Ottawa, it looks like it will have to be one of the best defenceman in the world. What a way to get acquainted with the "new NHL".


At 3:56 PM, Blogger v said...

"His "leadership" has always been questioned by a vocal minority of fans, but honestly, I've usually chalked that up to prejudice against Europeans."

I would classify the 4 series losses to the Leafs in the playoffs as among the most disgraceful post-season perfomances from any sports franchise. Given the variety of sweeps and chokes it is difficult to find a comparison in any sport, though the existence of similar shameful performancea in no way mitigates the magnitude of Sens post-season failure.

Daniel Alfredsson was captain; while he had some good games he had games when he has looked awful. Regardless, being a leader means taking responsibility for the good and bad.

When Murray was hired one of the first things he said was that the Leafs "intimidated the hell" out of the Senators last playoff. A shocking thing for an incoming coach to say, I think.

Within that context, is it appropirate to scream prejudice here, or at any suggestion that the Senators need to toughen up? I certainly don't appreciate being lumped in with the Unitard drunk crowd for suggesting the Senators need to toughen up and I wonder who the real bigot is here.

Bloody socialists; can't even talk hockey without 'em screaming prejudice...

At 4:13 PM, Blogger CMcMurtry said...

Alfredsson is only one man.

The slackers, the Radek Bonk's of the team, have to be held responsible for their own actions. Leaders lead by example.

Alfredsson's example was one of a consistent effort, including excellent defensive responsibility.

The 20-something year old grown men who decided to march to their own drum and not follow his path are to blame.

And if you want to blame someone, blame the coach. He's in more of a disciplinary position. He's the one who still gave the slugs ice-time when it was aparent to everyone and their mothers that they weren't giving their all.

Alfredsson doesn't draw up the line-up and he doesn't decide who gets what shifts.

I agree he had some bad games and some good. But that's hockey. Does Joe Sakic have a great game every night? No.

If you're suggesting that Alfredsson was a) pushed around and intimidated or b) he didn't give 100% every night, then we'll have to agree to disagree, because I don't feel that way at all.

As for me being an awful socialist because I think their is blatant racism behind some comments, well, sorry, but the truth hurts? Does every single person who thinks Alfredsson shouldn't be captain fall into the category of someone operating with a prejudice? Probably not. But my experiences with said people, 90% of the time "Europeans can't be captains/leaders" always comes up.

That's no sporting a prejudice? That's not a generalization based on one's birthplace?

As for Murray's suggestion, I disagree, and would argue that the reason he said that is because he knows that's what the public wants to hear.

It's trendy and acceptable to say they got "intimidated". It can't just be that they were outplayed. It can't be that they ran into the hottest goalie of the first round. It can't be that their goalie let in three bad goals in the deciding game. Nope.

It's much easier to say they were pushed around.

I often wonder if the people who say this even bothered to watch the games. It might apply to a few players, but to paint the whole team with that broad stroke is both unfair and moronic.

Do they need to be tougher? Probably. But it's not why they lost. It's a fancy excuse though.

Murray said that because he's pandering to the masses. He's trying to be the anti-Martin. So far, he's playing that game well. Let's see how he does come October when it matters and all the talk in the media is irrelevant.

At 4:38 PM, Blogger v said...

Wow, I am truly shocked to see this.

A more honourable response would be to clear up any question as to you sublty linking me to the "yob" crowd merely for suggesting what is screamingly and unambiguously apparent - toughness was and is an issue. I'm satisfied your response above is nonsense, especially your media/Murray conspiracy theory.

Consider the nature of your animosity. Face it; you got caught screaming prejudice when you probably shouldn't have and are lashing out at me.

A case can be made that given his magnitude of suckiness Daniel Alfredsson is one of the worst hockey captains in recent memory; and still it is necessary to scream prejudice?

You can type all the longwinded responses you want, but you're the bad guy here. If you wanna talk hockey, lose the attitude, and stop calling those who disagree with you prejudiced. I come here to get away from that sort of thing.

Seriously, man. Reread your comments; you're out of line and flat out hostile.

At 4:51 PM, Blogger CMcMurtry said...

Out of line and hostile? Please.

I made a comment that I think most of the people who say Alfredsson is a bad captain sport a prejudice against European players. I have this opinion because of experience, as most I meet and hear who have this idea support it by saying something along the lines of "Europeans don't want to win the Cup", "Euros are too soft to do well in the playoffs", etc. Few rationalize it with thoughtful commentary on the game of hockey that doesn't have it's root in some retarded Don Cherry HNIC rant.

Again, does it apply to you, or every single person? Maybe not. But I hardly think I'm out of line for assuming most with that opinion don't have legitimate reasons for it when that's the norm.

You labelled me a "bloody socialist".

People aren't prejudice because they disagree with me. That happens all the time. But if it's rooted in something like birthplace, then sorry, it is what it is. If it walks like a duck...

The fact that you responded the way you did, as if I called you out by name, might be an indication of something. You failed to explain why Alfredsson is a bad captain, instead of throwing darts. So get off your high horse.

As for Daniel Alfredsson's "magnitude of suckness", he's been a point a game player his entire career in addition to being one of the more sound defensive forwards on a team full of them. His playoff numbers aren't exactly embarassing either. 48 points in 69 playoff games, in comparison to a lot of the other players on the team, is impressive.

At 5:15 PM, Blogger v said...

"So get off your high horse."

This is absurd. You are beyond pedantic and condescending. You are a bad person who gets off on pointing out yahoos, smugly declaring yourself better than them, and smearing people like me who suggest the screamingly obvious as prejudiced. Which is fine and all, until you not so sublty group me, anyone who question's Alfredsson's leadership, and anyone who question's the Sen's toughness in with them. In other words, anyone who disagrees with you. Nice. Tolerant. Real nice and tolerant.

"You labelled me a "bloody socialist".

Yeah, and do you know why? Because you sound like a bloody socialist screaming prejudice - wrongly. Root causes. Don't want people calling you a socialist? Then don't sleazily and smugly smear those who disagree with you as prejudiced, OK? And your not even backing off on it; in fact you are re-asserting your "people who disagree with me=prejudiced" line in your post above! Cripes, you have no idea how prejudiced you are.

You still haven't clarified your remarks even after I mention I felt you sublty smeared me with the Unitard crew. A more honourable response would've made it a lot clearer.

Nice job, buddy. It was you, not me, who started throwing around talk of prejudice. I come here to talk hockey and get away from that, not to be smeared as a unitard. You are out of line, your attitude sucks, and I haven't even begun with how badly you don't understand contact team sports.

Get this: in the worst case scenario some Canadians don't like some Europeans. They are the unitards. Then there are people like you, who are legion, who hate the unitards, and smugly get off on pointing out how terribly prejudiced others are. Maybe it makes you feel better about yourself; I don't know.

Thing is, those unitards are your fellow countrymen you work, live, and play with; the Europeans probably don't even like you much anyway. So while the unitards "hate" Euros, you "hate" Canadians. And if you can't get over your palpable hatred of your fellow countryman, just move away; we don't need you here flinging hateful fake prejudice claims around here.

At 5:31 PM, Blogger CMcMurtry said...

Read again:
"His "leadership" has always been questioned by a vocal minority of fans, but honestly, I've usually chalked that up to prejudice against Europeans."


I base my opinion on experience. My experience is that most people rationalize their anti-Alfie stance with something to do with his birthplace. And little else. And when you call them on it, they usually react like you are right now.

I've met a few who support it with intelligent comments. I don't agree with it, but that's okay, because it's not rooted in (here's that word again) prejudice but rather hockey issues. I'll listen to those argument all day long.

Sadly, when it comes to Alfie, they're few and far between.

If this didn't apply to you, then why are you getting so heated?

You and I have disagreed many times before, yet did I throw political sticks and stones? No. So your assertion that I call anyone who disagrees with me a bigot is really unfounded.

As for your contention that I hate Canadians, it's silly. Do I dislike a certain small but vocal segment of our population who have bigoted views? Yes. The fact we have the same skin color doesn't mean I should agree with them, and in fact, makes me embarassed that these people represent me in the minds of some, because I know the majority of Canadians are good people.

You say they're the people I "work, live, and play with?". Last time I looked around at my workplace and circle of friends, all of whom Canadian in some way, they don't look like the same people who have the bigotted views I despise, so no dice there.

Anyway, you want to get your panties in a wad and call me a socialist? Go ahead. At this point, I don't care.

At 8:35 AM, Blogger just'cuz said...

Whoa! People, step back and breathe; remember:

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle

You both sound educated, so give each other the courtesy of respecting the other's opinion.

This discussion, I believe started with a possible trade of Wade Redden... imho, the Senators will probably not be able to afford both Zdeno Chara and Redden, and stay under the salary cap next season. So that, they should trade one of the two before the trade deadline this season while their stock is high and before either gets injured. Personally, I think the Senators should keep Chara because of the "toughness" issue people always mention when it comes to the Senators and the playoffs. Remember, there was no issue before Chara got hurt in the playoffs. Also, Chara should be able to handle the size of the Philadelphia forwards in front of the Senators' net better than Redden.

As for Daniel Alfredsson; unless you think Chara is a leader or Jason Spezza proves he can be productive at the NHL level or until Mike Fisher can prove that he can play 70+ games in a season, Alfie is the leader of this team, on the ice. In the locker room...well, only the people inside that room would know who the leader is.

At 9:27 AM, Blogger v said...

I can't let this clown call me prejudiced, not when I have proof how absurd that is. From a previous thread:

CM: "As for Kaigodorov, I just don't think he's going to unset any of the other centers and I doubt they'd play him out of position his first year in the league. Does he have any North American experience? I don't recall him being on the Baby Sens last year"

Notice inherent anti-euro bias. Here's me countering his anti-european bias:

Anon.: "Muckler has stated he wants to bring Kaigodorov over to NA. I don't think he will sign a two way contract since he tore up the Russian League last year. Sure, he's not proven in NA but I think he might be more ready than Mezaros, Eaves, or Bochenski to step in this year and play at NHL level. Maybe not the kind of player Ottawa needs right now, I'd argue but few players' stock has risen as much as Kaigodorov's over the last year and he could be a real surprise this season."

To summarize, I have a demonstrated preference for European players as compared to CM. CM is more anti-Euro than me. I am pro-Euro, he is anti-Euro.

Still, this clown freaks out at the mere suggestion that the Sens need to toughen up and thinks it's OK to smear me as prejudiced, WHEN HE IS THE ONE WHITH A DEMONSTRATED RECORD OF BEING PREJUDICED AGAINST EUROS AND I AM THE PRO-EURO ONE HERE DUHDUHDUHDUH!

I'm not going to convince CM that he is wrong here but I'm satisfied that a reasonable observer who has followed this assclown-created soap opera would make the appropriate conclusion the CM is prejudiced, flings fake claims of prejudice, and is somewhat of a wingnut.

At 9:31 AM, Blogger v said...

"You both sound educated, so give each other the courtesy of respecting the other's opinion."

This is socialist thinking. He just called me prejudiced, repeatedly and wrongly, and if you are so morally deficient as to see this as "two guys fighting" rather than "assclown prejudiced socialist flinging fake prejudice claims and f***ing up a good hockey conversation" then I question your ability to distinguish right from wrong. It is rare for two quarrelling parties to be equally in the wrong.

At 9:45 AM, Blogger just'cuz said...

Okay, you think I am also a socialist... I respect your opinion, but I don't have to agree with it.

Now, let's get back to hockey talk. So, what do you think about trading Wade Redden?

At 10:17 AM, Blogger Nick said...

How exactly does this discussion, both of Europeans/Canadians, and the contents of this blog, have anything at all to do with "socialism"? Please explain.

At 12:16 PM, Blogger CMcMurtry said...

Re: my Kaigodorov comments.

I hardly think I was demonstrating an anti-European stance. Just that the European game, with the bigger ice, less physicality, and often completely different penalty standards, differs from the North American one

If you think that's even comparable to the popular "Euros have no heart", "Euros fold under pressure" ideology, well, we'll have to agree to disagree.

Anyway, this thread has unfortunately become something I had no intention of ever existing on anything I'm ever associated with.

I'm going to be the bigger man, because frankly the last reason I created this blog was to have political debates, and say if you were offended by my implications, which again weren't directed explicity at you, then my apologies.

At 2:15 PM, Anonymous pete said...

I'm with you, Nick. WTF does this have to do with "socialism"?

My $0.02 on Alfie, though I hate him (as a Leafs fan) is that he's fine for a captain. The Sens lost that last series, despite the fact that they outplayed the Leafs solidly in 4 of the 7 games, because Belfour stood on his head, and Lalime shit the bed at the worst time. It wasn't Alfredsson's fault. Like CM says, his playoff stats are positively red-hot by Senators standards. If anyone was floating in that series, I'd say it was Havlat. Or maybe Hossa. Everyone else was solid, especially the D.

I do think there's something to CM's contention that Alfie haters hate him because he's a European. [if that labels me a pinko commie, then so be it:) ] Sundin gets the same crap here in T.O., and it is absolute bullshit. Sundin has an incredible knack for OT goals. Just incredible. He loses teeth, gets stitched up, brakes his jaw, and he keeps playing. IMHO he's one of the finest captains the leafs have ever had, and certainly one of teh best raw talents in franchises history. But people still call him soft because he doesn't powerslam people into the end boards. You can win a Cup with Sundin as your captain and you can win a cup with Alfie, I begrudgingly admit.

Anyhoo, back to the original topic of the thread. Your suggestion of trading Redden is an astute one. He's the least flashy of the three players discussed, and I don't think he's going to get a whole lot better. Hossa will. Chara probably not (my friends and I nickname Zdeno "Chara plain and tall" because he's so un-flashy, but that's the subject of a different rant.)

Hossa has not hit his prime trade value, but Redden and Chara have. So between those two, you pick your horse. I'd take Chara if only for the size factor. A talented skater with offense who is also a behemoth is invaluable. Redden is more expendable. You're right. The Sens ahve a chance to win this year, so I'd be tempted to go for it and risk losing him. I'd suggest that if teh Sens don't win this year, and choke yet again, the GM will have to blow up the core anyway and create a new mix. In which case some of those guys will be sent packing. So If I'm Muckler, I'd go for broke this year. But if I have to lose one player, it's Redden.

At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

getting rid of wade redden is crazy, why jepordize getting rid of such a valueable player for someone who is big. That's like keeping a goalie who is tough rather then good, where is that going to get you. personally I would go for the skilled player over the player who is intimadating because of his size, a player can be intimadating because of his skill to. so personally if u were muckler ummmm, I go for skill, because size isn't takin ya to the stanley cup.


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