(This post is part of a fundraiser for 826 Boston, a non-profit tutoring and writing center. For $50, readers can get me to write anything about hockey they want, so donate today to make me say stuff by clicking here. I probably don’t believe the nonsense below, which was requested by Colin.)
My assignment for this post is to write about “anything [I] want.” And I think that is interesting and cool and I hope more people choose that because many of the other ideas so far have been what I would categorize as “bad.” This is, by the way, not a value judgment.
But speaking of value, that is a thing I have been thinking about a lot today came because of the whole circus now surrounding Martin St. Louis and the (apparent) likelihood that he gets traded out of Tampa because Steve Yzerman didn’t put him on the Canadian Olympic team, which by the way was dumb to begin with.
The reason “value” enters into it is that you’d think, in theory, the reigning Art Ross winner, who also has 56 points in 58 games this season despite not having Steven Stamkos as his center for most of that time, would be “valuable” on the trade market. Even if he did — allegedly — ask out of Tampa. You would, however, think wrong, because hockey fans are idiots.
Longtime Boston Globe Bruins beat writer cum general columnist Kevin Paul Dupont this morning floated the (mildly provocative) idea of the B’s swapping Reilly Smith straight-up for St. Louis, who hasn’t had a single-season points-per-game number of less than .96 since 2005-06. Smith, for the record, is 18-24-42 in 57 games for Boston this season, as a 23-year-old, because he’s shooting 17.1 percent.
This, on the surface, is a hell of a trade. St. Louis has more points and goals than Smith, and is generally one to savage his opponents in the playoffs. And yet, Bruins fans are largely saying, “Thanks but no thanks.” One particularly dim observer — not surprisingly he’s most famous for calling into a populah Bawstin spawts talk station — also said that he would “still do” a Bruins trade that sent out Ryan Spooner (0-11-11 in 22 games this season), Torey Krug (12-20-32 in 57 from the blue line because he’s playing nothing but fourth-line guys and getting almost no defensive zone starts), and two first-round picks (presumably very late ones) if the return was Shea Weber (one of the two or three best defensemen alive). Another was iffy on including Ryan Spooner with Kevan Miller and a pick for Weber.
I said on Twitter that this is further incontrovertible proof that Bruins fans are idiots who don’t know anything about hockey — they are and they don’t, by the way — and I further joked that they wouldn’t sign off on a trade that swapped a TD Garden hot dog for Sidney Crosby. One guy, I swear to god, didn’t disagree with my premise. But as much as Bruins fans are among the worst in the league, this attitude is also endemic in hockey as a whole. Every prospect a team has is a sure thing. Trading any of them would therefore be foolish. And so on.
Wade, at your peril, into the trade proposals section of HFBoards sometime and see just how much of an issue this is. I can’t imagine I will ever understand. It has to be something like 3 percent of prospects who actually reach the level of the comparable ISS and TSN affix to them (“Reminds us of: Gary Suter,” etc.), and yet if we’re told any given kid plays like Mark Messier — and by the way, he doesn’t — we’re like “Sounds great, let’s never trade him.”
That is, until he has a few too many soda pops as a 20-year-old and only scores one goal in the playoffs and you lose in the Stanley Cup Final to a juggernaut Blackhawks team. Then your little prospect ass is next to worthless, and needs to be traded with no consideration for the return.
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