With the trade deadline looming, lots of fans and pundits are quick to speculate on the Capital’s needs for players to support them as they try to get into and through the playoffs for yet another year. This got me to thinking about two trades in previous years that still kinda bug me and make me ask, were they worth it?
First up, Tomas Fleischmann, who was traded to Colorado for veteran defenseman Scott Hannan on November 30th of 2010. At the time, Flash wasn’t having a great start to the season; he had only scored 4 goals and 6 assists in 23 games and his ice time was down to 14:17 during that same period. But, the previous season, Flash scored a career-high 23 goals, so the skilled forward was certainly trade bait for GMGM. Hannan was to bring grit and experience to the team, especially to help the progress of John Carlson and Karl Alzner. So how did they each finish out their seasons? Flash played 22 games for Colorado, with 8 goals and 13 assists. Hannan played 55 games for Washington, with 1 goal and 4 assists. But, here is where it gets interesting, Fleischmann, now on the Florida Panthers currently has 20 goals and 25 assists, and may be having his best season ever if he continues with this success. Was it worth it?
The next trade that still sticks in my craw; David Steckel. While I wasn’t Flash’s biggest fan, I really was a fan of Stecks, (aka Ohio State). On February 28th of 2011, the Capitals traded Stecks to New Jersey for veteran center Jason Arnott, just moments before the deadline ended (oh, and a 2nd round draft pick was involved in there as well). Steckel is a skilled center with a great faceoff percentage and is willing and able to crush opponents against the boards whenever necessary. (Not to mention, accidently hitting the Caps fans most hated player; Sidney Crosby.) And, Arnott (aka The Sasha Whisperer); while a good acquisition; really didn’t have as much impact in the stats. With only 11 games for the Caps, Arnott tallied 4 goals and 3 assists, but his leadership in the locker room was well documented. Maybe that in itself was worth it? Anyway, neither Steckel nor Arnott had the best finish to their season in 2011; maybe those trades shook them up a bit. And while Arnott seems to be thriving a bit better on the St Louis Blues with 13 goals & 14 assists so far, Steckel doesn’t seem to be doing as well. Poor Dave has only 7 goals and 1 assist so far with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and that assist stat is really one of his worst in his career. Maybe he misses good old DC? (hmm, I wonder if he would come back?) Overall, yes, we did trade a center for a center, but, since we seem to be in need of a center now, was it really worth it?
The most interesting thing that both Hannan and Arnott said after their trades to Washington? They both were willing to come to a team with the chance to win a Stanley Cup. That worked out well, didn’t it? Another interesting thing? All of these players only lasted on their respective new teams one season. All four of these players were really just rentals. Kinda think that wasn’t what any of them wanted either.
So, IF GMGM does do any trades before the deadline ends tomorrow, I really hope they are worth it, because no matter who gets traded, I’m sure there are going to be more than a few Caps fans who will be disappointed, one way or another. And, if it does happen, I really really really hope none of the new guys say they look forward to playing for a team that stands a chance to win the Stanley Cup. I’m kinda tired at laughing at that joke-turned-jinx.