Boy, I'm glad its over aren't you? Maybe now I can actually get some work done at the office! I said in an earlier post, that I had complete confidence Don Waddell would get the right deal done. I think it would be hard to argue that now. It hurts to lose Hossa. I'll save that article for another day. Right now, I'd like to take a look at the actual trade and give my thoughts.
Gone: Hossa, Dupuis
New Thrash: Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Angelo Espisito and a 1st round '08 pick
We all knew Hossa was gone at the end of the year. Dupuis had a chance to stay, and maybe we will sign him in the offseason, but a trade certainly hurts those chances. It seems to me we got a lot in return for two players that could have walked at the end of the year. Hossa almost certainly will not sign with the Pens next year. I don't think they have the cap room. He is purely a rental.
Speaking of rentals.... remember last year when the entire league was flipping out over how much we gave up for Tkchuck: Metropolit, 1st and 3rd in '07, and 2nd in '08. Now, lets compare the two deals. Metro didn't fit into our plans for '08 so he was going to leave anyway. So, to me that means all we gave up were two picks in the weak '07 draft and our 2nd rounder in the '08 draft. Not too bad if you consider the impact Tkchuck had on our franchise.
Now, the Hossa deal: Colby Armstrong will become a fan favorite at Philips. He hits, can score, and will be a great teammate. He can play on any of the top 3 lines. Signed through next year at a good price and then he is a RFA. Christensen has a similar contract to Armstrong. Great on the faceoff, great at the shootout, and will probably be a 1-2 line center on this team. Espisito was a first round pick last year that seems to have potential. I'll refrain from commenting on him too much as I have never seen him play, but he seems to have upside. And we get a first round pick in the deep draft this year that we can use or trade for immediate help.
Seems to me we did better than the Blues did last year in the trade with us. Lots of people have problems with Waddell. Some deserved, some not. Give him credit for what looks to be a pretty good deal with his back against the wall.
I strongly believe the makeup of this team needs to be changed. We have had a lot of Europeans on this team for far too long. I'm not trying to say anything negative. But you cannot dispute that, for the most part, their style of play is soft and fades in the playoffs. Obviously I'm not talking about guys like Holik, or Kovy. The point I'm trying to make is you need guys like Armstrong if you want to make it in the playoffs. This is a huge chance for us to change the direction of our team. We could very easily wind up with the NUMBER 1 pick in the draft! And we will have a ton of cap space to spend money this offseason (SIGN JASON SMITH!).
Come on Waddell. Looks like you get a do-over. Build a team that is tough and plays with grit. It can be done quickly with our cap space and the '08 draft picks. Don't get too down Blueland. I still think the future is bright.
For The Blueland Chronicle, I'm Big Shooter.