Monday, March 2, 2009

Quiet Everyone, Eric Perrin Has Something To Say

The trade deadline is heating up as you can see from Morty's post below. Thanks for your time Nicky, and good luck with the Devils.

So, that leaves Reasoner and possibly Perrin to go, eh? Well, Perrin certainly hopes he gets to go. Look at what he has to say here. Someone thinks mighty highly of himself after scoring 12 goals playing 1st and 2nd line minutes for the third worst team in the NHL last year. Faithful readers of The Chronicle know that we always try to provide more than one angle to every story. I caught up with Perrin as he was leaving the practice facility earlier today and this is what he had to say:

For The Blueland Chronicle, I'm Big Shooter.


More deadline stuff. Take a look at this very interesting read on about Waddell's experience last year with the Hossa trade:

It was the biggest blockbuster of this past year's deadline, and it nearly didn't happen. But we'll get to that in a bit.

Let's pick it up at the midway point of the 2007-08 season. Thrashers GM Don Waddell realized it was time to get the ball rolling on moving a player slated for unrestricted free agency at season's end. After giving up some futures to get Keith Tkachuk the previous season at the deadline, Waddell couldn't allow Hossa to walk away July 1 without getting anything in return.

"We spent a lot of time throughout the season trying to sign him," Waddell told, agreeing to walk us through the trade. "We knew by the first week of January that we weren't going to be able to sign him. Then, we took the next two to three weeks to look at the teams where we thought there would be a good fit and who could afford him with the cap. By the first week of February, he had a list of 11-12 teams, had broken down in terms of who they could afford to give up, had a good sense of their depth charts. We did a lot of homework before we ever made that first phone call. We were as prepared as we felt we could be heading into trade talks."

About three weeks out from the deadline, teams began to call Waddell and communicate their interest in Hossa. Waddell set the price -- a steep one. "I was pretty up-front with them, saying I wanted players I could put on my team immediately, and I wanted some young prospects because, the year before, we had traded our first pick and I wanted to recapture something that I could put into my system."

One team, which Waddell would not name, called and asked for a chance to negotiate an extension with Hossa.

"Yes, I had one team that asked that their deal be contingent on being able to talk to the player," said Waddell. "I initially said no. Then, I came back and said, 'If we can reach a deal, and it's just contingent on you talking to him, I will do that. But letting you talk to him before we have a deal, if I do that, then I might have 10 other teams trying to do that. That's not right and it's not fair.' We never got to the point where we could reach a deal. That was about a week out."

Despite "lots of talks" with Montreal, Hossa was still a Thrasher as deadline day arrived, and Waddell had no idea what was coming his way on one of the most stressful days of his career.

"Teams started calling again around 7 a.m. At this point, I've got about five teams that are coming at me on this. But it's interesting, from 9 a.m. to about 11:30 a.m., it went almost dormant quiet. I'm assuming what happened is that teams wanted to touch base with me in the morning, make sure I knew they were still in it and see where I was at, but then used that window after that to see what else was out there."

Fast forward to 2 p.m. ET, one hour before the deadline. "At 2 p.m., I've got it narrowed down to three teams," said Waddell. "Pittsburgh was in, but they weren't leading. Detroit was the other team in the group with Montreal. Pittsburgh called me in the morning and asked me where I was, and [Pens GM] Ray [Shero] was pretty sure they weren't going to be in it. The price was going to be too high for him. Ray and I have a good relationship, so it was an open dialogue.

"I didn't hear from Ray for four hours or so. It was probably close to 2 p.m. when I heard from Ray again. At that point, I still didn't feel like he was leading the charge. If I had to make the deal at 2 p.m., it would not have been with Pittsburgh."

It would have been with Montreal, we believe.

"From 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., I touched base with the other two teams. Detroit told us, at this point, that they were done tweaking, this was the best they could do. So I knew where [Wings GM Ken Holland] was at. By 2:30, Ray touched base again. I told him, 'It's getting close to the deadline. If you're in, you better step up quickly.' He asked me exactly what it was going to take. We were at two assets at that point, but Esposito and Armstrong were not in the deal. He called me back around 2:35 p.m. and threw in Esposito's name. I said to him if he threw Armstrong in as well, we had a deal. That was about 2:40. He said, 'I can't do it, I can't do it.' I said, 'Are you telling me you're out?' He said, 'Give me five minutes.'"

Those were the longest five minutes of Waddell's life. By 2:50, Shero still hadn't called back.

"So, I called Ray back," said Waddell. "He said, 'Hang on, I'm on the other line with Mario.' He kept me on hold for five more minutes. Now it's 2:55 and I'm sweating bullets because I don't even know at this point if I have time to make the call to Montreal. I'm on hold, felt like forever, so I picked up a different phone line and got Ray's assistant and I said, 'Tell him to pick up the damn phone or I'm hanging up on him.'"

Shero came on, and was still unsure.

"I said to Ray, 'I know you're giving up good assets, but you're getting a hell of a player and a hell of a guy. He's going to help you get to where you want to get to.' He said, 'Alright, I'll do it.' I'm telling you, it was 2:57 p.m. at that time.

"If that deal falls through, I don't even know if I had time to dial [Habs GM] Bob Gainey and get that deal done. That's how far it went to the wire. I got to tell you, it was very, very nerve-wracking."

The final trade on Feb. 26, 2008: Atlanta traded wingers Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis to Pittsburgh for winger Colby Armstrong, center Erik Christensen, prospect Angelo Esposito and Pittsburgh's first-round pick in the 2008 NHL draft.
It was a deal that helped both teams. The Thrashers got an impressive haul to help them plug the holes from the Tkachuk deal. The Penguins went to the Cup finals.
-- Pierre LeBrun


Mortimer Peacock said...

I don't know. Eric Perrin isn't great, and his numbers last year were a bit inflated thanks to playing all those minutes with Kovalchuk. And he shouldn't have spouted off like that to the press right before the trade deadline.

BUT I think a lot of this idiocy has to do with confusion over what his role on the team was supposed to be. Remember that the Penguins originally wanted him in the Hossa trade and DW traded Dupuis instead because Perrin was like OMG So Much Better.

I also seem to remember John Anderson saying, to me, in person, something about Perrin possibly having a "big year" this year. Am I just imagining that? I'm being serious; I might have dreamt it up Did it happen?

Big Shooter said...

He did say that was a possibility. But it didn't happen.

And the reason Dupuis was included in the deal instead of Perrin is because Dupuis was a UFA that we were far apart in contract talks and Perrin had one more year.

Be a big boy Eric. When you whine and complain in multiple stops about the coaching and your role on the team, maybe you should stop and think that it could possibly be YOUR fault and not the team's.

Just sayin.