Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Thought Experiment for You

Imagine that Ilya Kovalchuk played for some other team. Yes, I know, very soon you won't have to use your imagination. But imagine if you will, that Kovy has played all along for someone like the Edmonton Oilers.

Now imagine that the Atlanta Thrashers are just one point out of the playoffs 52 games into the season. Oh, you don't have to imagine that part. Just look at the standings.

If we didn't have Ilya Kovalchuk, and were sitting on the bubble of making the playoffs, and another team was offering his services as a rental player (along with the exclusive rights to negotiate for a new contract until July 1), what would you give to get him?

Would you trade a high draft pick, a couple of semi-promising young 3rd line guys, and one recently drafted kid to bring Kovy in and hopefully put us over the top, make the playoffs and do a little damage? Imagine you're not just a fan, but an owner or GM. You have to look at the revenue aspect of all of this. Even two home playoff games would bring in a lot more money and generate a lot of positive energy among the fans and the players.

So would you be willing to make the trade to bring Kovy here in those circumstances? Knowing that there's a very good chance that he'll just be a rental and will walk in July?

If DW doesn't trade Kovy, he's keeping him along with his negotiating rights for a playoff push. He's giving up what he might have received in a trade. It's the same situation as if he were the buyer team giving up those assets for Kovy as a rental player. The one advantage he has over that scenario, is that Atlanta is already Kovy's home, so he has one more bargaining chip in contract negotiations than other GM's will have.

X= the package of assets DW can get for Kovy in a trade.
X < Kovy

If the Thrashers trade Kovy at the deadline, they become Thrashers+X.

Since X < Kovy, Thrashers+X < Thrashers+Kovy.

If the Thrashers keep Kovy for a playoff run, then there's a small chance he will re-sign and they will continue to be Thrashers+Kovy, but there's a much greater chance that they will become Thrashers (no Kovy).

Thrashers(no Kovy) = Thrashers(no X).

So letting Kovy leave via free agency (i.e. not making a trade) means the team is lessened by the value of X, which is less than the value of Kovy.

Still with me?

If he walks, then we're out 1 high draft pick (we've got another), two ok mid-line contributors (we have a whole team of them right now) and one AHL or junior level prospect who may or may not ever make an NHL roster.

But, maybe we made the playoffs. Maybe the team's ledgers are in the black for the season. Maybe we caught the attention of some other UFA's who will be a little more interested when DW/Dudley call on July 1.

Anyway, that's my argument for telling the Kings, Canucks, Flyers, and Bruins to take a hike.


Jay said...

Interesting. Very Interesting. Makes it seem ok to keep him through the deadline and end up with nothing if he leaves. We could also have a "Kovy Appreciation Day" to thank him for his time here. Maybe if he was given keys to the city it would make him want to stay a bit more? How can you leave a city that you have the keys to?

DowntownATL said...

1) Who can be gained in a pre-deadline trade involving Ilya Kovalchuk that improves the Atlanta Thrashers this year?


2) Could the Thrashers make off-season moves in a post Kovaltrade era that improve the team long term?

Nobody and No

j_barty_party said...

Lord G-money, Mortimer my Captain!

Happy fucking birthday you silly-ass gangsta blogga!

Big ups to you and your prodigious blogging exploits. Can't wait to celebrate it with you in person very soon!

Have a fun and safe time buddy!

the Speaker

j_barty_party said...

I've said it once and I'll say it again. His ass will be traded to Boston. They may not want to part with that #1 Kessel pick now, but just wait till they're hanging on for dear life to that #7 playoff spot. I reckon they will still struggle even after Savard comes back as he will get stale and rusty while Timmy Thomas gets a bit fatigued during the Olympic Break.

At this point, DWad better just be feeling it out and testing the water. If he is so delusional as to think that he won't have to give up exclusive negotiating rights, then he is dumber than I think. If Kovy wanted to stay, then he would've signed by the end of November. Give it up Donnie and let Dudley help you!

We can get that #1 from Boston along with Derek Morris, Sturm and either Paille and / or a prospect. I'd rather have a puck mover for $3 - 4M than try to get Campbell or Phaneuf, who are too expensive, in a trade with CHI or CGY. If we get Morris, we have a chance to re-sign him AND have money left over to bring back K-belle's "Czech Sweetums" (Kubina). If they are really scared to give up that Toronto pick, then take the other #1 but up the ante by asking for Wheeler instead of Sturm.

This isn't rocket science you know. And we will be just fine if DWad plays his cards right. Unless of course Philips somehow weasels out of their naming rights contract...if that happens, then we may be screwed worse than uh, um...I don't what.

Here ends the reading.

~the Speaker

Daculafan said...

Razor - You make a good argument for keeping Kovy right here until the end. Maybe that extra time will give management long enough to extricate their cranium from their rectum and pay the man his frickin' money.

Either way..that was a different way of looking at the same problem and gave me a different view point...I likes...thanks bro!!

Mortimer Peacock said...

Have to agree with Downtown. I'm not at all confident that DW could get some franchise-saving, Stanley Cup-winning package in exchange for Kovy.