Saturday, February 18, 2012

The almost Pronger trade Vs. The maybe Nash trade

Nobody will ever know how close John Ferguson Jr. was to trading Tomas Kaberle and Alexander Steen for Chris Pronger the summer of 2006.

One thing for certain is that many Leaf fans thought the price was too high. An all-star defenceman and a (so we thought) budding NHL star in Steen, the Leafs in the end did not make the rumored deal and I count myself in the group at the time who was very glad it didn't happen. 

How wrong we were. 

Yesterday Damien Cox wrote a story about Jake Gardiner being the player coveted by Columbus as the centerpiece in a trade package. I got that same feeling as I did nearly 6 years ago. The voice in my head:

"We can't possibly trade Jake Gardiner. He's going to be a superstar".

Gardiner right now is the highest scoring rookie defenceman in the NHL. He is giving every indication that he's a star in the making, his minutes and production rising as the season grinds on. I would rather trade any 2 of our prospects together than Gardiner right now. 

From a pure business standpoint, it would be a no brainer to trade Gardiner. You look at asset management and it goes like this. Toronto sign Francois Beauchemin as a UFA giving up zero assets. Toronto then trade Beachemin for Lupul and Gardiner. If you're doing the math, that means Toronto have acquired an all-star forward heading towards 80 points and a bluechip rookie d-man, without giving up any organizational assets (other than some salary for Beauchemin during his tenure).

To then move a package similar to those two players for Rick Nash, you can see that the whole thing is working out pretty good for the long-term health of the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

So why can't I shake this sick feeling in my stomach?


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