Archive for the ‘Trades’ Category

I’m so happy that Brad Richards wasn’t traded today. I still, probably naively, have hope that he re-signs with the Stars. Trading him would have taken away what little chance we had.

This team can do something if they stick to it and when Richards comes back from his injury, I think they’ll be able to start pulling ahead. The last two games have been so encouraging. I would have hated to see Joe Nieuwendyk bail on the season.

If he had traded Brad just to trade him, it would have been a mistake. The possibility of losing him for nothing isn’t any more gloomy than losing him for somebody else’s mediocre prospects.

Nobody that needed Brad as a final piece would have been willing to give up their best young players, and that’s what Nieuwy was reportedly demanding. Good for him!

Everybody whined that Nieuwendyk was asking way too much and he’d never be able to trade him at those prices. I always thought he was thinking, “Exactly.” The point was that he didn’t want to trade him!

It’s like, my house is not for sale, but if somebody asked me what my price is, I might say, “500 grand.” They’d say, “You’re crazy! Nobody would buy that crappy house for that!” And I’d say, “I know.” BUT, if they said okay, I’d be outta here so fast, I wouldn’t even pack.

So now we can relax a little and start concentrating on the playoff stretch in earnest. Now that it’s getting closer, and they seem to have come out of their funk, and I watched a game RIGHT ON THE GLASS, I’m really getting excited about the Stars.

I’m all in now.


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After being indirectly insulted all day Monday by all the Dallas Stars bloggers/tweeters who tend to accuse anybody that disagrees with them of being an idiot, or worse, somebody that doesn’t know anything about hockey, I think I’ve settled on an opinion about the latest trade.

Joe Nieuwendyk traded James Neal and Matt Niskanen to Pittsburgh for Alex Goligowski.

First, I’ll say that I hate trades. I never like to see people traded. I almost always get over it, though. I still wish Philippe Boucher were still around, but most other trades I’ve learned to live with.

After the initial shock that Nieuwy would trade a young forward with the kind of potential that Neal has, I can see that he’s probably the one that would have to be traded. He’s good and teams want him, but he’s in a category (forwards) where the Stars have a surplus.

Neal has high potential, but I think it’s apparent that it might take a little while for him to work out his inconsistency kinks and reach that potential. I still expect him to be a star in the league, but he’s young and he has some work to do.

As everybody says, over and over, ad nauseum, the shortage on the Stars is in puck-moving defensemen. So they traded from a surplus to fill a shortage and that’s really all you can do.


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Jamie Langenbrunner, circa 2001. Courtesy of me.

Jamie Langenbrunner is back. Who saw that coming?

I admit I’m not the voracious reader of hockey news that I once was, but I did not see that coming.

When it first looked like Langer would be coming back to Dallas, I was not that happy about it. I probably spend way too much time on IPB and maybe I was swayed by Pookie and Schnookie and Mags and all the other Devils fans over there who have been hoping against hope that he’s in the first bucketful when the Devils start bailing.

He’s not had a good maybe year and a half over there. He’s not the only one, though. He’s apparently known for a while that something was going to happen and he was not reacting well to the spectre of reduced ice time and lower standing on the team.

But once the deal went through, I started hearing that Joe Nieuwendyk’s plan was for him to be on the third line and that he wasn’t going to push Benn out of his plum spot so I started feeling a little better.

Pookie and Schnookie assured me that he is bound to benefit from a breath of fresh air and that since he wasn’t captain here, he can accept other roles.

It reminded me of an article/chat by the great Mike Heika where he pointed out that Turco can accept a backup role in Chicago but he can’t here in Dallas. The same is probably true of Mike Modano. It’s too painful to watch him bringing up the rear here after so many great years. But in Detroit, he’s just a veteran piece to the puzzle. (And, of course, I don’t have to watch him since I can’t watch the Wings.)

When Jamie was traded to New Jersey with Nieuwendyk, I seriously questioned my devotion to the Dallas Stars. It was early in my fandom and I was crushed. Crushed! As it turns out, I do love the team more than any individual players. But I missed Jamie for a long time. I loved the guy.

That was nine years ago. A lot has changed since then. I don’t have the wide-eyed, he-won-the-Cup-here-so-he-will-surely-bring-us-another-one excitement that everybody else does. But I have warmed to the idea quite a bit.

He does bring some playoff experience (although his recent experience wasn’t that great), and he is right-handed. And they only gave up a second-round draft pick, at worst. I just want to make sure that it doesn’t mean any of our future loved ones, such and Benn and Wandell are thwarted in their development.

I’m anxious to see what it’s like to watch Jamie Langenbrunner play for the Stars again. I think it’ll be weird. I hope everybody’s right and he’s the last piece of the puzzle for a big push in the playoffs. (Even though we didn’t know we’d need one when the season started.)

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All this talk about which team Cliff Lee is going to sign with has gotten me all worked up again about long-term deals. The talk is that he wants more than six years and the Yankees are offering him six seven. The Rangers don’t want to offer even that much, but it’s still all up in the air.

Ever since Rick DiPietro signed his 15-year contract with the New York Islanders, I’ve wondered what in the world a player would want with a contract that long, let alone the team.

The list of cons from the team’s point of view is already much longer than the pros. The pro is that you don’t lose a guy that you feel is a great player. The con is that when you inevitably want to lose him, you can’t. Either his contract is still so young that nobody wants to take on all those years of the cap hit, or the player is in his last throes and is not good enough for someone else to take over the cap hit.

In my opinion, though, the player should be even less interested in a deal like that. I guess the thing they want is to be guaranteed a paycheck for 12 years, but it seems risky.

Maybe DiPietro knew that he’d spend most of his career on the IR. Otherwise I haven’t been able to explain why he’d chain himself to the Islanders.

The current trick is to pay the player almost all of his money in the first half of the contract and only owe him a few hundred thousand at the end of it. But the cap hit is averaged out over the life of the contract. Sure, a $5-million cap hit seems like a steal in the first 2 years, but when the team is struggling in the 10th year and you’re playing on the 4th line, or you’re in the pressbox, it’s not going to seem like a steal anymore.

No team spends 12 years at the top. Certainly not in a cap league. And certainly not if they give players those crazy deals. If you’re a player and you sign a sweet 12-year, high-dollar deal when things are going great, you should brace yourself for some awful years, because you’re sticking around no matter what.

Conversely, plenty of teams could spend 12 years at the bottom.

If you sign a deal with a team that seems destined for greatness (or just achieved some), things might be good for a year or two.

But what if the team starts to struggle and they can’t rebuild because your contract is hanging around their neck for the next 8 years? Fans will hate you. Media will hound and criticize you. Your GM will shop you every year, hoping for a team for whom you’ll waive your no-trade clause, just to get you, the anchor, off their books.

What if the team starts to struggle and they fire the coach you love and hire, say, Ken Hitchcock? Or Marc Crawford? You just have to take it.

What if the team signs some idiot that you can’t stand being around?

What if the GM makes bad deal after bad deal and even though you’ve given up on ever winning anything with your God-forsaken team, your stats suffer because you’re dragging AHLers and slackers up and down the ice?

What if ownership changes and they stop doing anything?

Too bad. You’re stuck. Nice contract you got there. I guess the money is worth the risk of never winning anything.

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The Dallas Stars obviously want to break up with me, but I just can’t let that happen.

• They fired Doug Armstrong and hired nutty Brett Hull.
• They traded Jeff Halpern and Mike Smith.
• They let Nik Hagman just walk.
• They signed Sean Avery (admittedly, they almost got rid of me with that one).
• They traded my beloved Philippe Boucher for a bag of pucks Darryl Sydor.
• Instead of just firing Hull and letting Les Jackson take over, they demoted Jackson, too.
• They hired my original favorite player, Joe Nieuwendyk, to take over, which cannot end well favorite-player-wise.
• They fired my beloved coach, Dave Tippett.
• And if that weren’t bad enough, they hired Marc Crawford to replace him.

They’re obviously trying to get rid of me.

Well, it won’t work!


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Boy, that was an exciting Olympics gold medal game, wasn’t it? Congratulations to Brenden Morrow for what must have been the dream of a lifetime. I’m sure he won’t be lording it over his teammates when he gets back to town. Even so, Mike Modano should be ready to smack him if need be.

And congratulations to Team USA for a thrilling run through the tournament, all the way to the marquee game on Sunday afternoon. I think I almost broke my voice screaming when Zach Parise tied up the game with 24 seconds left. I wasn’t so happy about Sidney Crosby scoring in OT to win the game, but if it had to be some Canadian, I’m happy it was Sid. He looked pretty happy about the whole thing while they waited for the medals to be awarded.


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I’m sure he’s never heard that joke before. Actually, he may not have. That song is from the 30’s and he’s barely 30. Plus, it’s not funny.

I think I’m really going to like Steve Begin. In his first interview, he totally gave me a shoutout! He said he loves Penalty Killing!

Actually, his quote was, “I play a simple game, up and down, and I try and bring a lot of energy. I am a defensive player, I enjoy working on the PK.”

Same thing, though. Right?

I think we all know how much I love defensive forwards. And how much I love a guy that can kill penalties. And how much I love foxy players with French accents.

He’s going to have to try hard to make me not like him.

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