A proper trade analysis.

In 1995 Denver was a city of losers. Hard to imagine now, but they could have given Cleveland and Buffalo runs for their money in being Bridesmaidsville. The Rockies were new, and the Broncos had a long and glorious history... of getting crushed in the Super Bowl. Cubs fans were without a WS title for 85+ years, but at least they had a team. Denver had to wait until '93. The Nuggets had some success in the 80's but by '95 they were one of the worst teams in the league, or well on their way to becoming one.

Then the Avs hit town, and were instantly a hit. It was the new hot ticket in town. Then Pierre LaCroix set a tone that they would in fact be contenders, and traded for St. Patrick, and the momentum couldn't be stopped. The Avs became the good guys, and Avs fever hit the city. They were rockstars. There were only two possible ways the Avs could be any more popular: if they got an arch-nemesis and winning a title. That first playoff series with the Red Wings provided the former, and when Joe Sakic lifted Lord Stanley's Cup in front of Peter Forsberg, Adam Foote, Roy and the rest of the gang, they became more than sports heroes in Denver, they surpassed rockstar status they were legends.

I don't want to say that the franchise lacked Star Power, because Stastny, Sakic, Smyth, Hejduk and Hannan are most definitely stars. But in Denver Sakic, Forsberg, and Foote are it. Even if the Avs fail to make the playoffs this season, the buzz has still come back. For a franchise that was dangerously close to falling into medeocrity, buzz is important. And these two players bring that.

As for the actual hockey teams, well I like the moves even more. Everyone asked if Forsberg was worth the risk? little Miss Sunshine himself, Mark Kizsla, even wrote this ridiculous piece in the Denver Post. Umm what risk?
The Avs are at risk of watching the playoffs with noses pressed against the glass, after declaring themselves serious Stanley Cup contenders six months ago.
True before the Forsberg signing
Coach Joel Quenneville is at risk of not having his contract renewed.
True before the Forsberg signing
Goalie Jose Theodore is at risk of being run out of town.
True long before the Forsberg signing
Giguere is at risk of losing the confidence of ownership that could always count on postseason revenue when Pierre Lacroix was running the show.
True before the Forsberg signing


Fancy that, Forsberg didn't create any of that risk in fact a beaten and struggling team has created those risks this season. Signing Forsberg didn't create any risk at all. Yes he could get hurt, and there's a higher probability of that than with other players, but the Avs gave up exactly zero players to get Foppa back in town. Compare that to the king's ransom the Penguins gave up for 20 games plus playoffs of Marion Hossa. THAT's a risk. All the Avs are risking is about $1M. And guess what: it's not my money. All they get: a world class player like Forsberg. He was the best player in the Sharks-Predators series last year, but the Preds lost that series so no one remembers he actually kept them from being embarrassed. So where's the risk in that? In fact, it's down right conservative.

The Avs then took the real risk in going after Adam Foote. Many people have joked the Avs think it's still 2001, and there's enough joke there, but as I pointed too in my quickie trade post: he's still playing some of the best straight D hockey around. Yeah he may have had some down years in Columbus, but more of that has to do with the fact that the Blue Jackets were pretty dismal until this season. I am surprised he was traded from Columbus, because I know the fans and the organization really liked him there. The only reason he's a risk is because he costs a 1st-round pick. That's a lot for any rental, however, I think Foote has the highest chance of re-signing with the Avs than with any other Free-Agent. In fact I'd bet that he's only thinking about the Avs and Blue Jackets in the offseason.

The Avs also got a defender from Florida for a 3rd round pick and the out-of-favor Karlis Skrastins. I have been hard on the guy, but there's no doubt Skrastins played fairly well here, but his play has been slipping, and he wasn't helping anymore. He can help a team like Florida that could use some positionally sound defensemen and I'm glad he went to a team where he should be able to contribute and play. He is a professional and despite our (fans/bloggers and let's not kid my) sometimes harsh words he never took a night off (willingly), and that's tough to do in a sport that plays 82 games a year so I wish him luck in Florida.

Overall François Giguére was able to trade away a spare part player and two (maybe three)
draft picks for three players that help the Avs get to, and hopefully advance in, the playoffs. The West is so tough there's no guarantee's for any team. More importantly Giguére is able to give the Avs the buzz around town that the lockout squelched three years ago and the team has been seeking ever since. Ask a Blackhawks fan how important that is. And he was able to do it without sacrificing the long-term stability of the franchise.

So remember this day Avs fans, it's a glorious one . (oh and they won tonight against the Flames.)

2 comments:

  1. 1) How could anyone complain that the Av's got Forsberg!?! Geez there's ZERO risk. Anything he provides is a bonus! No assset was given up, no young player was displaced with his roster spot.
    2) The Av's this morning are a much beter team than they were a week ago! Now f you could get Theodore to resume his 2002 heroics you may hve something out there!

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  2. 1) I completely agree. I didn't understand how anyone could complain, but there were a few who said that it was risky.

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