Friday, 19 June 2015

Trade talk: David Desharnais, Tom Gilbert

As an addendum to my recent post on the wisdom of trading Tomas Plekanec, the objection I hear is that he's better than David Desharnais, who's the centre who should rightfully be traded.

I've defended David Desharnais a lot in the past, and still like him as a person and a player, but I do think he's topped out, his development didn't stay on the same encouraging curve we saw early on, when he was piling up points at a faster rate than another naturally comparable diminutive undrafted free agent, Martin St-Louis.  After his first full season when he eventually settled in with Max Pacioretty and Erik Cole and put up 60 points, it now seems that 45-50 points is more what should be expected from him.

Now, David is the guy who works very hard, but the way the game is played, the way it's called by the referees late in the season and the playoffs works against him.  Defencemen can hook and hold more, they crosscheck with impunity, and David can't really thrive in those circumstances.

A poster on social media commented that if David was traded and brought back a second-rounder and a decent prospect, that should be enough to deal him.  TSN's Bob McKenzie, in contrast, doesn't think that there's much of a market for him right now.

I’d be delighted if he brought back either a second or a decent prospect, so if it was both I’d shake on it and run before the opposing GM could change his mind. (“No backsies!”)

Trading David would solve so many problems, the congestion at centre. The need to shift Chucky over on the wing. The need to give him offensive-zone starts, since that’s what he’s good at, and to relegate Lars and Tomas to more defensive assignments, just because that’s what’s left of the pie.

I don’t think he’d bring much return though. The West is obsessed with size at centre, to go up against Anze Kopitar and Ryan Getzlaf and Joe Thornton. To add him to their roster would be apostasy.

The Eastern teams might be more inclined, more now that the Lightning showed size ain’t all that, but then they want a generous helping of speed. David is quick and agile, he can dart into tight spaces, but he’s not really swift.

I think the value of David in trade is more like an old reliable car that has zero Bluebook value, but it still starts and runs and gets you places. It doesn’t make sense to junk it, it still has value to you, but no one else will give you anything worthwhile to acquire it. So you keep it and you drive it until it doesn’t drive any more.

As far as Tom Gilbert goes, how about we send him to Edmonton and they send back the 2nd-rounder they extorted out of us in the Jeff Petry trade?

I know some of you will cluck that it was a reasonable price to pay, but really, did they need Jeff Petry to finish third-last? It’s not like they were using him for any tangible purpose. Didn’t we do them a favour by taking him off their hands, greasing the skids for them to fall ass-backwards into Connor McDavid?

We helped them out, how about they return the favour? All thems youngs prospects in their system is bound to gum up the works, they should stem the tide a bit, ease off, clear out a second-round bluechipper off their board. Give their AHL coaches a chance to catch their breath.

And if they won’t do the #57 pick, since there’s a guy there they like who’d be in range, we’ll make do with the #33 pick.

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