25 June 2011
Trade: JM-Liles to Toronto for a 2012 2nd round pick (via Boston).This deal sucks. Like really bad. Troy Brouwer was traded on the same day for a 1st round pick. Alex Goligowski landed James Neal and Matt Niskanen at the trade deadline. Thomas Kaberle landed a late 1st, late 2nd, and a mid range prospect. JM-Liles was apparently worth the worst piece of that Kaberle deal. Kaberle's point totals the last 3 seasons: 27, 42, 42. Liles: 27, 25, 40. So basically renting Kaberle for 3 months was worth a 1st rounder and a prospect more than a full season of J-M Liles.
There is upside to this deal, however. Currently, the Avs have $29.5M tied up in 14 players (this includes Hunwick's $1.55M deal, which we'll get to below). This means that the Avs have to spend at least $18.8M on 11 players. If the Avs sign the rest of their their RFAs (Estimated salary in brackets); Galiardi ($1.25M), Jones ($2.25M), Porter($750k), Dupuis ($550k) on Offense, O'Byrne ($1.25M), Cumiskey ($750k), Wilson ($750k) & B. Elliott ($1M) That leaves the Avs a healthy $10.25M they have to spend on 3 players. (Note: they could spend another $16M on top of that, but...). The $4.2M cap hit (and $4.5M salary) that Liles freed up can be better utilized in players like Ian White, James Wisniewski, Thomas Vokoun, Eric Cole, Antti Miettinen or Jussi Jokinen. In fact $10.25M is probably enough to sign 3 of those players. If the savings on Liles contract (which was inflated) then that's a positive for the Avs.
(Note: I forgot to add Landeskog's hit into this, last year Seguin had $3.55M and Hedman's the year before is $3.5, so let's call Landeskog $3.6 and make it 2 players to sign for $6.6M)
But taking the salary ramifications into account, the Avs still got hosed. A (likely) late 2nd round pick next season will probably need 2-3 years in the minors to develop. If he even deveops into an NHL player, he won't even be in a Unipron until probably 2015-16. By that point I hope the Avs have stopped rebuilding, and started competing. Toronto had 3 of the top 40 picks in this seasons draft. I don't see why the Avs couldn't have gotten one of those (maybe the #39 pick) this season in exchange for a full season of Liles.
Avs draft LW-Gabriel Landeskog at #2 and D-Duncan Siemens at #11.One thing I don't understand is why people get so worked up over draft picks. I have seen some fans ecstatic over these picks, and others besides themselves because the Avs didn't take Huberdeau or Murphy instead. I understand having an opinion, but having strong opinions on prospects seems silly to me.
I figure a hockey fan with a good eye for talent still needs to see at least 15 games of a player to get any kind of real read on the player at all. Anything less than 15 games and you may be witnessing fluke performances. Since these players don't play each other often, even watching the top 5 is a nearly 75 game commitment. Plus those games aren't really readily available on TV. The other way you could get a read on players is with Advanced stats, but I have yet to come across any websites that track Corsi or anything like that for prospects.
The only people with that much time to scout players are, professional scouts. And even then, there's so many players that they don't get good looks at everyone (although everyone in the 1st round has probably been scouted well by every team). So basically 99.99% of fans knowledge of prospects is limited to second-hand hearsay and youtube clips. Not exactly the best data set to form solid opinions. On top of that, these are 17-20 year old kids who haven't even fully developed yet. The uncertainty with every draft pick, even in the top five alone, is staggering and yet every season people have loud long arguments about the minute details of every prospect. To me, it's the equivalent of arguing about whether it's going to snow next Christmas Day. Yet every season fans have loud long internet arguments and strong reactions to draft picks. Unless a team passes on someone who's obviously (obvious to all scouts) the next Crosby or Ovechkin (hint, no one did) any teeth gnashing is quite silly, IMO.
What I do know is that, while the jury is still out, Head Avs scout Rick Pracey & his staff have done a pretty good job in their limited draft action. In 3 years it looks like every one of their picks from round 1-3 will make the NHL in some capacity. That's outstanding. I put my trust in them, and if they say Landeskog and Siemens were the best players available, then they have earned the benefit of any doubt. I certainly trust them over what I've read and youtube clips.
Avalanche re-sign Matt Hunwick to a 1-year $1.55M dealFans spend far too much time complaining about #6 defensemen, so I'll keep this short, unlike the other two analyses. I don't like the deal, and think Hunwick will take time away from defenders I'd like to get more playing time; specifically Holøs, Guance, Elliott, or Barrie. But he's a 6th defenseman. The Avs are taking another year to evaluate what they traded C. Cohen away for, and essentially I don't have too much problem with that.
Don't get me wrong, he was terrible with the Avs last season (and with the Bruins too), but if they sign a guy like Ian White, and limit Hunwick's playing time to 10 minutes against 3rd and 4th lines, this move isn't going to affect the Avs season too much. If he needs to be thrust into a top-4 role... well the Avs are likely not having a good season anyways.
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