Thursday, July 19, 2007

Don't Drink Chiarelli's Kool-Aid

Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special “Hey” goes out to Hazel Mae if she is checking in.

“This trade has the potential to help both teams.”

A reflection of how under-whelmed hockey writers in Boston (all three of them?) are with the last brain wave of SenaTards South GM Peter Chiarelli? Or is it their way of saying “We don’t understand this one?”

For those of you in Red Sox Nation who haven’t been following the Bruins this off-season, Bruins GM (and resident “donkey” as my man Tilt likes to say) finalized a relatively minor trade with the SenaTards that sent LW Shean Donovan home to Ottawa in exchange for LW Peter Schaefer.

On the surface, it doesn’t look like a bad trade – the Tards rid themselves of a $2.1M mistake for a guy they tried to sell to fans as a second-line winger in exchange for a relatively cheap serviceable third or fourth line winger who costs $1.2 M less per year. The SenaTards South are telling their fans that they are trading up – exchanging a six goal scorer who wasn’t the physical force they expected him to be, for a second line winger who can contribute to the penalty killing unit and “brings playoff experience to the team.”

The funny thing is that not one hockey analyst/writer has deemed this trade to be a “win-win”.

Let us be the first to say what most local writers can’t say – it’s a “lose-lose” situation. It amounts to a nothing trade that hurts both teams this year (and we like that as members of Leaf Nation).

From the SenaTards point of view – yes, they rid themselves of a $2.1M cap hit for a guy being paid like a second-line winger who played more like a third line winger. However, the Tards can’t, or won’t, apply the savings to acquire a player who can be a second-line winger – they have cap issues as it is, and they are already looking at the 2007/08 off-season where they will have to try to sign Dany Heatley as an unrestricted free agent AND Jason Spezza as a restricted free agent – with Kevin Lowe on the scene, you can bet he’ll be making big offers to both, making the Tards match or lose them.

So the Tards save a million in cap hit but they are stuck with Donovan – a guy who might, and we mean MIGHT, score 10 goals. He’ll struggle to make their third line, and will likely end up as a fourth liner who gets 3 – 6 minutes a game. A $925K cap hit for a fourth line role player who seems to have lost his verve for the physical stuff strikes us as a waste of a roster spot and money.

The Ottawa media is trying to paint this as a “hometown boy comes home and makes good” – but none of them seem really convinced by it. In Schaefer, they had the perfect whipping boy – he made too much money for what he brought to the rink, and he really didn’t try to fight back when they were piling on for his indifferent playoff performance. They might not be so quick to pile on a hometown boy like Donovan. The end result is that they still don’t have a second line winger.

From a Bruins perspective, they get the bookend to Brandon Bochenski – another former SenaTard who couldn’t get it done on a consistent basis…only this bookend costs a lot more than Bochenski. Chiarelli is telling B’s fans that Schaefer brings a physical edge and goal scoring ability to a team lacking in both. Excuse us if we don’t step up to Chiarelli’s Kool-aid stand. Schafer’s best season was coming out of the lockout – where he scored twenty goals playing on the second line of one of the league’s highest scoring teams. His reward was a three year/$6M+ contract. Schafer responded with an indifferent year which saw him go missing far too often – no hits, no goals, nothing… he was seen as a floater, and rightly so. He isn’t big enough to be a physical force on the ice and he doesn’t create offense on his own (relying more on skilled players to get him the puck in good scoring positions– hello Bochenski???). Sure, he works the boards and digs for the puck – but is that, coupled with 10-15 goals worth $2M+ on a team with major holes? We think not.

The Boston media is basically regurgitating what Chiarelli has told them. But, what the Bruins are left with is what the Tards gave up – a guy they hoped would be a second line winger, but is more third-liner who is being paid far too much for what he brings to the rink over 80 games.

Again, we think this is a lose-lose trade. Peter Chiarelli has basically told other GMs across the league that he has no clue what to do with his team – so he’ll just keep looking to Ottawa for inspiration and spare parts.

Questions we have to ask

To Red Sox Nation – after losing 2 of 3 at home to the Royals the lead over the Yankees is now seven games – is it time to start worrying? Admittedly, we’re hating on the Sox for blowing another Pro-Line ticket…losing to freakin’ Odalis Perez????

To Blue Jays fans – your four games out of second in the AL East (since you all seem to be talking about second place in the AL East) and ten games out of a Wild Card spot with four teams ahead of you – is it time to pack it in for the season? Is it time for J.P. to go?

To Leaf Nation – fact or wishful thinking? Do we really believe Islanders GM Garth Snow is dumb enough to talk to JFJ about acquiring Bryan McCabe? Is he really going to take that albatross of a contract off our hands?

To NBA fans – is it just me (I say “me” because I know Tilt doesn’t agree with me on this one) or does anyone else think Lebron James made a complete and utter ass out of himself doing Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative” at the Espys? I caught 30 seconds of the Espys and it happened to be Lebron’s performance…enough for me to turn it off. He probably thought he was showing his humourous side, but apart from Serena Williams – it looked like the audience thought he was a retard – I second, third and fourth that. Lebron hasn’t heard of the word over-exposure (or embarrassing for that matter).

Red Sox West RF Andre Ethier hit a three run shot yesterday to lead the Dodgers to a 5-4 win over the Phillies – that trade for Milton Bradley gets better and better every day.

Former Red Sox P Lenny DiNardo pitches seven shutout innings, giving three hits and no walks in Oakland’s 6-0 win over the Rangers – you know we would have suggested the A’s yesterday had we made it in time to post a three play.

Detroit Tigers RF Magglio Ordonez had two hits off Johan Santana, including a two run homer, and drove in all three runs to lead the Tigers to a 3-2 win over the Twins.

We had a tough night on Tuesday, a really tough night, but we’ll get back on track today. Total for the week stands at - $95.

Los Angeles over Tampa Bay – here we go again with Anaheim based teams, but we’re backing former Jays P Kelvim Escobar and the Angels to avoid a sweep against Andy Sonnanstine and the DRays. Two things we hate to do: back a team from Anaheim and look to a team to avoid a sweep. Lay $100 on the Angels (line to be posted later).

New York over Toronto – risky here, something tells us that this is the kind of game McGowan will rise to the occasion for; but you can’t ignore Wang’s record against the Jays. Lay $100 on New York (line to be posted later).

We’ll check in later with the night games.

That’s it for this morning gang – thanks for taking the time to check in.

Hazel, I hope things are groovy in your world.

We’re Out.


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