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Patrick

Someone in the comments section at WTC posted that they heard someone heard a rumor that Marleau would be traded today.  That made my heart sink.  My brain immediately went to “wow, that would explain a lot,” and also to “no no no no no no no no!”

It appears to be nothing more than a bad game of telephone with a blogger’s opinion.  According to said blogger, Toronto harbors the solution to all our blue line worries and we should give them Marleau for this panacea player.  I’m all for Czeching our blue line, but this hardly qualifies as a rumor.  It’s just another nut climbing aboard the Trade Paddywagon.

Also, Paddy has an NMC, which should protect him from being moved against his will.  But stranger things have happened, so it spooked me.

While I searched in vain for some clarification of this rumor, I considered the ramifications.

Here are the complaints about Paddy:

1.  He’s not scoring.  He’ll get over it, maybe we should too.

2.  He doesn’t go to the net enough.  Most nights, Heater is already there.  Last night, Paddy went anyway, and all the goals ended up being scored away from the net.  Maybe he has to be there all the time because JT is incapable of sending the puck all the way across the ice.  He always just dumps it to Heater, who is right on the doorstep.

That works a lot, except when the goalie knows he’s doing that.  I had a crazy thought, watching Joe ignore Paddy on the other side of the net, and dump it yet again to Heater.  Short of picking it up with his hand and tossing it over the goalie’s head, Heatley really couldn’t do anything with it.  So here’s a crazy idea: use Heater to screen the goalie and pass to Paddy so he can shoot from the other side.  D’uh.

Oh, right, that is difficult with traffic in front of the net.  Figure it out.

3.  Paddy is accused of not being physical enough.  He has shown he is capable of it.  He cannot redeem himself by racking up hits unless he starts scoring too.  If he’s having trouble getting the puck, it is pretty easy to lump that into the schneid.  It will come back to him.  One thing at a time.

What does Paddy bring to the team?  When he’s on his game he is amazing, hard to control, a very accurate shooter, spectacular skater, yadda yadda yadda… all the things the team kept him for.

What would happen if he were traded away?  Well, the genius blogger who wants to send him to Toronto says Couture can take up the slack.  Right, because we wouldn’t want the team to be over loaded with talented forwards.  That would just be a waste of resources.  Give Couture more ice time?  How much time does he need?  He is in second place by 20 seconds for TOI among rookies this season, and in the top 20% among all forwards.

Again, I propose the Flyers as a model:  consider disposing of forwards who are never amazing, instead of the “spare” super talents.  The team knows what Marleau is worth, even if he only had a good game every seven or eight, and there’s no reason to assume he won’t do better than that.

No, I don’t think Paddy will be traded.  But the mere whisper made me nervous.  Also, I am tired of hearing people complain about Paddy.  If the team were at 75% of its potential production, it would be able to carry him through the slump.  If they can’t cope without him, then they have failed the test.  He’s not the only one playing below par.  He’s just the one saddled with the highest expectations.  There is a reason for those expectations.

That leads me to this kooky prediction: the Sharks may not obtain any new blue liners this season.  DW may not be willing to cannibalize the forward lines, and even if he is, fix-what-ails-you defensemen are in very short supply right now.  But the team may get what they need from what they have.

What do they have?  Players who, when put to the test, can actually succeed without the Flyer’s blue line.  On a good day, they can even do it against the Flyers.  They just need to make the most of what they have, instead of waiting for the cavalry to arrive.

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5 Comments

  1. Scum says:

    Petshark, your idea of not trading for a top D man is not kooky. I had the same idea since we have beaten the best top teams with the current roster. Your rationale that we won’t dilute our offensive talent pool is correct, hence, the only forwards available to trade are the B & C listers. Who would want them in trade for a rare commodity in the NHL?

    No one.

    But if DW does want a top D man, he will be forced to unload a top-6 forward plus …?

    Plus – AHL stock or Nitty/Nemo/Stalock. I seriously doubt Stalock is on the table. On the outside, Seto (B lister) might go since the team has proven lately that they can beat the best in the West without him. I don’t think Seto has an NTC either.

    What is Seto’s sign, and is it going to align around the trade deadline?

  2. Scum says:

    … oh, and another reason to not trade for a top D man is the fact that one guy wont fix our D corps anyway. Sure he’d help, but I think DW’s move at the deadline is to get us to the Cup. And the last time we were in this boat, we traded for Soupy.

    That worked out fabulously, eh?

    I doubt DW has forgotten either.

    So, even though DW will probably make a move for a D man, I think, like you, that he can keep what he has since it will not make a big difference in how we do this season.

    • petshark says:

      I like the idea of pushing our rookie defensemen, saving the vets so they don’t get worn out, and then asking the forwards to play like they did in Edmonton when they were playing 2 d-men short. It wasn’t pretty but if the team is NOT actually 2 d-men short, it would not be so bad. I would LOVE for the team to acquire a top D man but I just don’t think any will be available.
      But push the youngsters and they might learn enough quick to get the job done.
      All that said, there’s a guy in St Petersburg who would be nice to have. I only mention that because the KHL players generally don’t get paid as much, especially ones who have never been to the NHL. He’s probably sewn up anyway, but I wish this team would think more outside the box. People can learn English really fast, and how many words do they need to play hockey? 40 critical words at most?

      • Scum says:

        KHL guys are under contract right now. Not sure of the agreement, if any, was ever ironed out with them and the NHL boys. But if it is possible, bringing guys over from Russia is fine by me. I think it’s a little hard for non-English speakers to quickly understand the many subtleties of playing D in the NHL. Goaltenders, yes. Forwards and Defencemen, no. But bring them into the minors and when ready, send them to the Show.

        I agree that the Sharks’ forwards have proven they can play better 2-way hockey such as your example of Edmonton. They also did the same in Ottawa, and Detroit. So I agree that we really don’t need to give up prized players for a D upgrade.

        So, until they play 2-way hockey, we won’t be dominant. Frankly, we don’t need to be worn out by the end of March, so I’m okay with “cruising” until mid-March and then start playing PO style hockey in order to be on a roll heading into the PO’s.

        Finally, I don’t see how DW can fill all of the holes before the trade deadline anyway, there are just too many of them (on D alone). But I guess filling one is better than none, eh?

        P.S. Who’s the guy in Russia that you would like to see on the Sharks?

  3. petshark says:

    The player I liked in the KHL isn’t a green kid or anything, he’s about 26, SKA 47, Alexei Petrov. I have a feeling anyone with eyes in their head can tell he is a very useful part of that team, so I doubt he is likely to be available soon unless the organization falls apart (which I do not think likely unless the whole KHL tanks).

    I believe that as things stand, the KHL and the NHL do have to honor each other’s contracts, but there is some specific buy out thing that KHL players can do if they are so inclined. But if he is 26 and doesn’t happen to speak English I suspect he will stay in Russia.

    Oh, and Seto is Capricorn.

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