Hesitant Suggestions: Stajan for Gomez?

Kent Wilson
January 27 2012 09:11AM

 

 

If you missed it yesterday, make sure to check out Cam Charron's article on Scott Gomez and why the Canadiens most expensive forward is probably better than you think.

Brief summary: Gomez drives the play north. The Canadiens have the puck more when he plays and they tend to win more. His lack of goal scoring coupled with his outrageous cap hit stains his public perception, but the truth is he makes the team better.

Cam's analysis made me wonder if there is any way the Flames might get their hands on Gomez. His cap hit is certainly a problem, but his skill set is something the team currently lacks and desperately requires: the ability to drive possession at ES. As anyone who has watched the Flames the last month or two can attest, Calgary doesn't spend enough time in the offensive at 5on5 these days. Adding Gomez at center would help tilt the ice.

The $7M cap hit represents both an obstacle and an opportunity: the former, because Gomez is obviously overpaid at that price and would eat up a huge chunk of cap space. The latter because it is the reason he would be available at all.

Obviously Gomez at half rpice would be far more preferable. At some point the Canadiens might choose to do the waivers/re-entry thing with Scott if they feel the cap space would be better spent elsewhere, but there's another way the Flames might be able to figuratively cut the cap hit "in half".

Trade Stajan for Gomez. Darryl Sutter's folly has two years left on his contract at 3.5M (cap hit) per season. Absent a buy-out or demotion, the Flames are probably stuck with that deal. Unless, of course, they move him for another "problem" contract like Gomez. 

Sather's misstep also only has two years left. Gomez's cap hit is $7.35M, but the real dollars drop to 5.5M and 4.5M starting next season so the actual financial commitment isn't as quite as intimidating.

The difference between Gomez and Stajan in terms of cap space is $3.85M. That would be the net addition and "true" cap hit for the Flames if they somehow made this trade, assuming no other parts are involved. Considered from that perspective, it's not as insane a proposition as it seems on it's face.

Of course, this is all speculation on my part. It's possible the Canadiens have no interest in trading Gomez at all, or at least not for an expensive spare part like Stajan. There is also obvious other risks to adding a 31-year old with a huge contract and an apparent inability to put the puck in the ocean. I think it's an idea worth considering nonetheless.

Something to think about during the festivities this weekend. If the Flames want to remain competitive during this transitory period, they'll need to start getting creative.

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 RossCreekNation
January 27 2012, 11:01AM
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The other thing you could do is add Babchuk to the deal Stajan (3.5) + Babchuk (2.5) for Gomez (7.35) = 'only' paying 1.35 extra.

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#2 jeremywilhelm
January 27 2012, 09:25AM
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Kent, are you drinking already this morning??!

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#4 Nolan Moore
January 27 2012, 09:37AM
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An albatross for an albatross? Na, i'll stick with the cheaper of the two. Maybe Stajan will crack 20 pts this year.

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#5 Luc
January 27 2012, 09:40AM
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Yes! Then flip him + stempniak for Carter :)

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#7 Caleb
January 27 2012, 09:40AM
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it makes sense in theory, I'd rather had Gomez playing top 6 than Stajan. I don't think I would make this trade in midseason, but rather trade them in June/July when you have a better idea of who you are keeping off all the UFA's and who you might sign of the free agents.

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#8 jeremywilhelm
January 27 2012, 09:42AM
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As much i am sure you are trusting the stats that Gomez is driving the play, i can tell you, from my experience watching this season, Gomez is terrible. Tuuuurrrrrrible. Bad luck or no, that contract is an albatross.

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#9 joey joe joe jr shabadoo
January 27 2012, 09:48AM
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Maybe I'm out to lunch, but isn't this the type of trade the flames could/should be able to also peel away a pick or prospect from the Canaiens for the 'favor'.

ie: Matt Stajan for Gomez + 2nd round pick or Ian Schultz? (only throwing Schultz that out there as I'm not too familiar with who is in the Habs system)

I mean Stajan has been a total dog for the Flames, but isn't Gomez a more expensive dog with fleas? I've come to accept that the Flames are likely stuck with Stajan. They might be able to find a taker when he has one year left on his deal and the Flames sweeten the pot with a pick/porspect themselves, or they may be able to give him the Hagman treatment, but I just don't see the flames being able to find a takers.

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#10 kenta
January 27 2012, 09:50AM
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Unbelievably moronic column.

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#12 Vintage Flame
January 27 2012, 10:00AM
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Kent, I think you are right that the Flames need to start getting creative and thinking outside the box, and in that... The Gomez deal would warrant a look.

However, this might be a little too outside the box for what the Flames need to look at. Despite the Cammalleri deal, Calgary can still effectively accomplish what they need to do with shedding contracts and moving in different players. I don't think Gomez fits into this train of thought.

If the Cap hit difference was only 1-1.5 million, or if Gomez was say 5 or 6 years younger, then I'd be all over the Flames at least exploring the idea. A 3.85 M difference and the fact that Scott is 31, I think kills the conversation.

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#13 liefmeyer
January 27 2012, 10:01AM
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kenta wrote:

Unbelievably moronic column.

Unbelievably moronic comment. Must have taken you hours to come up with that one.

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#14 Gange
January 27 2012, 10:01AM
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In a word, no.

I'll take the 3.5 cap hit and work with that. Gomez "may" be a piece that works in the "go for it" mentality but there is no cap space for that type of folly.

He's not good enough for me to want to take that cap hit. Sure he's better than Stajan but what does that really say about him?

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#15 Vintage Flame
January 27 2012, 10:02AM
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Luc wrote:

Yes! Then flip him + stempniak for Carter :)

Haha.. there is NO way CBJ takes Gomez and anyone for Carter.

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#17 Gange
January 27 2012, 10:05AM
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Luc wrote:

Yes! Then flip him + stempniak for Carter :)

LOL, if that it were that simple.

Carter, although possibly on the block in CBJ, has tons of value. I would HIGHLY doubt they'd give him away like that.

Hey, if they do it, I'm ALL OVER IT!!

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#18 jeremywilhelm
January 27 2012, 10:09AM
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@Kent Wilson

I guess i would ask Cam a simple question, look past the numbers, have you watched him play over a large sample?

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#19 Caleb
January 27 2012, 10:09AM
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@joey joe joe jr shabadoo

I thought at first that yes, they could probably get a 2nd back in the trade, but looking into it more, it might be tough. With all the stuff Kent said above, clearly Gomez is better than Stajan when neither are producing offensively. So then it would all come down to the salary. Since Gomez's contract is front loaded, the Canadiens would only save $3mill over the 2 years left on the contracts. They did that already in the Cammalleri trade. They have $20 million in cap space this summer with Kostitsyn, Subban and Price to sign. I would think that at most Subban and Price sign for a combine $10 mill per and Kostitsyn may get a small increase. So they would still have $12 to spend on 2 defence and 4 forwards to fill out the roster, which is plenty.

As bad a the Gomez contract is looking right now for Montreal, it is better than Stajan's.

Unless Subban and Price ask for way to much money, and then Montreal needs the extra $3 mill, then I really do not see any way they will throw in a top round draft pick to make the trade happen.

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#20 lionlager
January 27 2012, 10:13AM
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Interesting idea. I would think that even if he helped the team in the long run most GMs would be scared to take him just because of his infamy as a an expensive dud (who hasn't scored in a year). If GMs want to keep their jobs for the long run it seems to be about fan perception as much as results. I might be wrong. To the rest of the NHL Feaster would look like such a fool... the same way Dutter did after throwing away Dion and after picking up Jokinen the second time (regardless of how that worked out). It would be a high-risk, low-reward sort of gamble. It would also, very pubically, rest squarely on that GM's shoulders. I think Gomez will be sent down soon.

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#21 Gange
January 27 2012, 10:14AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

I'd suggest reading the Charron piece to get an idea of Gomez's worth.

It's compelling. It doesn't change my answer though.

He'd likely help Jarome score goals but that's still a "win now" move rather than a "Stay competitive and rebuild" move. If they were to get him on re-entry, that'd be a whole different story.

I will say that he's clearly head and shoulders better than Stajan.

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#22 xis10ce
January 27 2012, 10:19AM
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Something else to consider, while it is an expensive prospect the new CBA this summer might allow for the team to shed some Albatross contracts. In a situation like Stajans his Cap hit for the next 2 years is 3.5mil, but his real dollars is 2.5mil. MGMT might opt to pay him off (assuming there is a amnestty clause like in 2005?) And free up that cap space, then Stajan could be traded off with nothing holding him back for who knows what (id take "future considerations" at this point). There is a lot of 'ifs' in this scenario, but assuming the ifs line up would mgmt even eat that $5mil bullet?

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#23 kittensandcookies
January 27 2012, 10:19AM
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Stajan for Gomez, a 1st and a 2nd.

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#24 T&A4Flames
January 27 2012, 10:21AM
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I've thought about and I believe I posted the concept as well a while back. I would consider for a few reasons. 1) Only if we get at least a 2nd in the deal but preferably a solid prospect. 2) We have cap space moving forward; that said, I would wait until after July 1st to see if we have better options. 3) what direction is the club going in? If we are not planning inserting the kids into the line up because we want to let them grow in the AHL, then fine, 2 years of that cap hit is ok.

If they went that way, do we need Olli? We would still have Backlund, Jones, Horak, Bouma (I believe plays Center)....

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#25 mats thomassen
January 27 2012, 10:24AM
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I would absolutely do that deal.

Both players are playing like shades of their true selves... Those contracts have crushed them I fear. A swap and new beginning might be a win-win trade for both teams.

Also, though I wouldn't expect Gomez to ever score in bunches, when he's playing confidently his distribution skills are definitely 1st line quality.

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#26 Bob Cobb
January 27 2012, 10:30AM
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Being an Oiler fan I say do it, whats to lose, one underachieving overpaid forward for another who is more overpaid, sounds like a deal to me. Heck while your at it you want Horcoff? Could probably get him for a bag of pucks and a new set of tires for the Zamboni.

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#27 RossCreekNation
January 27 2012, 10:30AM
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I had actually pondered this scenario at the time of the Bourque-Cammalleri trade. It would have had to include Stajan being sent to the Habs in the deal & the Flames claiming Gomez on re-entry tho.

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#28 FireOnIce
January 27 2012, 10:31AM
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Gomez + pick for Carter would never happen. Columbus is likely looking for something similar to what they paid for Carter - 1st rounder, 2nd rounder, and a GOOD current roster player.

As far as the Gomez move, I'd say nyet on this one. Yeah, he drives the play north, yeah they win more with him around. The fact, however, is that the dude simply cannot score goals and is heavily over-priced. Unless you can get Gomez and Subban or Gomez and Eller for Matt Stajan, a pile of beans, and a crate of Finnish juniper brandy, I concur with the earlier post "turrrrrrrble".

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#29 RossCreekNation
January 27 2012, 10:44AM
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As far as this Carter talk goes, wouldn't the Washington Capitals make a good amount of sense?

They've got Alexander Semin's $6.7M coming off the books, so Carter's cap could fit in. They also have a need for a 2nd line C behind Backstrom. A Backstrom-Carter one-two punch would be pretty decent. And they have a young goalie & an extra 1st rounder in this year's draft to make it happen. Could be an interesting scenario, that's for sure.

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#31 MathMan
January 27 2012, 11:00AM
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@Kent Wilson

Last year he didn't produce because of truly ludicrous 5v5 on-ice shooting percentage: 4.73%!

This year it's a combo of injuries, cut-down icetime, and the Habs' chronic failure to finish 5v4. His ESP/60 is back in the top-6 range, 1.84 (on assists alone obviously). His on-ice shooting percentage while 5v4: 2.17%. So yeah.

Can't say I'm intrigued by your suggestion as a Habs fan, Kent, but I happen to like Gomez. I'm also of the school of thought that the Habs can be competitive as early as next year and likely need Gomez to do it.

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#32 jeremywilhelm
January 27 2012, 11:02AM
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I always come away woefully underwhelmed.

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#33 Justin Azevedo
January 27 2012, 11:10AM
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yes

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#34 shutout
January 27 2012, 11:37AM
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I would make the deal.

Gomez and 2013 Calgary Flames 2nd round pick

for

Stajan and Babchuk

Babchuk and the 2nd round pick help to offset the higher cap hit that you are taking back and allows the Canadiens to resign some of their pending free agents easier.

Gomez is an upgrade from Stajan and Babchuk is not needed on defense. We have cap space coming off the books in the summer. Only downside is that it would perclude us from making a trade for a big time player or throwing boatloads of cash at Parise as a UFA. Since I dont think Feast will move our 1st round pick, and since I highly doubt we are a place for Parise to pick then I think it works out as a good option for Calgary.

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#35 xis10ce
January 27 2012, 11:52AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

The other thing you could do is add Babchuk to the deal Stajan (3.5) + Babchuk (2.5) for Gomez (7.35) = 'only' paying 1.35 extra.

I would probably have a joygasm if we could unload Babs and Stajan at once.

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#36 everton fc
January 27 2012, 11:59AM
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xis10ce wrote:

I would probably have a joygasm if we could unload Babs and Stajan at once.

Couldn't we just demote Stajan and see if he clears re-entry waivers, and if he doesn't, buy him out after season's-end?

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#37 Kevin R
January 27 2012, 12:19PM
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I love the thinking out of the box Kent. Here's the thing, not many want a scorch of the Earth Oiler style rebuild & too many dont want to trade Iggy & Kipper. Well in that case, we will be picking 10th to 13th. So no top 5saviour future franchise player for awhile. So I like this type of cap & player manipulation. For cap purposes, we need to add one more player that can reduce eating that much cap. Personally, Stajan & Babchuk for Gomez & a 2nd sounds great. The 1 extra year for Babchuk may be a negative. However, maybe Stajan & Sarich for Gomez & a 2nd would be appealing because it does free up 3.6mill for Montreal next year immediately. & the way its going with Subban, I dont see him giving a hometown discount as an RFA.

Now dare to dream & I toatally expect my butt to get some tar & feathers on this one, but how about Gomez & Subban for Stajan, Backlund & our 1st? Gomez & Subban would probably help us huge in a playoff push & that 1st rounder would probably be mid at best. Dare to dream:)

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#38 RexLibris
January 27 2012, 12:51PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

20 points? he has 6 and plays on the 4th line. So I doubt it.

Maybe he meant over the remaining course of Stajan's contract? Just trying to give Mr. Stajan the benefit of the doubt here.

Maybe I should have included the tildes (~) on that?

Actually, I like the theory. And with the way Gauthier has played his hand lately (acting like it's Bridge when everyone else is playing Blackjack) who knows what you could wring out of him and his organization. Gomez and Calgary's 2nd round pick in 2013 for Stajan and a low-level prospect could even work. And Gomez would probably end up being one of those dumped-on players who revives, or at least re-invents, his career there.

Be careful though, you could walk in looking to pick up some Gomez and walk out with a serious case of the Kaberle.

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#39 JF
January 27 2012, 12:55PM
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I wouldn't do that straight up. The team should be looking to shed bad salary not take on more.

If the team could find a way to more even out the dollars and get a side benefit I'd be willing to do it... Something like Stajan + Babchuk for Gomez + 2nd Round Pick.

But Stajan for Gomez nothing else involved? Pass.

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#40 RexLibris
January 27 2012, 12:57PM
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Kevin R wrote:

I love the thinking out of the box Kent. Here's the thing, not many want a scorch of the Earth Oiler style rebuild & too many dont want to trade Iggy & Kipper. Well in that case, we will be picking 10th to 13th. So no top 5saviour future franchise player for awhile. So I like this type of cap & player manipulation. For cap purposes, we need to add one more player that can reduce eating that much cap. Personally, Stajan & Babchuk for Gomez & a 2nd sounds great. The 1 extra year for Babchuk may be a negative. However, maybe Stajan & Sarich for Gomez & a 2nd would be appealing because it does free up 3.6mill for Montreal next year immediately. & the way its going with Subban, I dont see him giving a hometown discount as an RFA.

Now dare to dream & I toatally expect my butt to get some tar & feathers on this one, but how about Gomez & Subban for Stajan, Backlund & our 1st? Gomez & Subban would probably help us huge in a playoff push & that 1st rounder would probably be mid at best. Dare to dream:)

I'm not the biggest fan of Subban. He strikes me as the wrong kind of talented player, the one who thinks he's better than he is but is good enough to make any counter-argument difficult. He also acts like a jerk, and not in the Corey-Perry-jerk-to-my-opponents kind of way. I think he's often a jerk to his own teammates and coach.

That being said, most teams would love to have that kid's talent on their blueline and, like I said above, with the way Gauthier is acting you never know what he'll give you in a trade.

My guess, though, is that your trade suggestion is fairly close to what I think they might take, were Subban to be officially considered on the market absent a bidding war.

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#41 Rain Dogs
January 27 2012, 01:00PM
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1. Doesn't fit into any long term plan 2. Don't have the cap space for it on the surface 3. Is unbelievable short-sighted and would be more foolish than the similarly plagued "Cammy trade."

In short.... it could happen.

I'd be happier to see Stajan and his net 5 million dollar actual difference be a 13th forward while aggressively trying to be traded to some hapless floor team like the Avs for a 548th rounder. He is 2.5 and 2.5 over the next 2 seasons with a 3.5 cap hit. Yummy!

Even if Gomez is worth half what he's paid, the other useless half of Gomez is equal in pay to Stajan and Stajan is better than an AHL call-up in some respects.

No net gain, but we do like swapping problems for problems....with the inanely delusional idea that we're "staying competitive", and have a hope in hell of making the playoffs.

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#42 T&A4Flames
January 27 2012, 01:23PM
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Kevin R wrote:

I love the thinking out of the box Kent. Here's the thing, not many want a scorch of the Earth Oiler style rebuild & too many dont want to trade Iggy & Kipper. Well in that case, we will be picking 10th to 13th. So no top 5saviour future franchise player for awhile. So I like this type of cap & player manipulation. For cap purposes, we need to add one more player that can reduce eating that much cap. Personally, Stajan & Babchuk for Gomez & a 2nd sounds great. The 1 extra year for Babchuk may be a negative. However, maybe Stajan & Sarich for Gomez & a 2nd would be appealing because it does free up 3.6mill for Montreal next year immediately. & the way its going with Subban, I dont see him giving a hometown discount as an RFA.

Now dare to dream & I toatally expect my butt to get some tar & feathers on this one, but how about Gomez & Subban for Stajan, Backlund & our 1st? Gomez & Subban would probably help us huge in a playoff push & that 1st rounder would probably be mid at best. Dare to dream:)

I think I would suggest Horak instead of Backlund 1st. We still have to take back a larger sum of salary over the course of those contracts. But, I don't mind that suggestion. Picking up Subban is better than a 1st in that there is a lot more gaurantee to him having continued success at the NHL level, and he is only, what, 21? Subban/Brodie for our future on D is drool inducing.

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#43 Colin
January 27 2012, 02:23PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

The other thing you could do is add Babchuk to the deal Stajan (3.5) + Babchuk (2.5) for Gomez (7.35) = 'only' paying 1.35 extra.

Would do in a heartbeat, of course a prospect or draft pick coming back with Gomez would be very appreciated as well, since we are taking the extra salary back.

Babchuk gives Montreal some defensive depth with Markov a perenial injury concern and Babchuk is "supposively" good on the PP. Stajan is cheaper than Gomez and would probably slot where Gomez probably does(looks like 3rd line duty). So Montreal can claim some savings going forward.

If Markov is as good at driving play as you guys make him out to be, he could slot in as our second line center to replace Jokinen, which would make Jokinen expendable and we can trade him for more assests. Backlund stays number one and Gomez gets #2 duty. And if you do not resign Jokinen then you are saving his 3M, plus Stajans 3.5M plus Babchuks 2.5M, so really you can come out a bit ahead.

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#44 Gange
January 27 2012, 02:38PM
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Why trade for Stajan when the thought is there will be a contract amnesty? That'd be the most realistic way to rid ourselves of him?

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#45 Ken V.
January 27 2012, 03:19PM
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I don't think we should free up anymore cap space for Montreal and worsen our cap situation for another "what if?" situation. If Gomez is such a driving forward he should have the talent to put up points regardless of his line-mates or whatever excuse you could conjure up for him. An absolute no to this trade suggestion. I too thought Kent was drinking at the time he wrote this article!

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#46 everton fc
January 27 2012, 03:32PM
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Gange wrote:

Why trade for Stajan when the thought is there will be a contract amnesty? That'd be the most realistic way to rid ourselves of him?

Agreed.

"I don't think we should free up anymore cap space for Montreal and worsen our cap situation for another "what if?" situation. If Gomez is such a driving forward he should have the talent to put up points regardless of his line-mates or whatever excuse you could conjure up for him."

Agreed.

I say either demote Stajan and see what happens on re-entry... Try and mvoe him for something like a 5th round pick... Or, of these two options fail, buyout at the end of the season. Why would we think Gomez would produce fruits here, when many players like him have come here and died on the vine (see Stajan... Amonte... Friesen... et al...) Gomez is 31. Could he be washed up? Perhaps...

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#47 Mitch2
January 27 2012, 03:49PM
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shutout wrote:

I would make the deal.

Gomez and 2013 Calgary Flames 2nd round pick

for

Stajan and Babchuk

Babchuk and the 2nd round pick help to offset the higher cap hit that you are taking back and allows the Canadiens to resign some of their pending free agents easier.

Gomez is an upgrade from Stajan and Babchuk is not needed on defense. We have cap space coming off the books in the summer. Only downside is that it would perclude us from making a trade for a big time player or throwing boatloads of cash at Parise as a UFA. Since I dont think Feast will move our 1st round pick, and since I highly doubt we are a place for Parise to pick then I think it works out as a good option for Calgary.

I think this is some interesting thinking. Once you get over the initial shock of it.

Stajan straight up for Gomez doesn't quite cut it for me but if you can do something like the above and get a 2nd round pick back or even more late picks as well and remove another under whelming player like Babchuk I'd be ok with it.

I'd forget about Parise at this point. I was dreaming of him but now with Cammy, Tangs and Glencross on the LW there isn't a chance, he doesn't fit.

Gomez is a C that you can see fitting nicely in-between snipers like Cammy and Iggy.

I think the one thing that is being overlooked here though is Jokinen I would be shocked if he was not signed next year given the year is having. As long as he comes in on value no problem.

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#48 Mitch2
January 27 2012, 03:52PM
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The only other bad part of a Stajan for Gomez trade is the average fan backlash would dwarf the Joker situation too.

Strap down for massive mockery from the entire NHL's fan base…

Only Darryl Sutter would have had the balls to pull off a trade like this.

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#49 RexLibris
January 27 2012, 03:59PM
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@ Kent Wilson

This is a littl off-topic Kent, but if you haven't read this yet you really need to. Scott Lewis interviews Advanced Statistics. It's pretty funny and while I'm reading it I can't help but hear you voicing Ad.Stats.

http://www.thescore.com/buzz/articles/220380-talking-with-advanced-hockey-stats

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#50 Cam Charron
January 27 2012, 05:20PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

I guess i would ask Cam a simple question, look past the numbers, have you watched him play over a large sample?

My father actually has Habs' season tickets.

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