Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 03/18/14 at 12:49 AM ET
You may be surprised to find that I don't agree with a significant number of the Red Wings coach or general manager's personnel machinations or moves, but I try to keep my desire for, say, splitting Daniel Alfredsson from Luke Glendening forever, or, say, the Wings going after a certain free agent or player available via trade simply because I like them.
I figure that I'm not a coach or general manager, so I don't know what the coach or GM do, and as such, I'd rather critique what the players on the ice do or not do over the course of games instead of playing blog-seat quarterback.
In the case of the Wings' decision to trade Calle Jarnkrok, Patrick Eaves and a 3rd-rounder to Nashville for David Legwand, however--even given that there are three people in addition to myself who've heard that Jarnkrok might head back to Sweden at the end of the year to play for his hometown team, Brynas IF Gavle--I think that the Wings got fleeced by Predators GM David Poile the same way that he fleeced the Caps in the Filip Forsberg-for-Martin Erat deal, and the Tennessean's Josh Cooper reports that Jarnkrok's displaying all the promise he did with Grand Rapids as a member of the Milwaukee Admirals:
When the Predators traded for Calle Jarnkrok as part of a package for David Legwand, they expected the young forward to provide solid skill down the middle.
They probably didn’t expect him to be prolific so quickly.
Jarnkrok has five goals in his first five games with Nashville’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals. Predators coach Barry Trotz has seen Jarnkrok play and believes the 22-year-old Swede could be promoted this season.
“I’m not going to make any promises,” Trotz said. “But what I saw of him, and if he continues to play like he has been, I would say that from my standpoint, if we had some injuries I would like to take a look at him.”
The fact that the Predators were able to get a player some have compared to Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg was seen as a steal in many NHL circles.
Jarnkrok is still painfully undersized and may never gain enough strength to compete for pucks effectively at the NHL level, but even if the Wings re-sign Legwand and get three to five productive seasons out of him, I'm still baffled as to why the Wings chose to let Jarnkrok go.
I understand the fact that the Wings are absolutely stacked at the center position at the NHL level, and that Jarnkrok seemed to get the concept that he'd have to unseat one of Datsyuk/Zetterberg, Sheahan, Helm, Glendening, Weiss etc., but I just don't think it was necessary to jettison the team's brightest center ice prospect as a result of his potential desire to extricate him from the situation.
I'm not going to root against Jarnkrok, but I'm sure as hell glad that the WIngs aren't in the same conference as the Predators anymore, because if Jarnkrok does fulfill his potential as a 40-plus point producer, it'd be too painful to watch him take regular bites out of a divisional rival and former team.
This trade wasn't Adam Oates for Bernie Federko bad, but I don't believe that it was anything less than short-sighted.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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