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Those Trade Demands In Columbus And Winnipeg

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

This just in: no one wants to play in Columbus or Winnipeg.

Once again, that’s the perception going around the NHL following the latest reported trade demands of Blue Jackets centre Pierre-Luc Dubois and Jets forwards Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic.

If you’re a fan of either team, it can’t be easy to hear that three first-round picks, all under the age of 25, all want a so-called “change of scenery” so early in their careers. At the same time, it’s nothing really new. Whether it was Evander Kane and Jacob Trouba, or Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky, or even Teemu Selanne and Rick Nash, both franchises have had a difficult time keeping their star players happy.

Now, it’s Laine and Dubois — the No. 2 and No. 3 picks of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft — in addition to Roslovic, who was the 25th overall pick in 2015, who are counting the days before moving on from their respective cities.

Make all the jokes you want about the weather and lack of entertainment options. How there’s nothing to do in Columbus. How there’s even less to do in Winnipeg. But for fans who are on the outside looking in, it makes no sense that Laine and Dubois — and to a lesser extent Rosolovic — would want out.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink



Each of these cases is different.

In some, it’s partly about a particularly blunt
and driven coach.

In some it’s about minutes or role.

In others, it’s about living near a large expat community.

In others, it’s about dreaming of playing for a childhood favorite.

In others, it’s about maximum glitz and glamor - the most cosmopolitan city, the most media attention, the deepest pocketed ownership…the “biggest stage”.

Other guys crave beaches or mountains in their downtime.

It’s one thing when a guy has reached his UFA time.
That’s a hard-bargained league and NHLPA compromise over
when a player has earned the most options for the highest payday
and the greatest freedom to decide his own future.

It’s another to see guys who are still far from their RFA years expiring
effectively demanding to play in a city they like better. I’ve got nothing against any of these players and have cheered for DuBois. But it honestly comes off as pretty entitled. Granted the league has trended much younger and so many stars are under twenty-five. I can kind of see how guys who are top-line players might feel they can dictate where they play more than players their age used to. I don’t want to default to assuming it’s endemic to younger generations: me me me - I want everything to revolve around me, right away. This isn’t new (Eric Lindros) but it does seem like it’s becoming more common.

Posted by lefty.30 on 01/07/21 at 12:56 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Posted by lefty.30 on 01/07/21 at 12:56 PM ET

...in others it’s about the weather in wintertime.
...in others it’s about municipal tax rates.

Each case is not different in the team’s eyes.

None of these guys has demanded a trade. They simply informed their reps to tell the teams they wouldn’t be signing long-term contracts with the teams.

The teams then determine that in order to maximize returns for these players: the players need to be traded. The trades must be complete by the draft in order to maximize returns.

Both players were honest and upfront with the teams which is the better approach then losing say Fedorov or Tavares to UFA for nothing.

Posted by d ca on 01/07/21 at 04:19 PM ET

d ca's avatar

The loyalty expected by fans is a double standard that players shouldn’t be tagged with.

I didn’t hear an uproar when the Blues informed their captain (Pietrangelo) that recently lead them to a Stanley Cup they wouldn’t be re-signing him by signing his replacement (Krug). Don’t expect the reverse.

Posted by d ca on 01/07/21 at 04:26 PM ET

d ca's avatar

..and the none-sense of blaming the younger generation for things is TOTAL BS!

In fact I agree with a majority of my generation that believe we were and will continue to be screwed out of the basics that allowed you to have the standard of living you enjoyed:

51% of Millennials blame Boomers for ruining their lives…not funding education and making them take out basically 2 mortgages to go to school, two wars, the worst recession since the great depression and now add COVID inspired one to further suppress their career earnings potential, declining wages and stagnation of work income—-when lucky enough to get stable jobs instead of having to work without benefits as a contract employee with 3 gig jobs….etc, etc

so take either your hippie longhair (Boomers) / slacker (Gen-X) stereotypical beliefs and shove them—-because the generation before said the same thing about you...the difference is that you started with a couple feet ahead in the game of life than those Millennials. And Gen Z is going to find out they’re even worse off—they’re just not old enough to have to deal with it yet.

Nothing makes me more angry than that non-sense being spewed.

Posted by d ca on 01/07/21 at 04:42 PM ET


Hey d_ca….

You really want to have this argument (argument in the ugly, shallow sense) on this site - a food fight in which various generations insult each other and call each other names while making endless generalized assumptions about each other?

You don’t appear to have read what I actually wrote very carefully:

I wrote “I don’t want to default to assuming it’s endemic…”

Notice the “don’t”? Notice how I followed that with a caricature of what that assumption I was *not* making might sound like? Notice how I carefully noted this was not a new phenomenon and how prior to that I tried to put myself in these players’ shoes? I did write that this phenomenon seems to be increasing (trade demands at younger ages) and that there is an element to this that feels somewhat entitled to me.

If that’s what kicked off your unhinged name calling and paranoia about your precious generation which has clearly sacrificed and suffered more than any other in human history, I could make jokes about a cohort so digitally and screen-addled they never learned to sit quietly and read and comprehend the nuances of the written word.

I don’t agree with your characterization of how these trade issues with the current players have unfolded and where the insistence on parting ways is coming from. It’s clearly, based on a all reporting I’ve read, coming from the players who (for some combination of the varied reasons I’d listed - and perhaps more) want to be traded as soon as possible. I’m normally pretty pro-player when it comes down to management vs players. But I don’t think there is any question this is a player-driven demand and there is little to no room for the team to do anything to accommodate the players.

As is the case with other controversial and even divisive social issues which are really not much or at all about hockey itself, I’d like to stick to not making this the forum. I’ve gone down that road of debating non-hockey issues here a time or two and while some solid arguments were made and commenters mostly treated each other with personal respect that’s just not what this site is for. The last thing the world needs is more group division and hostility in even more settings. And that’s also the last thing this site needs with actual hockey games on the way.

All generations are wonderful. All generations suck. All generations have some advantages and disadvantages. I don’t even disagree that in some ways more recent ones have come of age amid a complex tangle of serious challenges some of which are somewhat new. I’m sure if this was the place to have this debate, we could both find plenty of examples as well as some sound data on which to make a case. I’m not personally in some camp that views other generations with reductive generalizations and a default hostility - or views my own with a “woe is us” solipsism.

I’d simply suggest that while yes sometimes older generations can’t lack the lived understanding or empathy toward a certain more recent experience, part of that is unavoidable. Younger generations in my own lived experience don’t necessarily want to be understood - alienation is part of coming of age, a little like how teenagers have to define themselves against their parents as part of establishing their own identity. One thing older generations do tend to have is more perspective simply from having lived more and seen more - a closer view of their own parents’ and grandparents’ sacrifices; more bumps personally experienced on the road of life.
A little bit closer less abstract sense of what not so distant history was like for others - including great hardships. A little more gratitude from realizing gradually how hard most of our older relatives tried to do so much for us.

One thing I don’t quite get is how much hostility is directed toward Boomers (not my generation fwiw) given that these are the parents or grandparents of so many of the people who are demonizing them. On a national or societal level I get the frustration. But on a personal level, many of these supposedly unprecedentedly lucky Boomers are the same people who will sooner or latter be in a position to enrich their adult kids - if they haven’t heavily subsidized them and opened doors for them already. Not everyone - not close. But a lot of the people who are calling Boomers names are the same people who have expected lavishly subsidized lifestyles well into adulthood and all kinds of hands on assistance navigating life from their own Boomer parents. They’re the same people whose Boomer parents have them listed legally as the main beneficiaries of whatever they own, however modest.

Anyway that’s already a lot and it’s all I’m going to say on this non-hockey topic.

Posted by lefty.30 on 01/07/21 at 10:50 PM ET

d ca's avatar

I don’t want to…but...

is an attempt to excuse the b/s that follows because you said “don’t.” The half page of excuses are meaningless.

It’s still just as insulting and not excused in any shape by the word “don’t.” Newsflash, everything before the word ‘but’ gets disregarded (it’s not a reading comprehension problem—it’s a lack of self awareness thing on behalf of the speaker/writer). Many, many articles are available, but I’ll save you the trouble...the excuse before the insult has a zero percent success rate. So go ahead and pine about how things used to be better…the world changed and was probably not as great as you thought it was.

In fact, the world of the NHL has changed dramatically over the last decade due to hockey analytics (and player speed). It’s about maximizing your organizations proprietary slot player value and doesn’t matter if it is done internal or externally (prospect/year-over-year development, FA signings, or via trades).

And that is why I disagree with your assessment that it is the players forcing the trade. These teams are the ones working the phones based on the players future intentions being known. The teams determine they must trade the player. The players wishes are ignored like the words before “but.” unless it maximizes the slot’s value the player holds (and not just in the short-term).

If the team wanted to, they could keep the player until their team control runs out. I’m willing to bet the player would report to training camp and play every year until he becomes an UFA.  BUT then the organizations slot value would be a diminishing return—-something that can’t happen in a cap world.

Want to know if the player truly demanded a trade or it was mutually agreed upon: find out if they report to camp.Players that demand trades don’t report to training camps.. Or put it this way, I don’t want to bring up an actual example but see Jesse Puljujarvi’s overseas career.

Players who continue to play and whose reps already had long-term discussions with teams come to an agreement to be opened to being moved. Teams just don’t want to disgruntle fans so someone in the organization leaks a half-truth that the player demanded it which then becomes a media obsession. The agent then puts their head out there while the players stick to the I’m here and will do my best which will help the team either way. Hoping not to scare off potential suitors nor alienate current fans/teammates. It’s a no-win dilemma and organizations exploit it. That’s what’s going on here.

I don’t want to sound insulting, but anyone that doesn’t understand the difference hasn’t developed the ability to think with their frontal lobe.

Posted by d ca on 01/08/21 at 02:31 AM ET

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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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