Friday, July 24, 2009

Ward traded to Canes: First Reactions

Carolina gets: D Aaron Ward, his $2.5m price tag, and a lotta splainin' to do about trashing his personal character only a few months ago.

Boston gets: F Patrick Eaves, his $1.4m price tag, a 2010 4th-rounder, and the ability to re-sign Phil Kessel.

My immediate reaction: Frankly, Eaves is garbage. His "career year" was a 20-goal season on a supercharged Ottawa team, and everything since then has been measured in single digits. Except, of course, for his "games missed with injury" numbers. Fragile + low-scoring + paid more than $1m = waste of space.

The 2010 pick is also a throwaway. Carolina is a top-6 team for sure this year, and might even challenge Washington for the division if they get hot. That means the pick will come in the part of the draft where guys like Cam Janssen and Kevin Bieksa are considered a steal.

This trade is all about Phil Kessel. Boston saves $1.1m on the cap, presumably enough to come to terms with Kessel and ensure they get their top goal scorer back in the fold. Chiarelli is taking two gambles:

1) Ward won't be missed as much as we think, because Johnny Boychuk is ready for the Big Show. I'll believe that when I see it.
2) Eaves is really a solid Sturm-esque player who's had some hard luck, but is ready to break into his own. I'm not sure that I'd believe it even if I saw it.

Kudos to Canes Country for predicting this trade days in advance. I trashed it at the time, and I will continue to trash it because the Canes essentially stole an asset for almost no return. The onus is now on Kessel to provide big returns on the investment, because this trade hurts Boston in the locker room even more than on the ice.

One last thought... it's hard not to notice that the Bruins are spending $1.8m of cap space on buyouts this year. Ward is essentially a victim of the Murray and Schaefer contracts.

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The Bastahd said...

Bruins are supposedly already waiving Eaves with the intent of buying him out. I really don't like this idea... he is on the books for 1.4M this year and 1.7M next... means we are adding a dead 2M (total) to the cap over the next FOUR years.

Xtremeforce said...

I don't think they wanted to part with Ward but in order to sign Kessell they had to. Remember live in Carolina in the off season I mean it makes sense for Carolina. Boychuk won the equivalent of the Norris in the AHL. He could use the NHL experience.