Monday, February 14, 2011

What to make of the Kris Versteeg trade

  • My guess is Chicago is kicking themselves for settling for so little in the Versteeg trade with Toronto. Viktor Stalberg hasn't produced much for the Blackhawks and has been dropped to the bottom six forwards. Philippe Paradis is still an uproven prospect although with plenty of upside. Chris DiDomenico has been plagued with injuries and has been demoted to the ECHL.
  • The trade is an admission that Versteeg was not a good fit in Toronto. The Leafs have too many small speedy forwards that are unable to penetrate high traffic zones in the slot and corners. As well, with the acquisition of Joffrey Lupul, the Leafs were paying over $3 million for a 3rd line winger. This wasn't what Burke had in mind.
  • I never would have believed Versteeg would land a 1st round draft pick even it is in the bottom fifth of the round. Same could be said for Mike Fisher. Seems teams are beginning to more freely move 1st round picks.
  • Is this an admission by Brian Burke that trading away 1st round picks makes a rebuild more difficult? Certainly it goes against his plan to accelerate a rebuild by stockpiling prospects rather than draft picks. Or is he changing plans again and rebuilding long term now?
  • Before you read in too much into this deal, it may be possible that one or both of these draft picks are dealt before the draft. Burke was after James van Riemsdyk who the Flyers refused to give up. He took the best deal he could get.
  • Interesting that two key summer acquisitions, Versteeg and Beauchemin, have already been traded. Though this is normal for Burke who never stops tinkering with his line up.
  • The black mouthguard hanging from Versteeg's mouth was really starting to bug me.
No question there is more to come. Perhaps even Tomas Kaberle?

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