Right now, I own one Caps jersey, a home Ovechkin one. I've been strongly contemplating a second, which would be an away Alzner jersey. If I were to buy a third, it would probably be the little engine that could, Perreault.
Last night, I was watching NHL Network's On the Fly (a rare occurrence), when I saw the chyron show that the Caps had traded Perreault to the Ducks. On the one hand, given Matty P's limited preseason appearances, and the team's liking of Wilson, as well as Fehr and Erat getting shifted to center, this is utterly unsurprising.
On the other hand, Perreault has just been killing the (mostly; he did match up against the Stamkos/St Louis line quite a bit last season) soft minutes he's been given. Coming into the offseason, I was hoping he'd be given a chance to compete for the second center position. I'm not sure he'd be able to handle it, granted. But I would've felt a lot better with him there than with Laich, honestly. More to the point, I'm not sure he wouldn't be able to handle it.
So the trade was a major disappointment to me. And a bit of a surprise; Boudreau never seemed all that thrilled with Matty P when he was here, so I'm a bit surprised Anaheim wanted him.
Looking at the return, I'm even more confused. It said the Caps got John Mitchell and a fourth back. Given that Perreault is McPhee's only post-first-round successful draftee, the fourth seems like a bit of a joke.
Ok, I was about to write about the only John Mitchell on Hockey Reference, but there's now a second one on Capgeek. The former would have been a mind-blowingly bad trade.
The second? I still don't get it. He looks like a career AHLer at this point; three (more or less) complete seasons, with numbers that not only aren't stellar (third of a point per game as a forward), but are trending in the wrong direction. Plus, he's twenty-seven years old; I don't see how you can even call him a prospect. I don't know how these negotiations go, but I'd feel a hell of a lot better if they'd just gotten a first-round pick, without a player coming back. This just feels like giving up something for nothing.
The only rationale I can come up with is that the cap space cleared allows Wilson to stay up. And I'm sure that's why this was done. But I have to wonder if Wilson staying up is worth a roster player, this season. If he was going to be a top-line player, it'd certainly be worth it. But for someone projecting to third or (more likely) fourth line... I'm not following the reasoning.
If he keeps playing like he has this preseason, it's not a bad deal. But the odds of that? Well, less than the odds of a major leaguer getting a home run in any given at-bat (274585/14094448 ~= 1/51), I think. It feels much like the decision not to trade Ribeiro at the deadline last year. A very long shot. Just because you hit on a long shot last year (and even that's arguable, given how the playoffs went), doesn't mean you should play again.
[I should note that I wrote this this morning, deliberately before reading anything else about the trade. Yes, I don't think the part about a first was terribly realistic, though I wonder whether it should be for a cost-controlled and proven roster player. Some additional reading says that the odds of the fourth giving a useful player are about one in ten. Not good odds, but better than I thought. Also, I'd forgotten that Holtby was also a fourth (and about Eakin, who was traded so quickly).
Having said all that, it feels like giving up a useful player (his scoring rates, on a per-minute basis, are very high-end) for a bag of pucks. I wish Matty all the luck in the world (at least, when he isn't playing the Caps), but do feel like they gave up on him a bit early.]