If the Vancouver Canucks want to make a trade — any trade — they need to send valuable pieces away in return. This is important to understand.
The past couple of weeks have been all about Buffalo Sabres forward Evander Kane and whether or not he is a fit for the Vancouver Canucks. While some like to focus on what he can provide on the ice, others are very hesitant because of his endeavours off it. Either way, it is important to understand that a player like Kane never comes cheap.
Not even now.
The “Raymond, Ballard and a Second” Syndrome
Jason Botchford — The Province: Five reasons the Canucks should pass on Evander Kane
"If there’s a fan base that speculates more about obtaining stars at budget prices, I’m not aware of it. Call it the “Raymond, Ballard and a second” syndrome. That’s a reference to the old package fans would come up with — Mason Raymond, Keith Ballard and a second-round draft pick — to offer-up for whichever star had just hit the trade block.People seem to believe Kane can be had for a discount. But even at a discounted price, a trade would likely cost Vancouver something along the lines of Jake Virtanen plus an asset or two."
The Province’s Jason Botchford came up with five valid reasons why the Canucks should pass on Kane. Like a perfect depiction of Canucks Nation, their staff seems to be divided on the subject. On Monday, Ben Kuzma wrote an article elaborating why Kane would be a great fit. But that isn’t even what I found interesting about Botchford’s newest piece.
More important is that people seem to believe Kane can be had for a bag of pucks. And this isn’t the only instance where fans seem to think that.
If you have ever seen the trade proposal section of HFBoards, you might see what I’m talking about.
The average fan thinks “my team doesn’t need [Player Name], so I’ll propose a trade that ships him out.” Of course, that player naturally isn’t someone like Henrik or Daniel Sedin, but rather someone like Emerson Etem. Or, if we are talking defensemen, it will be someone like Luca Sbisa, not Chris Tanev. But, of course, the return must be good anyway, because why else would I make the trade in the first place?
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In a reverse scenario, the average fan thinks “[Player Name] would be a great fit for my team, so I’ll propose a trade to acquire him.” They then search their database of players they’d like their team to get rid of and assemble a killer offer like Luca Sbisa, Emerson Etem and a draft pick. Or, in the not-so-distant history, Mason Raymond, Keith Ballard and a second.
Doing that is completely natural. To really evaluate a trade, it is necessary to look at it objectively. Which is almost impossible to do with your favorite team.
As a rule of thumb, when there is a player on your team who you believe is terrible and shouldn’t even be in the NHL, the chances of another team wanting to give much up for that player are slim. So if you hate Luca Sbisa and think he is a bad player, don’t go out and propose Sbisa as the starting point to acquire Tyson Barrie.
Furthermore, you should always try to change your point of view to that of the other team’s general manager or a fan of that team. Sbisa, Etem and a second for Barrie may sound good to you, but would it sound good to an Avalanche fan? Let me give you a hint: it wouldn’t.
This is some general advice that is nothing new but is important to remember.
Now, in the current Kane debate, things are obviously a little different. With Kane facing criminal accusations and his history with the law, he would probably be cheaper than normally. But still, he isn’t officially on the trade block and the Buffalo Sabres don’t necessarily want to get rid of him. So, the Canucks would still have to give something up in return.
That something won’t be Sbisa or Etem or both. Instead, Jason Botchford suggested Jake Virtanen as a starting point, which is definitely more realistic value-wise. That is a trade I would never ever make, but it is more realistic. Brock Boeser, Thatcher Demko, Jake Virtanen — those are the names that must be brought into the conversation to acquire star players.
Brian Sieteski of Sabre Noise made the following Kane proposal:
"The Buffalo Sabres trade Evander Kane (with $2.5 million retained) to the Vancouver Canucks for Sven Baerschi and a conditional 2017 1st round pick. The condition is based upon the Canucks making the playoffs, if they do not the pick turns into a 2nd rounder."
See, that is what Sabres fans think and we all know that won’t happen either. But it’s natural fan thinking and we are all guilty of having trade thoughts like that every once in a while.