The term “trade value” gets thrown around a lot and one of the things that I’ve noticed since moving out of the general fan base and into the broadcast position is that the fans interpretation of “trade value” and actual “trade value” are often nowhere close to each other.
Please note that this not a criticism nor an attempt to justify or explain the reasoning behind the deal that sent Kurtis Mucha to Kamloops for a fan perceived low value of a 4th round bantam pick in 2010.
To date, there have been eight trades in 2009-10 (according to the WHL Transactions page) involving 1989 born players, or overage players, they are:
Giffen Nyren to Calgary for a conditional 6th Rd. Pick in 2010
Kurtis Mucha to Kamloops for a 4th Rd. Pick in 2010
Dustin Donaghy to Lethbridge for a 6th Rd. Pick in 2010
Del Cowan to Calgary for a conditional 8th Rd. Pick in 2011
Milan Kytnar to Vancouver for a 3rd Rd. Pick in 2010
Linden Rowat to Lethbridge for a conditional 5th Rd. Pick in 2010
Chris Langkow to Everett for a 6th Rd. Pick in 2010 + a 3rd Rd. Pick in 2011
Radim Valchar to Lethbridge for a conditional 6th Rd. Pick in 2010
So…by looking at these deals, the 4th Round Pick in return for Mucha puts it in the top three returns for an overage player dealt (behind the 3rd rounder for Kytnar and the two picks for Langkow).
So far, the only draft picks that have been higher that have been traded is the 3rd rounder for Kytnar and the 2nd rounder that Tri City gave up for Eric Mestery (which, for some reason, is not listed on the WHL transactions page).
I guess to sum this up…Western Hockey League General Manager’s, for the most part, aren’t stupid. They know that it would be foolish to give up a prospect or a younger roster player for a player in the final year of their WHL eligibility.
Portland didn’t have to trade Mucha as they were not over the limit on overage players, but with the addition of Mac Carruth, GM Mike Johnston said he wouldn’t keep three goaltenders on the roster for very long and he lived up to that comment by making the best deal he could.
Does it make it easier to swallow for long time fans who have a very emotional attachment to Kurtis Mucha? Nope…and it shouldn’t be easy to swallow.
One of the great things about Junior Hockey is the connection between the players and the fans. The fans get to know the players on a personal level as they are more approachable than professional athletes. They see them at the pizza shows, autograph sessions and on the concourse when they are not playing.
The attachment to Mucha is maybe more so than any other player that has been traded for what has gone on in the five years he has been with the Hawks. As I said before, he was the face of the organization and he was the most recognizable player on some very poor teams.
I am not saying that fans should like this trade or be happy about the outcome…I am just saying that what they may perceive as “trade value” isn’t really anywhere close to what the actual “trade value” of a player is.
That is reality and as the old saying goes, sometimes reality bites…
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