Trade Analysis, Take 2

In a continuation of the earlier Trade Analysis feature, and in the interest of inciting further friendly jabbing between Malik and Discher, we look at Red Wings trades between 2001 and 2007. The earlier part of the decade saw the acquisitions of Matt Schneider, Bobby Lang, and Dominik Hasek – and the ever-so-sad departure of a one Mr. Jamie Rivers. Enjoy.

Trade Deadline ’06 // Pittsburgh trades CORY CROSS to Detroit for a 4th Round Pick in 2007.

When Cory Cross came to Motown, he was joining his third team of the 2005-06 season. He had played 34 games in Edmonton before being shipped off to Pittsburgh, who clearly didn’t see a value in him and shipped him to Detroit after six games. He got into 16 games with the Wings before being a healthy scratch for the spine-shivering opening series loss to the Oilers. He finished his up-and-down career in Germany.

That little fourth round pick became Alex Grant. Grant is a decent-sized defenseman, who just completed his fourth season of Major Junior – splitting time between the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs and Shawinigan Cataractes. Hockey’s Future says he improved drastically over the course the season – particularly in less tangible areas like discipline.

Even though Cross was used sparingly in Detroit, it was nice having a veteran defenseman at the ready. He had some very good seasons in Tampa, and I’m sure this move was more about solidifying blueline depth than it was above acquiring a game-changer. That said, if Alex Grant adds some muscle to his frame and becomes a useful everyday defenseman in the league, the trade could be considered a loss a few years down the road.

Trade Deadline ’06 // Detroit acquires a 7th Round Pick in 2006 from Phoenix for Jamie Rivers.

Jamie Rivers was very much a spare part in Detroit — much like Cory Cross became upon his arrival. He got into 15 games in 05-06, and was presumably traded to make room for what the Wings considered to be a better insurance policy in Cross.

The seventh round pick became Nick Oslund – a prospect Winger currently playing at St. Cloud State, and will be entering his junior year in 09-10. Drafting college kids is nice because – unlike players from junior – the drafting team retains the player’s rights until they graduate (or leave school). Oslund has two more years to impress the Wings to earn a contract. Any seventh round pick who makes the League should be considered a victory for all involved.

February ’04 // Washington trades ROBERT LANG to Detroit for Tomas Fleischmann, a 1st Round Pick in 2004, and a 4th Round Pick in 2006.

Robert Lang became the first player to be traded while leading the League in scoring. Could this finally be the illusive “top-six winger” the Red Wings had been searching for?

Short answer: no, not really. While he never had a bad season in red and white, he earned himself a nice little catchphrase at LetsGoWings, when fans began to notice he didn’t really seem to making much of an effort at times. It was no secret he was in Coach Babcock’s doghouse, and amid rumors of their head-butting, Lang jumped ship for the Hawks when his contract expired in ’07.

For the first time on our little trade retrospectives, I can say that this one kinda hurts… and George James Malik from Snapshots agrees.

Fleischmann is kinda sorta fitting in with the Capitals – I think everyone might agree that his progress has been a little slower than Washington had hoped, but he’s perfectly capable of playing in the League and has the potential to fill a top-six role one day.

That first round draft pick? Became none other than ’09 Norris-trophy candidate and faux-hawk-rocker Mike Green. Ouch (the Norris nod, not the noggin). Obviously, there’s no way of knowing that the Red Wings would have selected Mike Green (though, judging by their drafting practices the last two decades, it’s a fair bet to assume they would have taken a defenseman), but here’s a guy on 29 NHL teams’ wish lists.

Not that it matters, but to add some insult to injury, the fourth round pick became Luke Lynes – ironically a local boy from Rochester Hills. It appears as though Washington passed on signing him, and he hasn’t caught on anywhere else — unless you count the Amarillo Gorillas (and really, who wouldn’t?).

Trade Deadline ’03 // Los Angeles trades MATHIEU SCHNEIDER to Detroit for Maxim Kuznetsov, Sean Avery, a 1st Round Pick in 2003, and a 2nd Round Pick in 2004.

The Red Wings added to their stable of former captains when they acquired the Kings’ power play quarterback in Mathieu Schneider. Is it me or the Wings dealing with the Kings a lot?

On the way to the left coast were Maxim Kuznetsov (cue sad trombone sound), pest Sean Avery, and a pair of draft picks, one of which became U of M product Jeff Tambellini – now with the New York Islanders/Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The other gets a little foggy.

We know for sure that the pick was traded to Boston – and the Bruins made two picks back-to-back at 63 and 64. Malik at Snapshots says that they used the pick on David Krejci, but I think that later pick is the one that belonged to the Red Wings, meaning the Bruins took Martin Karsums.

Krejci has definitely come into his own in Boston, and last month signed a 3-year extension coming in at just under $4M/year. Karsums, on the other hand, was shipped out of Boston at the deadline (in the Mark Recchi deal) and is looking to play a full season in Tampa next year.

Ridding themselves of Sean Avery was a smart move before he became Mr. Distraction. And, although he has blossomed into a very nice hockey player, there’s no Vogue office in Detroit…Did Holland & Co. know that Avery would become a royal pain in the ass? I don’t know, but methinks they had an inkling.

Parting with Max Kuznetsov and his two career NHL goals (both with the Wings, by the way) was no big loss, despite being the Red Wings first round pick in ’95.

Even if that second pick became Karsums, the price for Schneider was quite steep, and it’s fair to assume that the Kings made out like bandits on this deal – particularly if they had planned on moving on from Schneider in an effort to promote youth. But, at the same time, the Wings got a lot out of Schneider during his stay – at points, he looked somewhat like a #1B defenseman, which is no small feat considering #1A is some guy named Nicklas Lidstrom.

November ’02 // Buffalo trades JASON WOOLLEY to Detroit for future considerations.

I can’t find what the “future considerations” were, so I’m going to go ahead and call this a win. Former Michigan State Spartan/Canadian Olympian Jason Woolley was actually re-signed the following year (in a move preceded by Brett Lebda’s demotion to Grand Rapids) and again after the lockout.

Trade Deadline ’02 // Atlanta trades JIRI SLEGR to Detroit for Yuri Butsayev and a 3rd Round Pick in 2002.

Jiri Slegr got into a single playoff game with the Wings, and – wouldn’t ya know it! – it was a Stanley Cup Final game earning himself the right to have his name chiseled on the grail.

The Wings parted with Butsayev, who had only gotten into three games that season with the Wings, and a third round pick – which was later traded to Columbus and became Jeff Genovy. Like Luke Lynes above, Genovy was a Michigan guy, from Kalamazoo. Genovy played in Clarkson and has been relegated to the CHL, seemingly with no interest from NHL clubs.

Evoking some of Discher’s article about winning a championship with your acquisition, I have to assume that the Wings won this deal because Slegr’s name is on the Cup and Yuri Butsayev played one game shy of 100 in the NHL while Genovy looks like his NHL dreams are coming to a close.

Summer ’01 // Buffalo trades DOMINIK HASEK to Detroit for Vyacheslav Kozlov, a 1st Round Pick in 2002, and Future Considerations

In an effort to shed some salary — and to grant Dom’s wish to move on to a more competitive team — the Sabres decided it was time to move their All-World goaltender. Twice the Hart Trophy winner as the League’s MVP, and six-times the winner of the Vezina as the League’s top goaltender, Dominik Hasek had earned himself praise from some guy named Wayne Gretzky, who called the slinky netminder “the best player in the game.


Hasek was arguably the elite goaltender that the Red Wing simply hadn’t had since Sawchuk, and even though his quote-unquote best days were likely behind him, he had quite a bit left in the tank and a lot of motivation for a Stanley Cup championship to go with his Olympic gold medal.

Dom’s time in Motown was tumultuous, after he won the Cup in ’02, he retired, un-retired (throwing the goaltending situation into complete chaos), fled to Ottawa, returned to Detroit, and eventually lost the starting job two games into the playoffs. In 2008, he watched from the bench as his teammates won a Stanley Cup – the second of his illustrious career – without him in the crease. He retired for good after the celebration. Or did he?

Going the other way was Slava Kozlov – a two-time Cup winner in his own right and one of the more clutch post-season performers for the Wings in the years leading up to the trade, despitebeing pulverized by Scott Stevens in the 1995 Cup Final. Kozlov has continued to play at a high level – mostly with the Thrashers. But one must think that Kozlov was a casuality of a deal that simply had to be made.

The first round draft pick also ended up in Atlanta, who selected Michigan State Spartan Jim Slater (what’s with all the Michigan guys going in these picks?). With three full NHL seasons under his belt, it’s fair tos ay that while Slater is a decent hockey player, he’s certainly not adequate return for a game-changer like Hasek. This is a clear-cut Red Wings blockbuster.

Again, future considerations were included in this deal (like the Woolley deal), but to my knowledge no other compensation exchanged hands. I guess we owe the Sabres all kindsa goods, eh?

They can’t have Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Franzen, Lidstrom, or Kronwall… so sayeth Christy at Winging it in Motown.

2 thoughts on “Trade Analysis, Take 2”

  1. I hated Bobby Lang but I don't think that trade was too bad. Keep in mind this guy was leading the NHL in scoring. I'm not a big Fleischmann fan, I don't think he ever makes that step to the next level as a scorer. He's an effective player, but he's just too wild with the puck.

    I don't like the logic in calling a trade bad because of who the other team took with their pick. When you trade a first round pick, you're trading away a specific certainty of an NHL player. I don't remember the number exactly but it's around a solid 70%ish of first rounders who go on to play at least a few seasons in the NHL. Once you trade the pick it's gone, it doesn't become any better or worse in my mind depending on who the other team takes. You've got to give something to get something, and for a long time Detroit was comfortable with their late-round drafting enough to move first round picks for bonafide talent.

    I don't think they'd have moved their first round pick nearly as much if they weren't so proficient at the mid-round drafting. And I don't think they'd have taken a small -29 defenseman in Mike Green that year. And if they did, I don't think he'd have scored 30 goals this year because we don't have Alexander Ovechkin and we demand that our defensemen actually play their position and don't skate around like a 4th forward out there. He's a great fit in Washington, but I don't look at him and see the 1st we traded for Lang to be a tremendous loss.

    It's always interesting to look back and see who those players became, but it doesn't make a trade any better or worse, in my mind. And you're right — it was definitely Karsums who that pick ended up being. I think George accidentally created a bit of confusion because I just saw a thread pop up on RWC where someone is calling the Schneider trade terrible because we "missed out" on David Krejci. Despite the fact that we got ANYTHING for Kuznetsov and we moved Avery before he became a total distraction.

    http://www.prosportstransactions.com/hockey/DraftTrades

    If you go back any further, use that. Most accurate draft pick site out there, and it notes who was actually picked with picks that get traded.

  2. You're absolutely right – the likelihood of the Wings picking the same guy in Slot #29 that any other team does is so infinitesimally small, that it's not fair to say win/loss. But, it's July and we've gotta talk about somethin'!

    A few years later, it's just good theatre to have Robert Lang in one corner, and Fleischmann/Green in the other.

    I'm with you about Kuznetsov (obviously, given my earlier statement) and Avery: getting anything of value (and the Wings did, very much so) is a HUGE boon.

    Thanks for the link — it only proves, once again, that you're the go-to prospects man.

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