Trade-able Assets of Value. That is what this blog will be about. Please read on, it'll be worth it.
Okay. August is lame for us hockey fans(not me, I'm reffing AAA and Junior B tryouts). Every A-hole with a typewriter is forced to talk about a college UFA who may or may not become an NHL player that is better than a replaceable 3rd or 4th liner. If said player is as good as Tyler Bozak then he will be a success and become a quality 2nd line player and that's cool.(I'm a Leaf and Bozak fan). But this is too much attention for a poor kid(about to be a rich kid).
Let us instead talk about hockey - clearly the greatest team sport ever. I am talking about a theory I call "Trade-able Assets of Value" and I will use my Leafs as the example.
Assets of Value
I play(and win) a bunch of fantasy hockey games and hockey pools and in that world, you don't have to acknowledge human emotion - so this strategy I'm proposing needs to be toned down in real life but as I will show, the Leafs are doing it, doing it, and doing it well.
In my fantasy BS I regularly sign the 4th or 5th best UFA's to a 1 year overpaid contract and then trade their rights for draft picks....and use the cap space to well... restart this sentence. In the real world it is not that easy but the principle of acquiring trade-able assets for less than their value in trade stands true.
Many Leaf fans on HB were very upset about the Polak signing and the Martin signing. Seriously? Polak is a trade-able asset of value. He will most likely become a 2nd round pick and a B rated prospect. That is a free 2nd round pick and a free B rated prospect(Connor Carrick, remember that name - I think we got him in a Winnik trade). That is a win for a rebuilding organization.
Matt Martin. Career 4th liner(but not Colton Orr). He skates fast. He hits. He can score. I don't expect him to be hugely impactful, but maybe signing Martin means the Leafs will be trading "Uncle" Leo Komarov. Which makes this a UFA signing that is essentially a 'trade-able asset of value'.
If I were involved in Las Vegas(my resume has been submitted (I'm a management consultant which means I analyze and improve any organization...) I would look to maximize the ability to acquire 'Trade-able assets of value".
Any time you can acquire a player/prospect for less than the value you can later trade it for becomes a way to increase your total organizational strength. In Leaf talk Beauchemin was signed as a UFA at the same time as Komisarek was signed. Komi didn't pan out but we had the cap space, so it didn't matter. If you think about the return on Beauchemin/Komisarek the Leafs traded Beauch for Lupul, Gardiner(hellz yes) and a pick. Even in the real scenario that Beauchemain and Komisarek didn't win us a Stanley Cup - the fact that we traded zero assets to acquire them(Gardiner) is a win.
We won a free Jake Gardiner and I don't believe he should be winning any Norris trophies(because I'm not a moron) I do believe Gardiner will be a quality NHL D, and most likely a top 4 NHL D for years to come.
When evaluating moves think about "Trade-able Assets of Value". Think about it.