Wednesday, May 12, 2010

the Pascal Leclaire trade. Would you do it again, Part 2

First off, congrats to the Habs and Jacques for taking down two really good teams. Really neat to see what Jacques can do with proper goaltending. He's won two Game 7s now after not winning one in 9 years in Ottawa.

Now, on to Snoopy. You came, you saw, you got belted in the head twice (neither occasion being in a game, either). Outside of Hasek, no goalie has come to Ottawa with as much fanfare as Pascal. After his first full season, he's at least surpassed Hasek in terms of freak injuries that tainted his year.

At the trade deadline in 2009, BM sent longtime underachiever Antoine Vermette over to Columbus for injured goalie Pascal Leclaire (and his $3.8M contract) and a 2nd round draft pick. Vermette went on to sign a 4-year extension for $3.75M and set career highs in goals (27) and points (65). Pascal nursed his injury last year and went on to just find new injuries this year, including a broken jaw and a concussion. It is safe to say that this season was an unmitigated disaster for Pascal. When he wasn't sitting in the trainer's room or eating through a straw, he was shitting the bed in the Sens crease. It wasn't until his last two games in the playoff loss that he fared well. The silver lining is that he might be on to a new start, and we MUST mention that the second round pick nabbed Robin Lehner, our future goaltender of the future...after Elliott, who is the current goaltender of the future.

A few more points - we couldn't afford to have a goalie AND have Vermette on that kind of contract. Sure, we probably could have signed him for something just over $3M, but would we have paid that much money for a guy that just always left you wanting more. So fast, good hands, but always struggled to hit that 50 point mark. Vermette also received FAR more icetime playing with Nash in Columbus than he did here, where he was a third liner and on the second PP unit. Could he have pushed for 30 goals in Ottawa? I doubt it. I'll also give Kovalev some credit here because Vermette never had an effect on the Fish that Kovie did. Or am I now giving Floatalev too much credit here? In hindsight, $3.75M for 65 points is a great deal. He also killed penalties.

The biggest challenge to evaluating this trade is that we still don't know what we have in Snoopy. Is he the goalie that gets concussed stopping shots with his head (aren't goalies supposed to stop shots anyway?)? Or is he the goalie that stole saves and made the first round playoff series semi-exciting? I hate to say that our sample of good games is FAR less than our sample of brutal games. Add to the fact that a guy like Turco is now available as a UFA this summer and you start to wonder how this deal worked out for everyone.

Vermette with more icetime in Columbus puts up 65pts. His $3.75M is more reasonable than the $5M we put up for Kovalev to replace his points. Lehner is supposed to be a stud, and Pascal might have a decent year in his sights.

Sens Fans - Would you do the Pascal trade again?