To sell or buy?

Posted: 02/10/2012 by bc in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

With 17 days to the trade deadline our Ducks appear to be sitting on the fence. It’s tempting to put the buy or sell question to a SWOT test. Let’s see our narrative goes first. Really though, what do you do with your team 10 points out of the playoffs with 29 games left? Of the six competitors for the final two playoff seeds Ducks enjoy 2 games in hand on Kings, Coyotes, Flames, Avs and 1 game in hand on the Wild. Dallas and Anaheim have each played 53 games.

The business is bleeding money. Attendance, media and merchandise revenue is down by up to 40%, maybe more. Admittedly, that’s a nose pressed against the window estimate.  I haven’t seen the actual numbers. Expressed in dollars, an operating loss in excess of $30 million shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Bob Murray said recently that he was looking at next year. It’s fairly meaningless quote because Murray has also said that you plan for today and 3 years from now. With one eye in the now and the other looking ahead, we’ll look at some Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) on page 2.

Devante Smith-Pelley is nearing a return. Tight checking physical games are his bread and butter. Just before he left for the World Juniors he was starting to find the back of the net. You want to give him the experience of a playoff run. Do you trade one of Jason Blake or Niklas Hagman to make room for him? Top return for either Blake or Hagman would be a second round pick or a prospect.

Like Randolph  Duke (Ralph Bellamy) in Trading Places our D is screaming, “Sell, sell, sell.” Ducks have a glaring need for a solid stay@home matchup D-man. Look no further than an off year from Toni Lydman. Gabby has been trying to get more out of Luca Sbisa but he is making some serious mental mistakes out there. On the learning curve Luca is doing great for a 3rd year D-man. You can never know when the light goes on. This is particularly true of D’s because if they’re doing the job we don’t notice them.

The D pickings are slim. The top candidates today are Hal Gill and Andy Sutton.

There could be an opportunity just to our north. Kings would love to move Dustin Penner, who’s having a horrific year. Would they give up Matt Greene to do it? Jason Blake for Penner & Greene?

‘Canes Bryan Allen could be exactly who Bob Murray might want. A pending UFA, Allen is a good skater for a big man (6’5″, 226#’s) and has some offense. At 31, he’s been injury prone due to his fearless play and pushing his body beyond its limit.  If he learns to stay within the physical limits his hams and ligaments permit, he’d give us that big guy on the back end we need.

Acquiring Allen could also allow us to offer up a package of Toni Lydman and Blake or Hagman. A top 4 D-man, slumping after a career year, along with a depth scorer like Jason Blake is exactly the kind of package that makes Cup contenders overpay at the trade deadline.

The selling side has been well documented here and elsewhere. No need to rehash it.

With apologies to MBA’s everywhere, sorry no SWOT chart. Maybe next time.


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