As we approach the signing of prospects and the preseason games, it's time to review the numerous trades that have been made in Montreal.
Having been one of the more active GM's when it comes to trading, I know more than one have questioned whether there is a strategy at all present or just a matter of a compulsive need to trade.
So let’s forget all about the number of trades, let’s forget all about names and let’s even disregard for a moment the fact that the change has had it’s price when it comes to future picks. The latter of course on one hand might affect the future of the franchise, but at the same time many years of experience tells me we have a good chance of acquiring players other ways than through the actual picks.
But that is another topic to be discussed at another point. Instead, lets now look at hard facts, comparing the original roster with today's, with numbers and statistics broken down on the different player types; forwards, defenders and goalies.
Since the first trade the average for Montreal forwards have increased on checking (+2), skating (+1), endurance (+1), scoring (+4), penalty shots (+11) and OV (+3). That is of course something I am very pleased with as the object up front was to add both grit and scoring.
The increase in fighting (+4) and decrease in discipline (-3) I could have done without. But I realize that is a difficult equation. All of this was made with merely -1 on the potential average which was a positive surprise. Dropping -3 on puck handling of course not optimal, but having to choose I still prefer the increases I got. Stats not mentioned hardly changed at all.
Looking at the defenders there is an increase in checking (+4), defensive awareness (+3), experience (+1) and leadership (+2). As above there’s also an increase in fighting (+3) and decrease in discipline (-2) and that is okay too. In the best of worlds I would have liked for skating (-2), puck handling (-2) and passing (-1) not to drop but I am still happy with the level of skills of Petry, Leddy & Company in this department.
Finally the goalies, or actually 'goalie' as only one of them was traded - but the change is quite dramatic. The increase in vital stats as SK (+6), Agility (+14), RB (+4), SC (+2), HS (+3) and RT (+1) was well worth the Price, so to speak. The massive drop in experience and leadership (-20 on both!) might turn out to be a problem, should we make it to the playoffs. My hope is that the EX/LD on Malkin, Benn, Petry, Leddy and others will make up for that.
So am I happy about where I am? Yes. Do I think it was worth it? Definitely. Will I lean back and stop trading now? Well, you take a guess!