We're back after a few big moments in the sports world. In this episode we talk about some scary injuries, a terrible moment for a class-act hockey player, and we look at some of the influences that athletes and sports can have on their fans, and the world.
We talk NFL free agency, CFL off season and CBA, and we've even added some music!
Now that we’ve
talked about the winners and the losers of this year’s NHL Trade
deadline, it only seems appropriate to start the discussion on
arguably the biggest trade of the deadline. Of course, the deal in
question is the one that saw Martin St.Louis shipped north to the New
York Rangers. As we’ve already touched upon in my review in Part 1
of the biggest winners, the Lightning came out on top with this
trade. It’s especially surprising considering the pressure they
were under to move St.Louis prior to the deadline. That pressure was
strengthened by the fact that Marty only wanted to go to one team,
and one team alone, the Rangers.
Now we have to
rewind a bit in order to fully understand the conditions and the
reasons why Marty wanted out of his longtime home in Tampa. You have
to rewind to the Canadian Men’s Olympic team announcement this past
January. This is the moment that started the whole ordeal. St.Louis
was omitted from the team. Shocking? Perhaps. There was always a
strong argument that Canada could roster at least two possibly 3
teams if they wanted but some players made the cut while others
didn’t. St.Louis was one of those many who didn’t.
Marty took to the
ice for the Lightning and began to take it out on the other teams,
scoring 4 times against San Jose and becoming one of the hottest
players in the month of January. Rumors began to swirl he was not
happy, that he wanted out but nothing was ever confirmed on either
end. As the Olympics approached, Stamkos was not cleared to play
which meant an alternate needed to be named to the team. Yzerman and
company decided to bring the red-hot St.Louis to join the team. At
that time many expected the heat between the two to settle, well
those folks would be dead wrong.
Olympics, Marty was used sparingly and saw limited play during the
course of the Games. Why would they bench the guy who was lighting up
the National Hockey League the month before the Games? It’s simple,
the answer lies in the way St.Louis played. He didn’t perform on
the big ice. He was given some chances to get going and some time on
the ice but he didn’t do anything special. Many would argue that
many of Canada’s forwards didn’t do much either. I would agree,
the offense was limited but Marty really seemed to struggle to find
any sort of good rhythm.
Now we know how
the Games ended, with a big Canada victory with high-fives and smiles
amongst teammates but once these guys landed back in North America,
St.Louis decided it was time for a change. He demanded to be traded
to the New York Rangers. It wasn’t just enough to demand to leave
the team but he picked where he wanted to go and said make it happen.
First, he’s mad he didn’t make the team then he did, and now he’s
mad he didn’t play enough but he still won Gold in Sochi, do you
see what’s wrong with this picture?
Slowly in the
matter of less than 3 months St.Louis went from being the Man, the
Myth, the Legend to becoming the Man, the Myth, the Baby. St.Louis
made the cardinal sin in sports, he began to worry more about the
name on the back of his jersey rather than the one on the front. In
sports there’s always some players who care more about themselves
than the teams they play for. They’re often the ones asking for
trades, making demands or taking all the credit. St.Louis was always
viewed as a little Canadian hero. Proving the critics wrong by
excelling even though he has always been at a size disadvantage. Its
amazing how one player could change his image in the matter of
months. He wanted out because he wasn’t picked to play on a
Canadian All-Star team because his manager didn’t pick him. Was he
supposed to receive special treatment? No, but St.Louis seems to
think so. Yzerman and his staff picked the team, however St.Louis
only saw Yzerman at the helm. Pointed the finger solely at him and
demanded out. You could say he stomped away like a child because he
didn’t get his way and then grabbed his bags saying he wants to run
will forever have this on his record. He’ll always be known for his
childish behavior pre and post Olympics. When you put yourself in
front of the team you play on it will never lead to good things,
those players tend to get what they deserve in the end. Big hearts,
win big games. Big egos, win nothing. There are always exceptions to
this rule but St.Louis seems to have lost his heart, lost his way and
now he is in it just for himself. Don’t be surprised if his next
demand is to take Rangers off the front of his jersey and slap a
St.Louis on there too.
Now that the dust
has settled a bit, it’s time we sit back and take a nice long look
at the NHL Trade Deadline biggest losers. Like any game, every trade
has a winner and a loser, this year was no exception as there were
some pretty BIG losers. I don’t want to point any fingers but I’m
pointing it right at the Vancouver Canucks. They weren’t the only
Trade Deadline losers though, although it’s hard to argue that they
weren’t the biggest losers of the week as one other team gave them
a good run for their money. Now let’s review these 2 key trades.
Islanders – If one team was going
to give the Canucks a run for their money on who is the biggest loser
of the deadline, it would be the New York Islanders. They were bad
that day, they may be one of the worst managed teams in the league at
this point, and that’s saying a lot. But to fully appreciate how
bad it is you need to rewind to a happy time when Tavares wasn’t
injured, before the Olympic break and to when Garth Snow decided he
wanted to trade for Thomas Vanek. For a team that needed some help
scoring, a little extra push in their offense, it seemed like a smart
move right? Wrong.
Not only did Snow
want Vanek but for some reason he decided it would be a good idea to
ship out Matt Moulson and a 1st
round pick to Buffalo in exchange for him. Now you might ask yourself
why he would trade away one of their top scorers for another scorer
with equal point out put the past few seasons. Nobody truly knows why
Garth does a lot of things it seems. All I can say is that they
squandered a chance to truly bulk up their roster and gave away a lot
to get someone for the short term, whom they needed to move at the
Now without a 1st
round pick, the Isles needed something in return after Vanek openly
stated he would not re-sign with New York. Teams knew this, they used
it against the Isles and as the deadline loomed they pushed hard for
picks. In the end they shipped Vanek to Montreal for the equivalent
of a hockey bag and a sack of pucks. A conditional pick was involved.
To go from having Moulson and a 1st
round pick, to Vanek and no first round, to no Vanek and no first
round pick at all just seems odd. This wasn’t just a bad trade, it
was doomed from the start, poor management lead to a bad decision…or
decisions in this case. Don’t be surprised if you find Snow without
a job soon enough, I’m no psychic but fans can’t be happy about
what occurred and you can bet the organization can’t be happy
Canucks – Here you have it folks
the biggest loser of the deadline. Not only did they move Roberto
Luongo out of Vancouver but they received little in return. As the
wise Drew Mindall from TSN 1290 once said, “Anytime you can go from
a goaltending tandem of Schneider & Luongo to Lack &
Markstrom, that's a deal you HAVE to make.” This must have been
Mike Gillis’ logic then because it surely made no sense to anyone
else in the league. If teams were ships, the Canucks would be the
Titanic and it would be sinking quickly. Everyone grab a life boat or
some drift wood, they’re going under!
Not only did the
Canucks trade Luongo away but they didn’t get anything of value in
return. Markstrom and Mathias are both underachievers. Both bring
little to the table compared to what the two time Olympic gold
medalist Luongo brings to the table. Now they are left with a
goaltending void to fill, very few high end prospects and a
struggling team. The team may be on life support, after dropping 7-4
last night to the Islanders after a 7 goal 3rd
period by the Isles it’s hard to imagine this team turning things
around anytime soon. Why would Gillis make that trade? What was the
benefit for the team? Well for one they shipped out Luongo who was
unhappy in Vancouver…but can you blame the guy? He was
disrespected, benched and tossed aside after leading them to the Cup
Final a few years back. They have never been the same since. As an
Eddie Lack supporter, I have to feel for the guy. He is now rushed to
be the starter and is under tremendous pressure to win on a bad,
aging team. One has to wonder what moves Gillis has left before his
tenure in Vancouver ends but there can’t be many left. His fate may
be sealed. In the meantime all Canuck fans can really do is
#PrayForEddie and the twilight years of the Sedin twins as their time
in Vancouver may be coming to an end soon too.
Thursday. Marty St.Louis – The Man, The Myth, The Baby.
The NHL Trade
Deadline has come and gone folks. On a day that saw 20 trades and 38
players moved, we saw some winners and a lot of losers, and somewhere
in that mix you’ll find Marty St.Louis.
Like many trade
deadline days in recent years, the action may or may not have lived
up to the hype. In a year that has seen the 2nd
highest number of trades in the last decade. Whether you were
following on Twitter, checking NHL.com or following the in-depth
coverage on Sportsnet and TSN, there was an abundance of coverage
available. TSN even brought back some old faces of Jay and Dan on Fox
Sports One for a brief cameo or two. Although the coverage was
everywhere, the trades were not. What ended with as a busy day,
started out very slow.
With the first
trade coming later than previous years, and the majority of the
trades coming at the deadline or just after the deadline hour passed
as trade calls with the NHL were awaited and reported for nearly an
hour after the deadline. Now who won this year’s deadline? But more
importantly, who lost? Who were the biggest losers this year, well
let’s discuss. Today we’ll discuss the winners, followed by the
losers and the Marty St.Louis fiasco over the course of the weekend.
Lightning – The Lightning were put
in a tough spot this year, sitting at the top of their division and
without their young gun in Stamkos for most of the season, they had a
gun to their heads. That gun was pointed by Marty St.Louis. He wanted
out, there’s no better way to put that. He had issues with his GM,
Steve Yzerman and held a grudge, so what could his GM do but move him
to get that bad seed off his team, even it meant moving one of the
key pieces to his team’s success over the last decade.
The issue was
Yzerman was given one team, I repeat ONE team to move St.Louis to.
That team was the New York Rangers. But how are they the winners if
they lost such a key piece to their team? Well let me explain, they
won because of not the player they received in return but the picks
they got out of the deal. Sure Ryan Callahan is a great player to
help offset some offense and leadership now but its really the top
big picks that came with him that are the prizes. A 1st
round pick in 2015 and a conditional 2nd
round pick in 2014 that could become a 1st
rounder if the Rangers manage to make the Conference Finals this
Talk about a
blockbuster steal. Not only can Yzerman work to re-sign Callahan who
is an unrestricted free agent this July but he may get up to two 1st
round picks out of the deal. Can you name a bigger winner than Tampa
Bay at the deadline? I don’t think so.
– Goodbye Buffalo, Hello St.Paul.
Matt Moulson, one of the other big names at the deadline made a late
day move to the Minnesota Wild late after the deadline passed. Rumors
were flying around where Moulson may end up but in the end the Wild
were the winners here. They gave up Torrey Mitchell, and two 2nd
round picks (2014 & 2016) for Matt Moulson and Cody McCormick.
Moulson may be
arguably one of the best pieces out there considering his age and
scoring this season outside of Martin St.Louis. Moulson, who was
moved by the Islanders in one of the most lopsided trades of the year
for Thomas Vanek early this year, had shown he was still able to
score and lead the Buffalo Sabres, whom had struggled most of this
year. Many thought, myself included, that Moulson may struggle
himself as he entered Buffalo without having a line mate like Tavares
to work with but he has shown that he can score and still play great
hockey without elite talent around him. Moulson may be a key player
to watch as he is still an unrestricted free agent this offseason but
perhaps he will find a place in St.Paul this spring and they’ll
find that extra scoring touch they’ve been looking for.
– Now I know it’s a player
getting a mention instead of an entire team, not to mention the deal
happened the day before the deadline, however after all he’s been
through we really owe it to Luongo to give him this mention. Well
this may just be the first and only time you’ll see this happen
here. Unlike the St.Louis situation in Tampa Bay, Luongo never took a
gun to his GM’s head, he has always been the perfect image of class
and professionalism when it comes to trade rumors and getting
disrespected. Whereas the grudge from St.Louis stems from a Team
Canada snub, the issues with Luongo go back to the Cup Final against
the Boston Bruins. That series left Vancouver itching to move the
goaltender as he was the scapegoat for bigger problems.
So Gillis tried,
he left Luongo on the trade block for a year, ended up having dueling
goalies for a season and ended up shipping Cory Schneider out to the
Devils last summer at the NHL draft. So you would think the issues
surrounding the goaltenders would be solved right? Wrong.
Gillis, with the
newly hired John Tortorella played a little game I like to call,
“Bully Bobby Lu”. They had a very inexperienced backup in Eddie
Lack playing behind Luongo, as their team struggled due to chemistry
and roster issues, the goalies began to get shuffled. After being
selected to play for Canada at the Olympics and returning a Gold
Medalist, Luongo was pushed aside again for the young goaltender.
The last straw
came at the Heritage Classic which saw Lack get the start of Luongo.
After that the writing was on the wall for a quick exit. Sure Luongo
wanted to go to the Panthers but he gave the team every opportunity
to change their ways. Good for Luongo on being where he wants to be,
and leaving the mess behind in Vancouver. It’s not every day you
see players get disrespected to the degree Luongo did with the
Canucks so it’s great to see him leave with his head high and put
things behind him. He will make the Panthers a better team, he may
have single handedly crippled the Canucks for years to come, only
time will tell but isn’t that a little bit of sweet revenge?
case you missed it, we’ll leave you with some of Luongo’s tweets
from last night during the Canucks first game after the deadline.
In today's episode I talk NHL trade deadline, off season NFL, and even a little bit of a mix between NFL and MLB!! Unfortunately for my prediction, Tim Thomas was traded to the Dallas Stars a couple hours after I recorded this so I was definitely wrong.
I'm also welcoming a new member to the Sports Junk team! A witty aficionado on all things sporting, I'd like to welcome the T-cona Sports Guru to the group. Travis Paskaruk will be writing some blogs, and hopefully joining in on some episodes in the near future! Follow him on Twitter @TconaSportsGuy and welcome him aboard!