When the trade broke the initial reaction from insiders was how irked the Oilers were going to be. Cory Schneider had just moved to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Bo Horvat, otherwise known as the 9th overall selection in the 2013 NHL Draft. It was a disappointingly low return for a top NHL goalie. Especially when you consider what the Oilers allegedly offered: A package that included a first rounder, a second rounder and a high end prospect. The only problem being that Vancouver play in the same division as Edmonton. This trades poses the question of whether it is truly more beneficial to accept a smaller package in a trade or to trade within the division?
To begin with, acquiring a goaltender like Schneider would have made all the difference for the Oilers. In fact it would have fit in perfectly with the new bold mentality Oilers GM Craig McTavish hopes to bring to the table, and that which the organization had been lacking for so long. While Devin Dubnyk is a serviceable goaltender there is no doubt that Schneider would have been an excellent upgrade. There is a good chance he would become a star with them, especially if this squad can make good on the potential that lies within.
This in itself is exactly why it was savy for Canucks GM Mike Gillis to stay clear of this deal with the Oilers. The Canucks organization evidently believes that Schneider is the real deal and therefore want to place him as far away as possible. No the trade was not excellent for the Canucks, but it may have been better than potentially making him the catalyst for a dynasty. Or whatever the modern day equivalent is now that league wide parity has been introduced.
No team is more relevant when it comes to inter-divisional trades than the Toronto Maple Leafs. Through a series of unfortunate dealings with their divisional rivals in the Boston Bruins they have handed their opposition many parts that have contributed to there recent success. Now in both major cases they were kind of on the other end of the spectrum. The Leafs were acquiring the player rather than the package, or some variation of that.
But whatever the case may be the Leafs have plenty to regret about trading within the division. Even as the Tyler Seguin situation becomes increasingly interesting Tuukka Rask continues to prove this phenomenon. Meanwhile, Dougie Hamilton is starting to have his say on the matter as well. Since these pair of misinformed deals the Bruins have been to the cup final twice, winning it once in 2011. They were also able to best the Leafs in their first playoff appearance since the lockout, the cherry on the cake tht has been these trades for Boston.
What this has to say about the situation is that inter-divisional trades are incredibly risky and regularly have one distinct winner. Whether Gillis’s longterm future lies with this team or not he may have avoided a deal that could have caused his club grief for many years to come. Sure Schneider may go on to win the cup with New Jersey, although in their present financial state that doesn’t seem all that likely. But it almost certainly won’t be at the expense of the Vancouver Canucks, and for them that may be all that matters.
One thing to note in this is that divisions are expanding. Now with only four of them it will become far more probable that big trades will happen within the same division. If nothing else it will certainly become more difficult to deal players outside of the division. That being said, if the package or player is right or big enough to compensate for the divisional issue than a deal should be made. However, as divisional games become even more important not making major trades close to home will be as well.
Because a bad trade is a bad trade but if it is an awful trade within the division it is a bad trade that smiles back at you each and every year.
Thanks for reading – as always feel free to leave comments below and follow me on twitter @IswearGaa. Give the rest of the hockey department a follow while you’re at it – @lastwordBKerr, @BigMick99, and @LastWordOnNHL, and follow the site @lastwordonsport.
Interested in writing for LastWordOnSports? Visit our Join our Team page and be heard!