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Sitting still at the trade deadline

I won’t lie to you, I’m surprised as hell that the biggest move B. Burke pulled off yesterday was Brad May, who reportedly offered an attractive $100 bounty to the GM who could trade him to a playoff-qualifying team. That is not to say that Burke didn't warn us fans that there might not be any moves, but really, Burke lies to us all the time.

I guess all this e2 talk got me fantasizing a little bit, though. I mean, it’s tough not to stagger a bit as players like Forsberg, Smyth, Tkachuk, Guerin, Bertuzzi, etc., all get moved to other playoff-hopeful teams, while Anaheim gets a mention as possible destinations for all of them. But still, I gotta give some props to Burke for sticking to his guns—given the contracts of Niedermayer and Pronger, and the emergence of the kids, this is not a one-time shot-at-the-cup, no matter the unused cap space this year.

It’s kind of amazing, but for a guy who talks a lot about the trade market, Burke has actually touched the roster very little in the past year—observe the resulting lineups from last year’s trade deadline to this year’s (names in red represent players moved or acquired). Other than the Pronger trade (incidentally, the price paid for 4 years of Pronger was not dissimilar to the price for 40 days of Forsberg / Smyth / Tkachuk), the roster is fairly untouched.
My point, I suppose, is this: If I believed in last year’s squad's postseason chances, I certainly think this year’s squad is improved from that point, both by a year’s experience and by the addition of Pronger. Burke’s on-ice product is still strong, and short-term additions didn’t cost us the farm.

I can’t help but wonder, though, at what point Burke decided not to make a big splash at the deadline. Is he conniving enough to continue to act as a potential trade competitor, just to drive up demand and prices for other teams’ rental acquisitions? I wouldn’t put it past the guy.

I'm happy enough with consistency and long-term building; let's show these quick-fix teams how it's done.