Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Trading post

The Ottawa Senators have traded winger Peter Schaefer to the Boston Bruins in exchange for veteran winger Shean Donovan.
The Carolina Hurricanes have acquired forward Matt Cullen from the New York Rangers for defenseman Andrew Hutchinson, forward Joe Barnes and a third round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
Salary dumps.

I hadn't realized Schaefer had so many years left on his deal, and more than $2-million per season is a lot to have on the books for a guy who doesn't look like he'll produce more than 50 points a season.

A nice pickup by the Hurricanes to reclaim Cullen.


At 1:17 PM, July 17, 2007, Blogger saskhab said...

Even though he's a Ranger, I still hope Joe Barnes reaches the NHL. Definitely need more Saskatoon Blade alumni to make it.

It's actually a good trade for the Rangers... they took on minimal salary in exchange for a player they didn't give up anything to acquire just a year ago, who wasn't a core player but a support guy.

Sather is a much better GM with an actual budget to deal with.

At 4:53 PM, July 17, 2007, Blogger Eric said...

Schaefer is every bit the player Cullen is, yet you take him to task for being overpaid? Cullen counts as an extra $775k against the cap and both deals are for three more years.

I'm stumped as to why Rutherford would want to pay nearly $3 million for a third line centre, especially one on the wrong side of 30 with several years left on his deal.

Sather should be pleased as punch he got out from under that deal and managed to pick up a depth defender and decent pick for him.

At 7:08 PM, July 17, 2007, Blogger mike said...

Matt Cullen had a better year than the numbers indicated for the Rangers last year. He was excellent in the playoffs, where his speed made him a difficult matchup. I am sorry to see him go, even though the Rangers may give young Brandon Dubinsky a shot to play in his place.

Dubinsky was impressive in his stint with the Rangers last year, but I think Cullen is going to be sorely missed by the Blueshirts.

At 7:45 PM, July 17, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Look at Schaefer's numbers during Ottawa's playoff run. Look at Cullen's during Carolina's.

Notice the difference?

At 7:59 PM, July 17, 2007, Blogger Eric said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 8:35 PM, July 17, 2007, Blogger Eric said...

So you're comfortable basing your judgments of a player's value on a sample size of 20 games, James?

I'd say it's more prudent to go off their entire careers, or at the very least the two seasons both have spent in the 'new' NHL.

Looking at things that way, you've got Cullen at .48 PPG for his career, Schaefer at .47. Since the lockout, those numbers clock in at .60 PPG for Schaefer, .57 for Cullen.

Both are decent defensive forwards, though Schaefer spent considerably more time on the PK the past two seasons. Cullen makes some of that back by being a reliable option on faceoffs.

Outside of one hot stretch during Carolina's cup run, which you seem to be attributing to some innate quality in Cullen (interesting that it isn't reflected in the rest of his meager playoff career. Must be something in the water in Carolina), I'm just not seeing the big difference between these two players.

At 8:45 PM, July 17, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

After the way Schaefer played in the playoffs, Murray simply wanted to get rid of him — and I don't blame him. He was an offensive player scoring under 50 points a season on the second line with one of the top offensive teams in the league.

I like Cullen better, and Rutherford didn't really forfeit all that much for him (unless Barnes turns into an NHL prospect). That's all there is to it.

At 7:21 AM, July 18, 2007, Blogger mike said...

Eric--you refer to playoff point production as "a 20-game sample"??? Too bad you're not a GM; there's plenty of players in the NHL who could make a ton of money from you based on the forgiving nature of a statement like that.

Schaefer's career totals are 56 playoff games played with a total of 20 points; Cullen's totals are 39 games played with 22 points. In addition to better production, Cullen was a crucial part of a Stanley Cup winner in '06, and he was a solid performer for the Rangers in this year's Cup tourney. No similar claim can be made for Schaefer. Cullen is solid on faceoffs and good on the PK too--versatile and speedy.

Playoffs are where reputations are confirmed, and they reveal much about the depth of a player's character. Soft players who put up soft numbers usually disappear, and many a better player than Schaefer has vanished in the playoffs.

At 12:48 PM, July 18, 2007, Blogger The Contrarian Goaltender said...

I know it's easy to point to playoff scoring to label a guy "soft", but the scoring difference between the two is mostly because Cullen played almost three times as many power play minutes as Schaefer.

At even strength, Cullen had 9 points in 25 games in the 2006 playoffs, while Schaefer had 5 points in 20 games against stronger opposition in 2007.

Nine of Cullen's 14 assists were second assists. He went the final 16 games of the playoffs without scoring a goal. I think it's debatable just how "crucial" he was to Carolina's success.

If Cullen is a markedly better player than Schaefer, I don't see it in the statistical record in either the playoffs or regular season.


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