Monday, October 06, 2008

Canucks, Lightning swing four-player deal

Vancouver Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis announced today that the Canucks have acquired defenceman Shane O’Brien and right wing Michel Ouellet in exchange for defenceman Lukas Krajicek and right wing Juraj Simek from the Tampa Bay Lightning. O’Brien will report to Vancouver and Ouellet will report to Manitoba.
>> team release
Krajicek was on the bubble in Vancouver and O'Brien was benched yesterday after struggling in preseason and in Game 1, so not such a surprise there. It is a bit of a surprise that Ouellet gets thrown into the deal, although he had been demoted to Norfolk and will remain in the AHL.

He will likely get time with the Canucks this season, however, as he's shown some decent scoring ability in the past. Tampa Bay simply has a numbers game with all of their forwards and he was one of the ones forced out.

O'Brien's not a bad pickup either given his size, toughness and age. The Canucks win this deal in my mind.

The deadline for teams to get down to a 23-man roster is Wednesday afternoon, so expect some significant wheeling and dealing over the next 48 hours.

UPDATE Tampa Bay just demoted Vladimir Mihalik, which makes me wonder if Bryan Berard is going to be joining the team shortly. Also heading to Norfolk is netminder Karri Ramo.

UPDATE Lightning fans are pretty upset at the O'Brien deal and so they should be. Two games in and the team appears to be panicking.

O'Brien was acquired from the Ducks for a first-round pick near the trade deadline in 2007.
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23 Comments:

At 2:11 PM, October 06, 2008, Blogger JP said...

Wonder how much O'Brien wishes they'd pulled the trigger on this trade before he wasted a week plus in Europe.

On the plus side, though, he has the potential now to play in 84 games this year, which is pretty cool.

 
At 2:24 PM, October 06, 2008, Anonymous b said...

83!

 
At 2:56 PM, October 06, 2008, Blogger Kel said...

The Canucks still have too many NHL-calibre defencemen (and I consider Krajicek one too), so there should be more moves coming.

 
At 3:43 PM, October 06, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

The Canucks still have too many NHL-calibre defencemen (and I consider Krajicek one too), so there should be more moves coming.

Huh? Ohlund, Mitchell, Salo, Bieksa, Edler, O'Brien... Davidson. That's 7, which is what teams usually go with.

If you're counting Nycholat, please note that at age 29, he has played in 31 NHL games, and no European pro games (nearly 500 AHL games). That does not make him a NHL defenseman.

Vancouver is set on D.

 
At 4:12 PM, October 06, 2008, Blogger Kel said...

I should qualify by saying they still have too many NHL top-4 calibre blueliners, and I expect them to move one of the top 4 for some scoring help up front, barring a miracle Sundin signing. But again, sometimes it's better to not make a trade than to make a bad trade, so they may keep the blueline as-in for a while.

 
At 4:19 PM, October 06, 2008, Blogger Going Five Hole said...

I'd love to read Jay Feaster's take on this in his next Hockey News blog.

 
At 4:28 PM, October 06, 2008, Blogger Steve Patterson said...

another great deal by mike gillis...he has brought legitimate size and toughness to the canucks since he took over, bringing in darcy hordichuk, rob davison, steve bernier, and now shane o'brien. vancouver won't be pushed around anymore by calgary, anaheim, or san jose like they were last year.

also, i think this really clears the way for bieksa and pyatt to be dealt for a top-6 forward. however, i'm a big bieksa fan and think he'll have a huge year, so i'm sure gillis won't pull the trigger unless he's getting something really good in return. i keep hearing antoine vermette, but i think it's gotta be a much bigger talent, something like a marc savard, to move bieksa.

finally, tampa bay's d looks just pathetic this year. why they gave up a first-round pick to get o'brien, only to deal him away for somebody worthless like krajicek...who knows.

 
At 4:32 PM, October 06, 2008, Blogger Kel said...

somebody worthless like krajicek

I know Krajicek isn't that well known around the league, partly because he missed most of the last season due to injury, but he's not worthless and has shown a lot of potential early last season. He's a typical offensive defenceman, with good puck handling, passing, and skating abilities. If Tampa has trouble breaking out of their own zone because of blueliners with poor passing and/or offensive awareness, Krajicek can definitely help in that department.

 
At 4:38 PM, October 06, 2008, Blogger Steve Patterson said...

krajicek is worthless in the sense that every organization has 2-3 guys just like him who could do the same job. he's not an offensive or a defensive defenceman, he's not physical or soft, he's not risky or stay-at-home, he's just...there. you never notice him, and while that's good for some teams, there's a ton of guys out there just like him. vancouver has nolan baumgartner and lawrence nycholat as 8th and 9th d-men who can do the same things krajicek does for less.

o'brien, on the other hand, is big, physical, charismatic, works hard, has offensive potential, and might become a bieksa-type player under proper coaching. just look at how happy vancouver fans are and how angry tampa bay fans are to gauge how this trade is going down.

 
At 4:48 PM, October 06, 2008, Blogger Kel said...

I've watched almost every game Krajicek played as a Canuck and I firmly believe that he's a much better player than the two mentioned. Krajicek is an offensive specialist, not a borderline NHL-er that you implied.

 
At 4:52 PM, October 06, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Krajicek had a very, very poor season last year in a number of ways — but mostly defensively.

Just look at his Behind The Net statline: weak opposition and a sky high goals against.

He's no more than a No. 6 at this point (outside of Tampa Bay).

 
At 4:56 PM, October 06, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

finally, tampa bay's d looks just pathetic this year. why they gave up a first-round pick to get o'brien, only to deal him away for somebody worthless like krajicek...who knows.

By that logic, Florida "wasted" a first round pick on Krajicek when they drafted him. By Tampa's logic, Krajicek is still worth a first rounder, especially one that Feaster would've used.

Tampa's going all out with young puckmovers. Just how hurt is Ranger, anyways?

And Kel, I see your point, although Bieksa has some re-proving to do post-injury.

 
At 5:01 PM, October 06, 2008, Blogger Earl Sleek said...

o'brien, on the other hand, is big, physical, charismatic, works hard, has offensive potential, and might become a bieksa-type player under proper coaching.

Just think, if he had a better glove hand he could be captain someday!

 
At 5:02 PM, October 06, 2008, Blogger Steve Patterson said...

By that logic, Florida "wasted" a first round pick on Krajicek when they drafted him. By Tampa's logic, Krajicek is still worth a first rounder, especially one that Feaster would've used.

no. first round picks are always a gamble. but when you trade a first round pick, you better get a good player in return. you trade for the potential to get a good player when you receive a first round pick. the round a guy was drafted in close to 10 years ago doesn't matter anymore.

and while tampa may try to be going all out, their d-core is way too young, soft, small, and weak defensively for that team to do anything this year.

finally, i maintain that krajicek is a borderline nhl player. as james said, just look at his pre-injury stats last year. even in the year before that he was nothing special.

 
At 5:23 PM, October 06, 2008, Blogger Kel said...

Last season, Krajicek also scored 11 points in 39 games. That is 0.282 PPG and ranked him 99th in the whole league, middle of the pack out of the 180 regular defense spots.

Look at his stats, he played no AHL game since 2005 (the age of 22) and averaged 18 or more minutes a game, over 2 of which is on the power play. I maintain that he's still an NHL player.

 
At 5:36 PM, October 06, 2008, Anonymous Montreal JF said...

tampa bay is going nowhere.
Giving out 1st pick and then sending him away?

Sounds like a southern version of the Islanders

 
At 5:37 PM, October 06, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

no. first round picks are always a gamble. but when you trade a first round pick, you better get a good player in return. you trade for the potential to get a good player when you receive a first round pick. the round a guy was drafted in close to 10 years ago doesn't matter anymore.

Again, the same applies here. It's not Lawton's or the new ownership's fault that Feaster grossly overpaid for O'Brien. O'Brien is essentially worth what Krajicek is as of right now. The fact that they lost the initial O'Brien trade means little in this one... if Krajicek turns out to be a better player for Tampa than O'Brien was (which I think you have to concede is possible, we aren't talking blue chippers here), then this is a good move. Simple as that.

Both Krajicek and O'Brien were once worth 1st round picks. Now they're worth each other.

 
At 5:46 PM, October 06, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In regards to Mihalik being sent down, I'd assume that's because Paul Ranger will be coming back. Meszaros, Ranger, Carle, Heward, Krajicek, Niskala, and Lundin will be the 7 they go with.

 
At 5:49 PM, October 06, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Yeap, that's a good point.

 
At 5:50 PM, October 06, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both Krajicek and O'Brien were once worth 1st round picks. Now they're worth each other.

O'Brien was never worth a 1st round pick. Jay Feaster's just an idiot.

 
At 6:20 PM, October 06, 2008, Blogger Jonathan said...

O'Brien was never worth a 1st round pick. Jay Feaster's just an idiot.

Not a big fan of a lot of Jay Feaster's moves (particularly scouting during his tenure, low value he places on draft picks, etc.) but he has one more Stanley Cup ring than I have. Or for that matter, than you do.

 
At 11:22 PM, October 06, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

he has one more Stanley Cup ring than I have. Or for that matter, than you do.

The sun shines on every dog's ass eventually. Feaster consistently overpaid his core and filled his roster with plugs. Easily the stupidest post-lockout GM.

 
At 11:11 AM, October 07, 2008, Blogger Dennis Prouse said...

I doubt Feaster will openly rip the Lightning's new management team, such as it is. He would no doubt like to work in the NHL again, and you don't make any friends by publicly slagging your old club, regardless of how loopy they quickly became under new ownership. There may also be a "non-disparagement" clause in the settlement Feaster got from the team - in other words, he can't publicly bad mouth them if he wants to keep collecting his paycheque for this season.

The Lightning are, of course, going to be a complete train wreck. Their model of team building has never worked for any pro team in any sport, and in two games so far there is zero indication it will work now. ("I know! Let's go out and sign a whole bunch of older free agent forwards! We'll trade away our best defenceman to clear the cap space. It will work great!")

The only good news for the Bolts is that they will be in strong contention to add Tavares to Stamkos' line next fall.

 

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