The Future vs. The Now: A Transcript

A transcript on trading prospects for stars.

The writers here at The Cannon are participants in a Slack channel. A lot of times we talk about article ideas, bounce things off of one another, things of that nature. Occasionally, a sincere discussion pops up. What follows is the transcript of that discussion (edited for clarity and readability) because we wanted to hear what the community had to say regarding the discussion. This sprung from a question in Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch’s chat and follows from there.


Eric Seeds
Boy, Porty's chat is making it sound like there's a big trade in the works ...

Pale Dragon
Oh shoot, I meant to follow that while eating lunch

What is he saying?

Eric Seeds
Question: If the team trades Clarkson and gets out of Hartnell's deal, do you see them keeping the cap space or going after a sniper?

Porty: They want to add that five-star player. Again, it's very hard to acquire. Kovalchuk is a name they've investigated. Duchene must me considered. Don't know who all the Avs are looking to unload, but they have some talent to move. Is Tavares available? If so, that's a phone call they'd surely make. More than just cap room, the Blue Jackets have young assets (players) to move, too. They are positioned to make a trade of this stature.

Pale Dragon
Sounds like speculation

Eric Seeds
I guess I just don't understand why we're suddenly trying to shed cap space all the sudden. This seems to have come out of nowhere.

But I totally think Hartnell is getting bought out.

Am I crazy for still liking Hartnell?

I don't get the fascination with trying to get rid of him

Pale Dragon
Would you agree that the team should try to get a Duchene or Tavares or Galchenyuk?

Eric Seeds
Tavares only has one year on his deal before he's a UFA, so unless we're going for it THIS YEAR, no. Duchene, obviously, but we don't have to shed all that salary to accommodate him. I know nothing about Galchenyuk.

@FletchTopper: I get characterized as "get rid of all old guys" a lot, kinda fairly, but Hartsy is nearly 35-36 and his numbers have declined precipitously each of the last few years.

Pale Dragon
Obviously a Tavares trade would be based around extending him as well, maybe as a sign and trade

The point is, to get the elite sniper we need, we do need that flexibility of getting Clarkson and Hartnell's contracts off the roster

Eric Seeds
Do we NEED an elite sniper right this second though?

Pale Dragon
Trading Clarkson and buying out Hartnell creates an extra 8 mill to use this summer

As I said in the comments, I think we're close enough that one more star can make us contenders

Eric Seeds
And, giving up a first and say a Milano or Abramov to get rid of Clarkson leaves us real thin with prospects to trade to get that sniper that will likely cost much more. So we'd be able to offer that other prospect, next year's first, and ... which roster players are we giving up? For an elite guy, we'd be giving up a lot.

Depleting Cleveland and weakening some part of the roster.

Now, if we're protecting someone like say Korpisalo and Murray to turn around and trade them; that I can kinda see

Pale Dragon
At a certain point, it becomes worth it to trade the prospects. They can't all find a spot on the roster

Like, the Indians traded 4 prospects for Andrew Miller, including their top one in Clint Frazier, a top 10 MiLB prospect. But then Miller won ALCS MVP so it's worth it

Like, I'd take a couple years of a last place Monsters team (sorry @eshircliff ) if the Jackets were getting to at least the conference finals at the same time

Eric Seeds
I guess that makes sense. I dunno if we're close enough to make THAT leap, but if the FO thinks we are; then I guess go for it.

I think Murray moves ESPECIALLY if Gavrikov comes over.

Follow Up Thoughts

Eric Seeds

I get the value in going for it: this team has never so much as won a playoff series, never mind been considered even an outside threat to contend for the Stanley Cup. I understand wanting to take these big chances to push for the next level. I can even get behind giving up some value in the pipeline for the flexibility to do it. I just want to make sure that last season wasn't a fluke: we've been burned by this before.

I remember the last time we made the playoffs on the back of a hot goaltender and a solid streak: the team traded for Marian Gaborik and came crashing back to earth shortly after. I know prices for players are higher at the deadline, but all the same, we'll have a better understanding of whether or not we're improving later in the season. Falling into the trap of thinking we’re ahead of schedule scares me. This team isn’t going to win 16 games in a row again obviously, and may not crack the 100 point mark again. Is it possible to do both of those things and still see the team improve?

It sounds like, from multiple sources, the Blue Jackets have a deal lined up with Las Vegas, meaning at least someone is getting traded. I just want the Blue Jackets to make sure they are headed in the right direction before giving up too much of the future and being locked into an even tougher spot than they’re in now.

Pale Dragon

I don’t think we can afford to wait and see if this current roster - as currently constructed - is for real. This isn’t a team that just barely got in the playoffs, like in 2014. This team won 50 games. If this exact same group may fall a little short of that, why not add a piece that makes it more likely to repeat?

It’s a young team on average so some would say the window to contend is just starting to open. I say that a Big Move has the chance to throw the window wide open right now. The right move would involve acquiring a young (under 30) goal scorer with several years of team control (in his current contract or a new contract with Columbus). A player more like Brandon Saad than 2013 Marian Gaborik.

I’m not saying put every prospect up for sale, obviously. Some will continue to develop and will help fill the NHL roster in 2-4 years. The rest can be exchanged for a player who can come in right away and help the 2017-18 Blue Jackets take the next step forward. Go get our version of Phil Kessel or P.K. Subban - two great players that joined already good teams and took them to the Final in their first season.

What do you think? Stay the course and let this roster continue to improve, or spend some assets to grab a big piece, with the goal of contending immediately?

The Future or The Now?

Seeds: Wait and see if this team is for real55
PD: This team is already good; let’s make a move now to become great105

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