Sunday, February 24, 2008

Tom Barasso the Sens' best deadline deal: Some doofus

Hi everyone. I'm back after a week researching the Senators' presence internationally (in the Dominican Republic), and the results are mixed. I'll write about that later, though; there's something more important right now.

The important thing is the Ottawa Citizen's Hugh Adami's misguidedness. Terrible, terrible... Today in the Citizen, Adami explores the Senators' deadline-trading history--something I did (in greater detail, with fewer resources) on this very blog weeks ago--and then rates the top-ten trade-deadline deals for Ottawa over the years. Number one on Adami's list? Tom freakin' Barrasso.

I'm not trying to say there are trades this team has made that proved to be hugely consequential. But it seems obvious that picking up players like Bryan Smolinski, Curtis Leschyshyn, and Mike Comrie--numbers 2, 3, and 4 respectively--or even Vaclav Varada and Mike Sillinger--numbers 6 and 7 in that order--made more of an impact than the acquisition of Barrasso in exchange for Ron Tugnutt and Janne Laukkanen. Adami even noted that Tugnutt won a series for Pittsburgh, whereas Barasso only one two games.

Adami's lead for the story: "Here's a look at some notable trades and how I would rate them, starting with the better ones and ending with the worst." Adami's blurb about the Barrasso trade: "Nice hunch by Johnston that didn't work out, but still the club's most notable move before a trade deadline." What? Are you looking for notable trades, Adami, or for good ones? Because this was certainly notable, but it didn't work. Not even close.

The Barrasso trade was a risk. Then-GM Marshall Johnston looked at the team, didn't like what he saw, and tried to improve by adding a two-time Stanley Cup winner. The fact that that goaltender was 36 at the time and had been relegated to the backup spot behind J-S Aubin didn't seem to matter to Johnston. If the trade had worked and the Sens won a series or two, Johnston would have looked like a genius and Adami's claims might be right. But it didn't work out, so Johnston's a goat and Adami's way off-base.
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