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Analysis of the Gagne Trade with a Cooler Head | February
Now that I've had time to digest the Gagne situation, and cast my emotional knee-jerk reaction aside, I can say this:

Paul Holmgren, you really fucked up.

That's right, I haven't changed my opinion at all. We traded Simon Gagne for Matt Walker. If you're ever interviewing people for General Manager of your team you should ask them a question like 'so, do you think you'd ever trade one of our best players for the butler from the movie Clue?' If he says yes kick him right in the urethra.

The only counter argument I've heard/read (skimmed) was that this was a move that had to be made because of the cap situation.

Well no shit.

But would you justify someone having to jump to their death from Daniel Carcillo's hot air balloon because the guy who manages the balloon take-offs miscounted how many people were in that little basket? No, you'd say 'hey balloon guy, you're a fucking idiot! Juan was a really great dude and we lost him because you fucked up. He loved Bud Light Lime."

And so the same thing goes for a GM who plays poker with his cards facing the wrong way and puts himself in a situation where the league will eventually mandate that he get rid of a player. For all other GMs to see.

Simon Gagne is and was not my boyfriend, despite my many attempts to make him so. No player on our team isn't replaceable for the proper return. And that's my main problem with this trade - a member of the front office should not put his team in a situation where his assets publicly depreciate not based on their skill and worth, but based on his mismanagement of the situation. How much does a player of Gagne's caliber generally fetch in a trade at the geriatric age of 30? It's a pain-in-the-ass comparison to do that takes a lot of time so forgive me for limiting it to left wings. Huge returns for players at the deadline and draft day come to mind and if our intent was to trade someone all along Paul Holmgren should have followed one of the path that was best for the team and dealt Gagne when he could have gotten the most return. But all that aside, in the history of 30-ish year old left wingers, here are some roughly comparable trades for a player that is 34th ALL TIME in points per game among left wings, who have scored at least 500 points in their career. Yep, .75 PPG will get you there. Let's take a look at what some similar players fetched:

- When Brendan Shanahan (.89 PPG) was almost 28 he was traded to Detroit for Keith Primeau, Paul Coffey, and a 1st rounder.

- When Keith Tkachuk (.89 PPG) was 29 he was traded for Ladislav Nagy, Michael Handzus, Jeff Taffe, and a 1st rounder.

- When Brian Bellows (.86 PPG) was 28 he was traded for Russ Courtnall, the 51st leading scoring right winger of all time.

- When Kevin Stevens (.83 PPG) was 31 he was traded with Shawn McEachern for Glen Murray, Brian Smolinski, and a 3rd rounder. The next year he was traded for Rick Tocchet.

- When Alex Tanguay (.83 PPG) was 29, with a year left on his $5.4M contract, he dealt to Montreal for a 1st and a 2nd round pick.

- When Steve Sullivan (.78 PPG) was about to turn 30 he was traded at the deadline for two 2nd round picks.

- When Ryan Smyth (.72 PPG) was 32 he was dealt for Robert Nilsson, Ryan O'Marra and a 1st rounder.

- When Cory Stillman (.72 PPG) was almost 30 he was traded for David Backes (slight exaggeration).

Please feel free to dive into your injury arguments, which I will then counter with leadership and experience. And then your declining scoring arguments, which I will counter with 'the other winger on my line is Daniel Carcillo' rebuttals. And then the 'these were all different times and markets were probably softer', which I will counter with 'Matt Walker makes almost $2M you'vegottobefuckingkiddingme.'

Tampa Bay is laughing about this trade. That should tell you something - not everything, but something. Everyone should be laughing except us. Simon Gagne for Matt Walker and a future AHLer TBD. How can you be so careless as to put yourself in that situation? To attempt the procedure the entirely wrong way and bring in a number of players that there was little to no appetite for BEFORE making room for them. You fucked up, Paul. You tried to play it safe and you did it backwards. The least you could have done is traded Gagne for Meszaros and saved us a fucking 2nd rounder, and the pain of having to watch Matt Walker dick around in our organization.