I always find it hard to be unbiased evaluating a trade when I know one of the players involved. Personal feelings creep in, both good and bad.
Tom Gilbert is one of my favorite team mates of all time. He is a fun guy to have in the locker room, positive and a solid all around d-man. Because of injuries in recent seasons he was leaned on heavily to play hard minutes in every possible situation. I felt like he was getting overworked and at times his play would suffer.
Yesterday when he was traded to the Minnesota Wild for Nick Schultz I took a minute to evaluate without emotion. I have always respected Schultz’s game. He is a steady defensive orientated defenseman. I expect he will be asked to play against most top lines, pk and crucial minutes at the end of the game. He has a calm demeanor which with help to calm the rest of the club and more specifically younger dman on the Oilers.
With Gilbert in the lineup the balance of offensive and defensive d-men was out of whack. The addition of Schultz along with Smid and Sutton will provide the defensive end of things, which will allow Potter, Petry and Whitney to create offense.
I like the trade. Brings balance to the back end and a steady veteran to smooth over the tougher minutes.
Tough time to be Rick Nash in Columbus. Yesterday when Scott Howson let the world know he had asked for a trade, it left him in a bad spot but one Nash created for himself.
I don’t mind when a player asks for a trade. Sometimes it just isn’t working where you are at. I do mind when they ask for a trade a year or two after they sign a long term deal with.
When you commit to a team for as long as Nash did, I think you should play that contract out for better or worse. He could have waited till he was unrestricted and looked at every situation but he chose not to. Did he really think that Columbus was going to become a top team? I assume he must have but I am not sure anyone else thought they were going that way.
I really respect Shea Webber from Nashville. I am sure David Poile has given him a blank cheque to fill out every day to get him to sign but he doesn’t want the commitment. The money will be there for him now or later just like it would have been for Nash. He wants to play for a team that will win, so he is patient. Yes that may be Nashville but he doesn’t need to rush a decision.
I hope the Nash situation works out for everyone. Unfortunately, once the secret is out most often it doesn’t.