Tuesday, September 27, 2005

What the hell?

From the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Left wing Jeff Friesen was traded to the Washington Capitals by the New Jersey Devils on Monday for a conditional 2006 draft pick.
The deal gives the Capitals a proven forward and allows the Devils to trim salary so they can get under the NHL's new $39 million US cap. Friesen is set to make $2.28 million this season.
Okay: so a big, fast, perennial 20-goal scorer with a Cup ring who's a lock for 50-60 points on any team not as horny for defence as the Devils is signed, sealed and delivered at $2.28 million for next season, and all New Jersey could get for him was a conditional draft pick? Did Lamoriello seriously have to wait this long in the off-season for this? Was there really not one other team interested enough in Friesen's abilities to cough up a return even slightly more concrete?

Forgive my incredulity—I realize the Devils couldn't afford to take on another warm body and were destined to get screwed on any move they made, and also that the Caps have a boatload of cap space to work with. But the time it took to make this move would suggest to me there was some level of competiton for his services, and a conditional deal strikes me as a little baffling. (And, of course, it goes without saying that I would have happily tossed away a third- or fourth-round pick to land Friesen in Edmonton.) If anyone's got a theory, I'm all ears.


Garnet said...

The conditions in question could have been very favourable. Imagine the deal to be "if Washington ends up with a top-three pick next year, Jersey gets it; else Jersey gets their first round pick (and possibly some other consideration) in 2007." No doubt NJ's dealing from weakness, but when you get a Washington draft pick this year you get a reasonably sure thing.

Jonathan W said...

Well, it won't be a first round pick, but I could see the deal being something like:
If Friesen resigns with WSH, NJ gets a 3rd round and a 5th round pick, if not NJ gets a third round pick. WSH picks are money in the bank.

mike w said...

Might be something like what Sather got from Burke when Anaheim off-loaded Steve Rucchin.

There's a good NY Post story by Larry Brooks on the trade: