The Contrarian: Sudden Movements

by Demetri Fragopoulos on April 17, 2016

The Senators and Bruins wouldn't be wise to make any sudden movements, even after missing the playoffs.

The saying “fools rush in where angels fear to tread” was most famously written by Alexander Pope, but has been used and modified by countless others since. I think I have found a few people that are gung-ho foolish.

The first is Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun and his claim that the Senators should pursue Steven Stamkos if he should opt for unrestricted free agency this summer.

He writes to Senators’ owner Eugene Melnyk:

“You need a top-line player in a big way, but in every trade you’re going to have to part with a bundle to get one, and there won’t be much else to get excited about on the UFA list. Landing Stamkos would only cost you a lot of money, which is what you might lose if you don’t do something quick.”

To his credit Brennan recognizes that Stamkos may re-sign with the Tampa Bay Lightning, but if he does not, then, “Tell him he can play centre,” and, “Remind him Erik Karlsson will be feeding him passes.”

A side-effect of this brilliant move would be that Erik Karlsson would want to stay and re-sign with the Senators since he and Stamkos are about the same age.

The motivation for this rather brash move is to restore the fans confidence with Melnyk’s team after a rather poor public execution of former head coach Dave Cameron. Oh, and to stick it to the Toronto Maple Leafs too. The same team that graciously traded Dion Phaneuf to you a few months ago.

Excellent! That settles it. It must be done.

We all hope that Stamkos recovers from his surgery to deal with blood clots because it would be a loss to the whole hockey community if he had to retire prematurely. But shouldn’t the Senators make sure that he will be able to play first?

The fans have been burdened with too many bad contracts for players that underperformed.

It amazes me that the solution to the problems for every team that does not win the Cup is to sign Steven Stamkos. Ridiculous.

Ottawa’s power play was ranked 26th and Stamkos would help improve it, but their penalty killing special teams were 29th. Will Stamkos help with that?

In comparison to the Washington Capitals, the Senators scored 18 fewer goals and let in 50 more. A healthy Kyle Turris would help close the gap in both categories.

Finding a coach that can motivate that group to work as a team should be the highest priority.


The second comes from a series of articles compiled by Lyle Richardson. To be clear, he is not the fool. He only found them in Boston. The Bruins are a team that finds themselves in quicksand.

Local journalist Steve Conroy suggests that the team seriously consider trading away and not resigning some of their older defensemen, but also to look to trade Jimmy Hayes after only one year with the B’s.

Why on earth did they think trading Reilly Smith and Marc Savard’s contract for Hayes would be a good thing?

Another reporter that is referenced, Fluto Shinzawa, attempts to find a defenseman in the league that they should trade for. His thinking is to give both first-round draft picks in order to obtain a younger quality d-man.

Maybe he is referencing the details of what the Bruins received from the Calgary Flames in exchange for Dougie Hamilton last summer.

Why alienate and then trade away a player that plays defense only to go out and try to find a similar player for that position the following year? This seems like a lot of mindless moving around, so it is no wonder that they keep sinking in the sand.

The most unbelievable story comes from Joe Haggerty who suggests a scorched earth policy by getting rid of everyone, exempting four players: Tuukka Rask, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak.

Haggerty’s thoughts about moving Chara to Chicago (cap issues), Los Angeles (more cap-issues), Tampa Bay (more cap issues and Stamkos to deal with), or the Florida Panthers (because he has a home in Florida) are pie in the sky. Maybe Florida will give up Jimmy Hayes for him. Oh wait…

That the Bruins have taken a solid team and decided to “improve” it into a playoff-watching team means that there has been a serious issue with upper management.

Now that they did not fire Coach Claude Julien, I am thinking that they have decided to calm down and reassess their behavior instead of reacting rashly.

How does one get themselves out of hockey related quicksand (can be applied to fantasy hockey teams as well)?

  1. Relax and don’t make any sudden movements.
  2. Keep your head coach.
  3. Lean back and identify what is working and what is not.
  4. Increase your scouting.
  5. Identify if there is another team that can help you pull yourself out of the mess.
  6. If there is nothing available, draft one player at a time and slowly get to solid ground.

The last thing you should do is make moves for the sake of making moves. Making big splashes will only see you sink further into the muck.

Don’t be the fool.