I was listening to the radio today in my car, when I heard the crazy news.Mike Fisher has been traded to Nashville for a first round draft pick.
Like many people, I couldn’t believe it. Bryan Murray actually made a good hockey trade? Talk about crazy.
But it’s true. Although the Sens lost half its fan base by trading the Justin Bieber of the NHL, they ended up getting a lot in return for him. First round picks are tough to come by (unless you’re trading with the Maple Leafs). Most teams hold on to them, hoping to get a pretty good prospect.
But to hear some Sens fans, you’d think they just traded Sidney Crosby. But the facts speak otherwise.
There are four reasons why this was a good deal.
1) For too long, the Sens have catered to the female population in Ottawa. They’ll keep a player far past his prime, to the point where no one likes him (See Redden, Wade). By dealing Fisher now, they’re getting more for him than they would if they wait an additional three years.
2) It’s a dirty little secret that no one in Ottawa likes to talk about, but Fisher isn’t actually that good of a hockey player. Sure, fans of Fisher (FoF from here on out) will disagree, but Fisher is on pace this season for 36 points. You’d think that would be a bad year for him, but it was only two years ago that he scored 32 points. And this is your second line centre? Chris Kelly gives you the exact same numbers, and is half the price. Speaking of salary, that’s the next reason I like this deal:
3) It creates cap space. The Sens just saved $4.2 million of their cap for the next two seasons, plus whatever they save this year. That gives them a chance to go and make an impact this offseason.
And 4) It signifies the fact the team is actual rebuilding. For too long, they traded picks for players to try and sneak into the playoffs, or to make it to the second round (see Sutton, Andy as well as Commodore, Mike). This show the team has given up on the season, and want to number one pick in the draft. Ignore the fact that there is no consensus #1 pick, which doesn’t bode well for getting a bona fide superstar. But at least the team is trying to tank. In a press conference, Murray did every thing but hire an airplane to spell it out in the sky.Now, some Sens fans are taking it the wrong way. They think Fisher’s wife, Carrie Underwood, got him to leave Ottawa.
Ridiculous. Murray went to Fisher, and said “Hey, we’re going to trade you. Anywhere in particular you want to go?” Fisher answered with Nashville or L.A. And so it happened. He could have said Colorado, or Vancouver, or Florida, or Dallas. It doesn’t matter. He was given a choice, so he obviously chose Nashville because that’s where his wife lives. But Fisher didn’t demand a trade to Nashville. And Underwood didn’t do anything to facilitate a trade for Fisher.
You know who is most responsible for Fisher being traded? Mike Fisher. His minus-19, low goals, low points and high salary on a sinking team is not a good thing. If Fisher were on pace for 50 goals, he wouldn’t have been traded. If he was making $1.5 million, he wouldn’t have been traded. If the Sens were in the playoffs, he wouldn’t have been traded.
To suggest he was traded because of Carrie means he would have been traded no matter what the circumstances, and that’s just not the case.
Down Goes Brown, on his Twitter feed, had the line of the day about this: “This trade makes Carrie Underwood hockey’s Yoko Ono, only if the Beatles were completely terrible.”
How bad is it? Kiss 105.3 said they are never going to play another Carrie Underwood song again. Sigh. Sure, that’s an acceptable reaction.
Obviously, for FoF, this trade will go down in history as one of the all-time trades in the NHL. Years from now, Sens fans will be reminiscing, asking each other where they were when they heard about “the trade.”
But really, all the Sens did was trade an underachieveing overpaid centre for a first rounder. Sens fans should be celebrating this move, not condemning Underwood. And if Carrie is the reason Fisher is gone, she deserves a statue, not scorn.