Thursday, September 10, 2009

Marleau to the Kings?

ESPN is reporting that Patrick Marleau is heading to the Los Angeles Kings in a three-team deal between San Jose, Ottawa and Los Angeles.

This significant shakeup would look like this:

Heatley to San Jose
Frolov and Stoll to Ottawa
Marleau to Los Angeles

Reaction? I'm not pleased. Alex Frolov has been a key member of the Los Angeles Kings almost since he's been drafted, and while Stoll is expendable this deal looks like a dramatic overpayment for a player who has repeatedly underperformed, if not outright disappeared in the NHL Playoffs.

Here how the stats break down:
To Ottawa:
50G, 50A (32/27 from Frolov; 18/23 from Stoll)

To San Jose:
39G, 33A

To Los Angeles:
38G, 33A

Let's keep a few things in mind.
  1. Stats don't tell the whole story. No question Heatley brings... something to the table that Marleau and Frolov (the Kings key in this deal) does not. Similarly, some have argued that Marleau has character perks that make him more valuable that the statistics would indicate.
  2. Age. Of the three teams, there's no question the Los Angeles Kings are in the most intense rebuilding. Why trade away the two youngest players in the deal (Frolov and Stoll are both from '82) in exchange for the oldest? Leadership? Frolov already has six full years in the NHL, not including the year of the lock out. Stoll has another five. While not exactly grizzled veterans, they provide the stability of a veteran presence. Besides, it's not like Marleau "knows how to win in the playoffs." Anyone seen the Sharks lately?
  3. Projections. Heatley moves to San Jose where he has Thornton dishing him passes. So Heatley's numbers go up (almost certainly). Frolov gets another year of experience under his belt and moves to a team with more pure offensive threats (Spezza, Alfredsson) than he's ever played with. Frolov's numbers go up. Marleau goes to a rebuilding team, which will be relying on him producing for them, so opposing defenses can key in on him. Marleau's numbers... don't go up. Anyone doing the math here? And that's leaving Stoll out of the deal entirely.
In all though, Ottawa makes out like a bandit in this deal.The Sharks get a cancer in the locker room, which can't POSSIBLY make their team perform better when the chips are down. The Senators get an emerging stud power winger in Frolov and a serviceable role player in Stolls. The Kings get an aging Marleau, who will be in his mid-30's, if around at all, by the time the Kings are serious Cup challengers.

UPDATE: According to Rich Hammond, Dean Lombardi is denying the deal. Here's hoping that's the truth!

No comments: