A Venomous Top Ten Tuesday:

Wow what a week it has been in the Bridge City and beyond. Here are some thoughts, observations and overheard conversations from some disgruntled fans from the week that was in the world of sports. (In no particular order)

10 – A deals a deal… Well the Saskatoon Blades are starting to hear from their fans regarding their latest “building towards the future” deal. The trade consummated with Red Deer Sunday afternoon sent local defenceman Nelson Nogier to the Rebels along with Austin Adamson to the Rebels for a prospect winger and two high draft picks. If you ask any hockey person the deal absolutely makes sense for both sides. However, if you ask Blades fans the answer is much different. How different? After numerous opinions were expressed on social media towards the Bridge City Bunch the team issued this statement on their official team facebook feed: “A note on the trade of Nelson Nogier and Austin Adamson – it’s great to see so much passion from our great fans about this trade. While some fans may be upset, know that this trade was made in the best interests of all involved. Nelson and Austin have the opportunity to play with a playoff team that will soon be hosting a Memorial Cup, the Blades acquire a talented young player in Mason McCarty, and two valuable draft picks that will help build this club into a championship contender. Every trade is tough, especially when it involves popular players, but it was made to help all involved, and we feel it will prove to be a success. We wish Nelson and Austin all the best in Red Deer, and welcome Mason here to Saskatoon. Thank you again for your great passion and support of the team. #AWholeNewBlue”

9 – What’s in a deal 2: One thing that fans need to consider with this deal in particular is that the Blades fully believe that they need to build from within through the draft and have to be patient. That’s a tough sell to Blades fans that are beyond craving a winner. And judging from what I have seen and head the patience of the fan base may be wearing thin.

8 – What’s in a deal 3: The kick in the pants for those against the deal may be on January 17th when the team is planning to hold a Nelson Nogier Bobblehead giveaway. This isn’t the first time that the Blades promotional staff have to alter a promotion. On November 28th the Blades held a Nikita Sherbak Ukranian Doll giveaway. Sherback of course was dealt to Everett in September.

7 – What’s in a deal 5: The only fans more incensed by the Nogier trade may be fans in Prince Albert. Raider fans have to be asking how they were unable to acquire a first round pick for Josh Morrissey?

6 – Conspiracy Theory: Firstly, please note that there is no factual basis to this it was just a theory presented to me and I thought I would pass it along without judgement. Are the Saskatoon Blades building up their draft picks and future to build up the value of their franchise at the expense of today to clear the way for a move of the Blades to Winnipeg and the opportunity to bring in an AHL team? The theory as it was presented to me is that Blades ownership with slumping attendance could trigger the move and perhaps bring professional hockey to Sasktel Centre. Again I stress there is no facts to back this up just an idea mentioned to me in passing!

5 – The Blame Game: I think it is comical that Blades fans are pointing to the Brayden Schenn acquisition by the Blades in 2011 as being the reason behind the team’s current struggles. There is no doubt the price to acquire Schenn was big both in terms of prospect players and draft picks. However, it was a different acquisition by Saskatoon that set the Blades franchise back, in my opinion. If you look back to 2009 the Saskatoon Blades were building a very strong team a team worthy of hosting the 2010 Memorial Cup which all indications seem to point to Saskatoon hosting at the time. However, earlier in 2009 the city of Saskatoon and Province of Saskatchewan was awarded the 2010 World Junior Championship. The awarding of that major hockey event forced the Blades to postpone their dream to host the Memorial Cup. That meant when the team was maybe an elite forward away from a championship disrupted the Blades natural cycle. Meaning that the Blades should have been in a retooling phase when they hosted the 2013 Memorial Cup instead of trying to go for it all and having to make so many deals in order to field a competitive team is what set the franchise back. (again in my humble opinion)

4 – Protecting you from yourself: I wonder if at some point, with the damage that teams are doing to themselves by trading their first round picks like candy, if the WHL will step in like the Ontario Hockey League did a number of years ago and prohibit teams from trading first round picks to ensure that all team have an opportunity to draft a marquee player.

3 – Protecting you from yourself 2: The other change that the WHL has to consider is changing their draft from being a bantam draft to a midget draft. Consider this; when a team deals a player (like Neslon Nogier) for a first round pick that currently means it will be two years until the player selected with that pick can play full time in the league and more often than not 4 years from them being a truly impactful player in the league. If the league changed to a midget draft teams obtaining that pick could use it that spring have the player in the line-up in the fall and eliminate one of the years of a team’s rebuilding process.

2 – More Upset fans: Hockey fans in Saskatoon aren’t the only ones upset. Ten days after announcing to anyone that would listen that a coaching change was not coming in Edmonton, Oilers General Manager Craig McTavish canned his coach yesterday. Yes it was the kiss of death for the coach but where do the Oilers go from here? The players need to take ownership is what one player said following the move. Well since McTavish left the bench at the end of the 2009 season the Oil have done nothing to help out his four replacements.

1 – What can they do? Interesting scenario floated out yesterday by one media member. The Oilers are reluctant to break up their core, for whatever reason. What if the Oilers start dangling their first round pick in this year’s draft? The return could be huge with veteran players and prospects coming back to the Oilers. In return they may miss out on Conner McDavid but in all reality shouldn’t they have that type of player on their roster already?

That’s it for today!

Enjoy the day!

One Response to A Venomous Top Ten Tuesday:

  1. Doug Wilson says:

    I was disapointed for sure that Blades ,traded Nogier. but, maybe in the long, for him it will much better. he is going to a winning team and that should help him develope and regain some enthusuiasm. It is hard to be enthusiastic while loosing :: Yes, the past Brodsky / Molleken years had drained the Blades player poor cupboard bare. A disasterous busineese plan that did not work, at all. So Now GM Coach Wood, has to fill the cupboard up. But, as this story tells it, the fans are tiered of waiting for Bantams to develope. Yes Dave, I agree with you the WHL, should be moving toward drafting at the Midget level and leave the bantams alone. A first round MIdget player would be going right to the WHL drafting team. It would take at least 3 years off waiting for the Bantam to develope. And, yes Dave, you build with the draft and develope with-in your team.

    doug w

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