Friday, February 20, 2009
Murray Makes a Deal
Finally, something happens.
Okay, I guess Bryan Murray already canned Craig Hartsburg but today he made his first big personnel move since the Andrej Meszaros trade.
You probably all know the details: McAmmond and a first rounder (San Jose's) to the Islanders for Chris Campoli and Mike Comrie.
Undoubtedly, slick defenseman Campoli is really the player that Murray was after and that first round pick is what the Islanders desperately wanted for their interminable rebuild.
Unfortunately for Dean McAmmond, he was the dead salary weight that Murray probably forced onto the Islanders for the deal to work. The same could be said of Comrie as he is having a horrible year in New York. Both of those players are unrestricted this summer so it was merely a swap to make the salary cap work for both teams. Murray takes considerably more money on but he also gets the best player in the deal in Campoli. That's how trades are going to work nowadays - to get what you want you have to take something you don't along with it.
That being said, Comrie is going to add some offensive potential to the Senators lineup with Daniel Alfredsson rumoured to be out for longer than a week. He could wind up getting traded again at the deadline but if the Senators can string some more wins together, he's an inexpensive player in the short term. Even if he walks in the summer, Murray still has his offensive defenseman in Campoli. This is in direct contrast to the trade he made late last year when he acquired two potential unrestricted free agents in Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore (who both walked for no compensation).
But do I like the trade?
To be honest, I'm a little skeptical of Chris Campoli being anything more than a second-tier defenseman. He is still young, can help a power-play and he's cheap. But I don't expect him to make a really big difference here. He will probably be an upgrade on good guy Brendan Bell and the invisible ghost that is Alex Picard, but he's not the number one guy this team needs.
But I do like the trade.
Murray gave up a lot in that first round pick but Campoli is a known commodity and he'll be able to help right away, something that late-first rounder won't be able to do for a few years.
I'm also glad to see Comrie back in the fold. He is one hell of a chippy player who isn't afraid to drop the gloves despite his size and he adds some much needed skill. He might even re-sign in town (though not likely) and he probably won't cost much money due to his poor numbers.
I do feel bad for McAmmond as he has a family and he is basically going to a team that is even more doomed than Ottawa but I've always had the sense that McAmmond was never a Murray guy.
When Murray first took over for John Muckler, one of the first things he did was voice his displeasure with the two-year contract that McAmmond recieved just before Mucks went out the door. He managed not to trade him for two years but I think this day was inevitable.
More on the trade tomorrow after the Habs game....
NOTE: Apparently, Campoli had asked Islander GM Garth Snow to trade him because he wanted a change of scenery.