2011, Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke: Matt Lashoff for Alex Berry and Stefano Giliati

Leafs acquire Matt Lashoff for Alex Berry and Stefano Giliati

Here we have an insignificant trade that still tells us wonders about the thinking going on in the Leafs’ “brain trust.”

Lashoff was a first round pick… in 2005. Since then he has been a depth defenceman for the Bruins and Lightning, never playing more than 18 games in a season and spending most of his time in the AHL. In the AHL he has been… inconsistent to say the least. (Last year with the Marlies: 28 points and +4 in 69 games, the year before in Norfolk – the year Burke went after him – 24 points, -18 – tied for a team worst – in 68 games, ugh.) His big attraction for Burke is his penalty minutes. You all know how I feel about penalty minutes. Why would you trade for a -18 AHL player? The bigger question is, why would you trade two assets for one asset which happens to be a -18 AHLer?

  • Berry was also a 2005 pick, though a much later one. He is a checking winger who was once also -18, but on the Marlies.
  • Giliati appears to have been an amateur free agent pickup by the Marlies, also a checker, and oft injured.

Now, I am not for a second claiming that either of these guys are good assets, but they are still assets. And my question remains, how is Lashoff- who has yet to demonstrate he is anything but a 7th or 8th defenceman at best – in the NHL, worth two minor leaguers? Wouldn’t it make more sense to swap one minor leaguer for another?

I don’t think this trade is particularly bad, as it involves minor players who will probably never play a significant role on any NHL team ever (though I could be wrong, obviously). But it indicates Burke’s distressing habit – one he briefly broke before the 2011 trade deadline – of trading more for less, time and time again. And frankly, I don’t understand that. A rebuilding team – and the Leafs are a rebuilding team, let me remind you, as they have not made the playoffs literally in a dog’s age – should acquire assets, not dump them. Look at the Jays.

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