It is hard to question Ray Shero’s track record and acumen as a general manager. His achievements in Pittsburgh have often been discredited due to Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin being gift wrapped to him. Regardless of the critics, Shero still put the proper pieces around his nucleus of talent, and the Penguins were Stanley Cup Champions as a byproduct.
Throughout his short tenure as shot caller of New Jersey Devils brass, Shero has made all the correct moves. Shero brought in a bonafide superstar, identified young players with potential like Kyle Palmieri, and overall has accelerated the Devils rebuild by stockpiling picks and ensuring financial freedom going forward. Fans have agreed with every move Shero has made thus far. The 2017 trade deadline, on the other hand, left a lot to be desired.
To make things clear, let us define the Devils as they truly are: rebuilding and sellers. The Devils moved off a few rental pieces, but as a rebuilding team, did they add even half of an asset going forward? No. It would have been nice to see the Devils add a couple of mid round picks to the fold. Or maybe, just maybe, the Devils would have liquidated their already abundance of picks, and made a play for a ready-to-contribute young talent that would surely have helped moving forward. Neither of these things happened. Instead fans have the following trades to mull over:
Kyle Quincey to Columbus for Dalton Prout (D)
Dalton Prout is a bad hockey player. He is bigger than Kyle Quincey, more of a goon, and apparently clumsier as well. At even strength, Prout’s SF% is 42.8%. The next lowest on Columbus this season is Matt Calvert at 46.2% and the team’s SF% is 51.3%. So it is clear, that even on a good team, Prout cannot hold up his end of the bargain. The thought process behind this move does not make sense. Prout is worse than Quincey, cannot possibly figure into the plans of a rebuilding club, and is under contract next season. The only potential motivation is exposing Prout for the expansion draft, but that in itself is a stretch. This move was a real head scratcher.
Here is a video of Prout knocking out Lucic to lighten the mood (because no one likes Lucic).
P.A. Parenteau to Nashville for a 2017 6th round draft pick
While the other move was confusing, this move was beyond underwhelming. The thought process of making sure all rentals are turned into draft picks is understandable, but the Devils would have been better off trying to resign Parenteau. 6th round draft picks are, more often than not, never going to see ice time at the NHL level. The rationale behind trading away a reliable 35-40 point scorer for scraps is not one easily understood. Factor in that the Devils are a team searching for players with any offensive output, and it is perplexing.
What really does not sit well, is the fact that only a month ago, Vern Fiddler was traded to Nashville as well. The only difference is that Fiddler, a much worse player, fetched a fourth round pick. It is just hard to understand what really transpired over the past few days when you put these two moves into context. “36 year old forward with three points offers more positive return than 33 year old forward with 27 points. The same teams were involved in both trades.” Something is just not adding up here.
We can only assume why the return for Parenteau and Quincey was so low. Was this Shero hoping the trade market would continue to inflate, even though it realistically could not get anymore ridiculous? Probably. From outsider eyes it seems relatively apparent that Shero wanted to be the last man standing, and leave with a king’s ransom for his rental pieces. The desperation that Shero and co. expected never set in. In fact, it subsided, as we saw prices rampantly dropping as the 3 pm deadline neared.
While fans are surely disappointed, in retrospect, it could have been worse. The Devils successfully identified that this team is not cut out for the playoffs and did not mortgage off their future to make an unachievable run. It is also important to take into account that both Parenteau and Quincey were both training camp additions. So while nothing was gained, surely nothing was lost in the big picture.