Approximate Trade Value (Revisited)

Since the new CBA arrived the value of picks and prospects has been a moving target. Generally speaking the value of kids who are not established at the NHL level is low compared to previous years (and decades), but it’s hard to evaluate just how much air has been let out of the tires.

In Jim Matheson’s Sunday column in the Edmonton Journal, he mentioned that Kevin Lowe was scouting the Bruins the other day. He dropped the names of JF Jacques (in photo, scoring a goal. File it under ‘mirage’) and Boston winger Glen Murray as being players of interest from both sides.

Is this a deal that could be made in today’s NHL? Could a team like Boston be convinced to send away a 35-year old winger (making 4 large) who scored 28 goals a year ago in exchange for a kid who can’t get out of his own way in the show despite showing some nice things in the minors?

In the olden days (pre 2005) you’d get a guy like Glenn Murray for someone like Brian Savage (poor man’s unhealthy version of Murray) and a pick, maybe a 3rd or at the deadline a 2nd. Nowadays if you can take on salary you can get a Murray for a 7th round pick. Sure, sometimes you can trade a Paul Mara for an Aaron Ward, but much of the dealing now is with regard to money.

So then, if we’re considering Murray to Edmonton the salary (4.15M this and next season) is central to the issue. If Edmonton wanted him and could take on that salary without sending much $$ back, then he’d be an Oiler by now. I should mention here that Murray is struggling badly and that would further reduce his trade value.

Let’s have a look at a somewhat similar deal in recent NHL history:

  • Phoenix Coyotes traded Georges Laraque to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Daniel Carcillo and a 3rd round selection in 2008.

That deal happened in February. I believe Laraque had 1 more year on his contract, so this was a deadline rental plus a season (please correct me if I’m wrong) which is similar to the Murray’s current situation. Laraque is much less expensive (1.3M) in 07-08 and that has value too. Of course, he wasn’t expected to score 25-30 goals like Murray was/is, so that has to factor into our equation.

Jacques was drafted 68th overall in 2003, Carcillo 73rd overall, same year. They have had somewhat similar careers although at this point Carcillo’s value is way higher. He looks like the next Avery currently, but that isn’t really the point. His value is higher because he’s been given an everyday job and is getting consistent at-bats in the show. At the time he was traded, Carcillo had 30 points in 52 gp for the WBS Penguins (AHL). Jacques had 27 points in 29gp for the same team, same season.

In Feb 2007, I think you can make the case that they had similar values. Boston (according to Matty) was interested at the deadline. So, maybe they still are, and maybe Lowe wants Murray to play RW (in a Hemsky-Nilsson-Pisani-Murray combo) in order to stay out of the lottery.

I think Murray’s extra season at 4+M hurts his value, and that Laraque’s unique skill set increased his value to a young team in need of exactly what the big man brings every night. Those factors should more than offset the difference between Carcillo and Jacques in terms of value, leaving us with the obvious conclusion that the pick should come back the other way instead of going to Boston.

Would that be fair value? JF Jacques to Boston for Glen Murray and a 2008 3rd round pick? Probably. Jacques hasn’t earned an NHL job and may not be worth a future 3rd rder, but Murray’s value is negative and sways the pendulum.

Would I be thrilled if Kevin Lowe made that deal? No.

Why? Oilers aren’t going anywhere this season, Murray is 35 and signed for another year at 4M+ AND since January 1st 2007 he has scored exactly 10 goals in 39 NHL games. His goal scoring totals have been in decline for some time (44,32,24,28 in the last 4 full seasons) and this season he’s not scoring while playing monster minutes (18:14 a game, third on the Bruins among forwards) and optimum minutes (3:53 a night on the PP, second among Bruin forwards).

He’s a 35-year old scorer who isn’t scoring goals this season. Sure, he could come out of it and pop 25 goals in the last 60 games this season.

Then what?

If the Bruins want Jacques and the Oilers have no plans for him, grab the pick and let Glen Murray play out his career in Boston. The Bruins on the other hand should play the hell out of him, hope he pops 5 in a week and then deal him to Toronto for Anton Stralman. The Bruins have done a nice job of plucking Leafs’ prospects up over the last while, perhaps they can do it again.

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17 Responses to "Approximate Trade Value (Revisited)"

  1. dwillms says:

    Generally speaking the value of kids who are not established at the NHL level is low compared to previous years (and decades)

    If this is the case, I’m a little confused by your example:

    Murray FOR Savage + 3rd (2005)
    Murray + 3rd FOR Jacques (2007)

    Shouldn’t it be the opposite, the value of kids is high compared to previous years? Or has the trade value of expensive veterans plummeted that much more?

    Here’s the first thing that came to my mind after reading your post, a trade in the NBA made this summer:

    To Seattle Sonics: Kurt Thomas, 2008 & 2010 1st round picks
    To Phoenix Suns: Conditional 2nd round pick

    Thomas had one season at $8 mil left on his deal. Phoenix was about $10 mil over the salary cap, and their owner hates to pay any luxury tax. I know Phoenix has also dealt other 1st round picks for cash over the past few years, but this isn’t allowed in the NHL.

    Even if Boston was to offer us a 2nd round pick to take Murray off their hands, and they would get nothing in return, I would struggle to accept the deal. He doesn’t have enough left in the tank to help us make the playoffs, takes up valuable cap space this year and next, and would also fill a roster spot and eat up ice time that are better invested in the development of someone like Nilsson, Brodziak, or Pouliot.

  2. Black Dog says:

    This wouldn’t happen anyhow – Murray’s salary would require clearing cap room.

    Maybe in the offseason but it looks like by not moving Lowe made the right move, if this ever was on the table.

  3. Ducey says:

    If Lowe makes this trade it would prove to me that there is absolutely no plan in place. Even worse, the trade would signal that Lowe will do anything in the short term to avoid giving the Ducks a lottery pick.

    Lets face it, the Penner thing is really going to hurt in June. The only hope is that the deal will look good in years 4 and 5 (I think it might). If Lowe starts dealing prospects for declining has beens, even years 4 and 5 will be screwed up.

    As you say the Oilers are not winning the cup this year and are unlikely to make the playoffs even with a 30 year old Murray.

    Why bring in a veteran to take away minutes from guys who may have an impact three to 5 years from now? Why bring in a veteran when Ethan and Pisani should be suiting up in the next 2 months?

    The only trades that should be in Lowe’s mind are at the deadline – guys like Moreau, Reasoner, Roloson, Sanderson. Maybe you trade 2 of those guys for picks and mitigate some the loss from the Penner ransom.

  4. jon says:

    By all accounts Murray has been awful this year, so I wouldn’t be surprised to hear the asking price has been lowered to JFJ alone. However I’d be pretty hesitant to even give up JFJ, lack of accomplishments and all, as this seems to be the year where Murray falls off.

  5. Bruce says:

    re: your mirage (ha, ha), note that JFJ is scoring his goal against the Oilers, an opportunity he doesn’t normally get. I agree he may get that opportunity before too much longer, although I for one would rather see the team give ice time to guys like him than to other teams’ salary dumps.

  6. Jonathan says:

    I have absolutely no problem with trading some of the kids for salary dumps – if the player looks like a worthwhile reclamation project.
    I don’t think Murray would be a bad pickup, if we could send some salary the other way (Sanderson, maybe?) Perhaps something like:
    Murray + 2nd for Jacques + Sanderson?
    As to why I’m not so down on Murray, his lowest goal-scoring total in the last 5 seasons is 24. To compare his last season to Dutin Penner:
    Penner: 82gp 29g 16a 45p
    Murray: 59gp 28g 17a 45p
    Almost identical, with Murray playing 23 less games. Granted, this could be the year that Murray disappears, and than next year would look really bad, but I wouldn’t dismiss this trade out of hand.
    Who knows, Boston needs d-men so maybe they’d take Sheldon Souray ;)

  7. Art Vandelay says:

    As a Bruins fan, my fantasy phone call:
    Peter Chiarelli to Kevin Lowe: “Glen Murray for a bag of pucks? Done deal.”

  8. Vic Ferrari says:

    I would hope that the Oilers have no interest in Glen Murray.

    Axelsson is an interesting player though. I don’t know his contract status or salary off the top of my head, but if that’s reasonable … hopefully that’s a player Lowe looks at in a Jacques deal.

    And I’m one of the few that’s still clinging to hope with Jacques btw.

  9. Dennis says:

    If things get dire and the Lowe really gets skittish about trying to stay out of a top 5 pick for Burke, how about making a pitch for Havlat?

    That is if Havlat’s contract is up this summer, which I’m not sure of. he’s making 6 mill this year, though we know the cap clicks off in terms of actual money, so maybe Lowe could move some things around and pick him up for the last half of the season.

    It’s probably a non-starter for many reasons:

    - Even though hawks might want to bring him back, they’d keep him around for a playoff bid to try and win the fans back

    - They don’t have a lot of money tied up going forward so they could afford to re-sign him

    - there would be so much comp for a Havlat rental, if indeed he is up at season’s end, a team like Van might trade away the world just for a guy that’s awesome when healthy.

    Anyway, just thought I’d throw it out there.

  10. Dennis says:

    Couple of things, here, Vic:

    1: nice to see someone else that believes there’s no way Jacques can be so good in the A and yet so bad in the N. Something’s missing somewhere, though I have no idea what.

    2: just doing some reading and saw in one of the NY papers that Renney was running Orr, Hollwig and Betts against Crosby and it’s something Renney’s done for awhile. Now, I did notice, via the Desjardins numbers, that Betts had played the toughest min of any Ranger last year so, obviously, that would include Crosby. I’m just wondering though, all three of those vs Sid?

  11. dwillms says:

    That is if Havlat’s contract is up this summer, which I’m not sure of.

    Nope, one season left after this one.

  12. Vic Ferrari says:


    I can’t comment on the Rangers, If I get CI again it will end in divorce.

    I would be wary of the Desjardins numbers though. I’m still not sure how that actually works at all. In the playoffs his results seemed almost random. But for some reason, if you play enough games against enough varied competition, it really does mesh ever so well with reality. Go figure.

    Last year I watched the Isles after Smyth went there, and he was being fed the softest minutes available, with Blake. Shift-after-Crosby and the like, yet he ranked top ten in the league in tough minutes leaguewide based on his Isles icetime. Bollocks. For the last 5 or 6 games or so, and into the playoffs, he really was carrying that burden, but not before.

    Iginla, Sedins, Sakic, Gaborik … they all got discounted a bunch by this measure. And those are games that I watched, and that’s wrong. I think that Riv is right, you get a division where most of the teams run PvP (aka as a good division) … and it seems to spin sideways.

    I did run through the Rangers numbers quickly though, and Colton Orr’s icetime, own-zone draws etc … it’s hard to explain in a way that makes sense to me.

    It’s strange how some players have just never played in the west. With the way the scheduling is now, some of these guys are almost dead to me.

  13. NBOilerFan says:

    Funny how with all this talk of acquiring Murray…. how nice it would have been had Lowe simply made a pitch for Sykora instead of asking him to “please be patient”.

    Yet another player that WANTED to be an Oiler and is signed for about 1.5mil less. Sykora is the shoot first sniper that we need and have needed and he showed great chemistry with Hemsky for teh 1st half of the season. Tell me how that can be just a fluke?

    Sure he faded and he’s not near as fast as he use to be, but man I love his shot and I was still a fan of him as an Oiler and still feel he was worth keeping around.

    He’s looking pretty good in Pittsburgh. Yes, he’s playing with some great players and set-up men…. but I don’t think any are much better than Hemsky in that department.

    I will mention that I have been a long time fan of Murray (being a long time Bruins follower) and although he wouldn’t be a bad addition as a player…. I just don’t see taking on that salary at this point being a smart move. Unless as someone said above, that we can dump some expendable salary, but why would the Bruins bother swapping salary I wonder?

  14. NBOilerFan says:

    PS – Vic… I can relate regarding your CI comment relating to divorce. I have CI and unfortunately I don’t get to see as many non-Oiler games as I’d like. All I hear is… “Hockey!!!!…. Again???!!!” With 2-3 games per week on the Oilers alone… it is a battle to see many other games.

  15. Dennis says:

    Vic, my GF is a teacher and a full-fledged workaholic to boot, so that allows me more time to watch. That being said, I haven’t watched as much in the last two seasons as before and I think it’s the whole weighted sked thing that’s gotten me down. Fuck, I really hope they go to a home and home against everyone plus just give games within your own division.

    It’s to the point that with the Oilers playing so little vs the East, I just don’t have the desire to know how those coaches are running their bench and so on and so forth.

    As for Sykora, you have to wonder why the Oilers didn’t just pay him his money for two years and then we wouldn’t have lost the first rounder to Ana in the Penner move. Same thing goes for Markov over Souray, albeit this time in terms of paying out some salary but not being hamstrung by a long pact.

    Very odd moves.

    Of course, most of this had to have been spurred on by the Katz offer but I think there was a middle ground that the Oilers could’ve exploited, ie they could’ve bumped their payroll but without fucking it for the next few years.

  16. nameht says:

    Just a little tidbit from Matheson today

    “The Oilers inquired about winger Murray at the June draft, with the Bruins reportedly asking for J.F. Jacques and a first-round draft, but the deal stalled.”

  17. Dennis says:

    It it just me or was that too steep of a price? It’s not like I think JFJ will ever be a world-beater but I think he has some value, and enough value that it’s an overpay to throw him PLUS a first rounder at a guy who the B’s were clearly looking to dump.

    Seriously, a first rounder was enough to ask for and even at that price, I’m glad the Oilers didn’t jump.

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