Tuesday, 9 January 2018

SPECIAL: Analysis of the Hurricanes-Broncos blockbuster

There's only one word that can describe the trade involving the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Swift Current Broncos on Tuesday: blockbuster.

Less than 12 hours after finishing our latest show, GM Peter Anholt called a news conference for 10am Tuesday. On cue, the club announced this behemoth of a deal.

A couple of coveted players, captain Giorgio Estephan and goaltender Stuart Skinner as well as forward Tanner Nagel, were on their way to Swift Current for four players and two (potentially three) draft picks.

The reaction on social media has been swift. Everything from "good trade" to threats of selling off season tickets. And while we don't have a show planned until next week, this trade was too important not to hear from us. So here are a few thoughts from our regular contributors:

Jordan Karst
What a day! As the host of Canes This Week, I'd like to thank Stuart Skinner, Giorgio Estephan and Tanner Nagel. The success of our podcast is directly related to the success of this team and these kids have done so much for not only the organization but also the community and the Broncos have 3 great kids heading their way and I wish them all the best. To the fans that are freaking out, don't worry. Just like these players were a huge part of the success, so too is Peter Anholt and we should have some faith in a man who has proven that he knows what he's doing! Want to hear more about the newest Canes? Check out our latest trade deadline show where Broncos play-by-play voice Shawn Mullin gives us the skinny on the incoming players.

Pat Siedlecki
Well, a lot of Hurricanes fans are surprised and upset by this blockbuster trade between Lethbridge and Swift Current. To be perfectly honest, I am not. This is the business side of hockey, but you have to look deep into things before you might understand why this deal was maybe done. Estephan is in his final season in the WHL while Skinner and Nagel are both 19. The Hurricanes have an abundance of 19-year-old players and next year they'd have some tough decisions to make to cut down to three overagers. Let's not forget: there is no guarantee Skinner will return to the WHL for his 20-year-old season. So in the end, the Hurricanes are better off getting a nice return for three players that very well might've not been in Lethbridge next season (one for sure being Estephan). As tough as this is for Hurricanes fans to swallow, this was the right move. Get what you can now and I think they got a very nice return. Four players and three picks back for three players. Getting a lot now is better than getting nothing before the start of next season. Peter Anholt is going to take some heat for this, but he made the right decision. Also, can the Hurricanes realistically compete with the likes of Swift Current, Moose Jaw or Regina if they happen to get to the Eastern Conference final again? Likely not. They still have a good shot at getting out of a not-so-strong Central Division. Even after this trade, they will stay competitive. There is light at the end of the tunnel Hurricanes fans! Peter Anholt is a smart guy. Until he gives me a reason to doubt a trade, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt every time. This team is where it is now because of the man at the helm.

Dylan Purcell
I think my tweet says it all... 

Joe McFarland
This one is going to sting fans for a while I'm sure. I've always tried to look at trades with no emotion involved. As such, my last blog post on the Kirby Law/Mike O'Grady/Mark Szoke trade weirdly turned into a bit of a precursor for what fans would see come to fruition today. Back then, the trade was emotional for many as guys like Szoke and Lee Sorochan were well-liked. But the team had an opportunity to make a move. The Hurricanes then were on the bubble while the Saskatoon Blades were in the thick of the race with a chance to go to the Memorial Cup thanks to another WHL team hosting. Same situation this year, with Regina hosting, the Eastern Conference is wide-open. As we've talked about on the show, the Broncos seemed like a one-line team early on. But they made a trade with Calgary to get Matteo Gennero and Beck Malenstyn and they wanted more to be put over the top. They had some assets to burn, so the Broncos are going all-in. The Hurricanes, meantime, are a bit on the bubble in a really-wobbily Central Division. They are still more than able to make a strong playoff push even without stars like Estephan and Skinner, but they also load up for the future with guys like Barlage and Blocker. Just like that deal in January 1995, we won't be able to judge this trade until a few years down the road.

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