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"The" Deadline Post

Well the trade deadline has come and passed and Seattle was one of the few WHL teams to not make a move.

No trade of Josh Schappert (when’s he coming back anyway?? Ha), no blockbuster trade and not even a small move to add another forward for depth.
I know there are at least some fans that kicked around ideas and are ultimately unhappy with Seattle failing to make any moves at the trade deadline. I, however, am not one of those fans and I believe that this might have been the time to stand pat on our players unless and obvious deal developed. Let’s take a look at the roster and do a full and complete breakdown of who might have been available, who might have had value, what Seattle might have been looking for and what the marketplace was looking for.
First off… let’s take a look at where Seattle is at…

Seattle currently sits at 17-14-6 after 37 games which is good for a winning (or point) percentage of .541 and 40 points. Based on points… Seattle sits in a tie for 7th with Kamloops. By winning percentage they sit in 6th place, just barely behind the Everett Silvertips. They are 16 points behind the Kelowna Rockets for 4th place. Seattle does have 7 games in hand over Kelowna and even if they were to win 5 out of 7 of those games they would still trail the Rockets by 6 points for 4th. At 37 games Seattle has played the fewest games in the league by 3 to Portland, 4 to Prince George and 5 games to anyone else in the league. In addition to this Seattle is 19 points behind Tri-City for 3rd and 23 points behind Vancouver and Spokane. You can pretty much write off catching the top two teams and the 3rd and 4th spots are slipping away quickly unless Seattle were to really play well over the final half of the season.

They are also a good 13 points ahead of Prince George and have played 4 fewer games. Meaning… Kamloops and Seattle are going to make the playoffs unless PG seriously kicks it into gear.
It’s pretty safe to say Seattle will make the playoffs no matter what, even if it might be the 7th or 8th seeds.

As everyone knows… Seattle is getting out of Key Arena by mid-season next year and moving into what should be an incredible new building in a new rural city that should really adopt the team with a level of civic pride that could rival Everett. Getting off to a flying start next season going into the new arena could be the most important issue facing the team. That said…

Here is what I think are Seattle’s deadline priorities:

1. Make the playoffs to get the revenue from at least one playoff series (make no mistake this is likely very important to the organization from a money stand point).

2. Do not sacrifice any assets that could be valuable to the team next season as it moves into the new arena.

3. Don’t give up so much that you can’t have a shot at winning this season.

4. Add a forward

5. Get anything for Josh Schappert.

The first one is basically taken care of. The second makes it very hard to trade many or ANY of your current roster players. The third is tricky because you do want to still appease the fans and TRY to win. Since you know you’re going to make the playoffs there is no reason to “punt” the rest of the Seattle by having a fire sale on your players. So we’re down to… add a forward without giving up anything of real value or anything you could use next year and see if you can find a partner for Josh Schappert who made himself much more difficult to trade by staying at home.

Let’s look at the roster and breakdown the candidates.

I will place players in categories:

Untouchable – No way we’re trading this guy
Socks – You’d have to knock our socks off to trade this guy
Another man’s gold – This player is more valuable to us than their trade value within the league.
Arena – This player may or may not have value but is someone that can be useful next season.
Possible Piece – Guys that could be traded and you wouldn’t be hurt next season too much.

None of these things necessarily mean that the player is “bad” or “good” but describe the likelihood and difficulty of being able to trade them under the goals that I have placed.


Ian McKenzie – Macker definitely had some value but he’s also a 6’5”, 220 forward who only has 16 points. He’s probably a guy who has more value on your roster than he does as a trade piece. Macker is a Some Value guy

Benn Olson and Scott Jackson - Seattle’s team system is based on defense first and both players are critical to giving Seattle any chance to win this season. As far as I’m concerned both of these guys are Socks. Any deal would have to have obviously and clearly helped us for next season.


Bud Holloway – Despite not knowing with 100% certainty that Bud won’t crack the Kings lineup next year he is an Untouchable. You can’t trade your leading scoring if you are at least trying to still win this season.

Greg Scott – Socks for sure… Seattle only has three 19’s and Greg could have a monster year next year as a 20.

Riku Helenius – Another Socks. This is a tough call and I know some have said Seattle should trade him because of the play of Jacob DeSerres. However… not only are having 1A and 1B goaltenders a great problem to have. Riku was brought here specifically to play for Seattle and Russ is quite connected with the Tampa GM and I would have been shocked if he had traded Riku after convincing Tampa and Riku to come to Seattle. Seattle would have to have been blown away with an offer to trade Riku and the team people kicked around (Calgary) is in 1st in the East and likely has no reason to trade talent Seattle would covet to make that deal work. Seattle doesn’t need future draft picks… they need players for next season.

18’s – This group gets tougher

Thomas Hickey – Umm Untouchable.

Jan Eberle – Another Man’s Gold. Jan has more value on the team than he does as trade bait because as a Euro he would be hard to trade and hasn’t had a great season so far.

Lindsey Nielsen – Arena guy. About a month ago I probably would have said he was a possible piece but you know he will be back next season and he has shown very good chemistry on the Holloway/Scott line.

Jim O’Brien – Socks and Arena. Jimmy is a big time talent and needs some more time to adjust to the WHL style and he’ll likely be back next season.

Prab Rai – Arena. Can you believe what we traded to get him? Don’t remind P.G. Rai has shown flashes this season and leads the team in assists. You have no reason to trade Prab as he will return next season.

David Richard – Arena/Possible Piece. David is a guy you could have seen Seattle move in a deadline deal but again… he will return next season as a veteran 19 so why trade him unless it’s for a similar type 18 and why swap 18’s with someone when you have invested in him already.

Jeremy Schappert – Untouchable. He is a solid D man now that he is healthy and will return next season presumably even is Josh isn’t around.

Josh Schappert – Trade Bait. The only certain trade piece but it’s hard to trade a guy who leaves his team… Josh probably would have been better off requesting a trade quietly and continuing to play.


Sena Acolatse – Untouchable. He is a young D man with big talent when he stays in shape.

Jeremy Boyer – Untouchable. He is showing too much potential as a 17 year old scorer to trade.

Jacob DeSerres – Untouchable. Goaltender of the future (and now).

Brenden Dillon – Untouchable/Socks. I suppose its possible Seattle could have traded him if they were bowled over, but honestly could you trade this guy after the progress he has made as a young 17?

Isak Quakenbush – Another Man’s Gold. IQ is a guy who definitely has value, but how much is a team going to give up when the 17 year old only has 4 points in 29 games. He’s better off sticking with Seattle and hoping he develops more.


Steve Chaffin – Arena. If Thomas Hickey sticks with the L.A. Kings next season, Seattle stands to lose three D-men from this year’s team. You can’t trade your young D-man depth.

Brenden Silvester – Arena. Has shown potential and was invited to the U-17, no reason to trade him and no contenders are going to look for 16 year old help.

Charles Wells – Arena. Wells is undersized but plays with a chip on his shoulder and works his tail off. He already has turned 17 and you have no reason to trade him and he isn’t going to have trade value to contenders.

That is it people… You’re looking at Quakenbush, Josh Schappert, Richard and maybe Helenius.

I’ve been saying all along that I didn’t think Seattle would make a move and it turns out that I was exactly right. Seattle might call up another forward to fill the roster and roll with the guys that they have. They will end up getting older next season and likely have Holloway, Scott and Helenius as 20’s or if Helenius does not return they have an open spot to pursue a 20 year old sniper in a year where they will really go for it. They will have a dearth of 19 year olds and will immediately be an “older” team in the league. Not to mention that the price of acquiring another 20 year old next season and/or more 19 year olds should be a lot lower in the off-season. As I have said all along I think the lack of scoring development by a handful of players has more to do with our system than the player’s talent.
Seattle was looking for another forward, but look at what people were giving up to acquire players! Trevor Glass went to Spokane for a 2nd AND a 3rd and he’s 19 years old with 11 points and a +5 rating as a D-man. Seems like a steep price to me.

Ok Tbird fans… feel free to debate away. I’m sure people will disagree or argue with my analysis and it is certainly welcome. Remember to keep the comments civil or I will just delete them and I would much rather allow everyone’s opinion to be heard.


norwayonfire said...

Great post! Thanks for giving your input on the T-Birds lineup.

Razorgator said...

I agree with not giving up so much that you feel that you don't have a chance at winning. In the end, everyone wants to win right, so why make decisions that may hinder your chances of doing so? I guess everyone just disagrees on what would produce the best outcome.

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