Vulgar Opinions: Looking At The Pominville Trade
To be honest I soured on Pominville after I spent a night defending him only to have him pay me back by blaming a teammate for a goal that was entirely his fault. Thanks a lot jerk. Objectively speaking, he was a pretty good value for $5.3 million a year in terms of his production and the other things he brought to the team. He was a solid two way player that you could trust in just about every aspect of them game without being elite at any of them. Subjectively speaking he was a calm, if boring, influence in the locker room who may not have been the best Captain material despite possibly being the best option at the time.
It’s disappointing to see Pominville go, but liberating as well. Maybe this is the final act to bring everyone from 2005-2007 into the present.
The return is Matt Hackett (G), Johan Larsson (F), a 2013 1st and a 2014 2nd. Hackett is a young goalie who has been decent to good on teams that have largely been mediocre. Larsson is the more interesting of the tangible pieces, an average sized center with above average skills and an upside of elite playmaking ability. This is how Hockey Prospectus put it in August of last year:
The Good: The SEL rookie of the year had a tremendous breakout campaign, scoring 21 more points than the next best junior-aged scorer. He has above-average puck skills and legit high-end hockey sense. Larsson can be dynamic with his playmaking skills and thinks the game at a really high level. He’s also a smart, dependable defensive player who can log tough minutes. Larsson may only be average sized, but he’s a fine physical player because of his great compete level. He’s versatile and can be effective on the wing and at center.
The Bad: Larsson’s skating has improved, but I’d say he’s still a tick below average. He also needs to get a lot more strength to play his style of game as he’s slightly undersized.
Projection: He could a very good second-line forward.
He sounds like a Jason Pominville-type player with the added benefits of being a center and trending more towards playmaking than shooting. It also seems like he has a bit more fire, something Pominville has been criticized for lacking. Who knows though. Isn’t this fun?