I don't usually report on trades here, but I felt this one needed some talking about.
Today it was announced that the Barrie Colts and Saginaw Spirit have completed a four player trade. The Colts have acquired defenseman T.J. Brodie and Nick Crawford, while defenseman Ryan O'Connor and forward Michael Sgarbossa head to Saginaw.
This is an absolutely massive deal for both clubs, with the exchange of four higher profile OHL players.
For Barrie, this is a trade they had to make. If they want to swing with the big boys in the West (and with Mississauga in the East), they needed to upgrade their defense. Not only are T.J. Brodie and Nick Crawford excellent at running the powerplay and moving the puck up ice (currently 2nd and 3rd in defenseman scoring), but they are also solid veteran players who can play solid defense. Nick Crawford in particular is on the ice in all situations for Saginaw. On the downside, this deal was made in order to make a run this season. Losing two very good 92's like O'Connor and Sgarbossa will hurt this team next season when Brodie and Crawford (likely) have moved on to the professional ranks. But as I said, they had to make this deal. Their time is now to make a run in the Eastern Conference.
For Saginaw, this move must be a hard one to swallow for the fans. On a purely business side of things, this deal makes sense. One small step backward in order to take a larger step forward next season and beyond. But with the team playing so well (3rd in the West), it has to be hard for the fans to fathom the fact that the team has decided to trade their two best defenseman in an effort to rebuild. Obviously Todd Watson and Saginaw management believe that the team is not strong enough to win the Western Conference this year, but that they might be next year. For that reason, I really like this trade from their point of view as well. Ryan O'Connor and Michael Sgarbossa are two high quality offensive players. By this time next year, O'Connor could likely be as good as T.J. Brodie is now, and he could also be a potential top 60 NHL draft selection. Sgarbossa is a talented playmaking forward who very likely jumps right into the Spirit top 6. He's also likely an NHL draft selection and a guy who next season, will be able to replace the types of things Jordan Skellett is providing as an overager this year. Let's face it, O'Connor and Sgarbossa are no scrubs right now either. Both were playing a large role for the top team in the Western Conference. If a young Spirit defenseman can step up to fill the void, this team might not even lose much this year.
What are your thoughts on the trade?