Greg Sherman Trades: Genius or Moron?

Posted: December 30, 2011 in Roster Talk

Greg Sherman became the general manager of the Avs in the summer of 2009. Since then, he has been one of the most gutsy GM’s in the league. Many people do not like Sherman because he takes so many chances, so I thought we should go back and look at the trades he has made, to see if his reputation among Avs fans as a bad GM is true.

His first trade was Kyle Quincy, Tom Preissing and a 5th round pick for Ryan Smyth

At the time of the trade: I don’t think Avs fans were too happy. Smyth was a veteran who had a couple decent years in Colorado, and I think Avs fans were perplexed as to why he was traded. One nice thing was getting rid of his very high cap hit.

Now: You have like it. Quincy is the Avs leading defensive scorer while Smyth was not great in LA. He traded an old veteran for a quality young defenseman, and while originally the trade might have been a loss, the further away it gets, the better it has been for the Avs.

Next was Wolski for Mueller and Porter.

At the time: People were furious. Wolski was a bit of a fan favorite, and still young, for an injury prove player, and a nobody

Now: This is probably the toughest one to call. It surely is not a win for the Coyotes, and Wolski didn’t even last a year in Phoenix. I want to say it was a great trade for the Avs because Wolski is now a nobody in the NHL while Mueller still has a chance. And lets not forget about Porter. Lately for the Avs he has been playing very well, and did have 25 points last year. But I think Mueller has played less than 20 regular season games in an Avs uniform, which is the only reason this trade is not a huge win, but a small one.

On the same day Sherman traded Cedric Lalonde-McNicoll and 6th round pick for Stephane Yelle and Harrison Reed.

At the time: Avs fans were happy to get Yelle back, without losing much of anything

Now: This was the classic rental player. Yelle helped the Avs get into the playoffs in 09, and with no one else of significance in the trade, you have to think this was also a win.

The next semi big trade was a 4th round pick for Daniel Winnik.

At the time: Who?

Now: I don’t know if there is an Avs fan out there who would say this was a bad trade. A solid 3rd liner, maybe a 2nd liner, for a 4th rounder that is two years away. Yep, worth it.

Next was Michael Bournival for Ryan O’Byrne

At the time: The Avs were desperate for defense and O’Byrne was the odd man out in Montreal. I think fans were happy to get some much needed defense.

Now: He has played solid during his time with the Avs, and I believe he is loved in the locker room. I think this has been a good trade for the Avs so far, but until Bournival develops and even gets into the NHL, it is too early to tell how much exactly the Avs gave up.

More defense followed, with Colby Cohen being traded for Matt Hunwick

At the time: I don’t think they hated the trade, but I think a lot of fans didn’t want to see Cohen go.

Now: Literally everyone hates Matt Hunwick. While at times he was awful last year, he really improved towards the end of the year, and has been decent this year. The trade was a bit of a panic move, and I think if Sherman could go back and do it over again, he would not make the trade. Probably a loss for the Avs, but with prospects involved, it’s too early to tell.

Next was Hannan for Fleischmann

At the time: I think most fans thought this was a good trade. Hannan was leaving after the year, and Fleischmann was a solid player in Washington.

Now: It was a great trade for the Avs when he was healthy, and Fleischmann and Duchene were amazing together, but Fleischmann got hurt and the Avs didn’t resign him, much to the disappointment of the fans this summer. On a scale of 1 to 10, if 5 was a push for a trade, I think this trade was a 6.

Next was Craig Anderson for Brian Elliott

At the time: I think Avs fans were happy to see Andy go, but wanted a bigger return

Now: It’s looking decent for the Avs. The Senators are stuck with Anderson for the next 4 years, while Elliott helped the Avs get Landeskog. I also like to think that Sherman saw the potential of Elliott, of the success he is having in St. Louis, but I still think this trade is a push at best for the Avs, and probably was a loss because they probably could have at least got a half decent prospect for Anderson.

A day later was the big one: Stewart, Shattenkirk and a 2nd for Johnson, McClement, and a 1st.

At the time: I think most Avs fans seriously considered kidnapping Greg Sherman

Now: This is also a tough one. Stewart has been terrible in STL this year, but Shattenkirk has been pretty good. As far as the Avs go: Erik Johnson finished the season well, but this year, even though he has been disappointing to many fans, has had a decent year, and seems to be turning things around of late. Jay McClement has been very good for the Avs. He can do it all, score, pass, win faceoffs, kill penalties, overall, he is a player that every team needs. It is way to early to call a winner on this trade, and it has been a VERY even trade so far, but if I had to give an edge to a team right now, I would say the Avs are the winners, because Johnson’s potential is better than Stewart or Shattenkirk and the Avs got an 11th overall pick. I think most Avs fans would disagree with me though.

Next was Liles for a 2nd Rounder

At the time: Nooooooooooo!

Now: Noooooooooo! The Avs wanted a 2nd for Liles, and finally got it from Toronto. They thouhgt Liles was easily replaceable with all the puck moving defensive prospects they had, but I think these first weeks of Stefan Elliott’s career have proven that he is no JML. I think this is a loss for the Avs right now, but give it 5 years, and we’ll see. I mean, Ryan O’Reilly was a second rounder too.

The last big one was Semyon Varlamov for a 1st and 2nd

At the time: $%^@*

Now: Bad trade for the Avs. I think most people would say it was a bad trade, but if the Avs can get to the playoffs, I think it will end up being a great trade. Any pick outside the top 10 would be worth it. Giving up a first rounder, for another first rounder, who can help the team now, is not a bad trade. Just seeing where the pick will end up is huge. Varlamov has not had the defense that Giguere has had this year, I don’t think that’s on purpose, but the team just seems to have more letdowns when he is in there. Also, look at Washington’s goaltending situation without him there. It has been much, much worse with Vokoun-Neuvirth than it was with Varlamov-Neuvirth. Obviously that is not 100% due to Varlamov, but I think he is really being undervalued by a lot of people, both in Washington and Colorado. Right now, it is very early to call, but I would have to say a loss for the Avs. It’s close, but in a rebuilding process, trading you 1st rounder is never a good idea, especially when you have Calvin Pickard in the system. Having said that, I’m still glad that Varlamov is on the Avs.

Having looked at all of Greg Sherman’s big trades as GM, I personally think it is safe to say that he is the smartest man in the room, and probably should be trusted with trades, a whole lot more than he is. Having said that, I do think that he might not be the best GM when it comes to signing free agents or hiring personnel…but I do think that he is a better GM than most people realize, and should get more credit than he does.


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