Just across the border, Senator G.M. John Muckler was rather frank in his opinion that Bonk wasn’t worth his salary. In his own words, “Bonk is not a special player.”
So Bonk was given away to L.A for a middle range pick. Muckler wasn’t looking for anything in return, obviously. Shedding salary for a left-winger could be in his plans. Could he have gotten more for Bonk?
And then there is the funny deal that sent Patrick Lalime to the St. Louis Blues. Lalime is a great goalie in need of a psychiatrist. No-one can tell me that he was only worth a fourth round pick. If Garon and a third are worth Radek Bonk, a top two center, something doesn’t wash here. The totals are coming out wrong.
One of these two GM’s made an error in judgement, or, didn’t agree on the worth of their players. Based on these fluctuations I can only say one thing. No-one knows what players are worth in the current market.
Patrick Lalime was worth a fourth round draft pick. Matthieu Garon and a third round pick is worth Radek Bonk. Bonk was only worth a third round draft pick to John Muckler.
Was Garon worth that much more than Lalime, even with a third round pick included? Was Bonk worth that much more to the Canadians than to the Senators? I’m sure that Bonk was only available at that price to an out of conference team.
Do you think that Pierre Lacroix is kicking himself for missing out on Lalime? Do you think he would have offered a third round pick, or even a second? Do you think that John Muckler is happy with the deal he made with LA now?
So what is it about Bonk that Bob Gainey wanted so badly?
At the age of 28 Bonk was being outplayed by Jason Spezza. Bonk might turn it around but physically he has more bruises and strained ligaments than ever before.
And Bonk has been less than stellar the last few seasons, at least point-wise. Some think he could have done more offensively than Jacques Martin would allow with his high centerman system. If he was not free to generate the points that Daniel Alfredsson could, than maybe Bonk has potential to be a 60 point guy. Of course, he needs the right circumstances. Claude Julien won’t get down on Bonk for reaching the 20-goal plateau. With Perrault leaving, the goals need to come from somewhere.
What we really needed was a top line player.
During the regular season Bonk is a winner and can do it against high profile opponents. Mike Ribeiro isn’t ready for that challenge. Sometimes Saku Koivu is overmatched. Unlike either of the aforementioned players, of whom I am a big fan by the way, Bonk can hold his own against those opponents regularly.
Koivu is better than every second line centers around the league, and Ribeiro certainly made a strong showing last year. Get them against a fourth line center for just a few minutes a game, and that will make a big difference to the Canadians fortunes.
Who you would rather have centering your third line? Currently we have a guy in Bonk who can play a complete game. Meaning, he can play any special teams role, look good five on five, and help you more than hurt you. And. he can play for about 17 minutes a night. None of Perrault, Begin, or Dowd can do that.
We sure didn’t trade for him looking at his point production though. He was seventh on the Senators in scoring.
But this trade doesn’t look so bad. It makes the Canadians that much more flexible, more dangerous, more capable.
A third line involving Bulis, Bonk, and Ward, could stalemate top lines and provide offence when they are not in their checking matchup. Bonk and Bulis could combine for 60-70 points next year. Both are capable of playing on top lines. Not to mention that we now have two lines that can go against a top line, which we didn’t have last year. Last year we just held our breath when the opposing top line was on the ice. This year might be a different story.
Bonk is expensive, but I can’t see anything negative about this trade. The Canadians are a much deeper team than a month ago.
You gotta give a little to get a little, and Yann Danis is coming up. I don’t think we will miss Garon too much.
Sure, Garon could be a starter somewhere, but Theodore is the bird in the hand. Is Garon going to start ahead of Chechmanek? Not yet.
I sincerely hope that Mr. Gainey has more work ahead of him. With Micheal Ryder around we don’t really need a Murray or a Kovalev. Ryder is a timely scorer and will only get better. It might be nice to find someone to replace Dagenais though.
In the meantime, why not congratulate Bruce Garrioch. He has been calling this trade for a few years now. It is good to see that you are so far ahead of the ball, Bruce.