The Riders are on a bye week, which with any luck means they will not be losing this weekend. Yay! Though, if there was a team that could find a way to lose on a bye week it would be the Riders… and possibly the Maple Leafs. With no upcoming game to breakdown, I figured I would take this opportunity to give my assessment of the flurry of activity on trade deadline day. I keep telling TSN they should give me a trade deadline show on TSN 8 the ocho and in a shocking turn of events there actually would have been something to talk about this year. You missed out on a gold mine TSN… not like there was anything else interesting in the sports world on TV at that time to compete with right?
Let’s start with the Glenn trade. Most people expected it, particularly after Montreal had exhausted every option at QB short of getting Calvillo or Dinwiddie to step back on the field. The low return surprised some people but there are 2 things you need to keep in mind. 1 is Glenn was set to be an FA at the end of the season (granted he did sign an extension) so essentially we were trading a QB we no longer needed for 3-5 games max. 2 – is there was no market for him. Its hard to drive up the asking price when there is only one interested party. You pretty much take what you can get. When you consider Matt Nichols went much earlier in the season for a 7th round pick, the price seems in line with the going rate with Glenn being superior to Nichols. I will always like Kevin Glenn and wish him nothing but the best but I just don't see him as part of our future so getting a draft pick (no matter how low) for a guy who is no longer needed is a good move.
Messam was the surprising move of the day and incited far more anger from fans. Look I get it. He’s been our best player this year. He’s a Canadian and among the top RBs in the league. But the counter to that is, he was set to hit free agency at seasons end, he’s the wrong side of 30, is about to have only his second 1000 yard season in 6 years. Like Glenn this was a case of getting value now for a guy who may be gone for nothing come the offseason.
The third round pick is a solid addition. We will wait and see on the neg lister. I think the key to whole deal is Tyler Crapigna. Calgary has 2 very good kickers yet chose to stash him which tells me that Hufnagel likes his talent a lot (no one needs 3 kickers… except Toronto and Ottawa who have needed far more this year). Crapigna has potential to be a solid Cdn kicker for many years here (something that we certainly need).
These moves show that O’Day is committed to improving our draft pick stockpile (not pissing it away like his predecessor), improving our core of young Canadians and not being afraid to make unpopular moves that improve this team. Both moves are also likely part of his initial attempts to improve our woeful cap situation. Both Glenn and Messam will be replaced with cheaper options which will free up cash to go towards improving areas of need elsewhere. I believe this process is far from over as we will have to shed other big salaries (cough Getzlaf cough) in order to be able to devote money to rebuilding our Canadian core and our depth. O’day is making a good case for permanently assuming the GM spot so far (though that decision will not be made until a full offseason search is done)
I will be back Monday with my blueprint for how the Riders should manage the game day roster over the remaining 3 games. I did a similar post back in August which included the suggestion to look into the services of one Tyler Crapigna as well as trading away Kevin Glenn so I would strongly recommend checking it out as I seem to know what I’m talking about (go figure).