Earlier today, Sportsnet's lead hockey columnist Damien Cox dropped this tweet out into the ether for everyone to chew on:
If you're EDM, at draft do u offer No. 1 pick to MTL for Subban/Price package? Or to LA for Doughty/Quick? Gotta get creative, aggressive.— Damien Cox (@DamoSpin) December 16, 2014
Pretty much out of nowhere, no basis in reality, and naturally, he got a lot of backlash over it. Without going into the feasibility of the Canadiens package right away, let's let Damien explain what he means.
I'm guessing people who think a monster McDavid deal is absurd aren't old enough to remember the Lindros deal. Or deals.— Damien Cox (@DamoSpin) December 16, 2014
Okay so we're harkening back to the days of the Eric Lindros trade as an example of what it takes to acquire an elite, possibly generational prospect. So what did it take back then?
The Lindros Trade
Trading for Eric Lindros was complicated not only because there was no salary cap back then, but you could also trade cash, and there were two different trades accepted by the Nordiques.
The Flyers trade that was ruled by an arbitrator as the deal the Nordiques had to go with was Eric Lindros in exchange for Steve Duchene (27), Kerry Huffman (24), Ron Hextall (28), Mike Ricci (20) , Chris Simon (20), Peter Forsberg (18), 1st round pick in 1993, 1st round pick in 1994, and $15M.
The purported deal with the Rangers was Alex Kovalev (19) , Tony Amonte (22), Doug Weight (21), John Vanbiesbrouck (28), cash and draft picks.
Both packages included eventual superstars, but at the time only Amonte, Vanbiesbrouck, and Duchesne were truly great NHLers; one in Philadelphia's package, two in New York's. Yet no player traded for Lindros was considered to be elite at the time. Vanbiesbrouck was the closest, the only player in the package to win any individual award, but he was six seasons removed from his only Vezina Trophy.
The Canadiens' situation
Maybe Damien Cox suffers from Toronto disease and doesn't realize what he's saying. By including the LA package, he's inferring elite goalie + elite defenseman = Connor McDavid, even though Quick is definitely not elite. But what he's really saying is that the Canadiens could give up arguably the best defenseman in the league, and arguably the best goaltender in the league, for a 17-year-old junior hockey phenom who could be the next Crosby, but he could also not.
As a "talking point" as he puts it, it might be interesting to bat about, but no serious hockey person would ever consider making such a move. If the Canadiens wanted the next Crosby, it would be a safer move to trade for... Sidney Crosby. As great as Sidney Crosby is, I don't think any team in their right mind would trade both P.K. Subban and Carey Price for him. The hole in the lineup those two would leave is just too large.
The problem here, and you can see it clearly from Cox's reaction to people responding to his tweet, is that he knows it's absurd. He says stuff like this simply to get a reaction on social media, then insults everyone who reacts. It's classic troll behaviour from someone who isn't smart, connected, or interesting enough to write something of substance.