As you know from my Real Denver Sports Helmet Awards, I'm still PO'd that Ryan Smyth was traded from this team. More likely he was a salary dump. Terry Frei of the Denver Post has said more than once that he is pretty sure that Greg Sherman would not have traded Smyth if he had had a clue that this team was going to be so good.
Shift to the post season and getting a chance to see a lot of Boston games and I have to say that Johnny Boychuk looked like a decent defenseman. Obviously Boston thinks so as well.
What the heck does that have to do with Ryan Smyth? You’ll see.
Here’s the time-line:
June 24th, 2008 – The Colorado Avalanche traded Johnny Boychuk to the Boston Bruins for Matt Hendricks.
July 2nd, 2009 – The Colorado Avalanche traded Ryan Smyth to the Los Angeles Kings for Kyle Quincey, Tom Preissing and a fifth round pick in 2010.
The Avs and the Bruins swapped players, Boychuk for Matt Hendricks. Let’s say that trade never happened.
And let’s say the Smyth trade didn’t happen either. The Avs would not have Preissing or Quincey. Preissing is a non-factor as he was sent down after a mere 52 minutes of playing time, never to see an Avs jersey again.
Quincey was an asset for most of the season, but there were a few knocks on him as the season went along and he “earned” some doghouse time with Sacco late in the season. I don’t have a beef with Quincey, just pointing out he was no more than a decent defenseman.
On trade day the Avs swapped Wolski for Mueller and found a missing link in the power play. And a right handed shot for the power play as well.
However, the second unit PP was still weak.
Guess what folks: Boychuk plays on the #1 PP unit for Boston and he shoots right.
Imagine if the Avs had kept Boychuk and Smyth.
By late season the team would have had a nice looking power play with two units that had that elusive right hander that has a good shot from the point. And Boychuk kills penalties too.
Boychuk’s play on D would be virtually indistinguishable from Quincey’s over the course of the season.
The Avs would have had another strong leader in the room with Smyth, and a guy that produces on the ice as well, including on the power play.
And for that we would have to imagine the Avs with OUT Hendricks and Quincey. I could have lived with that. Quincey was good and Hendricks was a great gritty guy that made a difference on this team, no doubt. But I think this team would have been better off with my scenario.