Tuesday, 17 January 2012

"Insiders" and Breaking Trades

An inevitable consequence of the approach of the trade deadline is the increase in people claiming to be "hockey insiders" breaking trades. While these individuals are lots of fun to follow, I have to say I have a lot of trouble understanding how anyone can put any stock in what they say.

First off, I'd like to say I'm not full out condemning the value added by these people. I'm a hockey fan primarily to be entertained, and these accounts add more to the entertainment I get from the game than a Pierre Gauthier interview ever has. With that said, do people honestly believe anyone is really tapped in to what's going to happen on the trade market? I'm convinced that the people who do know, like Bob McKenzie or Darren Dreger, would lose their access in half a second if they just revealed everything they heard. Look at Eklund; earlier this season, he reported the Coyotes-Habs trade without actually mentioning names due to "respect for his source". This was also pretty shrewd, since he doubtlessly got a lot more page views than "Nokelainen for Trotter" would have fostered.

I think the best example of this phenomenon is "The Creasy" twitter account. This guy has thrown a ton of shit against the wall since joining twitter, and some of it has even stuck. With that said, a lot of it hasn't, and even his supposed "breaking" of the Cammalleri trade is suspect. While I find his tweets a lot of fun, how on earth would someone with the level of access he claims to have keep that access if he just kept reporting everything he heard? I refuse to believe someone like Gauthier would be happy having that much information out there, and I think it's far-fetched to think someone close to the organization could report everything they heard without repercussions.

I read Creasy's piece on canadienshk.com, and I have to admit I really liked it. I think his analysis of the players was pretty spot on, and he struck me as a very smart fan and observer of the team. I think, however, that that's where it ends. In all likelihood, and this is just my opinion, this guy is a fan who simply watches and looks for trends. He reports what he thinks should happen as "rumors", and when something sticks he looks like a genius. When something doesn't stick, he can hide behind the same excuse all of these insiders use - GM's have tons of talks, and they don't always materialize.

Of course, there's always the possibility that this guy is actually an insider and I'm an idiot. If AK46 gets traded to the Predators tomorrow I'll happily concede that he's legitimate, and I'll be happy to know there's someone willing to talk within this particular organization.

UPDATE: Yes, Kostitsyn was traded to the Predators at the deadline. I think, however, that this guy talked about pretty much every other possible scenario also happening. I've changed my stance on these guys quite a bit since writing this, but giving him credit for AK46 to Nashville would be insane at any time.

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