Saturday, January 10, 2009

Buy or Sell?

On the heels of a tough road loss, only 3 wins in 10 games, with injuries piling up (including your only multi-season veteran on D) and with teams like Vernon and Salmon Arm loading up... what should Trail do? Clearly the team is talented enough to win a playoff series with anyone. However, the question any GM has to ask themselves is "what is best thing I can do to build a championship team?" If you are Jim Ingram are your veterans more valuable to you as trade chips towards building a championship team in the future, or as members of a possible championship team this year?

That's a question more than one GM is facing today. Buy, sell or stand still?

Brian Burke once said that the worst thing you can do in sports is finish in the middle of the pack. The BCHL doesn't have a draft so there's no benefit to finishing last. However, if you don't believe your team has a very good shot at the BCHL championship or a Royal Bank Cup, is it smart management to hang on to a player when trading him could put you much closer in another year or two?

Ultimately (fair or not) winners are measured by championships. Jim Ingram is a winner. He built Kerry Park into a winner in the VIJHL and that's what he's doing here. He started his rebuild of the Smokies this off season with hard work and heavy recruiting. If that team is more likely to peak next season or in two seasons, should he not do everything he can to use his current assets to make those teams better?

There's lots to like and even love about this year's Smokies. They are a fantastic group of guys and I would hate to see anyone move. However, there is a case to be made that some of their veterans could make a bigger contribution to a possible Trail championship by playing elsewhere for the rest of this season.

I have no idea what Trail will do. Jim Ingram and the Trail staff are too classy to tip their hat to a media guy (as much as I consider them friends and would never spill those kind of beans... I'm still a media guy) and risk anyone finding out about their future from an outside source. I'm sure whatever choices he is facing are agonizing and complicated. As another bright BCHL source told me recently, Ingram is a smart man and can be trusted to make the right decisions.

Frankly, I don't know what those are... that's why nobody would pay me to make them.

Good luck to all BCHL GMs today. I know nobody likes trading young men. It's an emotional process. You want them all to succeed together and today is not easy. Good luck.

No comments: