BY David Henke: A.K.A. Hank
The Trade Bin, is a look at trade scenarios and some general ideas and tips to make trading with other owners (you may use the term Poolies, GM’s, Coaches,… I will call them owners) more enjoyable and successful. While this is mostly with keeper leagues and salary cap leagues in mind, the information should be useful in yearly leagues as well.
I have a name I like to call these different trade scenarios.
“The Long Lost Friend”
“Long and Winding Road”
“Apple of my Eye”
“Apple of my Eye”
Ok, so we all have those young budding superstars that we fall in love with and really want to add to our teams. I am not talking about the proven players that you pursue full well knowing the stats they will provide, but that one young player that has yet to fully blossom. That once in a blue moon player you have an ultra-fascination for that borders on creepy. You are just certain that he is the next Mark Messier, Nicklas Lidstrom, Marty Brodeur and that he will be a Hall of Famer every year he is on your team for next 12-20 years. You run to your mail box every day to see if they returned one of your 150 letters that you mailed to them in care of the team. Well, maybe that is just how deep my sickness runs, but I think you get the idea. One of mine from the past was Alex Pietrangelo. I had to have him, and he always seemed to be just out of my reach. I have a new one now, of course I can’t tell you who in case someone from my league reads this I don’t want to tip my hand. So, how do I get the other owner to trade him to me, because I absolutely have to have him? Well, here is my advice.
1. “The first step in your recovery is admission”. Yes, like an addiction, you must first admit you cannot control your appetite for said player.
2. Step 2, you must ask yourself WHY? And be honest in your answer. A) Is it past stats driven; lit up the scoreboard in Juniors? B) Is it a specific recognized skill set that impresses you; Great Speed? Great Shooter? Toughness? C) Is it in your view he plays the game the right way? Captain material D) Is it I have seen him play and he just has that “It” factor? E) Is it I met him and he is a nice (cute can be interchanged if you can further admit that) guy?
3. I will get back to E in a minute, but if it is any or all of A-D, you should thoroughly research your player and see if you can support your expectations of the player. “Trust (your instincts) but verify”. Search your hockey web sites for current and past articles on the player including their original prospect report. Especially locate the local beat writer reports, like this timely article at the height of my Pietrangelo fascination. Alex Pietrangelo If this research has still not quelled your appetite for this player, use the information to form a tangible fantasy worth of the player. Gather an opinion from another owner that is not in the league, or does not own the player. They are less likely affected by emotions and might provide a baseline value for the player.
4. So, you have determined the player’s worth and think you are ready. Here is the key step, DO NOT ask the other owner what he wants for the said player. If you ask them what they are looking for, it will certainly prompt them to do deep research on the player you want. This is exactly what you don’t want as you just did the research and it has strongly pointed he is going to be a superstar. Instead, prepare an offer that seems to help their team utilizing established veterans or similar valued younger players that you determine you can live without. Make sure that offer exceeds the player’s worth. If you short change the offer or even provide equal value and start getting into a dink and dunk, you risk the other owner researching and regrouping on his/her decision to trade the player and determining they don’t want to trade the player at ANY value. Then it is door shut; case closed; “game over man”(can I get a smile from the Aliens fans). With an overpay offer and the element of surprise, there is a chance you get a quick accept. Be patient, try to time this when the player has a bad scoring period, a bad game, or is injured. This will give your overpayment that extra POW. While it seems overpaying may drag your team down, recall you did sound research to back up your own evaluation and both have pointed to stardom. Had I offered Bobby Ryan in 2010 for Pietrangelo that would have been grossly over paying, but now it seems like a quality trade and the kicker… I OWN ALEX PIETRANGELO WOOHOO!!!! If they still turn down your overpay offer, that usually means the player is the apple of their eye as well and it would not have made any difference what you had offered. You come across as a fair dealer and earn some respect from the other owner and you no longer have to drive yourself crazy trying find a price point. If they do ever consider trading him, this will tell them to come to you first.
5. Ok, what about choice E above? The category of “he wears my favorite number”, “he is from my home town”, “I met him and he is a nice (cute can be interchanged if you can further admit that) guy”, “he played against my brother”. In other words, your fascination is not as sound as hockey production/talent/analysis, but you still want him. Well, I say it makes no difference. Follow the same plan, do the research, come up with a tangible value (due to less proof of hockey production, the value should be far less than a noted superstar) and fire an overpayment to them and get the guy on your team. It is fantasy hockey and it is supposed to be fun and owning your favorite player is fun.
Finally the caveat, you need to make sure you are disciplined and not overpay and burn assets for the flavor of the month 3 or 4 times a season. This is reserved for those players that are truly your favorites. I have utilized this strategy for only 2 players in 4 years so we are talking only about the really elite/special players to me. You need to reserve this strategy only for the true apple of your eye.
Follow Hank on Twitter: @HammerinHank16
And read his blog at HammerinHank’sTradeBin where Hank will answer your fantasy hockey trade questions.