It is such a pleasure to hear words of wisdom on this site.
You mention O'Reilly to the Blues.
When the trade was made, nearly every pundit thought it was a good deal for both teams.
On January first after the trade the Blues were so excited with the trade, they were discussing breaking up the team at the TDL.
Six months later they are holding the cup.
But you also mentioned the Thornton trade.
In past 15 years or so, I would say Boston has lost three trades by wide margins.
Of course the Thornton deal, but what do they have to show for Wheeler and Seguin?
About the same as the Sabres have from losing Kane, O'Reilly and Lehner.
Three players that the Sabres gave up multiple picks and former first round picks to obtain.
Now have Thompson to show for all of those trades.
I could even add Kessel to the Boston ledger.
Initially it looked as Boston won the trade by a wide margin getting Seguin and Hamilton, but where are they now?
While Kessel got to hoist two cups.
So for Buffalo the past 10 years they have lost both ends of the trades.
When they got the best player in the deal and when they traded that player away.
Boston on the other hand, trades away great players and still manages to be in cup contention every year.
Buffalo is the laughing stock of the league now, it all started when Pegula took over the team.
I imagine when the dust settles the Sabres will have bucket of pucks to show for trading Reinhart, Ristolainen and Eichel.
The same one Boston has for trading away, Thornton, Wheeler and Kessel.
The difference is Buffalo has practice puck, while Boston pucks are from the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Yeah. I do think there are a lot of difficult concepts in here to grapple with as well. On O'Reilly for example, I just disagreed with popular opinion even then. Stl was shafted by goaltending for a while when they were playing pretty well and I created mocks trading Mittelstadt for Tarasenko - how crazy would that have been. But no, instead the typical defensive fan goes "my prospect will become great, no player I could trade for is as good" until the trade actually happens and then they flip.
And this brings me to my next point, cause you lay it out really well. The Bruins have made TERRIBLE decisions, potentially more than any winning franchise this millenium (although Chicago comes to mind). But they've been lucky. And I'm the first fan to recognize that. The front office of the team I prefer makes terrible decisions. Getting Dougie and Seguin? No thanks, I'll flip that for more senseless mid-round picks, think I won big in Brandon Carlo, and in reality let the same core players we got lucky with picking late in the first, in the second and in the 3rd round carry the team.
And one has to remember - even if there are Brad Marchands, or more recently Brayden Points or whatever past the first round, or players like Pasta late in the second;
NOBODY KNOWS WHO THEY ARE. IF THEY DID THEY WOULDNT GO IN THE 2-3RD ROUNDS.
Like this is not a consistent strategy. If you over time accumulate, or trade aging players or for bad contracts, you can gather enough to make it likely at least some turn into NHLers. Arizona might have something to show for their like 8 3rd rounders next year, but Buffalo probably won't for giving up Taylor Hall.
BUT, I was really appreciated with what they got for Ristolainen. Good on them.