Friday, March 4, 2011

Take the Quiz: Did you make a good trade?

What do Brian Burke's neckties have in
common with NHL games? There hasn't
been a tied one since 2004.
So the trade deadline has come and gone, meaning that after more than 40 deals in February alone the NHL has seen its last trade for the next few months.

That's bad news if you're a fan, but it's probably great news if you're a general manager. After all, pulling the trigger on a trade must be one of the most stressful parts of any GM's job. And not just the countless hours of scouting, strategizing and negotiation - once the trade is done, you have to deal with all the second-guessing about whether you made a mistake.

While I can't do anything about the first part, I think I may be able to help with the second. If you're an NHL general manager who recently made a major trade - and studies of my readership say that you probably are - then you can end the suspense right now. By taking this simple quiz and tallying your results, you can determine whether or not you made the right move.

When you made your initial offer, the other general manager responded:
a.) "I can see you're going to be driving a hard bargain."
b.) "That seems like a fair proposal, let's discuss it some more."
c.) "That's adorable, now can you please put a grownup on the phone?"
d.) "That's a reasonable offer, but we're not really interested in acquiring Carmello Anthony."

Whenever the negotiations presented you with a difficult decision, you sought guidance from:
a.) Your lifelong study of the philosophies of legendary hockey executives like Sam Pollock and Conn Smythe
b.) Your keen understanding of modern game theory and advanced statistical analysis
c.) Your paid consultant and personal mentor, Charlie Sheen.
d.) Your "What Would Milbury Do?" bracelet.

At one point, negotiations hit a standstill because:
a.) The other general manager became concerned that he'd be giving up too much.
b.) You had to go to your owner to make sure he was OK with increasing the payroll.
c.) You started to try to understand the logic behind the NHL's policy on headshots and blacked out for three days.
d.) Your Xbox broke, so you couldn't run the trade through NHL 11 to find out if it was fair.

The other general manager said the words "Yes, I will make that trade"…
a.) Immediately after uttering the words "I can't believe you're talking me into this, but..."
b.) After many intense negotiating sessions over the course of several weeks.
c.) After fifteen minutes of hysterical laughter followed by the phrase "Oh, you were being serious?"
d.) As soon as he picked up the phone, thanks to seeing your name on call display.

Your trade involves a conditional draft pick. The condition is…
a.) An additional pick if your team wins multiple Stanley Cups instead of just one.
b.) A sixth round pick if the other team wins one playoff round.
c.) A first round pick if the other team wins six playoff rounds.
d.) A bonus draft pick to whichever team is employing you as an assistant scout by late April.

Columns in the local newspapers most frequently described the trade using the phrase…
a.) "Outright larceny for the home team"
b.) "A fair deal for both sides"
c.) "Presumably some sort of elaborate practical joke"
d.) "Sutter-iffic!"

When you called the player you were acquiring to inform him of the trade, he said…
a.) "I'm shocked to hear how little you had to give up to get me."
b.) "You paid a steep price, but I'll work hard to make it worth it for you."
c.) "I already heard about the trade, because some loser on Twitter got 500 people to send me messages about it."
d.) "Uh, you do know that I retired six years ago, right?"

After the trade was formally announced, the next phone call you received was from…
a.) The team owner, asking what size you want your Stanley Cup ring to be.
b.) A fellow general manager, congratulating you on making a solid deal.
c.) Joe Nieuwendyk, thanking you for taking some of the heat off.
d.) John Ferguson Jr., you think, although it was hard to understand him since he was talking into the wrong end of the telephone.

Scoring: Tally up your answers, then check below to find out how you did.

Mostly a.) Enjoy that General Manager Of The Year trophy.
Mostly b.) You deserve credit for taking a risk to improve your team.
Mostly c.) Ah, don't worry about it. Winning is overrated.
Mostly d.) But seriously, any chance you want to join my fantasy league?


  1. JFJ jokes never get old. Thanks for the laugh.

  2. Managed to keep from laughing out loud at work...until the JFJ line.

  3. Great job, DGB!
    My favorite part was seeking guidance from your 'What would Milbury do?' bracelet. :P

  4. Is there a 'Drool Meter' that GM's use to see how Bryan 'Slobbering' Murray would react to a trade?
    On behalf of anyone who had to endure his tenure in Florida and Detroit....HEY BRYAN MURRAY.......YOU SUCK!