One of the nice things about being a sports fan as opposed to a hockey fan is that I get exposed to, well, lots of other sports. I get to see how teams in other sports leagues operate, because I watch other sports. And this is why I scream and yell at how the Flames have operated this offseason.
For example, lets take a look at the NBA, and how the teams that won championships got there.
Toronto: Made a trade for a disgruntled star, who didn't want to go there, and who had significant injury concerns. And made that trade by sending away a player the fans loved and who had essentially married the team in Derozan. It was a huge risk.
Lakers: Signed a 35+ year old Lebron to big money, and traded away all the depth and picks they had to get Anthony Davis, and bet that those two could carry the team. AD is also an injury prone player. This was a risky gamble.
Bucks: Traded away all their picks and got rid of all their depth to bring in Holiday, a player who is good but not superstar level, to get over the hump. They then used all their cap to sign the guy to an extension, essentially locking in that version of the team for many years to come. Big swing.
Honorable mention: Brooklyn: Acquired an injured player in free agency, acquired a talented malcontent in free agency, and traded all their picks and a lot of their depth to bring in another disgruntled superstar. Oh, did I mention all 3 of the big three are old, like 30+ (in the NBA that is old)?
Or how about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who staked their fortunes on the back of a 40+ old quarterback?
To win in professional sports often requires taking a risk. Playing it safe often results in being safe, being in the middle...which in professional sports means: not winning.
Which brings us to the point: signing 30 year old crash and bang wingers to six year contracts is a win now move. Keeping the draft picks and not using them on getting better players right now is not a win now move. Why is the team operating in two different modes?
Win now means win now. There is a player available right now who would make an immediate impact with the team, one that isn't marginal. Why on earth are we signing free agents if we aren't going for it? And if we are going for it, why on earth are we not using our futures to get players who help with that?
The Bucks, for example, really overpaid, from a pure value stance, for Drew Holiday. There is nobody in the world who is going to make that argument though, because they won.
Yes, Treliving, you might have to 'overpay' for Eichel relative to what other teams are offering. So what.
You signed a goalie to big money. You signed a winger to big money. You have a couple of superstars in Johnny and Matt (allegedly a superstar)...go get Eichel. Stop being a pussy.