Bob Murray sounds like a guy that was pleased to see Blockbuster go under.
Following Tuesday’s “hockey deal” — the Ducks sent Devante Smith-Pelly to Montreal in exchange for Jiri Sekac — the Anaheim GM voiced his displeasure with the current state of the trade market.
“There’s a lot of talking going on, but it’s all about rentals, for Pete’s sake,” Murray said, per the Los Angeles Times. “It’s gone from a third-round pick for a rental, someone you might have for three months; now it’s a second- or first-rounder and a prospect.”
While Murray’s candor is enjoyable (more so if you envision him shaking his fist at the trade deadline), there’s definitely some posturing at play. For starters, the rental market hasn’t proven to be that expensive yet — on Tuesday, Minnesota acquired a pretty useful forward in Sean Bergenheim from Florida for a third-round pick — and, less than two weeks ago, Winnipeg and Buffalo combined to orchestrate one of the biggest blockbusters in recent memory where most of the principles (Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian, Tyler Myers) were building blocks, not rentals.
(You can also circle back to the Smith-Pelly-for-Sekac trade that Murray completed, which was a true “hockey deal.”)
Of course, we’ve seen comments like these from Murray and GMs before, and they do occasionally prove to be somewhat effective. By bemoaning not just the quality of rental players, but also the asking price, the GM gives himself an out in the event he can’t make anything significant happen at the deadline (which is usually followed by something along the lines of “we weren’t going to mortgage the future.”)
It’s also worth remembering that Murray has history of posturing. After failing to land a big ticket at last year’s deadline (while picking up a cheap rental in Stephane Robidas, it should be mentioned), he expressed confusion and dismay about not getting a deal done despite having a pair of high draft picks in play — the old “I was ready to make a deal, they weren’t” narrative.
Anyway, back to the present. In light of this rentals-only market, Murray could end up having to wait ’til the offseason to make a big move, much like last year with the Ryan Kesler acquisition at the draft. The Ducks are clamoring for defensive help but it sure doesn’t look like there’s a ton available heading into Monday’s deadline — and, posturing or not, Murray sure doesn’t sound enamored with the idea of paying big for a rental.
“I’m not doing that here,” he explained. “It’s not my cup of tea, this rental world.”