Thursday, January 17, 2013

Waiving Tim Connolly is Shooting the Hostage

Harry: "Alright, pop quiz: The airport. Gunman with one hostage, he's using her for cover, he's almost to the plane. You're a hundred feet away. (Long pause) Jack?"
Jack: "Shoot the hostage.""
Harry: "What?"
Jack: "Take her out of the equation. Go for the good wound and he can't get to the plane with her. Clear shot"
Harry: "You are deeply nuts, you know that? 'Shoot the hostage'... jeez..."

In negotiations for the Roberto Luongo, Mike Gillis has been holding firm: he wants real value, and his rumoured recent asking price was along the lines of Tyler Bozak, Nazem Kadri, and a 2nd-round pick. Dave Nonis thus far hasn't seemed interested in giving up that much; Gillis has insisted he won't trade Luongo unless he gets the right return.

It was announced this morning that the Leafs will be waiving Tim Connolly just a day after sending Matthew Lombardi to the Coyotes in the first 'retained salary' trade under the new CBA. By saying goodbye to two candidates for centre spots, Nonis has made it impossible to trade Bozak and Kadri. The move has changed the negotiation: now, that trade structure is off the table. Nonis has effectively 'shot the hostage'; it may be that he had a different package in mind (maybe he would rather move a winger? MacArthur?). Now, that's the only option available.

Nonis may have wanted to call Gillis' bluff that other teams would offer more. Nonis has altered the negotiation by eliminating some of his own options - he shot the hostage. Now that Bozak and Kadri have become genuinely unavailable, Gillis may have negotiate on Nonis' terms.

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