I am writing this entry with the understanding that perceptions can change. I may very well look back on this entry in a year or two (or even at the end of this season) and say "what was I thinking?" With that in mind, let me flat out say: trading Marian Gaborik for Matt Frattin was a poor decision.
As I write this, the Blue Jackets' offense is practically non-existent and the power play is in an 0-for-30-something slump. You know what would help with that? A proven NHL goal scorer.
It comes down to this question really, Blue Jackets fans: would your rather have, right now at this moment, Marian Gaborik on the ice or Matt Frattin in the press box? At this juncture I think the answer is obvious. Many will argue that Gaborik would have been lost at the end of the season so the Jackets did the right thing to get something for him.
But is having Matt Frattin on the roster in the summer better than having a playoff berth in the spring? If I were Jarmo, I would have kept Gaborik on the team as a potent roster option. Instead, we traded him for a guy who sits in the press box every night. Gaborik would have helped this team, simply put. I don't think keeping him on the team would have hurt. If the Jackets can't find some offense soon they'll be finding themselves on the golf course in mid-April again.
Let's pretend we kept Gaborik and made the playoffs. Then Gaborik walked. The positives of making the playoffs would outweigh the negatives of losing him for nothing. Seriously, would any of you Jackets fans be THAT upset if the Jackets chose not to re-sign him this summer? I would have given it a big fat "oh well" and moved on. Because you know what? We traded him for practically nothing anyway.
This was not addition by subtraction. We lost a goal scorer and right now we need goals. I was skeptical when the trade was made. Now my worst fears are being realized. Maybe I'm jumping the gun and things will turn around. But things don't look so hot right now.
I am not saying that Gaborik would have solved all our problems with the offense, but he could not have made it worse than what we've recently seen on the ice. I've heard fans say he didn't fit into the gritty style the Jackets play. Well, I hate to say it, but that gritty style is not putting pucks in the net right now. We need all the help we can get.
So I hope I am wrong and the Jackets get hot and make the playoffs for only the second time in their history. But if they don't, and we fans start talking about where things went wrong, the conversation should start with the Gaborik trade.