Warning: this is going to be mean.
I don’t know how old David Martin is. Maybe he’s 15 and doesn’t know better. Even if that’s not true, this is really not his fault.
Whenever I see a website that’s moderated and actually brings people on board to write articles for them, it means they are encouraging a journalism process. In a journalism process, someone will pitch an idea and someone will say yes or no to it. On a lot of blogs this gets skipped right to the person just leaving their article as a pitch in WordPress. Then someone has to read said article to decide if it should go on the website. The only time this process gets skipped is if an editor is writing the article.
I really hope David Martin is not an editor on A Winning Habit. It says “Staff Writer” but maybe that’s outdated.
You see, Martin posted an article titled, “Montreal Canadiens should trade for Alex Ovechkin” last week and it didn’t come to my attention until Dom Simonetta of Last Word on Sports linked it to me calling it, “The worst thing I’ve ever read.” Now he’s a Washington Capitals fan so of course that would be his reaction to a Habs article about Alex Ovechkin
The title is a pretty simple, “Well no shit.”
The article itself is a common symptom in the sports blog world. There are two different types of bloggers. First you have the bloggers who have passion and something to say and maybe they are analytically inclined for statistics and such, but they have very little writing ability. They tend to also be poor at explaining statistics to a common audience. Sometimes these writers get better but a lot of times they don’t care to ever get advice once they gain a bit of popularity and suddenly you have a blogger that is getting hired by a media company and just brings down the bar of journalism integrity. Keep the thoughts to yourself whom I might be suggesting that about.
Then you get the bloggers who have absolutely nothing to say and were born to simply spew copy. They are devoid of any ability to formulate logical opinions and explanations for said opinions. They were born to work for a wire service but instead write for a blog. Nobody wants copy for a blog. They want articles and these folks have to provide.
David Martin, you’re that guy.
Martin knows how to write something readable, which is sometimes satisfactory for blogs. The problem is Martin doesn’t know how to say anything. He’s either an impressive robot or a disappointing person. Remember that “no shit” title? It develops from a should to a need in the body.
It gets worse. David Martin presents that the Habs need to trade for Ovechkin, despite the fact that 29 teams need to trade for Ovechkin and one team needs to not trade him. Martin explains it would make the Canadiens the strongest team in the Eastern Conference. Okay. He then points to an article by Pierre LeBrun where Ovechkin talked about loving to play in Montreal. Add a Russian factor (which Washington also has) and voila, we got why the Canadiens are a fit! Of course, every team in the league would want the best winger in the NHL for the past decade and quite a few could give more convincing arguments than Russian friend + City you like to play in.
What we all want to hear is why the Capitals would want to make this trade, right? This is what killed Simonetta. The pieces mentioned were David Desharnais, Lars Eller and Alexei Emelin. See the bolded name? I’ll get to that later.
I don’t care how many first or second round picks you add to any of those guys. You don’t get Alex Ovechkin. Montreal can’t even find decent trade partners to take those players individually already, otherwise they’d probably be gone by now. Desharnais isn’t superior to the top two centres in Washington and Lars Eller would be like re-adding Eric Fehr at a higher cost. Emelin, wait, didn’t we want to promote the Russian factor? I guess he’s shooting his own explanation in the leg. Why am I even breaking this down? It’s stupid. And I’m stupid for breaking it down.
Finally, David Martin throws his Hail Mary to solidify why this could happen and why he didn’t just waste his time typing: “Is it a long shot? Of course, but just remember: the Edmonton Oilers did trade Wayne Gretzky, after all.”
THE GRETZKY DEFENCE.
You see, every trade is possible with the Gretzky defence! It doesn’t matter if the offer he made is worse than what the Los Angeles Kings offered for Wayne Gretzky at the distance of Montreal to Los Angeles. It doesn’t matter if the Habs don’t have a Jimmy Carson to convince the Capitals to take it. It doesn’t matter if that was a pre-salary cap world and Edmonton needed money. If Gretzky can be traded, anyone can be traded, and they can be traded for any dumb deal you suggest!
Honestly, this should be called the Ribeiro defence, since he got traded for Janne Niinimaa and that was a ridiculous gap in value. Then again, Mike Ribeiro is human fecal matter and the only thing we should name after him is the psychological effect “redemption” stories have on sports media that makes them ignore when a person obviously paid his way out of sexually assaulting his 18 year old nanny. Call it the Ribeiro Effect.
So why is this the worst hockey article? I made it pretty clear, but let me sum it up:
- Title provides obvious statement that everyone would agree with in a situation of no context
- Blog re-enforces obvious statement
- Blog presents terrible trade offer and justifies it with THE GRETZKY DEFENCE
- Blog somehow got through an editor
- Blog runs purely on speculation, bias and empty justifications
Now, is it really the worst hockey article ever written? Nope. Not when a major newspaper publishes Steve Simmons fan fiction about Phil Kessel and hot dogs. But it is incredible to see something like this in 2015 on a website that seems to be promoted or affiliated in some way with Sports Illustrated, but it’s actually worse. Fansided is owned by Time Inc. It’s not the worst, but it’s certainly hilarious.
BUT I’M NOT DONE.
David Martin has suffered enough. You see, the job is complete. It’s now time for comments. A lot of the comments are Washington Capitals fans in complete disbelief that something of this nature could even be written. But remember how I bolded the name of Lars Eller, one of the players offered by David Martin?
Let’s take a moment and do some Steve Simmons hot dog-less fan fiction.
Imagine the general manager of the Montreal Canadiens is not Marc Bergevin but a guy named Dennis. And Dennis has just taken the advice of Mr. Martin from this blog. He has made an offer to Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan that he wants to acquire Alex Ovechkin. MacLellan doesn’t like this at first but he sees what the Habs have to offer (Desharnais, Eller, Emelin) plus first and second round draft picks and he decides… sure! And he asks Alex Ovechkin, who likes to party with Andrei Markov and says, “I want to play in Montreal.” The deal is set! David Martin was no fool! If Wayne Gretzky can be traded, so can Alex Ovechkin! MacLellan calls up Dennis and tells him it’s a deal. Alex Ovechkin for David Desharnais, Lars Eller, Alexei Emelin and a bunch of drafts. The deal of a century!
How does Dennis respond?
TRADE DENIED BY THE MONTREAL CANADIENS.
If that is not the greatest comment in the history of a Montreal Canadiens blog, nay, an NHL blog, nay, a sports blog, NAY, the history of all blog comments? I don’t know what is.